Ever wonder what it was like being with Nero watching him fiddle while Rome burned?
I arrived in Bangkok today and got to see a city on fire.
This is not the first time I’ve been in this situation. In 1992, I lived in Los Angeles when there was rioting following the acquital the officers alleged to have beaten Rodney King. During that bout of civil unrest there was rioting, looting, and general mayhem just like Bangkok today.
The airport look pretty normal. No soldiers around and business as usual.
But as soon I got near the city and the business district things changed.
This is a view down Rama 4 from Asok toward Silom where you can see the fires burning at the barricades the Red Shirts have thrown up a few hundred meters down Rama 4.
There is a police roadblock 100 meters down the street and there are signs declaring anything past the roadblock as a free fire zone.
Warnings are posted that police and soldiers will use live ammunition in the free fire zone.When the demonstrators fire at the soldiers and police they may fire back with live rounds. The news is reporting several people killed in the free fire zone.
There was also talk of a curfew, but, about 5PM, a general came on TV and announced no curfew.
Here is a view of the same fires from a high rise near Soi Cowboy. They are on the left side of the picture.
This is a picture from the same building facing northwest toward Din Daeng.
Obviously there is fighting going on there too.
My sympathies are with the Red Shirts. They won two elections but haven’t been allowed to run the country by the Yellow shirts.
If you are going to claim a democracy, you have to let the guys who get the most votes exercise power.
Anything else, doesn’t seem fair.