Monday, November 23, 2009

Loose Lips, Spin, Double Standards & Aliens

Looks like things are heating up with protests & rallies being planned by both the 'reds' and 'yellows' over the next few weeks.
UPDATE: Reds have postponed their Nov 28 to Dec 3 protest rally, Abhisit is not going to Chiang Mai this week.............. the stalemate continues.

PM Abhisit is heading to Chiang Mai next week, and after the clear anti-red spin that was evident in the mainstream media from Korn's trip to Chiang Mai in July, I'm keeping an open mind about the Chiang Mai community radio host who allegedly mentioned on air that Abhisit could be assassinated if he comes to Thailand (although it was clearly a dumb thing to do)

What does concern me is that it seems the groundwork is being laid for some sort of violent confrontation over coming weeks.
Apart from the loose lips of radio host and a leader of the Chiang Mai Loving 51 Group, Phetchawat Wattanpongsirikul, we also have the following warning signs:
- Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban in charge of security affairs, warning that non thai's ('aliens') have no rights to protest, and the government again proposing the imposition of the Internal Secutity Act against the UDD/reds
- PAD leaders referring to non humans and the need for 'traitors' to be 'finished off'
- the intransigence, vitriol & hatred being exhibited on the various political forums, blogs & newspapers also seem to be ramping up to a new level.

It is becoming increasingly important that independent observers/witnesses are at all the upcoming protests & rallies, so that unscrupulous players and irresponsible media cannot spin things to suit their own needs while seeking the ultimate end game quick victory.

Something Against You - The Pixies live

Friday, November 13, 2009

On Thainess & uniqueness

The following appeared as a comment by N G to the Timesonline 'Siamese Spat' editorial:

"Certain circumstances are hard to believe seeing what has been going on from outside. Open discussion about anything seems acceptable in western cultures. But it may be the unfamiliar practice where act of restraint is advised to lessen the heat of certain situations. Different level of comprehension of the situation results in heated debate over the issue.

Sure, there are people who exploit and manipulate the law which exists to keep things in order but do think about different settings of the society. Every measures have pros and cons and are not applicable anywhere. There is uniqueness in every single one of us.

When overwhelmed means of exchanging ideas are prevalent, certain standard of practice over time may need to be changed. But let's not expect the change to take place basing on value and belief of those who find it difficult to understand seem-to-be unreasonable practice, who are brought up in a total different world.

Whether or not a country is up to ridicule or not, a need for discussion about the system may be required or not, lies in the eye of the beholder who obviously tends to have different appreciation level.

Human beings know very little about the world and the universe. Some people dare to claim that he knows it all, he is better, or he is even more civilised. Take a deep breath and see to it if one could learn to appreciate the differences and see from a different perspective with a different ground approaching the issue. The beauty is not what we see as stereotype but what we see with a fair mind without being judgmental."

But isn't that the crux of the Thai political problems?

- A group of people ('elites':), who think they know it all, are stifling (crushing) anyone who sees things differently than them.
There is nothing fair minded and non judgmental about the way the LM laws, the Computer Crimes Act or the Internal Security Act are imposed.

Silence = Acquiescence ???

Gouge Away - The Pixies Live

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The man speaks

The Thaksin interview with Timesonline is a hot topic at present, and so controversial that looks like its being blocked in Thailand (what a surprise:)
UPDATE: Thaksin seems to be backtracking on some of the stuff apparently said/not said about the monarchy - IMO its a disgrace whats happening in Thailand regarding discussing the monarchy - people cannot speak their minds openly and it's turned into a sickening contest of who can show the most fawning loyalty to the great one.

These are the bits I found most amusing:

What would you say to the King?

I would say, ‘Your Majesty, it's time for Your Majesty to be kind to the Thai citizens, by giving them peace. Let them stay together peacefully through the blanket amnesty and pardons. So let everyone go back to their normal life and draft the new constitution.’

They [the enemies of Mr Thaksin] tried to kill me. They had a meeting in the house of Mr Pi [Malakul], who is close to Her Majesty… General Surayud [Chulanont, former Thai army commander, and prime minister after Thaksin was ousted by the military coup] asked General Panlop [Pinmanee] to assassinate me.

Hobby: Wow - A Privy Councillor ordering an assassination !
(that should be the most contoversial aspect of the whole interview as it's a very serious accusation)

Some people in Thailand seem to have worse fears than just economic and diplomatic stagnation. You hear people talking about some kind of economic collapse, civil war. Is that possible?

Thailand is near to being a 'failed state'. Because every institution almost cannot function because you don't allow the rules of the game to take their course. You don't allow the rule of law to prevail and you are biased against others. You don't shine before the whole world. You just want to control power regardless. That's why I'm saying Thailand has almost become a failed state, because no one trusts each other. There's no institution that's being trusted like before.

Hobby: Oh how the worm turns:)

What about the sale of Shin Corp [Mr Thaksin’s family telecommunications company which was sold to the Singaporean government for 77.3 billion bath (£1.14 billion) without paying tax, a cause of intense criticism of Mr Thaksin when he was prime minister]. You didn't pay tax. Putting aside the legal rights and wrongs, was that a misjudgement, politically?

Even if you want to pay tax the revenue department cannot accept your tax. Capital gains tax in Thailand is not tax payable. It's exempted by law. Some countries tax capital gains, but the Thai law has been there for many years as an incentive for a company to register itself in the stock market to exempt the capital gains tax.

Hobby: What about using nominees, maids, and tax havens - did the revenue department force you to do that?

So you don't have any regrets or misgivings about the way you handled that?

Well, you know, I’m in a difficult position to say anything as prime minister because it's a family affair, it's not my personal affair. I'm in a very awkward position as a prime minister to say anything.

Hobby: What a cop out!

But speaking now as a private citizen, it was a mistake, wasn't it?

No, because it's jealousy. I am one of the very few who have so much cash. It's the jealousy of the elite. I'm a representative of the rural people who grew up and had that much cash. [My] family wanted me to be free and clear from being criticised for conflict of interest. So they thought they'd better sell [the company].

Hobby: Very hard for me to trust people who cannot admit ever making a mistake.
(btw, Jealousy of the elite, or by the elite? - both IMO:)

And now for the important bit, here's the song:)

Debaser - by The Pixies (best band ever:)