Indeed, it is still not clear what is the root cause of Thailand’s political conflict. Some academics suggest that it is essentially about the royalist establishment’s alarm that Mr Thaksin was building a base of public support to rival that of King Bhumibol. They may fear what will happen when the 80-year-old king’s reign ends. The PAD dresses itself in royal yellow and says it is saving Thailand from Mr Thaksin’s “republicanism”. Such matters cannot be discussed openly in Thailand because of its draconian lèse-majesté laws, which are often abused to sling mud at opponents.

– Extracted from “Run, Thaksin, run”, The Economist, 14 August 2008.