Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lese Majeste report?

A few days ago I received the following twitter message:

jazzinchiangmaiRT@Nganadeeleg "pearls of wisdm frm X who failed 2 mention the pol. crisis, the gov, the milit or the killings" http://LMLINK Lese M Much?

I didn't pay much intention, but it has since been brought to my attention that it could be a threat to report me for LM.

If it was indeed a threat, or even an actual report to the LM police, I would like to bring the investigators attention to this thread on New Mandala where Nganadeeleg (= Hobby = Me) features more than a few times.
I recommend the investigators make that thread the starting point of your investigations against me, then work your way through this blog chronologically.
(blog archive is shown at the lower left portion of the front page)

Hope you find it amusing & like the music (and you might even learn some latin from the NM thread:)

I also recommend you read Giles latest post "It's about Democracy, stupid"

This blog (and I) remain open to alternative viewpoints - if anyone has differing conclusions to the ones I have so far reached, please post your comments which I am happy to take on board, based on the strength of your argument (as judged by ..... me:)

However, any argument that ignores or dismisses the military coup, and the obvious interference and double standard in Thailand, is unlikely to persuade me.
Likewise, an argument along the line that conditions are not right for elections within 3 months (for whatever reasons) is unlikely to be considered by me to have much merit, as I foresee the consequences of any alternatives as much worse - with the possible exception of a (fully inclusive) national unity government.

Bring it on! (where's Nick Cave & Chris Bailey when you need them?)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Abhisit is not fit to lead!

More proof that Abhisit offers nothing towards a better Thailand - he's reaching into an empty well when all he can come up with is the same old 'reds under the bed' type scaremongering.

Abhisit had a choice - he could really have tried to make Thailand a more inclusive society, worked towards more equality, fairness and justice, but he chose the exact opposite route - find scapegoats, jail dissidents, limit the free flow of information, propagandise and scare the rest into compliance.

If he really was about reconciliation and helping move Thailand forward, instead of giving credence to plots created in the imagination of ASTV/The Manager fiction writers and using repression to cow the populace into submission, wouldn't he be pushing for an opening up of opportunities for discussion and analysis of the thai political system, including the role of the monarchy, and trying to have the LM laws relaxed so that free and open discussion can take place?

It's becoming much clearer that people like Abhisit, Sansern, Prayuth (and others who shall remain unnamed) are the real terrorists in Thailand.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Avoiding Civil War - It's not Rocket Science

Neither side is innocent, each thinks it’s defending against attacks by the other, but bottom line is one side wants democracy and the other side wants to limit it (or sometimes ‘allow’ it, but only to the extent it doesn’t upset their applecart).

There can be no doubt now that the supposedly more ‘educated’ are actually just as brainwashed as the ‘kwai’, and if not brainwashed then they are ‘jai dum’, which IMO is much worse.

So the solution is still what it has always been - just trust the population as a whole, and allow democracy, without the interference!

There can be no justification for (another) crackdown when there is a clear and simple solution.

Forget about Thaksin – he’s history – it’s much bigger than him now, and the people won't allow his style of democracy any more than they will allow the old 'thai style democracy'.

Not one more drop of blood need be shed, and if it is, then the blame will clearly be with those who refuse to let the people have an immediate say on what they think of all the events that have happened since the 2006 military coup.
(That say needs to be at the ballot box - an election is the only poll that counts!)

Today, Abhisit needs to announce an immediate house dissolution, and an immediate cessation of the state of emergency.
Protesters of all sides must then go home, and the ballot box is the place for their voice to be heard.

In the lead up to the elections, all the leaders should promote tolerance of opposing views, and present their case against those views in a civil manner. They should also ask their supporters to respect fully the electoral decision of the country as a whole, and not seek to interfere with or obstruct the new government.

As for what to do with all the pending cases & investigations, we all know that there will not be equal justice for all the wrongdoers, so (sadly) the only way to get fair closure is to draw a line in the sand AS OF TODAY - amnesty for all, including any banned politicians no matter what colour, for the events up to today, however after today each and every illegal act to be prosecuted fairly, without discrimination or favor - it's the only way the country can move forward.

Please do it, Abhisit - for the sake of your country and for your own redemption.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thailand's Trouble's

A great blog I've only just come across is Thailand's Troubles, which has a nice summary of the current situation.

Of course, the elephant in the room is still skirted around (for obvious reason) which unfortunately means the real systematic problems that are stopping Thailand from progressing are not being addressed.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

No Justification to crush Pro-Democray protests

Update 2: This Bangkok Post report gives details of the equipment the government lost in their 'non-violent' dispersal attempt on that Saturday:
"Among the firearms and other equipment claimed to have been lost during the clash were nine M16 rifles, 25 Tavor rifles, six anti-aircraft guns, 116 shields, 105 batons and 80 body armour suits.
The army also lost control of six personnel carriers and three high-mobility multi-purpose vehicles when troops abandoned them in the face of angry red shirts.
Ammunition also went missing, including 580 rubber bullet rounds, 600 anti-aircraft rounds and 8,182 M16 rifle rounds"

Any conclusions other than:
(a) government had violent 'intentions', and was incompetent?
(b) the equipment was left behind by watermelon soldiers to help in subsequent battles?

Update 1
: This post was originally posted before the crackdown as a plea for it to not happen - after the actual crackdown, and especially after Abhisit's late night tv speech, all I can say is that I've completely given up on him. It's hard for me to believe he is even human, he's certainly no better than Thaksin, and probably much worse. Thaksin's drug war killings at least had a noble intention - there is nothing noble about Abhisit's killing to avoid going to an election!

How long can things go on like this, without one side going for broke and the shit hitting the fan?

Abhisit is the new face on an old playbook - the old style crackdowns are no longer viable, so it needs a respectable face to try to spin it as though there was no alternative but to crackdown.

I hope the red leaders are fully switched on to that aspect of what Abhisit is doing, because even though the pro-democracy side of this conflict has right on their side, they must also be seen to be reasonable.
(To spell it out: Abhisit wants to appear reasonable, and make other side appear unreasonable - the emphasis is on 'appear' in both cases)

Abhisit knows very well this aspect of the political game. He came to power promising reconciliation, he appeared very reasonable, but his real actions have not been about reconciliation at all:
- How does appointing, then keeping Kasit as FM, help reconcilation?
- How does stonewalling on the constitutional reform help reconcilation?
- How does closing PTV help reconcilation (when ASTV & NBT are still on air)?
- How does blocking Prachatai (and hassling the webmaster with lengthy jail terms) help reconciliation?
- How does stalling on bringing PAD international airport invaders to justice help reconcilation?
- Now that the boot is on the other foot, how does a complete about-face shown on statements he made regarding protesters rights, and PM's resigning, help bring about reconciliation ?
(for more examples see this revealing piece by one of Thailand's best journalists)

He is doing it again - appearing reasonable, but the reality is very different:- He offers to talk with red leaders, but creates excuses why elections cannot be held till at least 9 months have passed.
Forget about 9 months! How can the red masses, who have had their votes usurped so blatantly, be forced to endure another month, week, or even a day of living under a military/judiciary coup installed puppet PM who talks reconciliation, but in reality does everything he can to keep those masses disenfranchised?

PM Abhisit has also appeared very reasonable in dealing with protestors over the last few weeks, but if you look at all the other times he appeared reasonable, the reality was much different - you get my drift ?- the stakes have been upped in recent days - quite scary don't you think?
The world must not let him, or his minders, get away with thinking that a crackdown against pro-democracy protesters can ever be acceptable - especially when an easy solution is readily available.

I have focussed on Abhisit because he is the face of the current military/royalist overlords - we know he is expendable, but right now he's the man in the box seat, so he still has a chance to gain real legitimacy with the people. If he acted with integrity, you never know, the Thai people might warm to him, and he could one day even become a legitimate elected PM.

His first step on that road to legitimacy should be to offer dissloution/election within 3 months (Dr Weng has already said reds would accept that).

The people will never be more informed than they already are. The air would then be cleared, and the new parliament could then embark on the genuine constitutional reform process so the country can start moving forwards again.

That is the obvious solution, it is also the right thing to do given the considerable doubts as to his legitimacy arising from military & judicial interventions over the last 4 years.

No amount of smooth talking spin will ever justify a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters when there is a viable solution readily available.
Remember, no redshirt has ever said they will not accept the results of a fair election, so it should be abundantly clear they are not the real problem in Thailand.

The real problem is that there is no culture of democracy. Such a culture can only begin to develop when all sides accept election results and reject military coups or other forms of higher authority interference.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Great Thailand Eye Opening

The current red protests are proving to be a good eye opening to the Thai people, and the world, to the charade that is Thai 'democracy'.

The 2006 royalist endorsed military coup, the actions of 'non political' players in events leading up to the coup, and since, have put further pieces in the jigsaw that is 'thai style democracy'.

Whilst most tourists to Thailand don't care about Thai politics as long as they can keep getting what they crave (be it cheap, depraved or exotic), and expat businessmen similarly are only really interested in their bottom line, slowly but surely more light is being shone on matters that the 'natural' order of things in Thailand mean are supposed to be taboo.

All manner of discussions are taking place in print, film, radio, Internet and in private, in Thai, English and no doubt many other languages.

There is still considerable risk, particularly if one is a Thai in Thailand, as evidenced by the continued use of the draconian LM laws and Computer Crimes Act, against people who try to seek the truth and allow open discussion.
Tantawut Taweewarodomkul and Prachatai webmaster, Chiranuch Premchaiporn are the latest victims, and add to a growing list of pending cases and convictions.

It seems Thailand is being analysed within and without, and the analysis is not just limited to obscure papers and academic journals.

Whilst the cut and thrust of the day to day colour coded politics is boring to me and I abhor Thaksin as much as I abhor Abhisit (or John Howard, George Bush, and lately Kevin Rudd etc etc), I find the bigger picture issues related to the thai system/structure quite fascinating.

I hope I'm wrong, but my gut feeling tells me continued injustice over a long period of time will inevitably breed terrorism in one form or other.

Thai style democracy is built on a noble lie, and once enough people question that lie, it has to either collapse, or be enforced - the old system can no longer function in the same way because it's foundation brick (the noble lie) has been removed.

IMO, to enforce the noble lie leads ultimately to a North Korea or Burma style future for Thailand, or more likely the southern insurgency being replicated in the north east and the north, however such insurgencies would unlikely be so 'polite' as to stay away from the capital.

The alternative to enforcement of the noble lie is to allow democracy (or 'mob rule' as Plato thought of it:)

That's the battle as I see it, and whilst I had sympathy for the original PAD protests against Thaksin's excesses, if its a choice between yellow and red, (or even red and non red, or yellow and non yellow) I now believe the non yellow or red side is the only side which offers a positive future for Thailand.
(Note: These are my views only, and do not imply that the red shirt protesters or leaders agree with my outlook - rather it means I side with the reds in the current battle because they are the only side offering anything that looks like real democracy - if another group offers democracy I will also likely side with them too)

And looking on the bright side, the elite backed military & judiciary coups, which sporned the red movement and increasing analysis of 'thai style democracy', has also contributed greatly to the democratic knowledge of the Thai people (and one Thaksin Shinawatra) - so that can only be good for the next time a popular leader is elected.