Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

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suriyopama
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by suriyopama » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:53 am

New year´s eve at one of the protester camps :smile:
Image
I wish that peace will prevail on this new year (or in other words: that no "red-shirt" or "black-shirts" or "any-colour-shirts" will enter into bloody action) :meditate:

This is a brief report from the american writer Michael Yon after having talked with some of the main leaders of the protest:
Khun Suthep meeting on New Year's Eve

Some quick notes. This is a stream of consciousness. Due to meetings today I will not even have time to edit, so please forgive any errors or rough parts:

As many people now know, I slipped into the PDRC ad hoc headquarters last night. Many people are asking how I did it. I cannot answer that other than to say good mentors, and years of practice.

Numerous people on staff actually knew me and follow on FB, but did not recognize me. After all, I keep an old photo up for a reason.

Khun Suthep also knew me but not by appearance. We talked until Khun Abhisit came in and stole his ear to wish a happy New Year. Abhisit recognized me right off and said hello.

My apologies for not making photos but I switched hats back to the writer.

Khun Suthep graciously provided much background information and did not flinch at hard questions. He said that he does plan to present himself to the court when this is over. (Neither Suthep nor Abhisit are running from criminal charges. They are facing the charges head on, unlike Thaksin who is a fugitive from justice.)

I was not taking notes during our conversation, and so will keep my comments general, lest I get something incorrect, which I wish at all costs to avoid.

I asked why terrorists are focusing on the separate but allied organization, Kor Por Thor. Nobody actually is sure why terrorists are focusing on KPT. Suthep conveyed respects for KPT, and admiration for their courage using only their bare hands.

Big things are planned for January but I was told in confidence and so will keep it there for now. I would offer that Yingluck would do well to step down, for the good of Thailand. This is not going away. Suthep is very clear, however, that PDRC will avoid violence at all costs. Firm, but no bullets.

I must admit that I am not neutral on the point of Thaksin. I have watched the Shinawatras enough to realize that the corruption is real, and so big to the point of sickening. I say this not as a writer, but as an American who does not wish the United States to offer any help to the Shinawatras. Over the years, I have seen enough of Thaksin. My mind is made up. I write this to be clear about a bias that will not change.

I asked PDRC spokesman Khun Akanat about the five points for reform, which we discussed in detail. More on that as time unfolds. I need to continue to study before committing to writing.

As many people know, Khun Akanat recently resigned from Parliament in protest. He was only 25 when elected, and is only 27 now, yet talking with him seems like talking with a much older man. His English is perfect. I tossed in a good bit of American slang to see if he could track. He did not miss a thing.

I asked Khun Akanat what should be the fate of Yingluck if she resigns. He answered that Yingluck should be allowed to resign in peace and get on with normal life, with no issues and no problems.

I asked both Suthep and Akanat about many other issues, such as what happened on the 26th at the stadium where two people were killed. A policeman and a protestor were shot dead, and many were wounded. Many people know that Suthep went there himself before the 26th to lead people out of a potentially violent clash. Both men were unhappy that a violent clash occurred. (PDRC was not involved in the clash.)

I asked about the “fake” policemen, and the “Cambodians,” and many other questions. PDRC leaders were clear that police reform is essential for Thailand, and Akanat explained a number of problem areas.

One problem area is that the Prime Minister appoints the Police Chief for all of Thailand, who then appoints police chiefs around the entire country. This puts enormous power into the hands of the Chief, and thus directly into the hands of the PM. This is too much power.

Imagine if the US President appointed a single Police commander who is in charge of the FBI, DEA, BATF, Border Patrol, Postal Inspectors, State police chiefs, and all local police authorities, including highway patrols, Sheriffs offices, and local police departments, and even Game Wardens. The only thing he/she would not control is department store security guards.

This means that police chiefs at village level are in the direct chain of command to the PM. That is too much voltage to rest in the hands of one person. That is dictatorial power. It leads to a fantastically corrupt structure. That is a structure custom built not to work for the people.

Interestingly, those who wish to have the status quo of “democracy” are actually “voting” for a dictatorial “democracy,” whereas opposition groups like PDRC and KTP want to dissolve these corrupt power structures.


Another issue is that the same government appoints all the governors. Imagine President Bush or Obama with that kind of power, and the police force, and the military. (Though the Thai military has a powerful voice of its own, unlike the US military.)

The President or PM might as well be holding a ray gun against the head of every citizen. The PDRC, KPT, and other opposition groups wish to break up this power before holding new elections.

Another issue we talked about is the mischaracterization of this fight as a class struggle. It is clear that many former red shirts have defected and wish Yingluck to resign, and they are sick of her brother Thaksin who perpetually puts himself above Thailand. He ignores the courts.

Even the many taxi, tuktuk and motorbike drivers, who to a man several years ago seemed hardcore redshirt, are telling me everyday that they want Yingluck gone. And when you go to these protests, you see everyone from billionaires (literally), to motorbike drivers. For that matter, Thaksin is a billionaire. Hardly a poster boy for the underclass.

There are Thai Buddhists, Christians and Muslims at the protests. This is hardly a class struggle, and for those writers who keep saying that it is, I must ask, are they actually going to the protests? The protestors consists of a core sample of Thai society. Nothing is hidden. It is out there to be discovered simply by going.

I asked what is meant by “getting rid of Thaksin.” The PDRC was clear that getting rid of Thaksin is not limited to pulling out the Shinawatra clan, but the entire rotten apple around them. A rotten core creates a rotten apple. Thaksin means Thaksin regime. They do not want to just pull out the Shinawatra seeds, but the entire apple needs to be plucked off the tree of Thailand.

We talked about many other items but I will bring those to light after more study. And here I must close.

Happy New Year
Michael Yon is doing an excelent work. You can follow him on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/MichaelYonFanPage

chownah
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by chownah » Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:58 pm

Suriyopama,
Why do you think the democrats did not work on these reforms when they were in control of the government not so long ago?........no talk of reform then that I can remember and certainly nothing as concrete as setting up a council to work on drafting a new approach to governence like they suggest now? Why do they now as the opposition demand dissolution of the government and in fact the entire governmental process?,,,,,,,do you think it is possible,that this is the only way they have of gaining power and running the show again?
Do you think that the democrats are out of touch with the Thai voters and this is why they seem unable to win an election?
One item of "corruption" that is often mentioned is cheap health care. Do you consider cheap health care to be a corrupt populist program?
chownah

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appicchato
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by appicchato » Wed Jan 01, 2014 3:51 pm

Do you consider cheap health care to be a corrupt populist program?
Not addressed to me, but I'll (after residing here for nearly forty years) wade in...no, but what it is (aside from being the right thing to do anyway) is a conduit to the infinitely larger trough to feed from for personal gain...

Had the government been allowed to implement the three trillion Baht loan for 'infrastructure' (please), a trillion of that would have gone into a few pockets and the final tab (interest, etc.) would have been like fifty trillion...all on the backs of future generations down the pike...couple that with the outlays for the rice pledging scheme, flood control, and other machinations, this is one shameless, greedy, cruel lot...

And yes, the Democrats are pretty much a worthless bunch as well, just not quite as openly voracious...

A mess, no doubt about it...

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Mr Man
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by Mr Man » Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:22 pm

suriyopama wrote:
Michael Yon is doing an excelent work. You can follow him on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/MichaelYonFanPage
And you can donate to help support his "excellent work" here: https://www.michaelyon-online.com/compo ... ,donation/
Michael conveniently has a Thai bank account as well.....

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suriyopama
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by suriyopama » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:56 am

chownah wrote:Why do you think the democrats did not work on these reforms when they were in control of the government not so long ago?........

Do you consider cheap health care to be a corrupt populist program?
chownah
1 - Shame for the Democrat Party politicians!! As I have already said on a previous post, my Thai relatives, friends, friends of friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc are not on the streets because they are moved by the Democrat Party. They are on the streets because they are sick of corruption, abuse and misuse of power, bribery, double standards, family-mafia-proxy-regime controlled via Skype, disrespect for the laws and the Constitution, very deeply corrupted police... long etc

2. – I do like free health care of good quality for everybody. Why shouldn’t I like that? I am not a stingy American republican capitalist! Those are worth spent taxes. Furthermore, I have never met any Thai person interested in removing affordable health-care. Thais are very generous people, but they are not stupid to accept policies like the rice pledge scheme that is not only unsustainable but rotten in corruption.

For a brief resume of some of the things that Thai people hate about this corrupted regime, and the reasons why they are going to shut-down Bangkok on the next 13th of January, have a look into this article: http://altthainews.blogspot.com/2014/01 ... nuary.html
Last edited by suriyopama on Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:00 am, edited 3 times in total.

chownah
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by chownah » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:47 am

suriyopama,
Your friends may feel that they are acting from their own convictions but in fact the demonstration is a Democratic Party production, led and paid for by the Democrats and their supporters.
chownah

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suriyopama
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by suriyopama » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:21 am

chownah wrote:suriyopama,
Your friends may feel that they are acting from their own convictions but in fact the demonstration is a Democratic Party production, led and paid for by the Democrats and their supporters.
That is a paradox. Since the regime has frozen all the assets and bank accounts of the protests leaders, the people donated money for them, and they have collected millions of bath. I have seen humble street vendors or motorcycle-taxi drivers contribute with a single note of 20 baht (0.6 USD) and others with more than one note of 1,000 baht - multiplied for millions of people, that makes a big sum!

It started spontaneously. At first they collected with their own hands the money that was given to them as they were marching through the streets, but there was such a massive response that they had to organize collectors with bags.

Only in Thailand!! :P
Image

Thai people are very generous. The office workers go down to the street at lunch-time to offer food to the protesters that pass by the street. And they do it by their own will with a nice smile.
Image

My wife is contributing with a group that prepares free food, and they bring themselves the cooking utensils and all the ingredients. They provide food to one of the sites where modest farmers from the south are camping. That group is usually traveling in a van to the provinces where there is people in need, or affected by the floods. Now they have chosen to support this protest, and nobody pays them or gives them any instruction.

What I am witnessing is a true revolution of the people from all walks of life

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suriyopama
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by suriyopama » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:56 am

Recovering the topic of Buddhism involvement in social movements, here is one notable person that is compromised with good causes:

Rosana Tositrakul is a Thai Senator that claims that she has no political leanings. Instead she advocates what she calls an 'engaged' form of Buddhism.
Rosana worked for many years as an activist for the Thai Health Foundation, calling for the resignation of Rakkiat Sukthana for corruption charges. Whilst in the position she also called for the resignation of Purachai Piumsombun over a supposed cover-up of the spread of bird-flu in Thailand.

Ms. Tositrakul also represented a coalition of over 30 NGOs in an appeal against a government plan to establish special economic zones around Thailand.

Following university at Thammasat University she formed the NGO "Traditional Medicine for Self-Curing", later renamed the "Thai Holistic Health Foundation". She spent a year studying with Masanobu Fukuoka the developer of natural farming and helped spread organic farming in the Kut Chum District. She also studied medicinal plants in the district and helped form the "Natural Medication and Herb Interest Group" there.
Source: Wikipedia
Senator Rosana Tositrakul serves Thai society through her sincerity, bravery and excellent example for Thai women.

She notes that practicing Buddhism is not only about philosophy or doing meditation; it is also the acts of compassion, courage and understanding that people undertake to alleviate human suffering.

Rosana develops her heart by working with the community. Particularly, she has encouraged Thai people to take care of their health and use self-reliant herbal remedies.

Her support of peoples’ movements and counter-corruption has empowered many and clarified numerous political issues. Amidst political turmoil, she has helped to steady a nation.

She notes, “Having different convictions is not a problem. It becomes a problem when we try to force others to adopt our views.”

Her translation of Buddhist Dhamma books (a book a year) enriches the lives of Thai people.

Senator Rosana Tositrakul is elevating the role and status of Thai women by calling into question the predominant views of Thai men towards women, even in the Parliament.

She is a 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards.
Source: Dhamma Wiki:


At the Buddhist Channel there is an interview with the title “Life as an engaged Buddhist in social movements.”


This is one of the open letters that she wrote to explain the need of a Reform Before Election in Thailand: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1070403 (a recorded conversation from "the man that rules Thailand from Dubai via Skype")

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robertk
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by robertk » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:02 am

suriyopama: Rosana Tositrakul is a Thai Senator that claims that she has no political leanings
.


https://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpres ... tositakul/
Unelected and unrepresentative

As the constitutional amendment debate heats up once again, the yellow-shirted allies including the Democrat Party and a range of ultra-royalists are coming together to parrot their opposition. This is an alliance that has remained largely unchanged since 2005 and which has not changed its stance on the junta-initiated constitution since 2007.

Interestingly, one of the key yellow groups has been the mainly unelected “Group of 40 Senators.” Outspoken, ultra-royalists aligned with the most right-wing groups and the military, this group is critical in opposing constitutional change and maintaining anti-democratic political positions.

, this undemocratic lot have shown little tolerance for elections or for the parties elected. In fact, they have repeatedly denigrated the electorate as “buffaloes” and “uneducated.” Far from being “independent,” these senators have acted as if they are nothing more than the extremist wing of the Democrat Party.

One of these extremists, Rosana Tositakul, explains that:

… the Group of 40 Senators … was formed in 2008 when senators, who were opposed to charter amendments, held a meeting. That day, 40 senators joined the meeting so the group took the name of the Group of 40 Senators…. Since the group was formed, their members have had luncheon meetings every month by using birthdays of group members for the dates for get-togethers. They often discuss current issues. Senator Paibul Nititawan coordinated and scheduled the meetings.

Rosana, who has a middle-class NGO background, embraces the royalist-military perspective on the Senate

https://thaipoliticalprisoners.wordpres ... /[b][u]The deep, deep yellow Senator Rosana Tositrakul [/u][/b]who warned that “people should not be distracted by the multi-pronged tactics deployed by the government led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The administration’s ultimate goal is to reduce the power of people under the present constitution…”. This from a senator who has supported removing people’s electoral rights! As ever, she warns of Thaksin Shinawatra and “secret” deals that we tend to think she concocts for political purpose.

And then there are the conspiricists, egged on by madright-wing American extremists who argue that the elected government is false: “We need to overthrow the current regime by law, not only through this means, and we also need to bring along the masses…”. This is a call for more PAD-like action
.

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Mr Man
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by Mr Man » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:41 am

The Great Mass of the People http://www.prachatai.com/english/node/3802.

An article "about Thai politics through an Arendtian (?) lens"

--

Seeking 'return to morality' via a mass people's movement http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politic ... 23298.html

An interview with " the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee core leader, Witthaya Kaewparada"

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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by robertk » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:09 am

http://www.prachatai.com/english/node/3802
This is why the movement of the “Great Mass of the People” is only planned from hour-to-hour and must slowly advance day-by-day. The goal or the plan is to destroy the “Great Mass of the People” itself. Do not forget that if there is a plan, when it succeeds or fails, then what next? The policies of the parties of Stalin and Mao changed every year, in order to make the “Great Mass of the People” always strong, alert, and engaged in battle.

Things must be found for the mob to do. Don’t simply demonstrate. This is the explanation in terms of tactics. But there is a deeper explanation at the level of strategy.

Khun Suthep’s “Great Mass of the People” has been criticised for violating the law in staging an insurrection. Sometimes they may have also been criticised for violating morals in provoking violence. Some people have dug up and “revealed” Khun Suthep’s past in order to lessen the legitimacy of the “Great Mass of the People.”

Extraordinarily, Arendt points out that this violation of the law and morals is one charm that causes the (great) mass (of the people) to collide and fuse with the leaders. Many leaders of totalitarian movements talk about their violent pasts with pride. Khun Sonthi Limthongkul admitted on stage how he had been a “villain” (his word) and now he had turned to dharmic practice until he was one step away from Angulimala. My simple explanation for this phenomenon is that the (great) mass (of the people) actively abhor the society that does not bring them happiness. The laws and morals of this society should be violated. This causes them to rise up to join together as the (great) mass (of the people). The violation of laws and morals strengthens their belief that the movement will lead to something new and better than their old lives.

A large number of those who have joined in Khun Suthep’s “Great Mass of the People” (discounting the mob that was hired and the people who were brought from his election district) did not join due to Khun Suthep’s rhetoric. They did not join for personal benefit. But you cannot say that they share an ideology with Khun Suthep, because ideology comes from pondering ideas and from significant argument and contestation. If they participate out of conviction of emotion and feeling, that is a reaction to being dissatisfied with their experience living in a society lacking any belonging, and it is also a state in which they cannot see any other exit. Khun Yingluck, the Pheu Thai Party, and Khun Thaksin are the concrete victims of this conviction of emotion and feeling. One day in the future, the concrete victims of this conviction will may change. I am confident that they will, and they may be the army or other institutions, such as the judiciary, or religion, or many other possible things.

This is because totalitarian mass politics inevitably and constantly needs to create enemies to function as the objects of hatred.

I may be able to refer to Arendt in order to understand Khun Suthep’s (great) mass (of the people) far more extensively. But let me stop with simply this, in order to say with certainty that Khun Suthep is clearly leading the “Great Mass of the People” in the direction of totalitarian dictatorship. Khun Suthep is not the first person to do so. But it has never been as clear as it is this time.

How can we move away from mass politics that are proceeding towards dictatorship? I think that elucidating the illegitimacy and illegality of this movement is something that must be swiftly done. Not in order to accuse those who have joined the demonstrations, because the (great) mass (of the people) will not hear us. But we must create greater understanding for those outside the movement, a not insignificant number of whom also live in the atomised society, so that they will believe that there is still a democratic option, if we give it a chance

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suriyopama
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by suriyopama » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:30 am

Wow! The defamatory machine is fast as a shark! :shock: ;)

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robertk
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by robertk » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:32 am

from the economist in 2008 : the new leaders of the yellow shirts are even worse (if that is possible).

http://www.economist.com/node/12070465
The PAD's leaders, however, are neither liberals nor democrats. A gruesome bunch of reactionary businessmen, generals and aristocrats, they demand not fresh elections, which they would lose, but “new politics”—in fact a return to old-fashioned authoritarian rule, with a mostly appointed parliament and powers for the army to step in when it chooses. They argue that the rural masses who favour Mr Thaksin and Mr Samak are too “ill-educated” to use their votes sensibly. This overlooks an inconvenient electoral truth: the two prime ministers had genuinely popular policies, such as cheap health care and credit

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suriyopama
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by suriyopama » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:15 am

My dear friends, in this thread I have openly spoken about myself very often. I have tried to describe the personal experiences that are currently making me to be biased in this or that direction. I have even exposed what was running on my mind when I was accused me of spreading fascist propaganda, and how I did take benefit from that little trauma to mark a positive milestone on my path. But none of you have said a word about yourselves and the reasons why you are biased in this or that direction.

A little bit of personal insight shared with the friendly colleagues of Dhamma Wheel cannot be harmful! :group: Otherwise someone may wrongly imagine you as the red shirts pictured at the first post of this thread, angrily demanding the abbot of Wat Onoi to shut-up and stop criticizing the government.

I have explained the experiences that are shaping me. What personal experiences, beyond what is written on the newspapers, are making you to eagerly defend the Shinawatra government?

Let´s do some skillful insight. But don´t dig too deep into the causes! We all know that at the root of everything there is greed-aversion-delusion. :) Just dig enough to analyze what makes the results of your particular greed-aversion-delusion different from the results of my greed-aversion-delusion.

:anjali:
Last edited by suriyopama on Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chownah
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Re: Red Shirt arsonists set fires to Wat Onoi

Post by chownah » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:47 am

Sure, I"'ll go first. I don't support any government. Specifically in Thailand I think it is a given that the gov't will be corrupt....and not just a little bit. Thai politics is not based on issues, it is based on who gets to control the money and thereby positioning one to snatch some for ones self or ones family or ones friends. I think this characteristic has come down from the royal administrative hierarchy which ran the country before the advent of the military dictatorship which still controls the country today. The military would like everyone to,believe that the country is run in compliance with a constitution but it is not difficult to see that the constitution is just window dressing and the window dressing gets changed about every five years. What is happening now is not really much different than what has been going on for the last 80 years or more EXCEPT that a political organization has finally realized that they can muster a big enough vote win an election......do remember that Thaksin was the first politician to win an election and take office without the need for forming a coalition.....and.......even when he is out of the country, the organization he started has been able to continue to attract the vote of enough people to maintain clear superiority at the polls. This scares the shit out of the elite who are bedmates with the military because this is the first time there has been a s serious threat to their little game of divide and conquer which is how,they kept the country disorganized. In short, the change in politics evident presently is the rise of the first real threat to the domination of the military/elite alliance.
I do not support the existing gov't in and of itself but it really does represent the will of the majority of voters and it has won those voters by actually delivering on the campaign promises it made......before, promises were always made and never realized.
I don' t support democracy in and of itself but I expect that many people here do.....if one thinks that the people,of the country should elect a gov't to run the country then almost assuredly this is what presently exists and almost assuredly the people running the demonstrations and who will take the reins of power if they succeed will almost assuredly not represent a majority of the voters but rather the ideas of a minority, that is to say the military/elite.
chownah

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