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“Rebellious Mood Takes Root in Rural Thailand,” said the headline in the New York Times. The rebellion in Thailand has been going on for six weeks, as the “Red Shirts” have protested the nation’s current government. And the “coe of the red shirt movement,” according to reporter Thomas Fuller, is in the rural region north of Bangkok where a third of the Thai population lives.
The Thai rural revolution stems from anger in the countrysides that has been “simmering for more than three years since the military coup that overthrew Thaksin Shinawatra, the billionaire tycoon turned prime minister, who is seen as the first politician to have seriously addressed the concerns of the poor,” according to Fuller. “Mr. Thaksin’s wealth and patronage network remain important drivers of the protests, but the movement also appears to be taking on a grass-roots character, with farmers and villagers finding common cause and demonstrating a new assertiveness.”
The “Red Shirt” protestors have “railed against the ‘double standards’ in Thai society — the wealthy, the Bangkok elite and the top military brass break laws with impunity, the protest leaders say, while the poor are held to account.” The rural protestors have cited the need for more doctors, universities and jobs.