The Thai government announced that it has retaken control of the country after several weeks of bloody anti-government demonstrations that paralyzed Bangkok and created a deep political rift within Thai society.
The situation in Bangkok between “red shirt” protesters and the Thai government was tense and precarious on Monday, as leaders from both sides of the conflict made tentative attempts to communicate while thousands of demonstrators held their ground in their encampment.
Violence escalated Friday between Thai police and the throng of thousands of protesters still entrenched in Bangkok, touched off in part by the shooting of rogue general Khattiya Sawasdipol, aka Commander Red, on Thursday.
There are the red shirts, and there are also the black shirts—a group of Thai dissidents, led by rebel Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol until he was shot in the head Thursday, apparently by a sniper, as he was being interviewed by New York Times reporter Thomas Fuller in Bangkok. His injury was described as “severe.”
The clash between the Thai establishment and anti-government “red shirt” protesters took a turn for the deadly on Thursday when a series of grenade explosions killed one person and wounded 75 in a Bangkok business district.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s days in office may be numbered. After last weekend’s bloody clash between red-shirted protesters and government forces in Bangkok, Vejjajiva was dealt two big tactical blows Monday that could lead to his party’s dissolution.