Thailand: Treadmill or Tipping Point

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Thailand’s year of living dangerously may be grinding to a conclusion. But is it moving to another stage — or just another venue?

For months, huge anti-corruption, pro-democracy marches have brought hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions as protestors claim, of peaceful but angry demonstrators into the streets of Bangkok. Large encampments and nonstop rallies have blocked some of the city’s major arteries and government buildings.

But now the protestors may be shifting gears. By bringing this city of more than 8 million to a standstill, they have tried to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who governs by proxy for her exiled brother, businessman and exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, less affectionately referred to as “Mr. T.” Thaksin was a highly suspect businessman whom many claimed bought his way to head of the government in 2001. He then used his position to further his business interests and his family’s vast financial empire.

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by Michael Berkowitz

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