Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thailand: Three Consecutive Explosions Target Chiang Mai, More Protests Scheduled in Bangkok

According to http://www.thainews.prd.go.th, police report that a number of consecutive bombings occurred in Chiang Mai on the evening of March 21, even though no one has claimed responsibility for the detonations.

COMMENT: Interestingly, no news organization that I'm aware of has attempted to explain who might have been behind the bizarre bombings.

Also, no group or organization has claimed responsibility for these bombings.

The first violent attack was on a PTT fuel station in Muang District at around 2030 hours, injuring four people, three of whom were station employees while the other was a customer. All the injured were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

An hour later, another detonation occurred in Boonrawd Co. Ltd. in Sarathee District where an unknown number of assailants threw two grenades into the company’s compound. One of the grenades detonated while the the other did not. No one was injured during this attack.

Then, at 2215 hours, another detonation occurred at the Andaman Seafood Restaurant in Muang District, Chiang Mai. The blast destroyed two cars, but fortunately no casualties or injuries were reported.

Seemingly, none of the facilities at first blush seem to have any common thread or organizational connection, other than to have a direct impact on the immediate cancellation of bookings by foreign travelers destined for Chiang Mai.

Our readers should also keep in mind that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, 46, was born in Chiang Mai of Chinese descent and graduated from Chiang Mai University in 1988 only to go on to receive a master's degree in 1991 from Kentucky State University.

Since November 2013, massive street protests in Bangkok caused the Prime Minister to abandon Government House, where her offices were located.

Logic would suggest that for security reasons the PM may very well have sought refuge in Chiang Mai, which she considers home and as a safe-haven.

After a brief lull in anti-government protests against the PM, the charismatic protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, 64, has called for a major rally in Bangkok on March 29 to demand reforms before the country holds a new election, considering the Constitution Court's ruling that the February 2nd election was invalid, considering votes were incomplete in 28 provinces. 

The rally had originally been planned on March 30, but the date was moved a day forward to avoid disturbing the Senate election. 

Suthep has said that as a warm-up, he would lead marches on Bangkok streets from Monday to Friday to promote and build the momentum for the Saturday (March 29) rally.