Land of Frowns, Part II

This just in: the Thai Election Commission voted 4:1 this morning in favor of dissolving the current Democrat Party.

The reason? The alleged reception of an illegal Bt258 million donation in 2005 from TPI Polene, a cement firm, as well as the misuse of a humungous  government subsidy.

The dissolution of the current government is, of course, what the Red Shirts have demanded all along.

The timing of all this is impeccable, considering the stand-off between Red Shirts and military personnel reached a breaking point Saturday, leaving hundreds injured and 21 dead on both sides - including a Japanese newscaster whose death is being probed by Tokyo.

I don't know what to think anymore. The allegations are a serious blow to the current government...and yet, I wonder what the alternatives are. The Red Shirts want new elections, but - in my understanding - have failed so far to name their candidates. (Similarly, they say they want amendments to the Constitution,  but I'm still waiting to learn what exactly these are.) When and if the Red Shirts do form an opposition party, I shudder to think what it might be like: their radical behavior in the past few months - disgusting, to say the least - disavows me of any trust in them. And are they not allies and followers of the fugitive Thaksin who, I think it's clear, does not exactly put the greater good of the country above his own interests?

These are troubled times. On the other hand, the following court proceedings could take months, and the current government was planning a six-nine month timetable for new elections anyway.

And hey, if I apply for the Fulbright next year, I probably stand a better chance of getting it. The Land of Frowns really doesn't have great PR right now.

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