I have been sent the following questions and comments by David, a regular New Mandala reader. He raises interesting issues about the future of UDD and its support among sections of the Thai intelligentsia.
In his recent interview with New Mandala, Giles Ji Ungpakorn described what he viewed as the morphing of the UDD/red shirt movement away from a simple pro-Thaksin grouping, and towards a broader civil society alliance that is fast ‘moving beyond Thaksin’.
I am keen to hear what NM readers think about this. Do you agree with Giles that the UDD is fast becoming a broad-based mass movement with possibly ‘revolutionary potential’? If yes, why? If no, why not?
Furthermore, I am interested in finding out what role Thai intellectuals (writers, scholars, professors etc.) might be playing in this context. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me as if Giles is implying that he is part of a growing trend towards the UDD amongst sections of the Thai intelligentsia. Is there such a trend? What evidence do we have?
Basically, I am looking for your opinions regarding the potential and limitations of the UDD. The red shirts are after all quite a motley bunch, and it seems hard to predict where this whole thing might be heading. So I would like to have your thoughts; where do you think the UDD is heading? Revolution, oblivion or somewhere in between?