Win the battle, lose the (class) war?

22 04 2010

Thomas Fuller of the New York Times, who had a really very good story from Khon Kaen in the northeast last week, now comments on the blocking of an army train and a motorized convoy  traveling south. Fuller begins by noting that the actions in Khon Kaen are further evidence of “the Thai government’s weakening control of the populous hinterland.”

The protesters feared that the soldiers and equipment were to be used in a crackdown on the red shirts. “[T]hey demanded that 10 red shirt protesters be allowed to accompany the train to ensure that it was not bound for Bangkok” as claimed by the government.

Fuller adds that “red shirts have garnered widespread support and sympathy in Thailand’s vast northeastern rice-growing hinterland, including among local officials, the military and police.” Indeed, the information on the troop and equipment movements in Khon Kaen came from “military wives.”

Writing of the crackdown, Fuller observes that such action “could also have wider consequences across the country.”

Are the rich and establishment figures aware of this? Perhaps they are because the Thai Baht seems to remain strong. That would seem counter-intuitive. Or are the rich buying dollars and other currencies as future insurance? The baht was 32.2 against the USD today, compared with 32.2 on 11 April, 32.7 on 11 March (before the red shirt rallies began) and 33.0 on 11 January. [Update: Yes we realize this is a dumb undergraduate error and that this explanation would mean a falling baht…. apologies for being economically illiterate.]

Any other suggestions on why the baht remains high while the SET was is at 761 today against 801 on 2 April.


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27 04 2010
The rising baht « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] earlier post made an undergraduate economics error when we asked if the baht was being sold and this was keeping […]




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