Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 2-Dec-2013
2-Dec-13 World View -- Thailand again in crisis as anti-government rioters issue two-day ultimatum

Web Log - December, 2013

2-Dec-13 World View -- Thailand again in crisis as anti-government rioters issue two-day ultimatum

European Troika cancels bailout negotiations with Greece - again

This morning's key headlines from

Thailand again in crisis as anti-government rioters issue two-day ultimatum

Violent anti-government riots outside Government House in Bangkok on Sunday (Reuters)
Violent anti-government riots outside Government House in Bangkok on Sunday (Reuters)

On Sunday, the 8th day of anti-government protests, about 30,000 "yellow shirt" rioters occupied government buildings and hurled stones and petrol bombs at police, who fired back tear gas. At least four people have been killed and dozens injured. On Sunday evening, the anti-government yellow shirt leader Suthep Thaugsuban met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and gave her a 48 hour ultimatum "to return power to the people," whatever that's supposed to mean. There was no explanation of what would happen on Tuesday, after the 48 hours pass.

Of all the countries that I've been writing about in the last ten years, this has been the wildest political story, involving two ethnic groups.

On the one side, you have the market-dominant "yellow shirt" light-skinned elites, also called "Thai-Chinese," since almost all of them are descendents of Chinese, comprising about 1/4 of the population, living mostly around the capital city Bangkok.

On the other side, you have the "red shirt" dark-skinned lower class indigenous people, also called "Thai-Thai," comprising about 3/4 of the population, living mostly in the northern regions of Thailand, but who come to Bangkok mostly to work in menial jobs serving the Thai-Chinese. Bangkok Post

Thai-Chinese versus Thai-Thai

The mathematics of the situation are pretty clear: The Thai-Thai are going to win every election if they stick together. And the person who got them to stick together was the colorful and charismatic Thaksin Shinawatra, who was elected prime minister in 2001, and re-elected in 2005. As Thaksin's government adopted economic policies that favored the Thai-Thai, at the expense of the elite Thai-Chinese, the political fault line became sharp. The army, favoring the elites, staged a bloodless coup, overthrowing the Thaksin government in 2006. Thaksin left the country, and for a while became the owner of the Manchester City Football (soccer) Club, one of the major sports clubs in Britain. Later, he went into self-imposed exile in Dubai, where he is now.

There were new elections, and a Thaksin ally, Samak Sundaravej, became prime minister, but a high court sided with the elites and removed him from office because for years he had hosted a televised cooking show. (I'm not joking.)

There were new elections, and another Thaksin ally, Somchai Wongsawat, became prime minister, but he was thrown out of office by massive anti-government protests and riots by the yellow shirt Thai-Chinese.

A Thai-Chinese ally, Abhisit Vejjajiva, finally was prime minister. But then in 2010 there were massive anti-government protests and riots by the red shirt Thai-Thai. ( "24-May-10 News -- Les Miserables of Thailand at a turning point")

If all of that isn't incredible enough, what happened next was even more incredible: Under the long-distance guidance of Thaksin, his sister Yingluck Shinawatra won the next election to become prime minister, promising to use 'femininity' to resolve disputes. ( "4-Jul-11 World View -- Thailand's Yingluck Shinawatra wins decisively")

So now things have flipped back the other way again, and the yellow-shirt elites are rioting and protesting against the Yingluck government. Suthep Thaugsuban, the leader of the Thai-Chinese riots, has issued that 48-hour ultimatum, but surely he must realize that if he forces Yingluck to leave office, then the Thai-Thai will just win another election. So what does Suthep mean when he says he wants "to return power to the people"? It may mean that he wants to take power by force. BBC and Time

Thailand's generational Awakening era

Thailand is following a typical pattern for a country in a generational Awakening era, following an internal civil war. Thailand's last generational crisis war was the Cambodian "killing fields" civil war that climaxed in 1979. Although that war occurred on Cambodian soil, the Thai were heavily involved in a supportive role to both sides.

In the typical pattern, the two ethnic groups have a tense peace during the generational Recovery Era that immediately follows the climax of the crisis war. We're seeing a Recover Era today in Sri Lanka, following the civil war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. During the Awakening era, political conflict between the two groups turns to low-level violence. In the years that follow, periods of violence alternate with periods of peaceful coexistence following the signing of a series of peace treaties. Each time a peace treaty is broken, the violence that follows is worse than the last time. Finally, 50-70 years after the climax of the last crisis war, there is another full-fledged civil war, and history repeats itself.

European Troika cancels bailout negotiations with Greece - again

The "Troika" of organizations bailing out Greece -- the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- have canceled plans to return to Athens on Monday to resume evaluation of progress on implementing the austerity commitments that Greece has made to qualify for the 240 billion euro bailout already pledged. The latest tranche of that bailout payment has been held up for weeks because Greece still has to find another 1.2 billion euros of savings in 2014. The Troika would like Greece to lay off more public workers, foreclose on more houses with delinquent mortgages, and sell off the government-owned weapons manufacturer Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS). With negotiations put off again, Greek officials are now hoping to reach agreement with the Troika in time for the December 18 Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers. Kathimerini and Greek Reporter

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-Dec-13 World View -- Thailand again in crisis as anti-government rioters issue two-day ultimatum thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Dec-2013) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

Web Log Pages

Current Web Log

Web Log Summary - 2016
Web Log Summary - 2015
Web Log Summary - 2014
Web Log Summary - 2013
Web Log Summary - 2012
Web Log Summary - 2011
Web Log Summary - 2010
Web Log Summary - 2009
Web Log Summary - 2008
Web Log Summary - 2007
Web Log Summary - 2006
Web Log Summary - 2005
Web Log Summary - 2004

Web Log - December, 2016
Web Log - November, 2016
Web Log - October, 2016
Web Log - September, 2016
Web Log - August, 2016
Web Log - July, 2016
Web Log - June, 2016
Web Log - May, 2016
Web Log - April, 2016
Web Log - March, 2016
Web Log - February, 2016
Web Log - January, 2016
Web Log - December, 2015
Web Log - November, 2015
Web Log - October, 2015
Web Log - September, 2015
Web Log - August, 2015
Web Log - July, 2015
Web Log - June, 2015
Web Log - May, 2015
Web Log - April, 2015
Web Log - March, 2015
Web Log - February, 2015
Web Log - January, 2015
Web Log - December, 2014
Web Log - November, 2014
Web Log - October, 2014
Web Log - September, 2014
Web Log - August, 2014
Web Log - July, 2014
Web Log - June, 2014
Web Log - May, 2014
Web Log - April, 2014
Web Log - March, 2014
Web Log - February, 2014
Web Log - January, 2014
Web Log - December, 2013
Web Log - November, 2013
Web Log - October, 2013
Web Log - September, 2013
Web Log - August, 2013
Web Log - July, 2013
Web Log - June, 2013
Web Log - May, 2013
Web Log - April, 2013
Web Log - March, 2013
Web Log - February, 2013
Web Log - January, 2013
Web Log - December, 2012
Web Log - November, 2012
Web Log - October, 2012
Web Log - September, 2012
Web Log - August, 2012
Web Log - July, 2012
Web Log - June, 2012
Web Log - May, 2012
Web Log - April, 2012
Web Log - March, 2012
Web Log - February, 2012
Web Log - January, 2012
Web Log - December, 2011
Web Log - November, 2011
Web Log - October, 2011
Web Log - September, 2011
Web Log - August, 2011
Web Log - July, 2011
Web Log - June, 2011
Web Log - May, 2011
Web Log - April, 2011
Web Log - March, 2011
Web Log - February, 2011
Web Log - January, 2011
Web Log - December, 2010
Web Log - November, 2010
Web Log - October, 2010
Web Log - September, 2010
Web Log - August, 2010
Web Log - July, 2010
Web Log - June, 2010
Web Log - May, 2010
Web Log - April, 2010
Web Log - March, 2010
Web Log - February, 2010
Web Log - January, 2010
Web Log - December, 2009
Web Log - November, 2009
Web Log - October, 2009
Web Log - September, 2009
Web Log - August, 2009
Web Log - July, 2009
Web Log - June, 2009
Web Log - May, 2009
Web Log - April, 2009
Web Log - March, 2009
Web Log - February, 2009
Web Log - January, 2009
Web Log - December, 2008
Web Log - November, 2008
Web Log - October, 2008
Web Log - September, 2008
Web Log - August, 2008
Web Log - July, 2008
Web Log - June, 2008
Web Log - May, 2008
Web Log - April, 2008
Web Log - March, 2008
Web Log - February, 2008
Web Log - January, 2008
Web Log - December, 2007
Web Log - November, 2007
Web Log - October, 2007
Web Log - September, 2007
Web Log - August, 2007
Web Log - July, 2007
Web Log - June, 2007
Web Log - May, 2007
Web Log - April, 2007
Web Log - March, 2007
Web Log - February, 2007
Web Log - January, 2007
Web Log - December, 2006
Web Log - November, 2006
Web Log - October, 2006
Web Log - September, 2006
Web Log - August, 2006
Web Log - July, 2006
Web Log - June, 2006
Web Log - May, 2006
Web Log - April, 2006
Web Log - March, 2006
Web Log - February, 2006
Web Log - January, 2006
Web Log - December, 2005
Web Log - November, 2005
Web Log - October, 2005
Web Log - September, 2005
Web Log - August, 2005
Web Log - July, 2005
Web Log - June, 2005
Web Log - May, 2005
Web Log - April, 2005
Web Log - March, 2005
Web Log - February, 2005
Web Log - January, 2005
Web Log - December, 2004
Web Log - November, 2004
Web Log - October, 2004
Web Log - September, 2004
Web Log - August, 2004
Web Log - July, 2004
Web Log - June, 2004

Copyright © 2002-2016 by John J. Xenakis.