Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Abhisit on FT

Today ASTV was talking about Abhisit's recent interview with the Financial Times on 23 April. Here it is:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/55e5ef2c-2fe4-11de-a2f8-00144feabdc0,s01=1.html


Some of my favourite quotes:

The real point is the expectations that people have of what democracy entails. And one group clearly stresses the will of the majority, which of course is correct. Therefore they think that once there's an election outcome that's that.

The other group does not necessarily deny this but maintains, and I think correctly too, that democracy entails a limited government: a majority does not give you the licence to put yourself above the law, whether it is election law or whether it is corruption law.


and

And you know much is made of me. I read stories saying I lose elections by a landslide: actually there was just 100,000 votes separating us and them, out of 30m


and

The latest case with Prachatai website was definitely mishandled and certainly went against my policy and apparently action was taken by people who were not supposed to be in charge of this issue.


Is it just me or does Abhisit sound a lot more Yellow when he talks to the foreign press than when he appears on local television?

Udon: The other side of the other side

May I remind anyone who has sympathy for Kwanchai Praipana that he is not the downtrodden, non-political deejay that some make him out to be and that last year he led a gang of around 500 people to attack the PAD on 24 July 08 armed with sticks and axes that left 20 injured, 13 of which were serious enough to have to be admitted to hospital. Furthermore, he did so when he was on government pay as an advisor to Prime Minister Samak.

The BBC would like us to believe that he and his supporters are peaceful, poor people who just want their democratic rights respected. Perhaps, but in most democracies, one doesn't smash an axe into the face of people on the other side of the argument and leave them like this:



Yes, that is one of the people injured by Kwanchai and his gang just for having opposing views.

The full story of what happeend is here and here, albeit in Thai. The latter also has lots of videos of the carnage which shows the local Udon police seemingly helping the mob attack the anti-Thaksin protesters.

Democracy? Sounds more like tyranny to me. But obviously some people think that elected officials (and their family) can do no wrong. Alongside Kwanchai that day was Uthai Saenkaew, brother of PPP Udon MP Teerachai Saenkaew.

Obviously all this could be just a set-up, the injured people might be wearing lots of make-up and the entire video of the attack done in a studio. Then again, it might not be.

Censorship and promotion

When will the Ministry of Truth learn that in today's connected world, the best way to promote something is by banning it?

Take, for instance, Giles Ungpakorn's Red Siam blog. It is banned in Thailand and going to wdpress.blog.co.uk will instead take you to w3.mict.go.th or a fake 404 page depending on the time of day it seems. Yet that has not stopped a lot of relatively low tech people I know using their email to forward his blog entries out of curiosity.

I recently received Giles' scathing attack on the NGO movement on its support of the Yellow Shirt movement. That was one of his more reasonable (read: less crazy) and well written blog entries it must be said.

However, dear Abhisit, might I suggest that the best way to get rid of him, politically speaking, is to unblock his blog and let everyone see for himself how insane some of his ideas are? By blocking it, the government is tantamount to admitting it is fearing him and giving him an air of mystique that he does not deserve.

Take, for instance, his recent post regarding the Swine Flu. A short excerpt follows:

5. ยาฆ่าไวรัสที่ใช้ได้มีแค่สองชนิด ที่รู้จักกันดีคือ Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) ซึ่งรัฐบาลไทยสะสมไว้ไม่พอ รัฐบาลตะวันตกสะสมไว้สำหรับ 25% ของประชากรและกำลังผลิตเพิ่ม แต่ในไทยไม่ได้เตรียมการถึงขนาดนี้ (ประเทศไทยจะต้องมียานี้อย่างน้อย 175 ล้านเม็ดถึงจะเพียงพอ) และคนที่จะได้ยาคงเป็นพวกอำมาตย์และผู้มีเส้นสาย นอกจากนี้ถ้ามันระบาดร้ายแรงในไทย มันจะกลายเป็นอีกข้ออ้างหนึ่งที่จะใช้อำนาจเผด็จการและทหาร อาจมีการล้อมปิดหมู่บ้านหรือชุมชน

Apologies that it is in Thai. However, despite his protests and passport that purport otherwise, Thai seems to be his first language.

In a nutshell, Giles says that Thailand is not stocking or producing enough of the medication needed to combat an epidemic, thus it will be the elite who gets the medication and that the government may use the epidemic as an excuse to send the army in to take care of small remote villages.

Er yes, I am sure that the government would use the epidemic as an excuse to let only the rich survive and send the army in to sterilise and kill all the poor red-shirt villagers. That sounds so reasonable. Maybe Giles' has been watching too many zombie movies now that he lives in exile there.

Or take Giles' take of the 6 October student protest massacre in his blog entry of 15 April. Let's just say that repeating what he has to say will probably land me in jail and therein lies another point to ponder. By censoring Giles' website, the government is effectively protecting him for further lese majeste lawsuits. The point whether such a lawsuit is good or bad notwithstanding, censorship protects the writer from further lawsuits. Think about it.

Censoring of views and opinions is bullying. It only creates sympathy for those on the receiving end, it does not work anyway and besides, with comments like this, Giles is probably his own worst enemy.

Finally, on a side note, it is odd to see Giles name himself wdpress. Wordpress is the name of a popular blog engine and host. Was he naive enough to think that a generic blog name would keep his Red Siam (as he signs himself) entries off the radar? If so, we are truly witnessing a war of the ancients; of an Orwellian Ministry of Truth and a communist-era misinformation insurgent. Which perhaps is indeed what this war is all about.

Don Sambandaraksa

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Crap and the linear flow of time

I so love it when people end an argument by calling my statements crap. A typical Thaksinite final word in a losing argument if ever there was one.

Today I spent a lot of time trying to reason with a certain someone who took exception to my comments on the PAD protest being peaceful. Just to clarify my previous post about former Senator Maleerat's comments at the PAD rally at Rayong, she complained of double standards between the Abhisit and Somchai governments. Somchai had charged the PAD leaders with treason, punishable by death or life in prison. Abhisit had charged most of the red shirt leaders in the Songkran mayhem with assembling in groups of more than ten to cause disorderly conduct which is, well, not punishable by death.

The gentleman in question cited a lot of events which happened after the treason charges were filed to disprove my comments of the PAD protest being peaceful. Well, the protests were pretty peaceful before the charges were filed, and even then, the flare-ups were mostly started by the police but there is no need to get into that right now.

My point being, it is illogical and unreasonable to use events that happened after the treason charges were filed against the nine PAD leaders to attempt to prove that the protests at the point of the charges being filed were not peaceful.

Let me repeat that. It is unreasonable and illogical to use events that happened after a certain point in time as a cause of something that happened at the point of time in question.

After a few so-called proof points (the shooting near Dtac was the first of which) were quoted to which I repeatedly said, "my points stands, that event happened after the treason charges were filed," the gentleman who I up until then had hope in responded that my statement of a peaceful PAD protest was a load of crap.

Of course, if you can't out-argue someone with facts, call them crap. Works all the time.

Finally, again let me reiterate. The point of the matter was not whether the protests were peaceful or not in their entirety, but that Somchai responded to what was up until then a largely peaceful protest by charging the protesters with treason, punishable by death while Abhisit only charged an arguably much more violent protest with the much lesser charge of gathering in groups of ten or more and engaging in disorderly conduct, a crime which is not punishable by death. That was the point that Maleerat was frustrated about with regards to the current government. That the courts threw out (and rightly so) the charges of treason does not lessen the intent that the Somchai government's organs had to execute the PAD leaders.

And to think I had a great story about Giles Ung to write about. Tomorrow then.

Monday, 27 April 2009

PAD Concert Rayong

Last year we had political protests full of music. This year, we have concerts full of political speeches.

Lots of yellowshirts at rayong on Twitpic

Two songs. That was the grand total of songs by the lead band, Kor Kai, at the PAD Political Concert held at the Si Muang park (or football field as it looked like) in Rayong last Saturday. Whereas for 193 days last year, we had what seemed like a neverending concert that would put Woodstock to shame, the tone at Rayong was quite different.

The stage... Pipob is speaking on Twitpic


Perhaps it had been too long since the last gathering of leaders in front of an audience. Yes, there was a rally in Phuket the week before, but for two weeks prior that, the small gathering at Chao Phraya house had been called off due to the risk of violence by the Redshirts. Or perhaps it was because of its proximity (relatively speaking, as I found out the hard way) to Bangkok and that it was close enough after the shooting of Sondhi without, like the Phuket rally, being the day after. For whatever reason, there was a lot of talking going on.

Now, it must be said that when one is in mob / rally / peaceful protest (call it what you will), one does not hear as much as on television. The blaring of the bass loudspeakers and doppler interference meant that walking around and paying attention could not be done at the same time. Still, turnout was good. The square in front of the stage itself was packed solid at around eight PM. The football field was pretty much packed towards the front, half sparsely packed with protest veterans with their folding seats and rugs towards the back.

But what of the messages? For three hours the PAD core leaders lashed out at the government for what it felt was double standards at the handling of the recent protests.

Former Sakonnakorn Senator Maleerat and PAD leader summed it up nicely. The PAD's non-violent protest was met with charges of treason by the government at that time (charges which were later thrown out by the courts). Whereas all the Abhisit government did to a group of people who tried to kill the Prime Minister three times in very violent protests was charge them with assembly of more than 10 in a disorderly way.

Democrat MP Somkiat reminded the protesters of how police blasted their way in without warning and left people with dangling arms, legs and eyes on October 7 and the level of carnage inflicted by police that day, throughout the day.

Nearly everyone on stage heavily criticised Abhisit for even contemplating an amnesty, likening it to trying to strike a deal with the devil.

Uncle Chamlong spoke of the process of the establishment of the PAD Party later next month.

It was an odd message at an odd time, one of anger and defiance still at the Abhisit government that the PAD feels has taken them for granted. But then the real disaster of the night came when Amorn went on stage to announce that ZuZu was not appearing later that ndgight and instead it would be Kor Kai.

Oh, well. Kor Kai was cool too, but the endless line of epakers meant that the young band ended up with only two songs that night before Tua took the final set towards the end.

In most countries, calling this a concert would lead to people angrily asking for their money back.

Lots of thousand baht notes in the donation box -#pad rayong on Twitpic

Whilst on the topic of money, donations seemed to pour in with over half a million quoted. The donation box for ASTV clearly showed that most of the protesters had put in 1,000 Baht notes.



The old uncle who was bashed up at Central World was seen walking around with a PAD Guard badge on him. Yes, the one who was beaten up under the orders of a policeman who was aquitted and reinstated in a court in Chiang Rai, even though he did not live in Chiang Rai and the beating up happened right here in Bangkok.

Sek Zuzu was selling autographed CDs for 80 Baht and the one hour queue (at Government House) for the super yummy coconut sweets was a much more manageable ten minutes at Rayong. Lots of people were there selling their designs on PAD merchandise, t-shirts, cups, mugs and the like.

More astv hand clapper rice on Twitpic

The ASTV rice truck was there and behind there were piles of rice sold with a name stuck on them, proving that people do indeed go to concerts and carry sacks of rice back with them afterwards.

Yellow PAD cap on Twitpic

The atmosphere was one not so much of anger or a rallying cry, nor was it of reconciliation, but the message seemed to be, "Let's take care of our own."

Pad coffee on Twitpic


In one month, the PAD will meet to set up a political party. Perhaps things will be clearer then.

Double standards at CAT

CAT blocks Dtac's request for 3G shortly after approving TrueMove's request for the same.

The Nation recently ran a story on how former state enterprise CAT Telecom recently, finally, refused a request from number two telco Dtac to launch a 3G service on the 850 MHz band that it currently uses for 1G AMPS, citing that it would be considered a concession amendment that falls under article 22 of the Public-Private Joint Venture act.

What the story did not mention was that when TOT partner AIS made the same request, TOT decided it was not an amendment and that it was a network upgrade and hence AIS was allowed to launch 3G on its existing, if somewhat cramped, 900MHz spectrum. CAT also recently allowed TrueMove to launch trial 3G services on the same 850MHz that Dtac wants.

A while back, I talked to Dtac CEO Torre Johnsen who put things in a somewhat different light.

Dtac was the first of the Thai Telcos who, fed up with the delay that the NTC was having getting its 2.1 GHz 3G act together, wanted to do in-band migration and go for 850 MHz 3G on frequencies it was already using for the 1G AMPS network. Dtac told, not asked, but told CAT it would be performing a network upgrade. CAT had other ideas and came back with all sorts of demands, such as asking Dtac to move its frequencies a bit so that another 5MHz slot could be squeezed in for TrueMove and that CAT, not Dtac, would be the point of call termination for the new 3G network.

In other words, no, Dtac could not just upgrade their network, but would have to move over so that TrueMove could have a say and also bend over so that CAT could control who gets the calls and how.

Dtac's point of view was that upgrading a network with existing frequencies should have been legal and within the existing agreement and that the matter would not have to go to the section 22 committee. On the contrary, asking Dtac to move over and give TrueMove space would definitely be considered a new agreement and would have to go to section 22.

Indeed, when AIS later asked its concession holder TOT the same question, TOT deemed it was a network upgrade and that led to Thailand's first 3G 900MHz cell up in Chiang Mai. Ironically now that TrueMove is using that bit of 2.5 MHz spectrum that Dtac claims it owns, both TrueMove and AIS now have 850 and 900 MHz 3G live in Bangkok, but Dtac still has yet to launch.

The mess leads to a much bigger question: Who runs the show in Thailand? We are supposed to have an independent regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (as per the 1997 constitution) or its replacement National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) as per the 2007 constitution (or, to be precise, as per the interpretation of the 2007 constitution in the pending Frequency Allocation Act, but that is getting a bit too detailed); we are supposed to have privatised the Telephone Organisation of Thailand and the Communications Authority of Thailand and thus move to a free market. But the truth is that the real power still lies in the hands of CAT / TOT and that they continue to act as a government regulator when the time suits them, and as a private entity when the government breathes down the neck.

Thailand seemed to have already decided, once in 1997 and the other in 2007, that the country would be on the way to a free market economy with a liberalised telecom sector. Obviously someone forgot to tell CAT and TOT. Worse, someone also forgot to tell the governments that we have had in the past decade as the Anti-Monopololy act explicitly excludes former state enterprises from the anti-competition legislation.

Today we are in a mess. A mess to the tune of 50 billion Baht a year that these competitors / regulators / privatised entities suck up dry; money that should be returned to the government coffers so that it could be spent strategically by the real regulator in a way that benefits all 60 million people, not just the 17,000 or so employees of the de facto regulator.

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand's website censored

Reposted from FACT's website.

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand CENSORED!
26-04-09

If you can read this, YOU PROBABLY AREN’T IN THAILAND!

If you live in Thailand and are a FACT reader, you probably don’t use TOT ADSL, Kasetsart University or Buddy Broadband as your ISP. All three of those ISPs have been blocking FACT since at least noon on April 25 and at least TOT was redirecting users via transparent proxy to a blank blockpage at Thailand’s ICT ministry.

Will FACT readers please keep us informed if and when FACTsite http://facthai.wordpress.com is blocked by other ISPs. Please let us know by email: facthai@gmail.com. Please include your mobile number so we can call you back.

We need to know if KU and Buddy and perhaps other ISPs are redirecting users by transparent proxy to http://w3.mict.go.th, as is TOT.

The fact that THREE ISPs are now blocking FACTsite indicates that the blocking order did, in fact, come from MICT and is not just an ISP decision.

This means that probably more ISPs will start to block FACTsite as the MICT ”request” is implemented by them. Some may be inefficient and not get around to blocking; others may simply ignore MICT’s “request”.

It is HIGHLY unlikely that MICT sought a court order to block FACTsite. Therefore, we have a good basis for a court case. FACT would like to become the second legal website in Thailand after Midnight University!

In any case, the first step is a letter of complaint to MICT and the three ISPs. We shall also get on the phone to all four on Monday.

Can some FACT readers please let us know if FACT’s RSS feed is still sending to subscribers?

Thanks for your help and support. FACT readers should use proxies and VPN till we get a new, mirrored website up. (This is the same way we’ll continue to post.)

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) has prepared a formal letter of complaint to send to Ranongruk Suwanachee, ICT minister, and the CEOs of the three ISPs:

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

กลุ่มเสรีภาพต่อต้านการเซ็นเซอร์แห่งประเทศไทย

April 25, 2009

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Formal Letter of Complaint Over Website Blocking

Cease and Desist Order

It has been brought to our attention that, on April 25, 2009, the WordPress blogsite of Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) http://facthai.wordpress.com was inaccessible to subscribers of the Telephone Organisation of Thailand’s ADSL Internet service (2009.04.25 13:07; 2009.04.25 17:15; 2009.04.25 17:33; 2009.04.25 21:49), Kasetsart University (2009.04.25 14:32), and Buddy Broadband (2009.04.26 02:16). Our website was apparently accessible from many other ISPs in Thailand. Users of TOT ADSL, Kasetsart University, and Buddy Broadband attempting to access FACT’s website were redirected by transparent proxy to http://w3.mict.go.th, indicating that FACT’s website was blocked by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT) is a non-political, non-partisan, public non-governmental organisation providing information on censorship issues in Thailand and worldwide. FACT is a network of more than 900 citizens concerned over censorship issues.

I am FACT’s coordinator and registered owner of FACT’s website http://facthai.wordpress.com.

If the ICT ministry and/or TOT is blocking FACT’s website http://facthai.wordpress.com, we require you to provide a copy of the court order authorising censorship of our website along with complete reasons for such censorship. If there is no such court order, the ICT ministry and/or TOT is acting illegally under the requirements of the Computer-Related Crimes Act 2007 and must immediately restore access to our website by all Internet users.

Should you fail to provide us with the relevant court orders and reasons for blocking FACT’s website, we will take legal action against you.

We expect your prompt reply and the removal of any block against FACT’s website.

Sincerely,

CJ Hinke

Box 31, Udomsuk Post Office

Bangkok 10261 Thailand

http://facthai.wordpress.com

telephone. +66-7-976-1880 email. facthai@gmail.com

Friday, 24 April 2009

Harry Potter and the Red Blood Prince

A friend forwarded me this email. Kudos to the author, whoever you may be and apologies to J.K. Rowling.












Thursday, 23 April 2009

It was a day of monlogue pairs

This was not the way I intended to launch this Blog. I intended it to be a repository of essays and thoughts that I often have regarding politics, society and what ails the human condition in modern society. Instead most of the posts are very rough, up to the minute translations of what was said in parliament today. The reason was that Twitter now has a limit on posts per hour and I had run into that limit quite unexpectedly. So, instead of Tweeting every sentence as it was said, I summarised and posted those would-be Tweets to this Blog. It worked, but it was just not what I had envisioned.

But now that the goose is out of the cage, I have little choice but to continue and make the best of a rather messy launch to the next step in my journalistic career.

I missed much of today's parliamentary debate on the Songkran events due to a personal event I had to attend in person, but I saw enough to come to one conclusion that transcends the red/yellow divide. Today was not a dialogue. Today was pair after pair of monologues.

The senator, his name eludes me, who was on at round a quarter past eleven summed up the day nicely.

Senator (showing a picture of civilians, or so he thought, with M16 weapons): Civilians cannot hold this kind of gun assembled in public. The government must arrest these people for holding these guns or I will file a complaint for derelection of duty.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep: They were not civilians. They were army soldiers. Non front-line personnel and suppliers were ordered to dress in civilian clothing to reduce tension that day.

Senator: Civilians cannot carry guns or supply troops. You must arrest them.

And so the day went.

Obviously the senator in question did not hear the answer as he was busy on his cellphone to someone as the answer was being read out by Suthep. Indeed, that was the order of the day. The moment a question was asked and the speaker stepped down, instead of listening to the answer and taking down notes, some of which were reasonable, some of which were not, they were often shown on television to be on the phone. Whether this was just to call up a friend and ask how his performance was or for some more vile motive is open to debate.

I blame it on today's instant-on television soap-moulded culture. The week before the event, one MP who was stopped as she was reading off a script, forbidden in parliament, was reported to have said words to the effect that, It is okay, I can stop as I've had my airtime and I am a star now.

Rather than a place for debate of logic and reason, parliament has turned into a stage, a televised one at that, for acting and sound bites. Nobody listens. Countless numbers of anti-government MPs and senators spend time trying to "prove" that live ammunition was used. Some went into detail about sand and dust shielding and how the photos were of a version that had live rounds loaded. Countless times again, the government responded, as the army spokesperson said again and again on television on the day of the events itself, that live rounds were used in the air and on buses that were run into the protest lines. It soon got boring and worse, it continued late into the night. Nobody listened to what others had to say. Each had their own ten minutes of fame to win the hearts of their constituents.

The day was a procession of monologue pairs, not a dialogue. That does not bode well for what is to happen next.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Pua Thai Ron Ritichai

Re: the Surao (Masjid) at Petchburi. They say it was a mock-up attack. I talked to people there, the area is full of Issan people. At 3 PM at Petchburi soi 5, red-shirt people were chased away from Yommarat I think. People went in with a big truck went into the soi and then had an argument.

But from then on, what happened, was very worrying. People burned tyres (but people weren't too concerned) but gas tanks were taken from the restuarnats and thrown into the burning tyres.

I have a video I don't want to show you, but the point is it's not a staged incident.

It might be because they weren't happy with being broken up.

The clip shows people shouting "burn it all".

But when they wanted to burn the Masjid, that's what is very dangerous. Religion. It is what happened in the south. You should not use innocents as a bargaining tool. The protesters said they would return to burn the place down. They do not trust the police - the residents caught a bomber and gave him to the police and then he disappeared. They want army there as at least the army is more trusted.

The area is crowded with lots of wooden buildings.

Why did they attacked? Because that area has a lot of yellow shirts, but that is not true. Today, people wear many coloured shirts.

There is a picture of Masjid gunshots. The protesters thought that the people in the Masjid were dangerous, so they shot at them.

The Masjid Immam says they will not give any interview as his words are always distorted.

Pictures of burning. This was from anger, and definitely not staged.

The yellowshirts call me a redshirt. The redshirts call me a yellowshirt. I am loyal to the King. I want to see peace and harmony.

Taxi drivers are mostly poor. Today people don't trust taxis. Today, the taxi drivers don't have income enough to pay their rent. No tourists either. Nobody is responsible for the damaged taxis either and they have to pay for the repairs themselves. Many taxi drivers are now going home at at least they have food there as their careers have been destroyed.

I want the PM to solve the problem of their jobs.

Can we stop aruging and focus on jobs. If we talk about the past, there will be no end to all of this.

I want you to change the constituion 266 as it stops me from working. I can't ask the local authorites to do this or that as now it is considered interfering.

Senator Tuang

Please tell the government to listen, not argue.

Government needs to listen.

Government has not dared to act as they were afraid they'd be accused. But now that they have acted, they are accused anyway. Government needs to work hard and look ahead.

How are you going to deal with the protests outside of the emergency areas.

How are you goign to deal with the movements of 1-2 people outside the country? You don't need to do a PR job and tell everyone what you are doing, just do it.

AFter this, you have to think about the balance of the pros adn cons of the emergency decree. It has a lot of implications on civil liberties. You need to annouce the whys and wherefores.

The source of the problem is corrpution that is systematic. In 2548 some people complained of corruption,t his led to protests in 49, it led to the protests. They said it is not corruption, but doing as the law says. This has led to two groups each with a big power base... and held thailand hostage.

If you take a neutral stance. The two events, 7 Oct was one, the others were hit on 13 Apr. The end result is the same Poeple are dead and injured. The country is damaged on bones and blood.

3 ways out.

1. Government has to reconsider the security apparatus comprehensively, boht domestically and interntlally.

2. Government must turn this crisis into an opporutnity by engaging the public and defuse things and create peace and harmony.

3. Government must promote democracy education.

PM's car was attacked not once byt twice. This is very embarrassing. You can say that PM was cool headed, but another way, it was inaction.

Police on the streets do not have a problem, but you know who has a problem. When people cannot trust the lawkeepers, they take the law into their own hands. Thsi is very dangerous. This is what led to the problem in the south.

Army must return to base. We are using people to protect our borders internally.

Attacks on PM are damaging to the country's image.

Gov is overlooking your strengths. Or sor mor. or kor pro ror... steacher groups, villageheadmen grups, are read to act. But you never set a stage to take them into the process. ldi sor sor sor (I give up with thse acronyms). Invite them to the table.

YOu must give them a budget for national reconciliation.

Finally, There must be education reform. Have you PMO Min, talked to media, internet webmasters, etc how you can generate peace? Have you encouraged debate about how the differences are in the vision of democracy? How can we have vibrancy without division?

Don't forget the root of the problem, it is systematic corruption that is too complicated for the man in the street to understand.

PM Office Minister Satit responds

We are not trying to use the media... to distort the media. I will reply via DTV and radio stations later in details. Thaksin's phone-in and video links that were broadcast live, but because we didn't censor them, this led to violence. He used words like digging up the problem, that if dstation is closed, I will burn here and there. He said many things of violence, of the mother of someone. at 9 apr just after midnight, said that we must shut down the asean++ summita t summt. at 00:51 we will capture abhist and force him to resign. These were the words he said on dstation. i have all these clips to prove that it was you, you leaders who used violent means .

Dstatiion has been operational for a long time, but the government had done nothing. And this has led to violence.

We have come clips that the leaders are clearly criticising the monarchy.

I praise all the media for doing a straightforward job. The 24 new channels allowed people to see what happene,d and we let them broadcast all the time, not just local media, but international media as well. If it was a set up, it would be impossoble to trick all the media.

How could this image (of a guy holding a molotov) be set up? It is not a peaceful protest. The attack on Abhisit's car at Mo INterior. The question is what would happen if they had got at the PM. Nipon's car was smashed, bricks thrown at it. His driver was hit by a flagpole that was smashed into his car.

This is the pic of Nipon's driver. His necklace was taken, as was his wallet. Is that peaceful? We do not need clips, as everyone has seen this, as the media have done their job.

The protest leaders lies have been caught. Is this why you are angry at the protest leaders? Such as the UDD leaders at Ratanokisin:

Prasit protests (Pua Thai Chaiyapoom). The Minister is accusing us, not replying. He is attacking the UDD.

I say tha tthe media have done their job and we are not ordering ht emedia to cover truths up.

If the government used force, there would be no way that the truth could be covered up either.

Your allegation that army burned bodies at Lad Prao 71. Every Tv station went to the monastery, they interviewed the monks there... the crematorium was cold... another was warm, but the pics of the deceased were still there.

Minister bof Public Health Wittaya Kaewparadise responds

I gave orders to treat everyone regardless of colour. If weapons of war were used, things would be much more bloody.

The current deputy of emergency medical services was a victim of the gas explosion a long time ago, he is disfigured and was 200m away from the incident.

Some thoughts re: Surapol Towichakchaikul's parliamentary debate

After I was sort of soft-banned by Twitter... missed the first half of his debate, but here goes the rest:

Some random thoughts re: PT Surapol's observations. There were no new pictures we haven't seen before. The pic of the army soldier with the 11/9 mm gun had no context at all, just one lone soldier with a gun? Hmm.... inconclusive.

The shot wheel is also consistent. Pics of the army opening live fire on the bus that was sent careering at them was televised on ASTV (that someone doesn't like to believe). The army did say that they used live ammo to shoot up and for defense. They didn't say it wasn't used at all. So so far, the government's story is relative consistent.

Surapol is showing lots and lots of "proof" that live ammo was used. I don't think that was ever a point of contention :P

Surapol says that the protesters came empty handed, but the situation was pushed out of control by the government. Surapol then goes on to bash the media issuing divisive news.

"My boss, Thaksin, is always calling for peaceful protest, the part about his Nicaraguan passport is blown out of proportion. The dead bodies are missing, all burned. Remember how hard it was to find a body on 14 Oct, Bloody May? But the wheel I have couldn't run away."

"How can you saw that there is an assisination attempt on Abhist? This only leads to Chaos. Everyone wants peace."

"Abhsit government has used disproportionate force, has distorted the media. This government cannot be trusted anymore. You have ordered people dead. You must dissolve parliament and give the power back to the people.

Speaker Chai asks for photos, Chai says it takes time as it has to be written from disc.

Abhisit responds. I must argue. You said that the government ordered the killing of people. This is absolutely not true. I categorically deny it. But at least I am strong enough to convene parliament for you to ask me questions and provide answers.

Suthep responds: I categorily deny that anyone died from the army/police, you said that they army took the bodies. 2 ttv stations not controlled by the government clearly showed that Thaksin was calling for a revolution and that he would return to lead when guns were fired. re: unarmed, we found lots of bombs and weapons in the toilet truck. Re: Nipon who you can can run up stairs now. But lots of people saw on many channels how his car was attacked. We could not set up that scene. Finally, Surapong said that Abhisit is complicit with the blue shirts in ordering protesters to be hurt. On night of 10th, we concluded that it was possible to stop the disturbing forces, the people of Pattaya wanted to help maintain peace. Abhisit was not in the meeting, he was getting ready for the ASEAN summit.

Monday, 20 April 2009

FP.com's five governments that deserve to fail.

This article at the foreign policy website has got, as @baramunchies (on Twitter) puts it, a rather simplistic view of the situation in Thailand and why the Abhisit government deserves to fail. That said, Thailand did take the number two spot in the list, after Georgia and before Nepal. Odd, though, that Zimbabwe did not make the list, or perhaps the author felt it had already failed.

One could argue that Abhisit did not, as the article suggests, engage in politicking in a time of economic turmoil. His first three months was all about the economy to a fault, and it was a case of politics catching up with him rather than anything else.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Telltale signs of a Red Shirt sympathiser

There has been a lot of criticism levelled at the White Ribbon academics during the recent red-shirt riots of last week? Where were they when the pro-Thaksin rioters threatened to blow up a five tonne gas tanker? Why did they only come out to condemn the use of the army to subdue the riots?

One theory is that many of the White Ribbon academics, are actually Red Shirt sympathisers. Perhaps some are, others are not. But there are tell-tale signs of whether a white shirt (or white ribbon) academic is indeed a closet red shirt.

  • The red-shirt sympathiser will neglect to mention the Samak and Somchai goverments, going straight from the coup to the rise of the Abhisit govenrment.
  • The red-shirt sympathiser will neglect to mention that the People's Power Party was disbanded for electoral fraud, usually saying it was disbanded in a paragraph that follows one about how the elite, judiciary and sometimes palace keep interfering with democractic means.
  • The red-shirt sympathiser will not mention that the 2007 constitution that they so despise was approved in a nationwide referndum, whereas the 1997 one they so love was not.
  • The red-shirt sympathiser will criticise Kasit Piromya for being on the PAD stage (and often saying he was a PAD leader while Kasit himself says he was just a guest speaker with no major influence) without any mention of what Kasit actually said on stage.
  • The red-shirt sympathiser will cry foul of double standards of justice without actually counting the number of cases that have got to court versus the number that have been dropped on both sides.
By all means, do agree with Thaksin's vision of the future of Thai society if that is your true belief. It could have some good points, if implemented in a cleaner way that what was tried before, but at least wear your colours on your sleeve. Pretending to be someone you are not is the worst colour of all.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Maew Rap

Friday, 17 April 2009

Redshirt Bangkok chaos picture round-up

Someone has spent quite a bit of time putting together this collection of images pulled from a variety of news sources. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so this is a very, very long post.


Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 23:42:15 +0700


มาดูภาระกิจชุมนุมโดยสงบของชาวเสื้อแดงที่ได้รับการยุยงมาจากวีดีโอลิ้ง
รวมถึงแกนนำที่ประกาศบนเวทีให้ดาวกระจายไปสร้างความเสียหายในที่ต่างๆ

เป็นภาพที่รวบรวมมา กระโดดไปบ้าง ข้ามไปข้ามมาไปบ้าง ดูกันเพลินๆ
เพราะเสื้อแดงเองยังไม่คิดว่าสิ่งที่ตัวเองทำมันผิดเลยนะเนี่ย

คนขับรถยังไม่เว้น


การ์ดของนายกใช่ไหมเนี่ย โดนเละเลย




รถก๊าซที่เอามาจอดไว้ที่หน้าแฟลตดินแดง อย่างนี้มันเป็นการเอาประชาชนชาวแฟลตดินแดงนับพันครอบครัวเป็นตัวประกัน
เพราะถ้ารถคันนี้ระเบิดขึ้นมา คนตายทันทีหลายร้อยคนแน่ๆ (จำตอนรถก๊าซระเบิดที่ทางลงด่วนเพชรบุรีตอนโน้นนนกันได้ไหม ตายเพียบ)


เอารถเมล์มาขวาง (ยึดมา 52 คัน เผาไป 18 คัน!!... เงินภาษีกรู!!!)


ช่วยกันขนถังแก้ส


ราดน้ำมัน เพื่อกลิ้งไปทางทหารให้ระเบิด




เทพ


ชาวบ้านเสื้อแดงกำลังออกแรงตำข้าวเหนียวทำเส้นขนมจีนกันอยู่
อย่าเข้าใจผิดว่าใช้กำลังทุบรถนายก (ประเทศอื่นทำกับรถผู้นำแบบนี้ โดนยิงตั้งแต่ง้างไม้แล้ว)


เท่มาก ... ไปขายน้ำแข็งต่อเหอะพี่ (ขวานไว้ฟันน้ำแข็งส่งร้านค้าป่ะเนี่ยเพ่)


เสียดาย


มีคนถ่าย clip ตอนประทะกันครั้งแรกได้ ผู้ชุมนุมผู้เรียบร้อยได้ทักทายทหารก่อนด้วยระเบิดขวด
ตามมาด้วยแท๊กซี่ที่พุ่งเข้าชนทหารกระเด็นไปหลายคน


มีทุบธนาคารด้วย ถ้าไม่ติดลูกกรงนี้จะเป็นไงเนี่


เอาเงินจาก ATM ไม่ได้ จุดไฟเผามันซะเลย


ผู้กล้าหาญปีนไปเอาผ้าที่คลุมกล้องวงจรปิดที่เสื้อแดงเอาไปคลุมไว้ออก
(
ทำอย่างกับเสื้อเหลืองนะ ปากก็ว่าเค้า นี่ทำเองเลย)


เสียดาย


ออกมาขึ้นเวทีเสื้อแดงทายว่าอภิสิทธิ์หมดดวงแล้ว
เอ๊ะ.. ทายผิดนี่หว่า!! แล้วทำไมไม่ทายก่อนเกิดเหตุบ้างล่ะ ว่าเป็นไงบ้าง
หมอเดานี่หว่า!! เดาผิดอีกต่างหาก






ภาพข่าวการซ้อมเตะตะกร้อของชาวเสื้อแดงโดยสื่อต่างประเทศ


ชุมนุมโดยปราศจากอาวุธ








ใครตัดต่อรูปนี้.. ฮาว่ะ!!


เอาถังแก้สมาทำไมครับ จะระเบิดอะไรเหรอครับ


ญาติๆ ซึ่งมาทักทายเสื้อแดง และบินหนีออกไปนอกประเทศก่อนเหตุการณ์สงบ


ตากล้องเมืองนอกนี่เค้าถ่ายสวยดีนะเนี่ย
(
ภาพจาก Getty Image)



ตลกสุดคือภาพนี้ ทักษิณเอาภาพนี้ไปให้สื่อต่างประเทศดู และบอกว่ามีผู้เสียชีวิตในการกวาดล้างการชุมนุม
เฮ้ย ลิ่วล้อรายงานยังไงฟระเนี่ย อ๋อ.. ลิ่วล้อเอาภาพนี้ไปปั่นหูผู้ชุมนุมด้วยเหมือนกันล่ะสิ ว่าคนนี้ตายแล้ว
หน้าแตกไปทั่วโลกเลย ทักษิณ กร๊ากกกกกกกกก




เตรียมน้ำมันไว้ทอดไข่ป่ะครับเพ่






ปืนนี่ของผู้ชุมนุมสีแดง ไม่ใช่ M16 นี่นา ใช่ที่ยิงทหารหรือเปล่าเนี่ย


ที่บอกว่าทหารฆ่าประชาชน ไม่เห็นหลักฐานซักที นอกจากรูปที่ทักษิณปล่อยไก่นั่น
อีกอย่าง มีผู้สื่อข่าวอยู่กับทหารอย่างใกล้ชิดตลอด


พยานเพียบ ทุกคนมีโทรศัพท์มือถือที่ถ่ายรูปถ่ายคลิปได้กันทั้งนั้น ถ้าทหารฆ่าเสื้อแดงตายหลายสิบศพจริง
ไหนล่ะภาพ .. นี่ไม่ใช่พฤษภาทมิฬนะเฟร้ย นี่ยุคไหนแล้ว เทคโนโลยีก้าวไกล

เสื้อแดงบุกเพชรบุรีซอย 5,7


มันไปเผาซอยเค้าด้วย มีถังแก้สด้วย


อันนี้รูปฮิต


กิจของสงฆ์ครับ


ฟุตบอลไทยจะไปบอลโลก


แต่เดี๋ยวก่อน.... มันเล่นกันกลางถนน!!


รอดมาได้ก็นับว่าบุญ


เสื้อสวยจัง แดงแปร้ดเลย ขว้างระเบิดขวดด้วย


การเรียกร้องประชาธิปไตยอย่างสงบ




เอ่อ.. เอ่อ .. เอ่อ ..


อิอิอิ