Archive for May, 2010

The Ghost of Thaksin

May 22, 2010

One of the problems that the current  prime minister of Thailand, Abhisit, had with the red shirt protest of the last few months is that he is dealing with a ghost. The ghost has a name and it is Thaksin Shinawatra.

            I do want to say that Thaksin is in fact alive. His spirit or ghost still exists in Thailand even though he has been in exile for the last two years. He is too chicken to go to jail for two years. He may not be here, but he is able to haunt Thai politics through good use of his money and through supporters he had in northern and northeastern Thailand.

            When Thaksin was in power from 2001 to 2006, his policies partly helped people in the above-mentioned Thai regions. HE gave them everything that they wanted and he focused on them no other Thai PM had ever done before. He even had a program to give them free cows which meant a lot in the agricultural Northeast or Isaan as it is called in Thai. He literally gave them money There are pictures of him giving 1,000 Baht notes on the streets of Isaan streets in the Bangkok Post and the Nation. As a result, he viewed almost akin to a god in Isaan. Most red shirts come from Isaan and the Thai North.

            Abhisit and the Thai government have to beat a person that is a legend, a spirit and a god. How do you beat such a person? You can’t use reason because he is above reason. You can’t kill him because he has become immortal in the eyes of his followers. You can’t argue with him because he is not here. It is very hard to beat somebody who is not even here.

            Thaksin is like those ghosts in all those horror films. They can’t be touched. They can’t be killed because they are already dead. The protagonists of these movies like Abhisit will have to deal with the villains in the endless sequels of the original movie.

            Thaksin is like Madonna. He has changed his image to suit his purposes. When he was in power, he was the decisive CEO dictator who squash his anybody in his way by using the Thai legal system. When he was out of power, he suddenly became an ardent supported of the democratic concept. He and his supporters said that he was the victim of a mysterious third party that was out to destroy all that he stood for. After his money was confiscated earlier this year by the Thai courts, he is Jesus, a fighter for social justice and a victim of the elites. How do you fight a person who keeps on changing his stand?

            Abhisit is fighting a person who is not here and who keeps on changing like a changeling. It is no wonder that the Thai government can’t deal with such a man.

My Favorite Thai Holiday

May 22, 2010

My favorite Thai holiday usually happens in first or second week of May.  Its date is based on astrology. Its official name is the Royal Plowing Day Ceremony. Early in the morning, people in traditional Thai clothing with some of them holding Thai farmer tools and equipment, stand in a field behind a Buddhist temple in Bangkok. One of them holds a cow. They then walk in a circle at least 9 (a lucky Thai number) times. The cow is then presented with a bowl of food. If he eats the food, it will be a good harvest. If he doesn’t like the food, it will be a bad harvest. All this presided over by the King or the highest-ranking Royal family member available. The Crown Prince was presiding over the ceremony in 2010. The ceremony takes about 2 hours to do.

I am an American and I can say that it reminds me of the silliness of Groundhog Day in the United States. I also don’t think it is possible that animals can predict the weather. Humans can barely predict the weather even with high tech tools at their disposal. I will try to respect the traditions in the future,

Feel Sorry For The Press

May 22, 2010

One group of people that I have felt sorry for during the red shirt protest of the last few months is the media people. Rain or shine, they have to be there night and day in case the Thai government finally does something to get rid of them. They have to listen to some speeches over and over again. They have to hear those clappers clap over and over again. They are probably sick of the color red. As far as I am concerned, they have one of the worst jobs in the world right now

The 2010s:Thai News Websites

May 18, 2010

As far as I know, these are the best Thai news website:

http://thainews.prd.go.th/en/

www.thailandoutlook.tv

www.bangkokpost.com

www.nationmultimedia.com

http://www.tmd.go.th/en  (about Thai weather)

With these websites, you will get news about Thailand every day. You will not have to pray that somehow that there will be news stories on Yahoo or CNN about Thailand. They are expecially helpful with what is exactly happening with the current political crisis in Thailand.

Red Shirt Hatred

May 14, 2010

     In the last few months, the red shirts have taken over the World Trade Center and parts of Ratchadamri and Ratchaprasong, roads in downtown Bangkok. The red shirts are officially known as the UDD, an abbreviation that I can never remember what it stands for, no matter how many times the Nation or the Bangkok Post say what it stands for. To me and to most Thai people, they will always be known as the red shirts or Se Dang (the Red in Thai).

            Everybody in Thailand knows that they represent the interests of Thaksin Shinawatra. His primary goal is to make sure that when he comes back to Thailand, he will not serve a day in jail for the conflict of interest case that Thai courts convicted him of. He was only sentenced to two years, but he talks as if he has been sentenced to a hundred years. The Thai courts sentenced him in 2008 and he probably would have been out of prison by now if he actually took responsibility for his actions. He also wants to get back the money that the Thai government confiscated from him and his family. The big rumor is that Thaksin has been using the money that he stashed overseas to pay the red shirts to protest. There are pictures on the Internet of red shirts leaders giving money to some of the protesters if you choose to Google for them.

            The red shirts have made speeches where they say that they are doing the protest for social justices. Whether they really believe in what they are saying is a big questions mark.

            To me, the week of May 3rd proves that the red shirt leaders only care about their own skins. The current Prime Minister, Abhisit, came up with a plan that will end with an election on November 14th. This means that the Thai parliament will have to be dissolved in the last two weeks of September as an election has to take place 90 days after parliament has been dissolved. Even though this seems like a good compromise with the red shirts who have been asking for dissolution of parliament, they refuse to stop this protest. Do you know why they won’t stop? They will not stop unless they get amnesty for what has taken place during the protest. Like their master, they will not take responsibility for their actions and serve a day in jail for their actions. Could you imaging Jesus or Martine Luther King, Jr. taking a position? To me, they are most selfish protesters for social justice ever.

            What have they done? They have:

            -shut down a major part of Bangkok

            -made it almost impossible to go from one part of the city to the other by motorized vehicle

            -disrupted long distance train to keep soldiers from coming to Bangkok

            -had two violent clashes with the Thai military in April of 2010

            -disrupted service on the BTS Sky train by putting tires on the track

            -could be responsible for the grenade attacks that have plagued for the past few months as the targets seem to be places that the red shirts hate

 

For all these actions, the red shirts want no punishment. It would be a great injustice if the red shirts get amnesty.

            I do also have a personal message for the heads of Thai hospitals. If the red shirts come to your hospital and demand to search, you should tell them to go screw themselves. Chulalongkorn Hospital had to close for a week just because they allowed the red shirts to search the place. They had to send patients to other hospitals. Red shirts are just civilians so they basically have no authority. You should just tell to go to Hell.  I am sure that they will appreciate it.

Thai Online Computer Games

May 14, 2010

If you go into any Internet café in Thailand, you will see that the Thai teenagers will be mostly playing online games, not surfing the Internet. These are the games that you will most likely see them playing:

  1. Kart Rider (racing game)
  2. Audition (a dancing game)
  3. Cabal
  4. Lineage II
  5. World of Warcraft (could be called Warcraft III)
  6.  Fly for Your Life
  7.  Pangya (golf game)
  8.  Maple Story
  9.  Rangnarok
  10.  Three Kingdoms
  11.  Freestyle (basketball)
  12.  FIFA Online (football)
  13.  Ghost Online
  14.  Hip Street (like Audition)
  15.  Fantasy Tennis
  16.  Yulgang
  17.   Gun Alley

These are in no particular order. Someday, if I have the time, I will find out the web addresses.

Rainbow Alert

May 14, 2010

I just wanted to note that I saw a rainbow between the hours of 6 and 7 pm on May 10th, 2010 in the Thai province of Chaiyaphum. I saw it within the confines of Khanaphisek Wittaya Chaiyaphum School, a boarding school 6 km from the town of Chaiyaphum. It was faded, but it had the curvature and colors of a rainbow. Unfortunately, there was no pot of gold at the end of it as rumored.