Thailand breaking up? Red Shirts want capital Chiang Mai

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Electoral Map in Thailand Parliamentary Elections 2011 (Pheu Thai party in red, Democrat party in blue)
Electoral Map in Thailand Parliamentary Elections 2011 (Pheu Thai party in red, Democrat party in blue)

The pro-government red shirt movement in Chiang Mai province said it has prepared a retreat for caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra should the Thai military stage a coup d’etat.

In that case, the Yingluck government would be relocated to Chiang Mai, the home province of the Shinawatra family, with the northern city becoming the capital while the South would be left to its fate, said red shirt activist Mahawang Kawang in an interview with Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post.

He added that his movement was large enough to challenge the military if needed.

“We have no fear. All red groups will unite. We are willing to sacrifice our lives,” said Kawang, adding that “it is likely the government will move to Chiang Mai. We can defeat tanks because we have the numbers.”

Red-shirt organiser Supon Fumuljaroen, a former classmate of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said: “The majority of red-shirts really like the idea of a separate state. If they stage a coup, we can live without Bangkok.”

Pinkaew Laungaramsri, a sociologist at Chiang Mai University, said the north-south divide meant that Thailand is already in the process of breaking up.

“If the government is kicked out then Yingluck will be invited to set up a government here in Chiang Mai,” she said.

Thai Provinces by GDP per capita. Green is wealthiest, red poorest.
Thai Provinces by GDP per capita. Green is wealthiest, red poorest.

Economists say that a breakaway Red Shirt state would be a risky scenario, however. The northern and northeastern regions of Thailand are largely dependent on agriculture with little industry, while especially the Southeast is a highly industrialised area that contributes heavily to Thailand’s GDP and exports, in addition to large rubber and palm oil plantations in the Southwest and the fishing and seafood industry.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Electoral Map in Thailand Parliamentary Elections 2011 (Pheu Thai party in red, Democrat party in blue)

The pro-government red shirt movement in Chiang Mai province said it has prepared a retreat for caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra should the Thai military stage a coup d’etat.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Electoral Map in Thailand Parliamentary Elections 2011 (Pheu Thai party in red, Democrat party in blue)
Electoral Map in Thailand Parliamentary Elections 2011 (Pheu Thai party in red, Democrat party in blue)

The pro-government red shirt movement in Chiang Mai province said it has prepared a retreat for caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra should the Thai military stage a coup d’etat.

In that case, the Yingluck government would be relocated to Chiang Mai, the home province of the Shinawatra family, with the northern city becoming the capital while the South would be left to its fate, said red shirt activist Mahawang Kawang in an interview with Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post.

He added that his movement was large enough to challenge the military if needed.

“We have no fear. All red groups will unite. We are willing to sacrifice our lives,” said Kawang, adding that “it is likely the government will move to Chiang Mai. We can defeat tanks because we have the numbers.”

Red-shirt organiser Supon Fumuljaroen, a former classmate of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra said: “The majority of red-shirts really like the idea of a separate state. If they stage a coup, we can live without Bangkok.”

Pinkaew Laungaramsri, a sociologist at Chiang Mai University, said the north-south divide meant that Thailand is already in the process of breaking up.

“If the government is kicked out then Yingluck will be invited to set up a government here in Chiang Mai,” she said.

Thai Provinces by GDP per capita. Green is wealthiest, red poorest.
Thai Provinces by GDP per capita. Green is wealthiest, red poorest.

Economists say that a breakaway Red Shirt state would be a risky scenario, however. The northern and northeastern regions of Thailand are largely dependent on agriculture with little industry, while especially the Southeast is a highly industrialised area that contributes heavily to Thailand’s GDP and exports, in addition to large rubber and palm oil plantations in the Southwest and the fishing and seafood industry.

 

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