Posts Tagged ‘Thaksin Shinawatra’

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.

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.

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.

Thailand Overexposed 2009

November 30, 2009

These are things are that have overexposed in the year of the Lord 2009. Here are they in no particular order:
1. Lin Ping the baby panda. Lin Ping was the first panda born in the history of Thailand and the Thai just can’t seem to get enough of him. He has appeared in numerous promotions and commercials. You cannot go anywhere now without running into the image of a panda. As a result, pandas have seemed to have overpassed elephants at the most popular animal.
2. Super Junior. Super Junior is a Korean boy band that is composed of 13 members. They had a concert in November of 2009. Like the panda, they have appeared in many promotions and commercials. The Thai media cannot seem to get enough of them They have seemed cast a spell on the media as well as the young girls who have crushed on them. They are popular despite the fact that they do not speak the same language as their fans.
Korean bands and popular culture have become more popular in Thailand. It helps that when you get local cable channels, you usually two or three Korean channels. Thais can even change their appearance to look more Korean by wearing contact lenses that make their eyes look bigger. It should be said that you should be careful when you wear these lenses as the changes could end up being permanent instead of cosmetic. As they used to say on an American cop show, ”Be careful out there.”
3. British football. British football is going to be on any overexposed list in Thailand for a long time time. Thais just can’t seem to get tired of the game, especially if it is European. If you are lucky enough to have True Vision, you can watch this game 24 hours a day. It is true that you could live here for years and you would not even know that there is a local professional soccer league. Thais seem to barely pay attention to it. They do try to promote it by having it on Thai TV. It does not seem to work. The only team that they seem to pay attention to is the Thai national team.
Next year is the World Cup. There will be promotions in connection with the World Cup in South Africa. There will probably be sleepless nights for Thais as they try to follow the tournament that is taking place in such a different time zone.
4. Mum the comedian. He is a Thai comedian who seemed to appear almost every other movie this year, especially if it was a comedy. He has his own TV show called the Mum show which he does use to promote his movies. He appears in at least 3 or 4 other TV shows. This would mean that almost every day, Mum is appearing somewhere in Thailand. He seems to be one of the hardest working people in Thailand. He must be very exhausted from going to studio to set to stage appearance and back again. How he manages to do all these movies and TV shows without dying of exhaustion is unknown.
5. Thai comedians like Mum. There seems to be only 5 to 10 comedians in the country and they appearing right now in at least TV show or movie near you. They seem to be running constantly from one set to studio to another. As a foreigner, you will probably recognize their faces, but you would not know their names unless a Thai tells you what their name is. The Thai government should start a program to get more Thai comedians in the country or the current ones are going to die of exhaustion.
6. Thaksin Shinawatra. Despite his exile, he just can’t seem to go away. Love or hate him, he just can’t seem to stay away and the Thai media seems to be willing to be used as a tool to promote him. Whether you seem as a bad penny that keeps on turning up or a saviour that could improve the country upon his return, he is here to stay

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A Thai Conquering Hero

November 24, 2009

In 2008, a crowd composed of regular people and the press were standing in front of doors of the Suvarnabhumi airport. They had both waiting for hours for a particular man to emerge from those doors. The people were there to see a glimpse of their hero and the press were there to get pictures of their hero and to get hopefully some comments for their respective news outlets.
Finally, the man they had been waiting for emerged from the doors, wearing a black suit, and he waied to the people and to the press. He then wait down on his knees and bowed his head until his lips touched the ground. He briefly kissed the ground and then stood up. The regular people cheered him as he kissed the ground. He went back into the airport. He had accomplished what he had to do.
Who was this person that could such a stir at the airport? It was Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, returning from a exile after his government had been overthrown by the military in September of 2006, and everything would change because of his return at that time.