As the world waits for Thailand to end a week-long occupation of Bangkok’s main airports, the anti- government protesters who seized them say their efforts to transform the country are only just beginning.
If they win what they have dubbed their “final battle,” Bangkok-based People’s Alliance for Democracy members say they will start a campaign to tell “the truth” to the country’s rural majority, which has elected parties linked to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra four times since 2006.
“Rural people have good hearts but they don’t know the truth like we do in Bangkok,” said Noppakoon Lagum, 37, a surgeon helping to occupy the main international airport. “It is our duty to re-educate them.”
‘Blinded’ by Media
Those opposing Thaksin are confident that his rural backers could be converted if they could access an independent television station like the satellite channel operated by protest leader Sondhi Limthongkul.
“Rural people are blinded by corrupt media and need to listen to ASTV,” said Thanapol Buranasombati, a protester, referring to Sondhi’s station that broadcasts the rallies around the clock. “When the poor farmers know the truth about what is happening they will side with us.”
The opposition Democrat party won only four of 135 seats in the northeast during the last election, while taking 27 of 36 seats in Bangkok. Some anti-government protesters at the airport said they wouldn’t need to seize the airports and change the political system if the Democrats could win enough votes to form a government.
“We don’t need to convince all northeasterners to join us, just maybe 50 percent,” said Patcharaporn Vijitpanon, 58, who has joined the protests for months. “If we do that then we can have a new election and the Democrat party can win.”
The PAD and its fellow travellers are self-delusional. They think the lies and hatred spewed in the Manager and The Nation represents education, censoring and beating up reporters represents a free press, violently taking over Government House and the airports represents politics, and disenfranchsing 3/4 of the country epitomizes democracy.