Thailand’s Red & Yellow Conflict

Red shirts:
United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD)

This political party supports Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra whose influence still controls the party with the help of some of his family members within Thai politics.

The members are primarily rural works from outside the capital city of Bangkok and who are mainly located in the Northern regions of Thailand. Students, left-wing activists as well as business people who deem the urban and military elite to be a threat to Democracy.

The origination of this political party started after September 2006 once the former Prime Minister was exiled from the country after governing for 5 consecutive years. Mr. Thaksin had provided the country with many policies that benefited his followers such as funding for health-care and education.

Throughout the years many protests were held against opposing parties, the government as well as possible policies that they deemed was a threat to Democracy. The protests themselves became increasingly violent over the years where the protesters would clash with the opposing groups or with the police and military. Bloodshed was a common occurrence and many of the UDD party leaders were imprisoned, some of the leaders have been fortunate enough to be released on bail.

Yellow shirts:
People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD)

This political party consists of royalists, ultra-nationalists and the urban middle class primarily situated in the capital city of Bangkok. They wear the colour yellow in support of the monarchy and the King.

This party utterly opposes the Red Shirts, and is the primary reason for the coup that ousted Mr. Thaksin as well as his allies. They believed that Mr. Thaksin showed inadequate loyalty to the monarchy as well as being accused of corruption throughout his carrier.

In the months leading up to the 2006 coup thousands of protesters completely shut down the capital city of Bangkok and this lead to Mr. Thaksin being ousted from power, later on so were most of his allies.

Just like the Red Shirts, the Yellow Shirts would always oppose their rival’s protests and over time the protest would get much more violent until bloodshed was a common occurrence. Even though the military and the police are more lenient towards the Yellow Shirts, the conflicts caused by the two political parties can be very problematic and have caused the military to take drastic measures to control the different situations.

Now days the conflict still continues and since early 2015 the tensions between the two parties have increase. Many rules were set up to help keep the peace and make the population of the capital as well as tourist feel safe. Most of the protesting will happen away from major tourist sites but if they do then there is nothing you can do about it. Overall even though the actual protests can get very violent tourists do not have to fear anything. The two parties respect the local population and the foreigners who are not involved in this conflict and will avoid harming them or involving them in the conflict.

(Quentin Hamelet)

One thought on “Thailand’s Red & Yellow Conflict

  1. I happened to be in Thailand during some of the worst demonstrations, and it’s true that the situation for tourists was incredibly far removed. In my experience, people were either very aware of what was going on and were surprised at how little evidence they saw of it, and how little it touched them, OR (sadly) they were completely unaware of what was going on and had only a vague sense that they should avoid wearing red or yellow. Despite the severity of the situation, the tourists were always kept at a distance from it; making new items about it seem surreal.
    (Miriam Emmrys)

    Liked by 1 person

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