Day two of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship’s (UDD’s) rally aimed at ousting the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and forcing a general election saw taxi drivers block access to the Victory Monument traffic circle in the Ratchathewi district, northeast of central Bangkok.
A major transportation terminal catering to a large number of private and public bus services, a BTS Skytrain station, and a major nearby expressway, Victory Monument is one of Bangkok’s busiest traffic circles.
The audacious move by the UDD to disrupt Bangkok’s already notoriously bad traffic at Victory Monument caught the government of Prime Minister Vejjajiva and the public totally off-guard.
With the blockade causing a ripple effect across Bangkok and protesters vowing to not go home, Mr Abhisit declared the next day (April 10) a public holiday, adding an extra day to the Songkran (Thai New Year) break due to commence on the weekend.
By the morning of April 10 more than 2,000 people were still camped at the Victory Monument traffic circle while around 5,000 people were still at the main protest site in front of Thailand’s Government House, with the numbers expected to swell during the day and over the weekend.
Bangkok red-shirt rally April 10, 2009 photo slide gallery
Photos John Le Fevre
He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me
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