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Posts Tagged ‘Thailand


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To the Government of Malaysia

Dear Sirs,

I would be very obliged if you could stop the killing of innocent people in the Thai province of Yala. It is to quite an extent in your hands to make the border areas a more peaceful place.

And once I have reason to believe that you don’t participate in killing innocent people any more, I will be happy to spend some of my holidays on your side of the border. I won’t even mind paying a bribe every now and then, when the situation demands it.



Written by taide

May 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Now, Thailand…

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… A fine mess you’ve made of that! How inhumane! You incarcerated Annice Smoel for several days and threatened her with a real court case for alledgedly stealing a bar mat!

OK, according to the owner of the Aussie Bar, she called the investigating policemen names. And according to the police station itself, she kept yelling there, too.

But she had to return home to her four children! So how can you even arrest her? And how far were you out of your mind, thinking of a court case which would have taken months? After you had released her on probation, she left for Melbourne immediately, and she has already vowed that she will never come back to Thailand.

Maybe you should have tried and jailed her anyway, even after her “confession”. Then you could have enjoyed her formidable company for years to come.

Your loss, Thailand. It’s tremendous.

And while we are at it, I suggest we all stand for a minute and pay a silent tribute to another (though not that terribly afflicted) martyr of oriental despotism

Written by taide

May 22, 2009 at 11:19 am

Thailand: Who shoots who?

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Three of the bullets fired on Sondhi Limthongkul, leader of Thailand’s Yellow Shirt movement last week, are said to be M-16 bullets, commonly used by Thai army infantry units. Sondhi Limthongkul is out of danger now, writes The Times – and apparently also very responsive.

According to The Nation (Bangkok) today, foreign minister Kasit Piromya blamed exiled premier Thaksin Shinawatra for the assassination attempt, but the Yellow-Shirt movement leader himself apparently thinks that people in the military wanted to eliminate him to provoke his supporters to attack the Red Shirts.

That in turn could have served as a pretext for the military to stage another coup.

This stuff may not be unlikely, given the country of origin, but the plot would be too complicated for a Western.

Written by taide

April 24, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Thai Red Shirts: Surrender?

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SPIEGEL online: "demonstrators capitulate"

SPIEGEL online: "demonstrators capitulate"

Oh dear. Germany’s leading news magazine DER SPIEGEL declares the Bangkok protesters’ surrender.

Thailand Flag, Bangkok

Thailand Flag, Bangkok

But you see, the Songkran holidays are over. No wonder that there are no 100,000 people protesting outside the government offices any more. After all, nobody paid them for their protests, and they have to do something for a living.

That in the first place is what makes the red shirts different from the yellow shirts.

But the likely end of the protests – for now, anyway – changes nothing about the democracy deficit – it only highlights the problem. This time, the military and aristocracy have clearly taken sides – against the people.

Bangkok may turn calm now. But the elite’s refusal to involve the poorer people, including those in remote provinces like Isaan, in politics, will pose bigger threats to the future of the country than the civil war with Malaysia- and Saudi-Arabia-backed insurgents in the South.

Another lesson from this: Germany needs media that provide news. Hard to believe that once upon a time, DER SPIEGEL’s late editor, Rudolf Augstein, called the magazine “the assault artillery of democracy”. Not that there is need for DER SPIEGEL to take sides. Some more background information explaining the events would do.

Politics isn’t sports, but they do have something important in common: After the game is before the game. I’m wondering who will keep us informed.

ASEAN: A New Generation of Correspondents

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Spiegel Online, April 11

Spiegel Online, April 11

Whoever wrote the story for Der Spiegel online must be a very angry correspondent, about as angry as Thailand’s prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who declared anyone who celebrate victory after disrupting the ASEAN summit in Pattaya an enemy of Thailand. Enemy suggests some status. The correspondent for Der Spiegel has more unfriendly words for them:

The demonstrators stormed the Royal Cliff Resort’s compound where the [ASEAN] summit was scheduled to be held. After that, the cheering mob passed through the press centre. In the hotel lobby, windows were smashed.

Gee. It’s one thing to wear red shirts instead of yellow ones, and to waste the precious time of a lot of heads of state or government, but you must never, ever, disturb a correspondent at breakfast, or at work. No way. Only beasts, um, a mob, can do that. They’ve gone too far!

Pattaya Press Center

Pattaya Press Center, brown face in the window

If I were the mob, I’d be very careful now. They’ve earned themselves a bad press in Hamburg, Germany.

(Correspondents these days never covered the Vietnam war. Must be a new generation.)

Written by taide

April 12, 2009 at 9:17 am

About Taide

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I’m a teacher in Germany. To become a teacher, I studied, took the imperial exams, and was in due course turned into an official. I’m teaching students between ten and 19 years of age in German and history, I have opinions, and I am often told that I am opinionated.

First written & posted on March 23; updated on October 19, 2008

Written by taide

March 23, 2008 at 10:17 am

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