Dividing Thailand into two separate countries?: On December 27, 2013 I wrote an article titled “Opinion: Thais have 3 options in their political crisis” in which I suggested dividing Thailand into two separate countries was one way out of the ongoing political deadlock.
At that time, I had never heard this idea expressed by anyone before, except for a brief conversation I had with a fellow American teacher during the 2010 red shirt protests.
And in my December article, I stated that I was sure almost no one on either side of the political divide would agree with dividing the country in two. It was just unthinkable. However, I argued that it was certainly better than another option – civil war.
I listed the three basic options: 1) continue on the current path until it leads to civil war; 2) choose to rise above it and get along; 3) divide Thailand into two separate countries.
I stated that option #2 was by far the best, but since so many refuse to be reasonable and choose it, then #3 is surely better than #1. It is a last resort to avoid the horrors of civil war.
And if you think “civil war” is far-fetched, take a look at what happened when the red shirts held a rally in Rajamangala Stadium at Ramkhamhaeng University the end of November. Fighting immediately broke out between university students/locals and the red shirts when they arrived on Saturday afternoon, and continued all night and into Sunday morning until the red shirts wisely called off their rally and left town.
During that night, thousands of terrified students were trapped on campus and thousands of terrified red shirts were trapped inside the stadium as a virtual war raged all around them throughout the night. They could hear the gunfire all night long.
I was surprised to see an article in the Bangkok Post on January 28 about a banner someone had stuck up on a pedestrian bridge in Phayao that read “This country has no justice. Gu [I] want to split the country”.
The article and banner have evidently had a ripple effect, and much discussion has taken place on social media over the idea of splitting Thailand into two countries. The idea is also being debated by academics, politicians and political analysts.
Just today, the Bangkok Post published an investigative article titled “The fight tearing the country in two: Talk of establising a separate red shirt state is only intensifying to the north of Bangkok as the political crisis lingers on” by Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai.
In this article, the reporter interviews various people in the north and northeast to get their opinion on the idea of dividing Thailand into two separate countries.
Evidently, this idea is becoming much more widely discussed than I ever expected.