Ubon update

A lot quieter here in Ubon today…. so far.

Rumours are circulating quite freely which doesn’t help the already delicate situation. Most shops reopened this morning. Sunee Grand Hotel and City Mall did not however due to reports that Red shirts were on their way to attack it. The entire complex was completely shut down and guests were told to check out. (Quick plug: Peppers is of course still open!)
They told me they would remain closed for the rest of the day and will text me in the morning after deciding if to open or not.
Another story I have heard is that the Red Shirts are planning to take over the main bus station in town out by Macro. This is meant to be happening now so I will head out soon to go and take a little look. *Edit* I have just got back and it is business as usual down there as well as almost everywhere else. *Edit*
Curfew is still in place but the hours are 9pm – 5am.

16 responses to “Ubon update

  1. Stay Safe Mocky
    Thinking of you and your family
    xoxo

  2. My pal has just been past the bus station and up to the transport office near big Honda (which was rumoured to be on fire) but didn’t see anything!

  3. Thanks Memock for keeping the outside world informed about the ground situations in Thailand. I am not much aware of the situation of Thailand, but I have just gathered some basic information on line. But whom the Thai masses really support? Are the Red Shirts really working for democracy? Who is on the right side? The current government or the red shirts? How is this govt. in comparison with the Thakshin’s? Please reply (if you feel safe to do so)! ~A friend from India.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/18/debating_the_crisis_in_thailand_iso

  4. I would have thought whoever owns Sunee has some powerful friends who would be able to persuade them otherwise no?

  5. This brief respite must be welcomed after yesterday’s craziness.

    Hope that the peace continues.

  6. Here’s a few more pictures http://bit.ly/cih3I5 and video http://bit.ly/ccZe4A from yesterday. The provincial hall has turned into a sight seeing event complete with vendors, no surprise.

    If you use twitter, follow @suchainews He’s been up to date on developments in Ubon.

    I stopped by the red radio station where an arrest was made yesterday and the remaining 4 men there said they want to go rescue him from the soldiers camp behind the provincial hall. I stopped by the camp and talked to a few soldiers and they are armed with shotguns so hopefully they don’t make the attempt. I might add that at both locations I was greeted with the typical Thai friendliness. At the red radio station, I was given water and mango. Outside the military camp, the soldiers suggested I visit a local temple. And on the way home, a policeman gave me his phone number and offered to come check our neighborhood if our family was worried about anything.

    • Great links TR as well as the report. Might send you an email. *edit* I just tried but it bounced. Can you please send me one using memock (at) westnet.com.au thanks.

  7. MeMock I’ve just returned to the UK from Thailand and was in Udon Thani when it all kicked off on Wednesday afternoon. Two buildings got set alight (one was the old city hall) and I managed to get some shots of the scene which I’ve just posted on BTMJ.

    I think there’s going to be a lot of this type of thing in Isaan for months to come unless an election is called with a few other concessions given by the government.

  8. Andrew, are the provincial offices the ones near Tung Sri Muang, or the ones near OTOP and the traffic circle, or elsewhere? (sorry, can’t recall the street names)
    Thanks for everything, and keep your head down.’
    Charlie

  9. Glad to see that things are returning to normal and good to know that you family are safe. And Peppers open. I have appreciated your posts in the last few days because we are in UK at present and getting accurate local news has not been easy. Your photos and impartial reporting put most of the western media to shame. Thanks, and will continue to follow your updates.

  10. Throughout this long stand off (several weeks) the army either showed remarkable restraint or couldn’t agree among their various factions. I suspect the latter. The Army commander in chief, Anupong, has in the past been a friend of Thaksin. Two years ago when Thaksin briefly returned and went to a funeral, Anupong was shown bowing down and kissing Thaksin’s feet.

    In addition, many in the army do not like Abhisit because he is too honest and has been trying to get to the bottom of the scanner corruption story.

    Thailand has nearly always used force to disperse protestors. Demonstrations in October 1973, 1976 and 1992 were dealt with by force. Many died. In the former two protests which were by students, extreme violence was used. In October 1976, the Red Gaurs lead by Samak Sunthornvej, stormed Thammasat university where students were burnt alive, hung, raped and killed.

    In the three protests above, roads were hardly blocked, no buildings were torched and the demonstrators killed no one.

    If the Red shirts had been students their protests would have been destroyed in the first week.

    Later Samak was able to become Governor of Bangkok and then Prime Minister.

    And Chavalit Yongchaiyut wasn’t far behind Samak in mucky undertakings. Both have become leaders of Thaksin’s proxy parties.

    And Thaksin himself gave the orders for the drug crackdown that killed 2500 people without trial, 107 people at Krue-se mosque in Pattani in April 2004 and suffocated 78 people at Tak Bai, Narathiwat in October 2004.

    Thailand has never shown any interest in trying to disperse protestors with non-violent methods.

    The International media has made a big thing out of the current government not being democratically elected. I would like to see any politician convicted of electoral fraud and over spending go no jail for 5 years and be banned from politics for life. Those receiving any cash handouts should get 60 days in jail.

    Past human rights violations committed in Thailand in 1973, 1974, 1992 and 2004 were far more extreme, with far more people killed than in May 2010.

    The rank and file of the Red shirts unfortunately have been deceived into backing a bunch of murderous thugs, led from abroad by a monster called Thaksin who ordered this mayhem.

  11. Excellent article in today’s Bangkok Post.

    What I like about it, is that it uses Pridi (my Thai hero) as an example of what sort of person the REDS should have had as their leader.

    The Wheel of Life turned at Ratchaprasong
    Many sense something important is changing in Thailand. Actually it’s just repeating. If we understand what’s the same this time, and what differs, we can see more clearly the meaning of the present events
    Published: 23/05/2010 at 01:30 AM
    Online news: Investigative Report

    Jeffrey Race is an expert in Southeast Asian history and politics and the author of ‘War Comes to Long An: Revolutionary Conflict in a Vietnamese Province’.

  12. Michael, do you have a link to or a copy of the article, please?

    On a seperate note, I see the Govt recently had a meeting to discuss bias in the foreign press. They should look closer to home, perhaps.

  13. …The Pridi article, that is. Ta.

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