Thai politics continue to be surprising. After a somewhat violent weekend, things calmed down yesterday and there’s a ceasefire for the King’s birthday. Suthep Thaugsaban, the leader of the protesters, declared yesterday that he was going to invade the headquarters of the police – who had, you might remember, been spraying the protesters with tear gas. The police decided that the correct thing to do was to have an open house, and everyone had a nice time. Today everyone’s cleaning up for the King’s birthday tomorrow.
What this all means is extremely unclear. Suthep declared victory, though as far as anyone can tell he hasn’t won anything. Yingluck Shinawatra hasn’t stepped down; nor do the protesters control any of the government ministries as had been an earlier plan. The military still hasn’t stepped in. There’s a warrant out for Suthep’s arrest on charges of insurrection, but this presumably means nothing: he also has an outstanding warrant on murder charges because of people being killed during the 2010 protests, for which he hasn’t stood trial yet; if you’re rich in Thailand, ordinary laws don’t apply to you. Presumably everything will start up again on Friday.
Yesterday I passed through the Flower Market, and this time I remembered to take some pictures. It was winding down by the time I was there – this is mostly an early morning market – but it’s going strong right now with flowers for sale for the King’s birthday.