Bangkok: Red Shirts Appeal to EU Amid Growing Chaos
The Red Shirt faction in Bangkok, Thailand has made an appeal to the EU to send observers to help prevent a military crackdown. The growing chaos in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand has had governments warning its citizens' off travel in Thailand.
Faced with the threat of tanks and impending bloodshed, we are appealing for your help in averting a human rights catastrophe," said a letter the Reds submitted at the EU delegation's office.
"Therefore, we beg you to condemn and stop this government's crackdown so that innocent lives will not be lost."
Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya issued a statement that the current turmoil in Thailand is an internal affair and that the government would not welcome foreign interference.
The body count to date is 27 dead with many more injured. April 10 saw the military use a combination of live fire and rubber coated steel bullets against the Red Shirt demonstrators who have dug in their positions in the high end shopping/hotel area. Four top hotels have shut their doors until the crisis is over. Banking and shopping in the area is also heavily affected.
This current crisis began when the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted with the help of the military and sentenced to a jail term for abuse of power. The multimillionaire Thaksin has fled the country to be replaced by the Democrat party led by Abhisit Vejjajiva. Mr. Abhisit is also under a cloud with the Thai election commission citing irregularities during the elections process.
The country seems to be split between the Red Shirts who draw their support from the working classes and countryside and the Yellow Shirts who represent the urban and wealthier citizens.