Monday, September 1, 2008

Should I or Should I Not?

I am so depressed. I have been looking forward to my holiday in Bangkok next week but now with the ongoing demonstration there, I am wondering whether I should still go. Most of the things are already paid for and postponing or canceling may mean I will be losing some money.

I am so so sad...and have been following the updates there to gauge how bad the situation is. The thing is, from the news it may sound bad but when I asked those people there, most said that life is as usual as long as you don't go to those affected areas.

Guess I will have to follow up on the news for the next few days and see how things are. Anyhow, I am definitely going for a vacation this coming weekend, Bangkok or not!

The latest news on this from Bangkok Post is as below:
(, with agency reports)

A special joint session of parliament opened on Sunday afternoon with a fiery Democrat Party call for the resignation of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej - and an equally flaming reply from the premier.

Opposition spokesman Jurin Laksanavisit got the debate off to a slightly delayed but volatile start. He said Mr Samak's "aggressive manner" had poured fuel on the fire of the PAD protests. Then he called on the prime minister to resign.

"It is time now for the prime minister to consider himself and decide whether he is still fit to be prime minister," said Mr Jurin. "If he insists on clinging to his office, the problems of the country will escalate."

Mr Samak immediately replied. "Aggressive behavior is my nature," he said.
"It is not a matter of indecent behaviour. I did not do anything wrong and have the right to continue my work as prime minister. How I have behaved has not caused any damage to the country."

The special joint session of parliament opened on Sunday afternoon in an attempt by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to defuse the crisis brought by street protest and the seizure of Government House by anti-government demonstrators.

More than 1,000 government supporters gathered outside the parliament building as lawmakers began the special debate.
"Samak, fight, fight. Samak, fight on; Samak, fight on," the crowd roared as police looked on. Before heading into the session, Mr Samak said: "I will not bow. I will not step down and I will not resign no matter how much pressure on my government. The government cannot resolve the problem, so this joint session of parliament is the best way to try to find a solution."

There was no immediate sign of a breakthrough from the lawmakers. Opposition Democrat Party members called on the coalition government to be both sincere and resolute in solving the political unrest.

Sathit Wongnongtoey opened the debate for the Democrats, but merely urged the government to be sincere in solving the political crisis by listening fully to the opinions of members of both houses.

Mr Samak agreed to a special joint session of both the lower House of Representatives and the upper house, or Senate, after police failed to oust thousands of anti-government demonstrators from the seat of government on Friday.

The premier said on Sunday morning he expected to hear criticism from both the opposition Democrat Party and some independent, non-elected senators over his handling of the Government House crisis.

At the same time, he has made it clear that he will not resign over the matter.
"I came to power in accordance with the law," he said on his weekly "Talking Samak Style" TV show on Sunday morning. "I have done nothing wrong."

On Saturday evening he got a huge personal boost when the six coalition parties in the government made clear they backed him, despite the intensifying protests aimed at toppling his seven-month-old government.
"Fear can cause damage, but I am not afraid," said Samak in his weekly talk to the nation.

He blasted the PAD for breaking the law in seizing Government House on Tuesday, and trying to create a "spark" to bring down the government.
He got a further moral boost on Sunday just before parliament went into session, when airports at Phuket and Krabi began normal operations again, after protesters abandoned their siege at the tourist centres.

However, nationwide rail service remained closed. The labour union of the State Railways of Thailand shut down most routes last week in a show of support for the PAD.
"We closed the airports to tell them we can do this on a much, much bigger scale if they don't listen to us," said PAD founder Sondhi Limthongkul in an interview with the foreign media.

Mr Samak was not amused. "The people who caused airports to close are causing damage to the tourism industry," he said. "They are smashing our rice bowl."
But the premier will not go easily. In fact, on Wednesday, parliament will debate and probably pass his proposed national budget. After that, some observers expect he will call a snap election to ask for a new mandate.

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