News / Asia

Bangkok Protests Splitting Thai Families

Bangkok Protests Splitting Thai Familiesi
X
February 22, 2014 3:15 PM
As protests in Bangkok continue, the growing political polarization in Thailand is splitting families throughout the country. And as Steve Sandford reports from Chaing Mai, Thailand, there are growing fears the deepening political divide could lead to widespread violence.
As protests in Bangkok continue, the growing political polarization in Thailand is splitting families throughout the country.  And there are growing fears the deepening political divide could lead to widespread violence. 

Despite the carnival-like atmosphere of some anti-government protests in Bangkok, animosity between government supporters and opponents appears to be growing. 

The underlying anger, fueled by public displays of hate mongering, has some observers worried that widespread violence could erupt within the country.

The conflict is attributed by some to a split between the "rural poor and elite urbanites," but some analysts say it is cutting much deeper into Thailand's social fabric.

Human Rights Watch senior researcher Sunnai Pasuk warned that a deep-rooted hatred was spreading through communities across the country.

“We see this division has entered into household families. A split. Rather siblings are split and friends do not talk to each other instead see each other as enemies who could no longer co-exist. This is a very radical development in the political confrontation in Thailand and, if allowed to continue, it is a very dangerous ingredient for large-scale communal conflict,” said Sunnai.

In the northern Thai village of Ban Mai, allegations of government corruption have created a rift within some families.

Farmer Duangian Kaewwanna switched political allegiance after the government failed to make payments on a controversial price-support program for rice farmers.

Now he's a loyal viewer of Blue Sky TV, a popular news network that broadcasts anti-government programming 24/7.

“The first time the government pledged for 15,000 baht per ton for the rice price but in the end they didn't keep their word. We haven't received any money from this program yet,” said the farmer.

Across the yard, his son-in-law, Surin Plukkam, remains a staunch government supporter.

But Surin admitted growing weary of the political conflict that has disrupted his family.  He feared it could escalate into full-scale violence.

“We don't talk about politics with each other. If while we talk the subject comes up, we try to switch to something else. We talk a bit but if we think it'll lead to an argument, we just stop talking altogether,” he said.

For now, the power struggle within the country is more a war of words.  But it's unclear whether the anger it is generating can be switched off, if things get worse.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid