The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Update on the UDD red shirt hospital raid: Is Thailand now ready for martial law?

Written By: herbrunbridge - Apr• 30•10

UDD Red shirts man their own illegal checkpoint under the Chitlom BTS skytrain station

With UDD redshirts commandeering military trains, setting up checkpoints on expressways, and conducting armed searches in hospitals, people are beginning to ask if a state of anarchy can be far behind? And if it is, will full martial law be the only effective way to stop it.

This past week, United Front for Democracy (UDD) red shirts, believing that Chulalongkorn Hospital was being used to house and hide Thai military personnel, conducted a “search” of the hospital. The end result was the evacuation of critically ill patients, closing of outpatient services, and the cancellation of all surgical procedures.

The Thai army has advocated and taken a “hands off” approach, believing that in attempting to slow supply chains to the protesters, the red shirt protest will eventually wane and die. Instead, the UDD repeatedly tests the army by staging new protests with impunity, taking over additional targets, and generally making life miserable for people in Bangkok.

The Thai army’s philosophy of appeasement is reminiscent of British PM Neville Chamberlain’s concessions to the Hitler juggernaut. For Bangkokians in particular, there appears to be no end in sight to the siege inexorably taking hold of their city.

Some experts now strongly believe the army will never proactively oust the protesters from their nests. Transportation on the BTS sky train and MRT underground will continue to shut down early. Roads will be potentially threatened, as will hospitals, and other essential public services. Eventually, whether it be days or weeks, the dam will finally burst when a few soldiers are killed, and martial law will be invoked as a response. Until then, the Thai army’s appeasement tactics appear to be only delaying the seemingly inevitable.

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