Archive for June, 2010

The 2010s: We are Thai Music

June 4, 2010

Almost every famous, professional Thai singer have come together for an album that will hopefully start the healing process after recent Thai turmoil. Though nothing has been written about this in the Nation or the Bangkok Post, it is assumed that money it was like We Are The World of the 1980s that was supposed to help people in Africa. This is probably supposed to help people rebuild their homes and businesses and to help people who have suffered because of the turmoil.

                Note; This is based on watching a news story and videos on NBT, Thai news channel run by the Public Relations Department of Thailand, a government agency,  on the night of May 29th. It was a Saturday.

The 2010s: The Red is Dead

June 4, 2010

He was the most famous victim of the recent Thai turmoil was Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol, mostly known by his nickname of Seh Daeng (Thai for Red Commander).

He spent his last moments as he did for the last few weeks: inspecting the red shirt security around the red shirt protest on Ratchaprasong and Ratchadamri roads. He stopped to talk to the press near the Sala Daeng intersection. Shots rang out. One bullet hit him in the forehead and he fell to the ground. He did not survive this wound. He died a few days later as the city burned as he wanted it to.

When he was younger, he supposedly helped the Americans in their “secret” (can’t be a secret when everybody knows about it) war against Communists in Laos and Cambodia. He allegedly went undercover as a Communist. There is no proof that he did any of these things. The only evidence is that he turned his experiences into books. These books were very popular in Thailand. He became one of the most well-known soldiers in Thailand.

During the last ten years, he became an ardent supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra and his people. This, of course, developed into a problem when the new non-Thaksin government came into power 18 months ago. He went to red shirt rallies and vocally voiced his oppositions to the governments as well as to the head of the Thai military. They first punished him by demoting him and making him teach an aerobics class. He said he would teach them the “throw-the-grenade-over-the-head” exercise. Despite this punishment, he continued to speak out against the government and they finally suspended him after few months. There was a rumor going around that the military was slow to suspend because he had high friends in the military who were protecting him. Presumably, he was not part of the military when he died.

The only known duties that he was doing at the time were for the Red shirts.

I do not support the Redshirts, but I could never like a person like Seh Daeng, no matter what sided he was on. He seemed to relish talking about violence and wanting it to happen. There was never going to be peace as long as he part of the Redshirts or any other Thai group. After he died, there was peace, but only after many people died.

Seh Daeng is dead and I hope there is no one to replace for his kind of evil should stop when he or she is dead.

Memories of Burnt Things

June 4, 2010

After the government finally broke up the Red shirt rally on May 19th, 2010, the red shirts who were not put in jail, reacted by trying to burning down buildings and causing even more violence. To me, the Red shirts reverted ti what they have always been: sore losers.
In 2008, Thaksin Shinawatra and his people which included the Red shirts, had to two chances to control the Thai government. They failed due to the Yellow shirts and their own stupidity. They just couldn’t help being corrupt and breaking laws. After backing two losing horses, they decided to back the second largest party in the Thai parliament, the Democratic Party. Through parliamentary maneuvers, the new government was formed with the Democratic Party controlling reins of power.
Instead of accepting that they lost, the Red shirts have spend the last year and a half trying to bring the government down. It is true that it was not the best way to form a government, but you do have to accept it. Your side lost and you should spend the time until the next election making sure that you rule the parliament without a coalition. You don’t trash an ASEAN summit. You don’t have riots during the Songkran Festivel of April 2009. You don’t try to get amnesty for Thaksin Shinawatra from the King of Thailand in an illegal way. Only the family of the accused can ask for amnesty and the accused have to be in jail. You don’t shut down the city of Bangkok. You don’t burn down buildings. Politically, the Red shirts should have their status of losers and try to work within the system to become the winners they want to be.
Thaksin and his people have twice not accepted losing gracefully. God knows what is going to happen if they lose the third time.

How Many Headlines for Ling Ping?

June 4, 2010

If you have forgotten about who Lin Ping is because of all the recent Thai turmoil, he is the first panda born in Thailand. The 27th of April was his 1st birthday. I can only guess that all his future birthdays will be headline in Thai newspapers.

                I was here a year ago and I am afraid to say that a year ago, Lin Ping looked like a little white rat. You have to understand that panda are quite small. They are about 1/9000 of their future selves. It is a wonder that panda babies are not squashed by their mothers.  To be clear, I certainly don’t panda babies to be squashed.

                After he was born last year, Thais went nuts about the little guy. The image of panda bears were everywhere.  He had his own 24-hour channel. Local comedians made fun of the little guy. The little guy is a bona fide Thai celebrity and the little panda probably doesn’t even know it.