|Image: Protest leader, Chitpas Bhirombhakdi.|
Four men early on Thursday morning threw a molotov cocktail at the family home of Chitpas Bhirombhakdi, a former deputy Democrat Party spokeswoman and now one of core protest leaders under the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).
The bottle filled with petrol and with a lit wick was thrown at the house in Ramkhamhaeng Soi 12 in Ramkhamhaeng area of Bangkok about 3.30am Thursday. The house belongs to Ms Chitpas's father Jutinan Bhirombhakdi.
The attack occurred about an hour after Ms Chitpas returned to the house.For weeks, led by misogynist taunts and the posting of pictures taken from Ms. Chitpas' Facebook page with distasteful captions added by Thaksin Shinwatra lobbyist Robert Amsterdam's hired pen, Andrew McGregor Marshall, Chitpas Bhirombhakdi has been the target of harassment not focused on the message she's brought to the stage, but rather personal insults regarding her family, their business, and her trivial daily activities.
Image: Damage done by a firebombing of protest leader Chitpas Bhirombhakdi family's home. No injuries were reported.
Ad hominem attacks by the regime's propagandists drew particular ire from veteran journalist Michael Yon, who published a bold statement attacking both the Western press and those inside Thailand defending the regime, stating:
It is interesting that in 2010 I sensed that some of the media was somehow bought off or seduced by the violent protesters and their leader.It appears now, with a firebombing of a protest leader's house, gone completely uncondemned by the regime's propaganda front, that verbal abuse has turned into physical abuse, with the former serving as "justification" for the latter.
Some of the strongest evidence was indirect. When I wrote words that did not match the narrative (such as that bullets were coming from the red shirt camp and the Royal Thai Army was showing immense discipline), some journalists openly attacked me, not my work.
When journalists resort to ad hominem attacks, that is a bad sign. This was not true of all journalists. Many did fine work, but there was a powerful undercurrent of mob journalism and many were afraid to break from the narrative.
Other incidents this week included the regime's "red shirts" threatening teachers and parents who voiced opposition to the regime. Regime thugs gathered outside Regina Coeli College in the northern city of Chiang Mai, the epicenter of some of the most notorious pro-regime violence, in a show of political intimidation, and intolerance.
Image: Regime thugs from the notorious "Rak Chiang Mai 51" group, threaten Chiang Mai's Cultural Council president - demanding that she steps down for criticizing the regime, and make way for another of dictator Thaksin Shinawatra's sisters to take over her post.
Another group of the regime's "red" thugs gathered outside the home of Chiang Mai Cultural Council president Chao Duangduan for also speaking out against the regime. Bangkok Post's article, "Chiang Mai red-shirts threaten PM critic," stated:
Worawut Roojanapinan, leader of the red-shirt group Rak Chiang Mai 51, led about 50 supporters to rally in front of Chiang Mai provincial hall to vent anger after Chao Duangduan claimed former prime minister Thaksin is the root cause of disorder in the country.
The Chiang Mai Cultural Council president also demanded that Ms Yingluck resign from her role as a caretaker premier to pave the way for the national reform.
In a statement read out by Mr Worawut, the group called on Chao Duangduan to step down from her position, citing the fact that her resignation would protect the province's main cultural organisation from political exploitation.
The protesters said they wanted Yaowares Shinawatra, the younger sister of Thaksin and elder sister of Ms Yingluck, to replace Chao Duangduan. Mrs Yaowares is former president of the National Council of Women of Thailand.
Aggressive measures would be launched to pressure Chao Duangduan to leave her post if she ignored their demand, the statement said.
The bizarre, violent, and nepotist demands made by the "Rak Chiang Mai 51" group, notorious for violently disrupting an anti-HIV/AIDS parade, hacking to death an elderly man outside his own home, and hitting a female lecturer after the group attempted to disrupt a university reunion, have added to the growing climate of fear and intimidation used by the regime while it attempts to cling to power.
Image: Today, thousands of anti-regime protesters take to the streets in the first of two "warm up" rallies ahead of this Sunday's main, mass mobilization.
Meanwhile, undeterred, anti-regime protesters took to the streets by the thousands today in the first of two "warm up" rallies ahead of a third mass mobilization this Sunday, December 22, 2013. Two previous mass marches in November and December have dwarfed even the largest pro-regime rallies held at the very height of its popularity and power years ago.