Monday, 3 February 2014

Elections in Thailand and Ukrainian President returns

Thailand's elections are in full swing. Yet it has not satisfied the protesters in Democracy Square in Bangkok. Yingluck Thaksin isn't batting an eye to anger in the square and is confident she will survive the election unscave. Most of her supporters often dubbed "government" as in other countries divided by opposition to the government. In the US, the government supporters would be President Obama supporters or so on. Many protesters see the elections as a farce that doesn't address the roots of economic disparities and inequality across Thailand in the rural and urban regions of the country. Meanwhile in Ukraine, President Yanukovych has finally returned to his office after a four day sick leave. It is an unusual sick leave for any head of state. Protesters in Kiev's Midan (or Maidan) have also vowed to stay on protesting and clashing with the police despite the cold weather. The European Union has offered Yanukovych a financial package as a step towards leaning Ukraine away form Russia and towards the EU. Is it arm wringing or a clever bribe? The people will be the judge. This is likely to anger protesters and Ukrainians in the Eastern region further.

In Russia only 3 days before the Sochi Olympics, a high school student shot a police officer and a teacher dead and took 20 fellow schoolmates hostage before the police was able to capture him alive. As much as the media particularly in the U.S. and UK portray Russians in pop culture and books as tough as nails and spikes mafiasos or harden criminals, school shootings or any type of large scale mass shootings as in the United States are rare in Russia. The school shooting has upped the anxiety among Russian security and police forces not only in Moscow but in Sochi and elsewhere across the country. Security at the games continue to be highlighted by the media as a real legitimate concern. The threats against the games from local militant groups and would be terrorists hasn't helped to convinced many of the Game's international visitors that security is in check just yet. However, the opening ceremony and games themselves will reveal if security is above and beyond expected. 

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