Thailand Troubles

#1
There is such an uncanny lack of balance in the way the Thai troubles are being reported in the western media. So much so that I have taken the liberty of quoting this gentleman's brilliant compensation of it without his permission (I couldn't contact him). To those of you who are inclined to believe in conspiracies : the western media message itself shines light on things that they did not mean to shine light on.

By Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez on Facebook


The Reds have been propagandized and indoctrinated, and this has been effective precisely because the narrative includes true information that has been shaped to fit an agenda that resonates for them.

One of the things that is dismaying to me is how the mainstream Western media is failing to accurately document Thaksin's role in the current violence. He did not craft the severe social and economic disparities that are coming into harsh relief as the result of these protests, but he lit the match that ignited them into flame, and he has certainly exploited both the Red Shirt mobs and the imagery of Bangkok in flames.

Specifically, Thaksin funded members of his former patronage networks in Thailand in a continuing conspiracy to overthrow the government after the coup that overthrew him in 2006. Unlike previous Thai premiers whose time had passed, Thaksin refused to retire gracefully with his billions to play the role of elder statesman. Instead, he waged increasingly effective political warfare.

This year's protests are simply the latest iterations of earlier attempts that got better as the Red masses were radicalized, and as the various organizations affiliated with the Reds refined their roles.

One of the major developments was the willingness of former members of Thaksin's patronage networks in the Armed Forces and the Royal Thai Police to take up arms against the state. To commit treason, in short. Recruiting Seh Daeng was a hallmark moment, and his training of paramilitary Rangers who had been disbanded, and organizing them into his "Ronin" who are embedded among the Red mobs, differentiated this year's protests from earlier efforts. This year, the protests would have an insurrectional component, and it is this aspect of the current street battles in Bangkok that is giving the government so much difficulty. Worse, the mainstream press is failing to explain this aspect of the struggle.

I am not sure if journalists are too quick to dismiss Abhisit administration claims as propaganda, or if they simply do not believe the Thai government. It is not like there is no evidence of the existence of the Ronin, or as they are also called, the "men in black." They have been videotaped, and they have been photographed in action, fighting against government forces. The Ronin are attempting to provoke overwhelming government repression, and so far, to the great credit of Thai security agencies, they have failed.

To describe the current struggle in Thailand in class terms is facile. It is accurate, to an extent, but it is also incomplete. What Thaksin has done is take a page from the Bolshevik playbook. I am not claiming that Thaksin is a communist. Far from it. I am saying that Thaksin recruited, nurtured and unleashed a leadership that is using vanguard party tactics to direct historically ignored rural masses currently engaged in urban street battles.

As a result of their propaganda efforts over the past three years, the Reds are admirably committed to their cause. They protect their leaders, and they conceal their Ronin. To Western journalists, Red leaders systematically and routinely deny their existence. Except for Seh Daeng. He was so proud of his creation, and so confident of their ultimate success, and so besotted with his own mythology, that he could not help himself. He boasted about his Ronin, even when he engaged in thin denials that they were really "his."

The Reds claim that they are struggling for "democracy" and for "justice." They certainly believe it. What they do not understand is that a Red triumph will restore old apex predators from the Thaksin era. Thaksin loyalists will take over the majority in Parliament. They will populate the majority of the Cabinet. "Loyal" officers will be placed back in commands throughout the armed forces, the police, and other security agencies, as well as the leadership positions in the government bureaucracy.

And they will be opposed, yet again, by Yellow Shirts fed up with corruption. And Thailand will be plunged yet again into chaos.


Scratch the surface and the pot is just as black as the kettle. Putting the King and the current administration to one side for a moment, the old guard became irritated when Thaksin and his new guard took the syphoning of the cream to a whole new level, courting payments from China and doing deals with Dan Quayle and the Cerberus fund like has never been done before, without even bothering to cut the old boys in! This really pissed them off, rice barons and army strongmen alike. He also had the good sense to say ten hail-democracies, which always goes down well with the western media.

What's more he started throwing (tax) money around with populist schemes that don't really work in the long run ie. giving out 1 million Baht out to each village (to the village headman) to spend as they pleased. They had never seen anything like this before, and now they think he is Robin Hood, not realising that it was they that have been robbed. Thaksin's PR machine was slick by Thai establishment standards.
 
#2
I'm with you on that Jarrod! I hope it gets that way because the Pound goes up rather than because the Baht goes down the toilet though. The country is experiencing a political awakening on an unprecedented scale, I hope it manages to at least stay on its knees without plunging into war or crisis, despite what some powerful forces want.

The bulk of the South East Asian rice basket lies within Thailand's borders. It has been identified by the UN as one of the 5 most food-productive areas in the world and the race is on between the current big and mighty to secure them, along with water.
 
#3
eerrhhmm.....nothing to do with ladyboys wanting more money then?
 
#4
shagnasty said:
eerrhhmm.....nothing to do with ladyboys wanting more money then?
It is essentially about rent boys wanting more money, yes.

But yu welly hansum maenn! I no wan money yu. I wan boom boom yu rong time. Harro welcome. Yu wan some ding?
 
#6
jarrod248 said:
I was thinking of more money going that bit further on essentials like ale and ahem cigarettes. It was 1997 I think when the exchange rate was as good as that. We need a bit more trouble to put some tourists off.
I read you Jarrod, I was just hoping that the place doesn't deconstruct too much.

Less tourists would definitely be a good thing . . . lots of Thais are beginning to get a bit fed up with the thicks, who could do with less encouragement by numbers.
 
#8
#9
News just in on the ABC suggests the Thai Army might be about to move in and finally end the protests (it's kicking off, Pru).

I'm booked to visit at the end of next month, it would have to get a lot worse before I'd cancel. I emailed my hotel to ask what it was like locally and after assuring me it was fine, called the demonstrators 'insurgents'. Good choice of words and probably describes how the good citizens of Bangkok feel about the red shirts.

Counting the days.
 
#10
I have been composing a long, day by day account of the "troubles" of the last three days, which I have not yet posted. The reason is that I've been getting a lot of mail asking me to explain "the truth" to people overseas. A lot of people here are astonished and appalled at the level of irresponsibility and inaccuracy shown by such major news sources as CNN, and are imputing the most astonishing motives to this, such as suggesting that they're in the pay of Thaksin and so on.


I don't think this is really what is going on. Rather, I think that there are two basic problems: preconception and language.
http://www.somtow.org/2010/05/dont-blame-dan-rivers.html
 
#11
los
Land of Smiles. How Tourist Authority of Thailand want you to know the country.

Thailand has had some right Barsteawards run the country since WW II. One PM used to line up convicted Killers and publicly shoot them, on stage in front of one and all.
Almost all former PM's have robbed the country blind.
The current problems are as a result of the Army/Military overthrowing the Legally Elected Government of Taksin Shinwatra.
Taksin was/is perhaps the greatest entrepreneur of his day. Made a fortune from first securing the contract to 'Computerise' the Thai Police and then the Civil Service and then from the Mobile phone market.
He then formed the Thai Rak Thai party, Thai loves Thai. The party secured the electons in 2001, if I remember right.
All Thai elections are won by, if we are being polite, making the largest payments to the correct place.
Taksin reputedly went from the richest man down to about 3 or 4 place post election.
He set about restoring his position. Laws where changed to suit the Telecoms industry, the biggest piece of undeveloped land in Bangkok, BKK, was auctioned off. His wife won the auction. Nothing no other PM would/might have done.
Something out of the odinary now happened, Everyone, all Thai citizens suddenly where given a B30 Medical card. For 30 Baht all could visit a local hospital and see a doctor, for many first time in their life. Most country folk associated Hospitals with a place where folk went to die and leave the Family with Massive crippling debts, now a place of healing, Biggest Vote winner ever. Bankrupted most state hospitals but so what.
He had a crackdown on Drugs, the Police went wild, 3.5K is the press quoted number of Drug Dealers shot dead on the streets. Some where undoubtedly low level Drug Dealers, some where not. No high level Dealers where troubled, for that would have emptied seats in parliament.
Khun T, Khun is polite Thai for Mr/Mrs/Ms just a polite correct form of address, then did something strange. At the PMs end of year address to the Nation and Head of State he dedicated the deaths to the Head of State a devout Buddhist. Lost a friend there.
Then there was an insurrection by Muslims down south. Put down with maximum brutality and a now a running sore. Very bad and much due to the fact that Normally Senior Army/Police officers in that area are long service troops from that district who understand the Local Population. KhunT had overridden the army choice and appointed a favorite.
In Thailand all the Armed Forces and Police regular officers attend the same Collage. The King 5 Military Academy, Thailand's most respected King. Suddenly the Class that KhunT had attended, he is a Reserve Police Colonel, started to rocket throw the military/police promotion ranks. The odd one or two has always been normal to suit PMs of the day.
A new Airport was built for BKK. Massive project, Big contracts and many, 1,000 ? company's saw a pay day, a big pay off doing Government contracts.
Er no sorry wrong, lets just say only 100 companies Proffed, and all where very good friends, family of KhunT.
Some very wealthy folk in BKK where severely pizzed and you don't mess with these folk.
So the army had a coup, no one died and Thailand back to normalcy.
After increasing Military Budget by 1/3rd and doing nothing else, elections where held and KhunT's party won.
The new PM, lets just use the name the Thai's called him Piggy was quite a comedian, nice sort of chap, who had first come to national notice back in 76 when as a Young man he had manned a waist gun on Huey putting down the Communist Students revolt of the end of The US's lost war.
Mind you he denied it, even when the Thai press published their front pages of that day complete with Photos.
You can die of almost anything in Thailand but boredom, laugh a minute Honest.
Now he used to have a Sunday morning Cooking program very popular, but when he started politicizing his show the opposition brought up the subject of He was paid to do the show. Illegal under Thai law for ministers to have outside Paying job, so 12 month court case and Bye Bye.
The present PM then formed a coalition and no one gave him six months.
14 months on the Red Shirts come along and start their most serious Protest.
It took some time for long term residents to identify the on the street leaders as Students from 76. Government was also very slow identifying large sums of money coming into country and going to the accounts of associates of KhunT, then going out of accounts quickly. Very expensive business running an insurrection and very dangerous.
As a young lad I was deployed to NI back August 69, one day our Boss very old Gunner just happened to say in open company
'If this moves out of the cities (Belfast & Londonderry) we'll be here for years.
20 years later had my discharge from HM Forces in N.I.
I will go with my old commander and say we are now looking at X years insurrection in Thailand.

john
 
#12
Show's over. For now.

Thaksin's proven remarkably durable so far, I doubt he'll see this as more than a setback unless the Thai government go after his income stream as well.
 
#13
jarrod248 said:
Mr_Wong said:
Its going to take more then a civil war to put me off my monging activities, 2 to 3 months in Los here I come.



:D :D :D :D :D
Laos? What has that got to do with Thailand?
LOS =Land Of Smiles =Thailand 8)
 
#15
jonwilly said:
los
Land of Smiles. How Tourist Authority of Thailand want you to know the country.

Thailand has had some right Barsteawards run the country since WW II. One PM used to line up convicted Killers and publicly shoot them, on stage in front of one and all.
Almost all former PM's have robbed the country blind.
The current problems are as a result of the Army/Military overthrowing the Legally Elected Government of Taksin Shinwatra.
Taksin was/is perhaps the greatest entrepreneur of his day. Made a fortune from first securing the contract to 'Computerise' the Thai Police and then the Civil Service and then from the Mobile phone market.
He then formed the Thai Rak Thai party, Thai loves Thai. The party secured the electons in 2001, if I remember right.
All Thai elections are won by, if we are being polite, making the largest payments to the correct place.
Taksin reputedly went from the richest man down to about 3 or 4 place post election.
He set about restoring his position. Laws where changed to suit the Telecoms industry, the biggest piece of undeveloped land in Bangkok, BKK, was auctioned off. His wife won the auction. Nothing no other PM would/might have done.
Something out of the odinary now happened, Everyone, all Thai citizens suddenly where given a B30 Medical card. For 30 Baht all could visit a local hospital and see a doctor, for many first time in their life. Most country folk associated Hospitals with a place where folk went to die and leave the Family with Massive crippling debts, now a place of healing, Biggest Vote winner ever. Bankrupted most state hospitals but so what.
He had a crackdown on Drugs, the Police went wild, 3.5K is the press quoted number of Drug Dealers shot dead on the streets. Some where undoubtedly low level Drug Dealers, some where not. No high level Dealers where troubled, for that would have emptied seats in parliament.
Khun T, Khun is polite Thai for Mr/Mrs/Ms just a polite correct form of address, then did something strange. At the PMs end of year address to the Nation and Head of State he dedicated the deaths to the Head of State a devout Buddhist. Lost a friend there.
Then there was an insurrection by Muslims down south. Put down with maximum brutality and a now a running sore. Very bad and much due to the fact that Normally Senior Army/Police officers in that area are long service troops from that district who understand the Local Population. KhunT had overridden the army choice and appointed a favorite.
In Thailand all the Armed Forces and Police regular officers attend the same Collage. The King 5 Military Academy, Thailand's most respected King. Suddenly the Class that KhunT had attended, he is a Reserve Police Colonel, started to rocket throw the military/police promotion ranks. The odd one or two has always been normal to suit PMs of the day.
A new Airport was built for BKK. Massive project, Big contracts and many, 1,000 ? company's saw a pay day, a big pay off doing Government contracts.
Er no sorry wrong, lets just say only 100 companies Proffed, and all where very good friends, family of KhunT.
Some very wealthy folk in BKK where severely pizzed and you don't mess with these folk.
So the army had a coup, no one died and Thailand back to normalcy.
After increasing Military Budget by 1/3rd and doing nothing else, elections where held and KhunT's party won.
The new PM, lets just use the name the Thai's called him Piggy was quite a comedian, nice sort of chap, who had first come to national notice back in 76 when as a Young man he had manned a waist gun on Huey putting down the Communist Students revolt of the end of The US's lost war.
Mind you he denied it, even when the Thai press published their front pages of that day complete with Photos.
You can die of almost anything in Thailand but boredom, laugh a minute Honest.
Now he used to have a Sunday morning Cooking program very popular, but when he started politicizing his show the opposition brought up the subject of He was paid to do the show. Illegal under Thai law for ministers to have outside Paying job, so 12 month court case and Bye Bye.
The present PM then formed a coalition and no one gave him six months.
14 months on the Red Shirts come along and start their most serious Protest.
It took some time for long term residents to identify the on the street leaders as Students from 76. Government was also very slow identifying large sums of money coming into country and going to the accounts of associates of KhunT, then going out of accounts quickly. Very expensive business running an insurrection and very dangerous.
As a young lad I was deployed to NI back August 69, one day our Boss very old Gunner just happened to say in open company
'If this moves out of the cities (Belfast & Londonderry) we'll be here for years.
20 years later had my discharge from HM Forces in N.I.
I will go with my old commander and say we are now looking at X years insurrection in Thailand.

john
You forget to mention Mr T,s money being spread around among the poorer areas of the northeast to enable villagers to travel down to Bkk as red shirt supporters!!they were paid to stay in bkk and protest, without Mr T. pulling the strings and financing this vendetta against a govt who procecuted him and confiscated some of his fraudulent money, my frst wife was thaiI have a 45 yearold connection with the north east and its politicswe still try and spend a minimum of 3 months a year there,Before I forget at 1500 hours today the Red shirts called off the protest!! :)
 
#16
There is now a letter from one well educated Thai to CNN and BBC complaining about their biased coverage of the demonstration.
Up to a week ago I was ignorant of the facts that the leaders of the Red Shirts in BKK where Students from the 73 and 76 uprisings.
Many of those students took to the hills and it was half way through Gen Prem's administration mid 80's before the fighting against these communist guerrillas was brought to an end.
There are reports that their 'friends in Chiang Mai and the North east will come out in sympathy.
We have in CM one hotel that has been barricaded in same manner as BKK.
Outside money has been financing these troubles, there are U Tube vids of Thai folk receiving B2,000 payments.
In the past when a Thai dictator has been kicked out of office they have vanished overseas and then most have made their peace with government and been allowed to return in secret and see their lives out.
It is said that KhunT is too new to Thailand, family probably only second, third generation Thai, so he has trouble accepting the way of life.
I doubt we have heard the last of him. He really has lost a massive amount of money and this latest outbreak only kicked off when he lost the recent court case over his assets, more then half went to the state.

john
 
#17
NN
I was married to a Issan Lady and still go visit a mate wed to a girl from Roi Et.
Roi Et is 100% Taksin Territory.
Back in early 90's I got to see life on a Rice farm, hard work and little to show in a good year when the rains came as they should.
I remember the Mother in law going into hospital for cataract operation, two beds put together for Three women.
I have great sympathy for the ordinary Thai folk who as you will know are robbed blind by Moneylenders who's aim is to secure their land.
Taksin gave them something and so many will be eternally grateful to him. He bankrupted the government hospitals doing so but not his money so what.
I hope I have made a fool of myself saying that the Insurrection will spread to the countryside.
Old Hands here have been saying for weeks that this time things are different, just too much bad blood has been generated.
Abhisit knew he had to avoid mass bloodshed on BKK streets. If he had let the army/police lose we would have been back to 92 and who knows how many dead, no true figure has ever been released, they say the crock farms around BKK where well fed with the missing bodies.
The Commander Army was made responsible for ending the confrontation and he did not want the Blood on his shoulders, no political future with that.
Young Abhisit did well, he ate a load of poo and lost face big time, but he avoided the mass killings that would have had him out of office.
As for Seh Dang, the rebel general, he was a dead man following the assault of the other week. He had commanded a Thai SF unit that was disbanded. His old troops where the Black shirts and it was one of these that threw the frag grenade that killed the CO and wounded all his 'O' Group as they prepared to sort out the demonstration.
Thai officers all services have had a thing that they will never fight each other, for the sake of the Nation. This was broken during the 76 troubles when one gen killed another, it is said to be the only time a Thai General has been Court Martialed, convicted, outside and Priest and firing squad,Shot.
 
#18
OPEN LETTER TO CNN FROM AN EDUCATED SIAMESE- copy furnished to the BBC .

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Recently, CNN Thailand Correspondents Dan Rivers and Sarah Snider have
made me seriously reconsider your agency as a source for reliable and
accurate unbiased news. As of this writing, over thousands of CNN's
viewers have already begun to question the accuracy and dependability of
its reporting as regards events in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Iran, etc.,
in addition to Bangkok.

As a first-rate global news agency, CNN has an inherent professional duty
to deliver all sides of the truth to the global public who have faithfully
and sincerely placed their trust and reliance in you. Your news network,
by its longtime transnational presence and extensive reach, has been put
in a position of trust and care; CNN's journalists, reporters, and
researchers have a collective responsibility to follow the journalist's
code and ethics to deliver and present facts from all facets of the story,
not merely one-sided, shallow and sensational half-truths. The magnitude
of harm or potential extent of damage that erroneous and fallacious news
reporting can cause to (and exacerbate), not only a country's internal
state of affairs, economic well-being, and general international
perception, but also the real lives and livelihood of the innocent and
voiceless people of that nation, is enormous. CNN should not negligently
discard its duty of care to the international populace by reporting
single-sided or unverified facts and distorted truths drawn from
superficial research, or display/distribute biased images which capture
only one side of the actual event.

Mr. Rivers and Ms. Snider have NOT done their best under these
life-threatening circumstances because many other foreign correspondents
have done better. All of Mr. Rivers and Ms. Sniders' quotes and statements
seem to have been solely taken from the anti-government protest leaders or
their followers/sympathizers. Yet, all details about the government's
position have come from secondary resources. No direct interviews with
government officials have been shown; no interviews or witness statements
from ordinary Bangkok residents or civilians unaffiliated with the
protesters, particularly those who have been harassed by or suffered at
the hands of the protesters, have been circulated.

Why the discrepancy in source of information? Why the failure to report
all of the government's previous numerous attempts to negotiate or
invitations for protesters to go home? Why no broadcasts shown of the
myriad ways the red protesters have terrorized and harmed innocent
civilians by burning their shops, enclosing burning tyres around apartment
buildings, shooting glass marbles at civilians from high altitudes,
attacking civilians in their cars, and worst of all, obstructing
paramedics and ambulances carrying civilians injured by M79 grenade blasts
during the Silom incident of April 24, 2010, thereby resulting in the sole
civilian casualty? The entire timeline of events that have forced the
government to take this difficult stance has been hugely and callously
ignored in deference to the red 'underdogs'.

Mr. Rivers and Ms. Snider's choice of sensational vocabulary and
terminology in every newscast or news report, and choice of images to
broadcast, has resulted in law-abiding soldiers and the heavily-pressured
Thai government being painted in a negative, harsh, and oppressive light,
whereas the genuinely violent and law-breaking arm of the anti-government
protesters - who are directly responsible for overt acts of aggression not
only against armed soldiers but also against helpless, unarmed civilians
and law-abiding apolitical residents of this once blooming metropolis (and
whose actions under American law would by now be classified as terrorist
activities) - are portrayed as righteous freedom fighters deserving of
worldwide sympathy and support. This has mislead the various international
Human Rights watchdogs to believe the Thai government are sending
trigger-happy soldiers out to ruthlessly murder unarmed civilians without
just cause.

As a current resident of "war zone" Bangkok who has experienced the effect
of the Red protests first hand and is living in a state of constant terror
and anxiety as to whether her family, friends, and home would get bombed
or attacked by the hardcore anti-government vigilantes/paramilitary forces
- I appeal to CNN's professional integrity to critically investigate and
scrutinize the misinformed news reporting of your above-named
correspondents. If they are incapable of obtaining genuine, authentic
facts from any other source except the Red Protest leaders and
red-sympathizing Thai translators or acquaintances, or from fellow
non-Thai-speaking journalists who are similarly ignorant of Thai language,
culture, history, and society, then perhaps CNN should consider
reassigning field correspondents to Thailand.

I implore and urge you to please take serious action to correct or reverse
the grave injustice that has been done to the Thai nation, her government,
and the majority of law-abiding Thai citizens and expatriate residents by
having endorsed and widely circulated poorly researched and misrepresented
news coverage of the current ongoing political unrest and escalating
violence in Thailand.

Copies of this open letter have also been distributed to other local as
well as international news media and social networks for public
information. Please feel free to contact me further should you require any
additional concrete and reputable evidence in substantiation and
corroboration of my complaints and claims stated hereinabove.

Thank you.


Yours faithfully,

Napas Na Pombejra, B.A., LL.B. (Lond.)
Bangkok, Thailand
May 17, 2010
 
#19
Now its on. They're going around torching things in Bangkok (12 major blazes including municipal buses, stock exchange building, offices, shopping centres a Thai friend in Bangkok says). Loads of pictures and minute by minute commentary on Michael Yon's facebook if you're interested.

I've heard that they've gathered for a rampage in Chiang Mai (Thailand's second city) and that some government buildings in various provincial cities in the North East are on fire too.


Edit : Just saw your earlier post Jon. What's going on in Chiang Mai?
 

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