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Surface calm belies deep splits in Thai politics

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Opposition Pheu Thai Party members react as former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra waves to them during Skype video call on the occasion of Songkran festival at the party headquarters in Bangkok, April 7.   © Reuters

SAN KAMPHAENG, Thailand -- Normal life seems to have returned to Thailand since bloody street protests two years ago that had paralyzed Bangkok and led the army to seize power, toppling the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

At San Kamphaeng, 20 km away from Chiang Mai International Airport, in the north of the country, a souvenir shop is crammed with local handicrafts placed under a large signboard reading "OTOP," a government program to support locally made products.

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