Red Shirts Yellow Shirts and Politics in Thailand
A Brief Explanation
Anyone who has an interest in World News will be aware of the ongoing political problems in Thailand. Sometimes described as a developing civil war between rich and poor but in actuality much more complex than that. All classes are on both sides.
They divide themselves into Yellow Shirts and Red Shirts and trade insults and occasional blows as well as disrupting the usual peaceful harmony of Thailand. The majority of the population could not give a damn. They just want to get along peacefully with their work.
This is a brief guide and does not pretend to address the complex and complicated confusion of the present political situation in Thailand. It seeks to explain the division of the main parties in the conflict.
The 'Yellow Shirts' are the People's Alliance for Democracy. They are fiercely Royalist and against the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies.
The choice of Yellow is to show their allegiance to the King of Thailand. Yellow is the King's colour.
The 'Red Shirts' are made up of two supposedly smaller political groups, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship or UDD and Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship or DAAD.
The 'Red Shirts' strongest support comes from the North of Thailand from where the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra originates. They would like to see him return to politics in Thailand.
Thaksin Shinawatra manipulates the Red Shirts from outside Thailand. He is unable to return to the country through fear of arrest.
The Army of Thailand are meant to be neutral of politics but with sworn allegiance to the King.
Is it Safe?
It is definitely safe to visit Thailand. Tourists and visitors who were here during the last coup were mostly unaware that it had taken place. Only those wishing to leave or arrive in Thailand during the last disturbances at the airport were affected. Any foreigner living here just did not notice.
Who knows? Both sides continue to trade insults. It is almost a "it's my ball so you cannot play" sort of situation.