Andrew and I have written a long analysis that has been published today by Inside Story. It begins:
When Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva launched his crackdown on red-shirt protesters on Sunday night, one of his first acts was to post army units around Chitralada Palace, the Bangkok residence of Thailand’s king. It was a routine security measure but, in the current climate, it was an act rich in symbolism. No one imagines that the red-shirts posed any immediate threat to the security of the king, but Thailand’s supreme institution is being inexorably drawn into battles about who should legitimately run the country. As the political heat increases, the country is edging ever closer to open public debate about the political role of the monarchy.
The full text is available here.