Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interview with Patrick Winn

Kourosh Ziabari - Thailand is currently witness to one of its bloodiest civil wars...the worst since the 2006 military coup which ousted the popular Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office. The supporters of former Prime Minister are calling for the dissolution of parliament and a new round of general elections. The "Red Shirts" are middle-urban and rural Thais who benefited from the socialistic policies of former Prime Minister and are now risking their lives for the reappearance of freedom and democracy in Thailand. According to the official stats, 24 people have been killed and 1000 other wounded since the eruption of demonstrations and street clashes in which the Thai police has relentlessly opened fire on the angry demonstrators.

Having seen 15 military coups and 27 changes of Prime Ministers during his 64 years of kingdom, the 82-year-old Thai monarch Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest-serving head of state and has kept a low profile regarding the current political crisis in his country. The military loyalists of Mr. Adulyadej who deposed the popular government in a bloodless September 2006 coup had resorted to a number of excuses, including several charges of lèse majesté, to depose Thaksin and bring into power the chief of army General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, a close ally of the king.

Now, Thailand is facing a paralyzing political crisis once again and stability has departed from Bangkok. I've interviewed Patrick Winn, the American journalist and Thailand correspondent of the Global Post news service to discuss the movement of Red Shirts and the intensive chaos in the South Asian country.

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