Front of today's Bangkok Post. Not good news.

A childhood friend lives in Pattaya, Thailand. Today he started writing me about what’s going on. I’ve redacted a couple details to keep him and his friends safe. Here’s what he says in series of brief emails:

Hey, Lisa

Yeah, Thailand is getting a bit scary. What’s going on here? Nobody’s quite sure, but it’s dangerous and even deadly. Marshal law and 8pm curfew here in Pattaya and half of Thailand. There’s even shootings, grenades and fires in Chiang Mai and other cities. The Red Shirts, mostly poor villagers, are being paid by Thaksin, the ousted, fugative ex prime minister (multi billionaire crook) to cause chaos and to get rid of the current PM, Abhasit, who they claim was not “elected”. Thaksin’s also paying big bucks to foriegn and local mercenaries/infiltraters to do the real violence. Most of the RS villagers have left, but the real thugs are scattered all over Bangkok. Some of them are maybe on their way to Pattaya. The RS leaders vowed to regroup in BKK [Bangkok] some day. Don’t know when. In the mean time the real wild dogs of war have been set loose all over the city (cities), and wild dogs usually don’t follow orders, let alone come home. We’re all a bit nervous. Read the Bankok Post (Google). It’s too complicated. Anyways, thanks for the concern. I hope all is well with you

***

I just talked to my good expat  friend who owns a bar/restaurant in town. Last night his bar had a lot of local expats and nobody knew about the curfew. The police showed up in a bad mood and made everyone leave instantly without having a chance to pay their bills. They were all a bit confused and scared thinking the Red Shirts were in town. They all pissed off in a hurry. The RS’s did have a large and aggressive, but non-bloody rally about an 8 minute drive from my house on a main street 4 weeks ago. We’ll see what happens. I’ll let you know. We just don’t want a civil war. Most Thais hate the RS and Thaksin

***

[Friend/reputable source] just told us that they just closed most banks in all of Thailand and the ATMs will run out of money soon. They say they will try to re-open next week. I have $25 cash on me. Happiness in the land of smiles. Credit cards are rare here and personal cheques don’t exsist. If this is true the whole country will go crazy. Also, the police have just blockaded all shopping malls in Pattaya.

***

It’s 10:30 am here. A bunch of us  just raced off to the ATM on the fancy golf course. We all got money out. We are lucky! As we were leaving a large group of Thai golf course employees rushed up in a big line for the ATM. The news is spreading fast. Panic is setting in. It’s going to be like a bank run on all ATMs, as almost all bank branches are closed. They’ll all be dry this afternoon. Isn’t life fun!… Love, xxx

***

BBC & CNN are not doing a good job about what’s going on… take care.

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.

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