The year 2010 has been a very trying one for the
Thailand government and its residents because of a
long-drawn-out series of riots that had spread
throughout the country.
The riots started from Thailand’s main city,
Bangkok, and spread to the rest of the country in
March of 2010 and lasted throughout May of the same
These Thailand riots stemmed from political protests
organized by the popular “Red Shirts” group, or
formally called the National United Front of
Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD).
The roots of these anti-government group protests
can be traced as far back as the year 2005 during
the term of Prime Minester Thaksin Shinawatra.
The People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, supporters were
protesting against then Prime Minister Shinawatra’s government, the Thai Rak Thai, or TRT,
This group is composed of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s
followers, known as the “yellow shirts” for using his
highness’ royal color yellow.
They are the groups opposing the prime minister’s
followers, or the Red Shirts.
These two political groups have been fighting for
their respective leader’s seat in the government.
The political crisis dragged on and continued until
the conflict of 2008’s political leaders:
Somchai Wongsawat’s People’s Alliance for Democracy
or PAD and Samak Sundaravej’s People’s Power Party
The conflict got even worse when it later stemmed to
clashes between the National United Front of
Democracy and Abhisit Vejjajiva’s Democrat Party.
In 2010, these political disagreements reached the peak when
the protests became violent riots and resulted to numerous
injuries and even death of protesters, soldiers and
The series of Thailand riots in 2010 is considered
to be the largest and most violent in Thailand
April 2010 was called “Cruel April” by media people
when casualty reports reached 24 deaths and over 800
injuries. The casualties include death of five
soldiers and one Japanese national journalist.
The violence continued until May 2010 and resulted
to more injuries and death, earning the month’s name
as “Savage May”.
On May 18, 2010, a total of 41 deaths and 250
injuries were reported. Another foreign journalist,
an Italian this time, was again included in the list
of fatal casualties.
provinces in the northeastern part of the country were
declared to be in a state of emergency and a curfew was set
to limit civilian casualties. The government even went as
far as giving troops the authority to shoot on sight anyone
who would incite trouble.