Dark Days for Democracy

She came prepared for a violent protest and ended up staying for a bloodless coup. Charas-sri Kasetkala traveled 12 hours by train from Thailand's southern Songkhla province to join a planned rally last Wednesday designed to pressure caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to step down. In the spring, daily demonstrations by tens of thousands of people in Bangkok had nearly forced the embattled leader out of office. Early last week, the masses wanted to try again, despite rumors that forces loyal to Thaksin might try to break up the protests. Charas-sri's complaints about the billionaire PM were legion. Like many in...

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