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2010年5月24日 (月)

Abhisit Vejjajiva


srachai from khonkaen, thailand

(Extracted from New York Times)

The New York Times

Abhisit Vejjajiva

アピシット ウェジャジーワ

Abhisit Vejjajiva, who was elected prime minister of Thailand on Dec. 15, 2008, in a parliamentary vote, has taken on the twin challenges of political turmoil and economic crisis that wounded two previous Thai governments in 2008.

His fragile government has faced a challenge from protesters loyal to his chief rival, ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In May 2010, Mr. Abhisit offered a reconciliation plan crafted to end an impasse with the protesters that had ground the wheels of government to a halt. The offer was later revoked and a military crackdown followed. The protest leaders surrendered on May 19 and their followers dispersed, clashing with soldiers and setting fire to at least 40 buildings. The six-week standoff resulted in at least 60 deaths with hundreds injured.


The protests in their broadest terms have pitted the rural and urban poor against the more affluent middle-class establishment of the capital of Bangkok as Thailand struggles to redefine its political balance of power. The protests stem from a 2006 military coup that removed Mr. Thaksin, a tycoon turned prime minister, after which the political party he led and a successor party were dissolved by the courts. Mr. Thaksin, who lives in exile and has been sentenced in absentia on corruption charges, remains very popular in rural areas.


The Long Arm of Mr. Abhisit's Rival


Thousands of protesters roared into Bangkok in March 2010, occupying a central area and demanding that Mr. Abhisit dissolve Parliament and call new elections. Identified by their red shirts, the anti-government demonstrators and their leaders, brought the city to its knees, causing the closure of hotels, banks, shopping malls and other major downtown businesses. They also called for amnesty for Mr. Thaksin, who was accused of financing the protest movement by the government.

赤シャツ団と呼ばれている。 この反政府組織は都市機能を麻痺させた。ホテル、銀行、ショッピングモールなどの閉鎖を余儀なくされた。

On April 7, 2010, Mr. Abhisit declared a state of emergency after the red shirts broke into the Parliament building, forcing government officials to flee by helicopter. The protests were reminiscent of the months-long sit-in that weakened the last pro-Thaksin government; it eventually fell when the constitutional court ruled that the governing party was guilty of election fraud.

4月7日、アピシット首相は非常事態宣言を発令。 赤シャツ団が議会に乱入、議員らをヘリコプターで脱出させた。


A failed attempt to disperse the rallies on April 10 resulted in 24 deaths and 900 injured. The clash ? the worst political violence in Thailand in nearly 20 years ? resolved nothing: The protesters held their ground and the government refused their demand to step aside.


Two days after repulsing the bloody military crackdown, the protesters cheered jubilantly at the announcement that the country's election commission had recommended that the Democrat Party of Mr. Abhisit be disbanded on charges of receiving an illegal donation.

このいまわしい二日間の鎮圧の後、司法による民主党解体(解散)の提示がなされた。 理由は違法献金の受理。

The red shirts expanded their sit-in on April 15, turning Bangkok's central shopping area into a tent city and vowing to make it their "final battleground."


A Plan for Reconciliation


Mr. Abhisit, while toughening his rhetoric against the protesters, sought to break the deadlock by offering a "reconciliation plan" in early May that included elections proposed for November, which would cut short his four-year term by more than a year. While welcoming the plan, the protesters demanded more details before agreeing to end their occupation.


The proposed compromise won praise from people on many sides of Thailand's fragmented political scene, primarily as a way to defuse an intense confrontation that has raised fears of widespread violence or possibly civil war. The protesters, however, wavered, first accepting and later rejecting the agreement and then tacking on new demands. In the end, Mr. Abhisit revoked it and the military cracked down on the group, ending the stalemate.



The arrests of three leaders and the dispersal of the crowd were rare victories for the embattled government of the prime minister. But the volatile, defiant mood of the crowd on May 19 signaled a possible radicalization of a movement that leaders found difficult to control.


Mr. Abhisit, born in Newcastle, England, to parents who were both professors of medicine, was educated at Eton and at Oxford, where he graduated with first-class honors in economics, politics and philosophy.
After teaching economics at Thammasat University, he joined the Democrat Party in 1992 and became at the age of 27 one of the youngest representatives to serve in Parliament. At the age of 44, he became one of the youngest prime ministers in Thai history.



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