La Thaïlande au bord du Précipice

BANGKOK – Le siège de deux mois du centre de Bangkok par les dénommés “chemises rouge” s’est terminé dans un bain de sang. Plus de soixante personnes, dont deux journalistes étrangers et quelques soldats sont morts lors de la l’assaut donné par l’armée thaï pour mettre fin à la rébellion urbaine.

Le gouvernement thaï n’avait d’autre choix que d’en venir à la force après la rupture des négociations avec les manifestants. Les deux camps se méfiaient profondément l’un de l’autre, même si les cinq points de la feuille de route du gouvernement pour une résolution pacifique du conflit reconnaissait implicitement l’existence de sérieux problèmes socio-économiques et mentionnait la tenue d’élections anticipées en novembre – une concession faite aux manifestants qui prétendaient que le gouvernement n’avait aucune légitimité dans la mesure où il n’avait jamais été élu.

Un couvre-feu a été imposé la nuit dans la majeure partie du pays, après qu’un groupe de chemises rouge radicaux ait incendié plus de 35 immeubles importants dans Bangkok. Les cibles des militants étaient des succursales de la Banque de Bangkok, la plus importante banque du pays, et un pilier de l’establishment ; Siam Square, propriété du Palais ; et un centre commercial de luxe appartenant à l’une des plus riches familles thaïlandaise d’origine chinoise.

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