The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the group leading the anti-government (or rather, anti-Thaksin) protests in Thailand, is probably Southeast Asia’s biggest misnomer. Instead of promoting democracy, as their name suggests, they are subverting the democratic institutions in Thailand.
After more than 6 months of continuous street protest, the situation has taken a sharp turn for the worse, with PAD members and supporters storming and occupying not just the prime minister’s office, but both airports in Bangkok, crippling the country’s vital tourism industry.
Despite their claim to democracy, I see nothing democratic about the PAD. Not only did they support the military coup, which in itself is the worst possible subversion of democracy, but they openly advocated reducing the number of elected members of parliament and replacing them with appointed representatives from the among the country’s elite.
According to Wikipedia, the PAD consists of middle and upper-class Bangkokians and Southerners, supported by the conservative elite and factions of the Thai Army, some members of the opposition Democrat Party, and leaders of state-enterprise labour unions. Its founder, Sondhi Limthongkul, is a super rich media mogul.
I have always wondered who is financing those thousands of protesters. Don’t they have jobs of their own? Obviously not. My only conclusion is that they are being paid by the rich elite PAD leaders and backers to wreck this chaos on their own country — all to achieve the PAD leaders’ self-serving ends.
I don’t claim to be an expert in Thai politics, and I am also aware of some of former PM Thaksin’s shortcomings. I also support peaceful democratic expression, but these last 6 months of street protests and violence have proven that the PAD is out of touch with the needs of ordinary Thais, and have dumped their consciences for selfish gain.