19 Mar 2006

Thai protesters burn images of Singapore PM



Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:07 AM ET
By Pracha Hararaspitak

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Protesters burned posters of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outside the city state's Bangkok embassy on Friday as a campaign to oust his Thai counterpart, Thaksin Shinawatra, took a nationalist twist.

Waving placards saying "Thailand Not for Sale, Get Out", several hundred protesters urged a boycott of all things Singaporean in answer to the takeover of telecoms giant Shin Corp by its state investment arm, Temasek, from Thaksin's family.

"If Singaporeans faced the same situation as we do now, we believe Singaporeans would also rise up to do what we are doing," said Somsak Kosaisuk, a key member of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which is trying to kick Thaksin from office.

They also torched models of Singapore Airlines planes, its "merlion" national mascot and pictures of Lee's wife, Ho Ching, the Temasek boss.

The political crisis has already caused the Thai stock market and baht to wobble and is now raising long-term economic concerns, with ratings agencies looking at growth forecasts and companies delaying public flotations or investment projects.

The anti-Singapore sentiment, which stems from outrage at Thaksin's family paying no tax in January's $1.9 billion Shin Corp deal, now appears to be hurting business.

According to Chainid Ngow-Sirimanee, head of builder Property Perfect PCL, Singapore firms have delayed decisions on potential Thai property investments worth $256 million.

DBS Group Holdings, which had been thought keen on raising its stake in Thailand's TMB Bank PCL, had yet to make up its mind on whether to go ahead, a spokesman said. Analysts attributed the delay to politics.

"I AM DEMOCRACY"

Thaksin, who remains defiant in the face of the middle-class metropolitan movement to oust him, hit the provincial campaign trail once again, rallying his core rural support base for snap elections called on April 2.

The Election Commission says the poll, which Thaksin has billed as a referendum on his leadership, may have to be postponed as a boycott by the three main opposition parties is likely to render it constitutionally unviable.

Thaksin, who is accused of corruption, cronyism and eroding the checks and balances of the 1997 constitution, does not agree.

"April 2 is the day for people to choose whether to let mob rule prevail or give the democratic process a chance to work," he told sugarcane farmers in the western province of Kanchanaburi, home to the famous "Death Railway" bridge over the River Kwai.

"I represent the democratic process. If you agree with the opposition boycott, you can abstain," he said, referring to one of the options on Thai ballot papers.

More than 100,000 people hit the streets this week calling for his head, sparking fears in the royal palace and army of a repeat of the bloodshed during a "people power" uprising against military rule in 1992.

However, both sides appear to be going out of their way to avoid violence.

Police marshalling the protests have been good-natured and unarmed and Thaksin switched a meeting from Government House to avoid confrontation with thousands of protesters camping on its doorstep.

A 20,000-strong pro-Thaksin "caravan of the poor" which arrived in northern Bangkok on Friday also vowed to steer clear of its political adversaries.

"We don't want to clash with them," said Attarit Singhlor, head of the 3-km (2-mile) convoy of trucks and home-made tractors which snaked its way slowly down from the impoverished northeast as the political crisis in the capital deepened.

"We'll make statements and express our requests for the prime minister to help on land, land deeds and funding for organic fertilizer projects, then leave Bangkok," he said.

11 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Oh... DRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOL...

I wish I could do that in Singapore.

I know, I have an idea - I'll organise tours for those folks from SDP, WP, sfd.org... all those "democracy lovers" including JBJ and CSJ supporters, perhaps some fans of SinterCom, singabloodypore et al... and well go to Bangkok, live it up, sing songs and chant "freedom" mantras, then burn effigies, images of anyone (we choose) who sits in S'pore Parliament.

OK, ok, because of the dissenting-smashing fascists of Lee and Co., many opposition types have had to go overseas to "protest" against injustices in s'pore.

I'm merely taking it to another level, and making it "mass market" :-)

Matilah_Singapura said...

Imagine this... screaming through the streets with a bloody facsimile of Lee Kuan Yew's head in one hand, and a parang dripping fake blood in the other...

....or swinging a strawman (apt, don't you think?) of Goh Chok Tong with his head in a noose...

.... or nailing an effigy of the Chief Justice to an upside down cross, and pissing on his head.

....damn I love dreamin.... OK great, I'll start writing the copy for this "business venture" LOL!

Anonymous said...

yeah you australian......to tell you honestly......when it comes to SOMETHING shameful in your country.....the people there HIDE and SHOVE HEAPS AND HEAPS of sand on the SHAMEFUL things that happen there........can you tell me.....WILL YOU EVER SHUT THE FCUK UP ?????look at how lewd AUSTRALIA IS BTW???? SBS late nite SEX MOVIES.....ALL SEX EDUCATION........toilet DRUG containers to promote the use of drugs.......and in the pharmacy school.....the lecturers are "teaching" and exercising LAW and JAILING the drug users........what is australia????? PERHAPS i would like to recorrect their thinking....maybe they are some PESUDO bunch of people who like to TWIST their ENGLISH in their favour when we know just how UNRIGHTEOUS they are!....we ain't CHINKS you CHEAP WHITE TRASH! i have seen the poorest of all australian people.....paupers!...people who only know how to PUSH and ROB the aboriginals.....STEP on the migrants in australia......hope your country get's it punishment one day!

Anonymous said...

oh BTW i forgot to say this.....in shops in australia.....target.....k-mart.....if you EVER look at the LABELS on the clothes..........electrical applicances.....you know that its THE CHINKS who made those...china....vietnam....we are cost effective.....and if you have a prejudice towards chinks...STOP IMPORTING all those COST EFFECTIVE goods from us.....USE your OWN and see how your country falls into recession. we know just how EXPENSIVE things are in australia........so if you like to BUY EXPENSIVE THINGS AND BLOW a BIG BIG hole in the pocket go ahead.....STOP BUYING OUR GOODS......yeah we maybe rigid.....but we ain't as lewd as you people.......and say......wasn't that guy in sydney caught trying to do some muslim militant activity in australia??? i saw that media of a WHITE AUSTRALIAN who is a muslim militant in NSW.............talk about the kettle calling the pot black!

soci said...

I am temporarily removing the anonymous comment facility and have provided an edited version of a certain j mumsfords comments so you can see why I removed it.

"I'm an Australian who regularly visits Singapore on business trips and the inhabitants of this little shitty island never cease to amaze me. Why oh why are you little [...] so authoritarian? This is something I've been mulling over since 1991, on my first trip there. Suddenly, five days ago,and a whopping 15 years after I first asked myself tha question,the answer came to me,nirvana-like. You [...] are authoritarian cause you're BIOLOGICALLY
predisposed towards it. Look at the Russians,who,judging from their appearance,have [...] blood in them.They spent 70 years under communism,and that system suited them.Gorbachev then decided to ditch it,and now the former superpower is a pathetic beggar at the mercy of the First World. China is another good example.I guarantee you,the moment China experiments with democracy,they will go down the pan,just like their northern neighbour. People from the Orient,like [...],like the Russians,Kazakhs,Turkmens,etc,etc, have a natural,biological proclivity towards authoritarianism,which also extends to their rigid thinking in the academic field. China has a population of 1.3 billion,and Western Europe and America have a population of just 640 million (just half of China's),yet Europe and America combined have produced 24 times more Nobel Prize winning scientists than China. This is a down to creative thinking,which people of European ancestry have an abundance of,and [...] don't. China will NEVER be as sophisticated as the West (the only reason Japan is a First World country is cause America nurtured and baby-sat that country after World War Two.) [...] are nothing but subhumans,and that is just the way God wanted it to be. "

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