Archive for May 2010
Entitled “A guide to the perfect Thai idiot” the author is trying to reflect Thailand´s moral crisis and mentality similar to that of ” A guide to the perfect Latin Amrican idiot, 1996.” Please read the key excerpt below in order to understand the Thais. You can also read the whole article HERE.
Ask Thais about the causes of last week’s shameful event – or of any problems in Thailand for that matter – and they will readily point the finger somewhere else, never at themselves.
I am a Thai so I am part of this well-practiced response. But I now believe that if we continue with this long-running charade of self-deception, Thailand is on its way to becoming a failed State shortly.
We present Thailand as the land of smiles full of gentle Buddhists. We regularly give alms to monks and often make donations to temples, believing that those are selfless acts for the welfare of others.
Deep down, however, we do that only because we wish to get something in return – to go to heaven or have a. richer next life. It is a trade, pure and simple, nothing kind, or selfless about it .
Few of us give for the sake of giving. We are basically very selfish.
Every time we go to the temple or attend a Buddhist ceremony, we duly accept and recite the Five Precepts as a guide to our daily lives, but we leave them there, as we always make promises without ever intending to keep them.
Actually, we understand little about Buddhism.
Even among the ranks of the monks, most do not know the teachings in-depth and lead their lives accordingly – all they know is how to conduct ceremonies from which they earn easy income.
This reflects something deeper – we are generally lazy and like to take short-cuts to the sabai (do-nothing) state. Lottery tickets, therefore, always sell out at premium prices; prostitution is rampant and young women readily marry foreign pensioners.
We love to talk, but rarely listen. Even when we do, we often fail to hear, as we never learn to think critically.
We can not put up with different points of view nor can we work cooperatively.
Many of the over 30,000 Buddhist temples were built next to one another because when we disagreed with one, we just built another.
That the cooperative movement has never been successful here is another Indication of our inability to tolerate different points of view.
We readily forgive, so we believe, as our most common utterance is Mai Pen Rai (it. doesn’t matter) when someone makes a mistake. But that is only a reflection of the culture of indifference and ready rationalization .
We can always cite a well-known proverb, a famous poem or a sage’s sharp utterance to justify everything we do.
We complain so much about corruption. But we do little about it.
Worse, we keep electing the same corrupt politicians because they have money and influence from which we hope to benefit.
Survey after survey shows that the majority of us do not mind corruption as long as we get something out of it.
One of the surveys last year showed that almost 85% of us believed that cheating was a normal business practice, making us practically a nation of thieves.
When I raised the matter in this column, I received the angriest responses from fellow Thais, using colourful expressions so that they should not be printed within earshot of nor uttered. Other humans.
This long-running created self-deception has so much moral deficit, to employ Joseph Stiglitz’s terminology, that Thailand has put into a state of crisis moral for some time now. Some of the symptoms of this State are the economic crisis of 1997th and the protests culminating in last week’s events.
Of course, we will never admit this, for we are perfect and will continue to be very angry when a foreigner utters something non-complementary about us.
NOTE: We Cambodians are always correct about them, ex. Thailand always point its finger at Cambodia or uses Cambodia as its scapegoat for its bad deed and disgrace. However, it seems to reflect the Cambodian mentality as well if we are to refer to corruption, political toleration, and Buddhism practice.
To justify this please read Charles Keyes´s oppinion, op-ed in Bangkok Post to criticize the impossibility of Abhishit govt’s reconciliation plan. Read the key excerpt below:
A second factor that must be taken into account if there is really to be progress along the path to reconciliation, is the deep split in society along a combination of class and ethno-regional lines…
Negative images, especially of northeasterners, have been used often in films and TV dramas. In the past few years, people of these regions have been branded over and over again by commentators on ASTV, the television network of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), in many Bangkok newspapers, and in hundreds of blogs and Facebook pages as being stupid “buffaloes” and even more vulgar characterisations. Somehow those who generate such media depictions seem to believe that “villagers” are uninformed, and unaware of these characterisations.
On the contrary, they are very much aware of them, and this constant denigration has become one of the primary drivers of the conflict.
The Abhisit government has worked assiduously, although not always successfully, to shut down community radio stations and the websites which promote a red shirt perspective, arguing that such outlets have stirred up violence and hatred. At the same time, it has done nothing about controlling the hate-mongering that takes place on ASTV and in other media. Such is not only directed against the red shirts, but also against Malay Muslims in southern Thailand and Khmer in northeastern Thailand as well as in Cambodia.
Although the government cannot and should not attempt to control the content of the media, it can demonstrate even-handedness by prosecuting clear instances of incitement on both sides. It can also increase social sanctions against hate-mongering by supporting independent, quality media, boycotting media outlets on both sides that continuously spread divisions between Thais, and being more careful to avoid inflammatory language (such as casual use of the word “terrorist”) in official pronouncements.
NOTE: It is impossible for Thailand under Abhisit to carry out its reconciliation plan while its propaganda to paint the red shirt and Thaksin as terrorists and the use of the double standard to treat them are being practiced. Obviously, it took only a few days after the crackdown on the red for arrest warrant charges against Thaksin, but it is almost two years now still under investigation process to bring a terrorist charge against PAD who invaded airports and the govt houses 2008.
Actually, Hun Xen and Abhishit do hate each other to the bone arrogantly fueled by their different generation leaderships and background, but they have a common characteristics in leading the countries, ie., brutal, arrogant, stubborn, and biased (double standard). These two leaders have no respect for their citizens as a whole except for their group and cronies. With all these, they are now getting to close to each other in term of their leadership.
For instance in Cambodia; the assassinations of country´s top and much loved actress Piseth Pilika (6 July 1999), venerable Sam Bunthoeurn ( 6 Feb 2003), senior advisor to Funcinpec leader Norodom Ranariddh Om Radsady (18 Feb 2003), FTUWKC’s president Mr. Chea Vichea (22 Jan 2004), FTUWKC’ s official of Trinongal Komara garment factory Mr. Ros Sovannaret (7 May 2004), famous popular singer Touch Sreinich (21 October 2003) ), another famous singer Pao Panhapech(23 Feb 2007), FTUWKC’ s affiliates at SunTex garment factory union president, Hy Vuthy(24 Feb 2007), the acid attack on Tat Marina (9 Dec 1999), and the opposition journalists, which so far no criminal or suspect is arrested and brought to trial even some of the case the criminals are known like the cases of Chear Vichea, Tat Marina and Piseth Pilika.
In contrast, the cases will be carried out at a quick sweep if they are seen against the opposition or the poor Cambodians, except the CPP´s members, like the cases of bomb attack at Cambodian-Viet monument, bomb planting in front of Ministry of National Defense, the charge against Hang Chakra, Mrs Sam Meas, MP Sam Rainsy, and MP Mu Sochau. They just took a few days or weeks only. Pls observe as well that most of the charges mentioned above the the victims become the accused and vice-versa.
So to achieve the reconciliation plan in Thailand and justice, democracy and human rights respect in Cambodia , Abhishit and Hun Xen must stop their double standard politics towards their oppositions and the poor citizens of both countries.
នេះជាដីខែ្មរ ពីបូរាណ ដែលខែ្មរគ្រប់ប្រាណ បានរស់រៀងមក
ក្រោកឡើងកូនខែ្មរ កុំចាំយួនយក ឆាប់នាំគ្នាក្រោក ប្រុងប្រយ័ត្ន។
យើងជាកូនខែ្មរ ត្រូវក្លាហ៊ាន ការពារភូមិឋាន ហ្នឹងជួយកម្ចាត់
ខែ្មរអើយ សូមជួយការពារសម្ប័ត្ដិ ជួយវាយកម្ចាត់ ចោរឥតខ្មាស់។
ដីខែ្មរត្រូវតែ រក្សាទុកអើយ ថ្ងៃនេះថ្ងៃមុខ ខែ្មរជាម្ចាស់
នេះជាដីខែ្មរ មិនអាចផ្លាស់ កូនខែ្មរជាម្ចាស់ តាំងពិយូ។
យើងជាកូនខែ្មរ កុំកន្ទើយ មកដល់ពេលហើយ ខែ្មរត្រូវតស៊ូ
ក្រោកឡើងកូនខែ្មរ កុំនៅយូរ ក្រោកមកតស៊ូ ដើម្បីខែ្មរ។
For two months, Red Shirt protesters occupied the streets of Bangkok demanding the resignation of the prime minister. The protest camps have been dismantled already but the city is still reeling from the political crisis.
The violent confrontations between the heavily armed soldiers and protesters in the past week have stunned the world. What are the reactions of bloggers from neighbouring Southeast Asian nations?
A few days ago, the Thailand government revealed that Cambodian “mercenaries” were hired by the Red Shirts to sow violence in the city. This accusation elicited strong reactions in Cambodia. Khmerizationreminds the Thailand government that there are many ethnic Khmers in Thailand who are already Thai citizens.
Many red shirt protesters were mainly made up of ethnic Khmers and Laotians living in the northeastern provinces of Thailand who are Thai citizens. We need to remember also that the Thai media owned by the Red Shirt Movement also accused the Abhisit government of dressing up Khmer prisoners in military uniform and sent them to crackdown on the red shirt recently. How true are these rumours? Nobody knows.
The Son of the Khmer Empire believes the motive for spreading this rumor is to demonize Cambodians
I believe the rumour is circulated intentionally and politically in order to…make the Khmer as scapegaot to appease Thai anger against each other and turn the revenge/hatred towards Khmers and esp. the bloody Thai elite and royal family will not be held responsible for the bloodshed.
A political cartoon about the Red Shirt protest crackdown in Bangkok. Cartoon created by Cambodian artist Bun Heang Ung
Filipino journalist Joe Torres visited a Red Shirt protest site
It was like our EDSA “revolutions.” There were raw emotions, spontaneous actions and a lot of fun. The people, many of them from the countryside, wanted the ruling party out. They wanted “change,” something we hear in our politicians campaign sorties these days.
Kopisusu2 from Indonesia was also visiting Bangkok when the Red Shirts were still in the streets
Many analysts agree the protesters have a point. But as long as the demonstration lasts, the Red Shirts are cutting off the supply of joy to businesses in the Red Zone and impeding its flow to the entire economy.
Our old hotel, the VIP Golden House, is inside the zone. It will stay closed until the protesters leave, said the woman behind the desk with a stoic smile.
i eat padek, who blogs about Laos, reacts
wow. red shirts, yellow shirts, thaksin vs. vejjajivait, it’s all really confusing… most people have already heard about the recent violence consuming bangkok, thailand and killing it’s land-of-smiles-and-etc tourism industry
Southeast Asian Archaeology newsblog warns that the protests are affecting attendance in museums near the protest zones
Most of you would be familiar with the protests going on in Bangkok, which have recently claimed lives due to clashes between the protesters and the authorities. The Fine Arts Department also report that museum visitorships have suffered greatly because of the protests, as the majority of the museums in Bangkok are located near the protest areas, and in some cases protesters have mistakenly stormed the museums!
Musings from the Lion City, a Singapore blogger, analyzes Thailand’s political situation
Even if he wants to call fresh elections, Abhisit most probably can’t as the Bangkok elite that support him and put him in power will not allow it. They will probably also know that any elections will be won by the rural “Red Shirts”. Mistakes have been made by both sides in this conflict and I’m afraid the mistakes has piled up to such an extent that there’s no longer an easy way out for anyone.
Twitter and Facebook were extensively used to monitor the situation in Bangkok. Jonathan Russell provides a better and clearer context about the usage of social media in relation to the Red Shirt protests
While I do agree Twitter, and more prominently Facebook, amplified hateful comments, many of the vitriol online (though worrying itself) can be put down to extreme opinions which do not represent the popular opinion.
A minority of Thais use Facebook (around 3 million) and Twitter (less than a million), and of these the comments came from a small percentage. For example, an vitriolic Facebook Group with 1,000 is large number but, in the bigger picture, is 0.03% of Thai Facebook members and clearly not representative of any kind of majority.
I agree that the manner in which social networks can legitimize vitriolic groups which grew in Thailand during the protests is worrying. As the average Facebook users is more likely in Bangkok, middle class or affluent, and not a red shirt, much of comments and rage were against the UDD and its protest.
Thai royalist tries to discover a “New Religion”
Originally posted at: Thai Intelligence News
I never really read Daily News, an odd newspaper of total stupid anti-democratic royalist reactionary crap. But I saw in it, one day, as Thailand went deeper and deeper into the crisis-about how Thailand is slowly closing its doors to the globe.
“The solution is to close Thailand for three years, and fix Thailand’s internal problems,” said a very large and serious analysis of Thailand.
I just laughed and laughed and laughed-but then turned real stupid in recent days.
And that is because the anti-democratic royalist worshipers-are like trashing CNN and BBC and foreigners in Thailand-like very big big times-to the extent that a university recently had a meeting that said CNN is biased-towards non-Thai values.
So like after killing the ethnocentric question in Thailand with bullets and massive numbers of dead and injured-in the Bangkok elite vs the rest of Thailand, it is now total talk about ethnocentric war with the foreigners.
“Democracy and freedom are foreign values to Thailand, said an actress that went to the university gathering.
But it is sort of like a total turning away from global “Commonly Accepted” values-like justice, equality, democracy and freedom.
So since Thailand-when it comes to moral and ethical values-it is Buddhism off course. But Buddhism teaches against killings very strongly. But then the royalist does not even care about that-and went slaughtering hundreds. So then off course-Buddhism is non-Thai as well-as it is imported from India.
So Buddhism is out and non-Thai now.
So the logical conclusion are-is Thailand royalist are just totally fucked up and lost-or is Thailand so cutting edge, the royalist are going to “DISCOVER A NEW RELIGION.”
If it is a new religion or philosophy-it will be amazing. Since the rest of the planet-have sort of realized now-that the only thing left to discover is new technology. A new philosophy and religion these days-wow.
So far this quest for a new religion-got Bangkok burning and an insurgent underground movement going. And also so many death and injured. Then the Thai economy suffered. And much of the planet is against the royalist Thais.
But lets say at the end of the road, the royalist Thais discover a brand new religion-what will it be?
- Well, Thai Intelligence News has been talking about the love of the Thai royalist now for a long time of the Bhutan Model-a peaceful, subsistence and happy country of absolute monarchy.
- Well, then since the Thai royalist are mass murderers and total mind control-the Thai royalist are also into the Hitler’s Nazi system as well.
- Well, the Thai royalist is also led by a commoner Sondhi of the Yellow Shirt who believes in the occult-so it is into the “Voodoo” and “Black Magic” of the Caribbean type of stuff.
- Well, then as we mentioned before, the royalist are anti-freedom of expression, anti-democracy, anti-social justice, anti-equality, anti-ethics, anti-moral-and about a hundred other modern values and norms.
So just combined them together! I think I am starting to see the final picture here-something like a pure Thai Neanderthal age.
Cambodian Embassy withdraws offer of public debate
Press Release – 24/05/2010
Global Witness is disappointed, but not entirely surprised, to hear that the Cambodian Embassy has withdrawn its offer for a public debate with us. We had responded to their proposal in good faith and saw this as an opportunity for sensible and necessary discussion about issues of public interest. However, it seems they are continuing their policy of opacity in natural resource management, which they appear to be unable to defend or to justify in public. We therefore hope that Cambodia’s international donors will be bringing up issues of accountability, transparency and corruption at the forthcoming government-donor meeting in early June.
NOTE: Hor 5 Bora does put me and Cambodians, except for his family and CPP clan, on shame. So I call Hor 5 Bora, his father, Hun Sen, and other CPP’s clan are “BARSTARD” and “DICKHEAD”. We have taken note every word that you have insulted us.
ឪកូនខែ្មរអើយ កុំភ្លេចទឹកដី សូមខែ្មរប្រុសស្រី ឃ្មាតឃ្មីការពារ
ដីកេរ្ដិ៍មរតក ខែ្មរទាំងអស់គ្នា កុំឲ្យពួកមារ វាមកឈ្លានពាន
ពូជខែ្មរមានសាសន៍ ឃើញច្បាស់ប្អូនបង ជាតិខ្មែរមិនឆ្កង មានចិត្ដជាទាន
រក្សាវប្បធម៌ កូនខែ្មរគ្រប់ប្រាណ ពួកចោរសាមាន្យ វាហ្នឹងរាថយ
ខែ្មរស្រលាញ់ខែ្មរ ប្រែជាប្រយោជន៍ ខែ្មរមិនអសោចន៍ ខែ្មរមិនចុះខ្សោយ
កុំជឿបង្វែ ប្រយ័ត្នថ្លោះថ្លូយ ជាតិខ្មែរតែមួយ ជឿខែ្មរដូចគ្នា
ខែ្មរចេះជួយខែ្មរ ទើបខែ្មរចំរើន ជាតិខែ្មរយើងកើន ទូទាំងកម្ពុជា
ខែ្មរមិនសាមគ្គី ពិតជាចាញ់មារ ខែ្មរជួបវេទនា ដូចសព្វថ្ងៃនេះ
បើខ្មែរចេះយល់ ដល់តម្លៃមខ្លួន នោះពួកសៀមយួន មិនហ៊ានជាន់ជិះ
សូមខ្មែរគ្រប់រូប ទូទាំងប្រទេស កុំបីប្រហេះ ប្រយ័ត្នបាត់កេរ្ដិ៍
យើងជាតិខេមរា ដូនតាសាងទុក ដីកេរ្ដិ៍ឪពុក ជួយរក្សាថែ
កុំជឿអ្នកផ្សេង ក្រៅពីជាតិខែ្មរ កុំជឿបង្វែ នាំខែ្មរវិនាស
បើខែ្មរជឿខែ្មរ ខែ្មរពិតគង់្វង់ ខែ្មរមិនលិចលង់ ខែ្មរមិនព្រាត់ប្រាស់
បើខ្មែរគ្រប់រូប ខំប្រឹងខ្នែងខ្នះ ខែ្មរទាំងក្មេងចាស់ បានផុតទម្និញ
លើទឹកដីខែ្មរ ត្រូវខែ្មររស់នៅ មិនម៉ែនសត្រូវ រស់នៅទៅវិញ
យួនមានសិទ្ធិ៍ធំ ដេញខែ្មរឲ្យចេញ ខែ្មរសែនទម្និញ រស់ក្រោមអាណា
ខែ្មរជាម្ចាស់ដី ប្រុសស្រីគ្មានសិទ្ធិ៍ រស់មានកម្រត់ ជាតិខែ្មរខ្លោចផ្សា
យួនរទេស រស់ដោយរដ្ឋា ឯជាតិខេមរា រដ្ឋាសម្លាប់
នឹកឡើងហួសចិត្ដ អាណិតឈាមខែ្មរ យួនវាយដូចឆ្កែ ជាតិខែ្មរចុះអាប់
បើជឿយួនខ្លាំង មិនយូរខែ្មរស្លាប់ មិនយូរមិនឆាប់ ស្លាបអស់ពូជខែ្មរ។
យួនធ្វើបាបខែ្មរ គ្មានត្រាប្រណី យួនប្លន់យកដី កេរ្ដិ៍ពីដូនតា
យកដីខែ្មរ ដីជាទីស្នេហា វាប្រឹងប្រហារ ខេមរាឲ្យសូន្យ
ជាតិខែ្មរទាំងឡាយ ជិតឆ្ងាយកុំភ្លេច ចូចាំជានិច្ច កល្បិចយួន
ក្រោកឡើងកូនខែ្មរ ការពារជាតិខ្លួន នាំគ្នាវាយយួន ជាតិចោរឬស្សា
ប្រវត្ដិសាស្រ្ដ ប្រាប់ច្បាស់ថាខែ្មរ ត្រូវយួនបង្វែ ប្រែក្បត់ដូនតា
ក្បត់ជាតិខ្លួន ជឿយួនបច្ចា ក្បត់ជាតិខេមរា ដូនតាសាងទុក
ព្រៃនគរខ្មែរ គឺជាសាក្សី នោះគឺជាដី កេរ្ដិ៍ពីឪពុក
ច្រើនឆ្នាំខែហើយ ជាតិខែ្មរកើតទុក្ខ ព្រោះតែរណ្នុក រុកឲ្យខែ្មរបែក។។។
The war between the Redd shirts and the elite Bangkok last week did not paint only a bad picture of Thailand itself, but it even dragged Cambodia and Burma to the same level of negative image. The rumours are palying now in both sites of the Thai factions: The Red accuse the Thai elite govt of having Cambodian mercenaries in the Thai military troops for crashing and killing them and yet the Thai elite govt accuses the Red of having Cambodian mercenaries among them for Bangkok arson. You can read them here, here, here, and here. Below I just extract from Thailand’s Trouble:
Cambodian mercenaries were manning army positions protesters told me at Bon Kai and Din Daeng during the afternoon on 18 May. The only evidence they could offer was that some of the troops they had tried to talk to could not speak Thai. A young woman, who was still selling drinks outside the Erawan Hotel while her baby perhaps just a year old lay sleeping on the ground as the army was advancing up Ratchaprasong, called from within the refuge of Wat Pathumwanaram to tell me it was too dangerous to outside as there were Burmese troops. Later when I reached Siam Square, where there had apparently been fighting between armed civilians and troops I only met Thai infantry.
Thailand’s Trouble also gives analytic questions below regarding to the allegation of the RED.
Could the government find enough Burmese or Cambodian mercenaries, put them in Thai uniforms and train them with Thai weapons at short notice? What benefits might there be other than increasing numbers of dependable troops in light of rumours of many junior soldiers being red?
Or might it be that these rumors are without substance but spread and are believed because they relieve people of having to accept that they are facing, and being shot by, soldiers who like themselves are Thai? Some may be comforted if it is Burmese or Cambodians who are there to impose the state’s will and defend its interests because of the generally negative stereotypes attached to these nationalities?
NOTE: I don’t want to add any more idea related to this post since I just reacted in my previous post: Thais spread rumors that Khmer mercenaries among the red shirt, regarding to this issue.
Originally posted at: The Bangkok Bugle
Singapore-based Regent Media has partnered with BBC Magazines to launch Lonely Planet Magazine, a pan-Asian English edition of the monthly travel title.
The first edition, published this month, has a cover price of S$7.50 (€4.35) and the initial print run is 80,000. The Asian edition of Lonely Planet Magazine is reported to be on sale in selected territories throughout Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macao and Shanghai. It has not appeared in Thailand at present.
Regent Media is no stranger to BBC magazines. Last year it began publishing a similar English language Asian regional edition of BBC Knowledge Magazine. That title has been appearing in Thailand since its debut nine months ago.
NOTE: This really a very good initiative which will be able to promote more cooperations among Asean nations and to attract more tourists to the region.