Let’s get one thing out of the way first: there has been not crackdown or any violence yet! Even though the situation is so far the same, more than ever there has been a state of uncertainty.
Under the state of emergency decree the government has blocked 36 political websites, mostly supportive to the red shirts. Among the blocked sites is also Prachatai (it has now changed it’s domain from com to net and it appears to work). Needless to say, there have been negative reactions. Also banned is the red shirt’s own television station. The legal basis for this crackdown is this passage from the state of emergency decree:
2. Prohibit the release of news, distribution or dissemination of newspapers, publications or any means of communications containing content which may cause fear amongst the public or is intended to distort information leading to misunderstanding of the emergency situation to the extent of affecting the security of the state or public order or the good morals of the people throughout the Kingdom;
“State of emergency declared in Bangkok UPDATE Additional regulations censorship and ban on political gatherings“, Bangkok Pundit, April 8, 2010
The other major developments so far are: Prime minister Abhisit Veijajiva has cancelled his trip to the ASEAN summit in Han Noi, an arrest warrant against the red shirt leaders (including Arisman) who let the situation at the parliament escalate under their watch, and by the time of writing this blog post the red shirts will march again on Friday, but it is not known where.
Also as a side note.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has cancelled all of its Songkran activities in the wake of intensifying redshirt rallies and the state of emergency.
“BMA cancels all its Songkran events“, The Nation, April 9, 2010
(Caution: Sarcasm!) Great! First the take away the malls, now another songkran is ruined! Thank you red shirts!
- Nirmal Ghosh (The Straits Times): Defiance at Red Rally
- Newley Purnell for CNNGo: State of emergency: What life is really like in Bangkok (good for visitors!)
- Richard Barrow: Is Bangkok Really Dangerous? (essential information for tourists)
- Patrick Winn (Global Post): Emergency in Bangkok’s Gucci District