Military not progressive – politics, as always, regressive

Military not progressive – politics, as always, regressive – translated and summarized from Deep South Watch; Author: Muhamad-ayup Patan, April 16, 2008
The situation in the South still remains largely unchanged. Violent attacks still occur on a daily basis. The locals of the region still largely live in fear, while Thais in the rest of the country are largely indifferent to the fate of the region’s people.
By continually perpetrating violent attacks, the insurgent movement hopes to create a fear in the hearts of local people – with which they can be more easily coerced.
No matter how hard the government tries to solve this problem, it is still highly unlikely that they can ever bring an end to this unrest.
In the wake of the recent major spate of arrests of suspected insurgents, it might be claimed that the government – and especially its military – has destroyed the political structure of the insurgent movement. But the fact of the matter is that the military has yet to destroy the insurgents’ armed forces – so the unrest is thus bound to continue.
Military operations always increase the likelihood of human rights violations occurring. Thus, the unbelievable escalation of the unrest in the South is bound to involve widespread disregard for human rights.
Some recent events have had an extremely negative impact on the public image of the current government, as they have clearly demonstrated that it has no policies to resolve the region’s problems.
But if we examine all of the above from a converse viewpoint, the current situation could actually be construed as to the benefit of this government – affording it a brand-new opportunity to instigate a major initiative to resolve the region’s problems once-and-for-all.

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Police ask for Thai ID volunteers

Police ask for Thai ID volunteers – BBC News, April 16, 2008

The Thai community in the South West is being asked to volunteer for
police ID video parades…

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Sanctions undercut opportunity in Myanmar

Sanctions undercut opportunity in Myanmar Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 16, 2008

…Some of my CEO colleagues and I believe sanctions are a policy gone bust. The people of Myanmar love America. Little groups like ours lift their hopes.
Mackay’s Moral: Unwise sanctions can undercut a forest of opportunity.

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Corruption Charges Widen at Siemens

Corruption Charges Widen at Siemens Business Week, April 15, 2008
…The Germans had fallen behind in terms of technical innovation and, as a bookkeeper in one division put it, many were convinced bribes were the only way the company could score big contracts abroad. In some divisions, executives became convinced that without bribes it would be impossible to get contracts in many countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, the Arab world and large swaths of Africa, Iran and other states…

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Keeping coup rumors alive

Keeping coup rumors alive The Nation Weekend, April, 2008

C-in-C Anupong is on the cover of the Nation Weekend magazine. The cover reads "‘Lab luang loe will discuss the pla ra revolution."
["Lab, luang and loe" means "secret, lies and filthy issues." This is a reference to the best-selling book Lab Luang Trang (Secrets, Lies, and Hidden) Behind the coup of 2006 by Wassana Nahnuam.
"Pla Ra" means "pickled fish" indicating something that smells bad. This is to examine the swirling rumors of coups and the C-in-C’s allegiance to the government.]

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Fading Smiles: One third of Thailand’s gays now threatened by HIV

Fading Smiles: One third of Thailand’s gays now threatened by HIVEmediawire (press release), April 15, 2008

The Thai Ministry of Public Health has just released figures detailing the dramatic rise of HIV infection among MSM (men who have sex with men). Estimated at 28% in 2005, that number has increased to an all-time high of just under 31% in 2007…

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Rare turtle found in Vietnam

Three new species of snouted beetle found in Thailand Bernama, April 15, 2008

Rare turtle found in Vietnam AP, April 16, 2008

Cambodia protects endangered bird AP, April 17, 2008

…The Bengal Florican, known in Cambodia as “the whispering bird,” is remarkable for a male mating display that amounts to a dance competition to attract a mate.
Since 2005, a rush to turn grasslands into large-scale rice farms has gobbled up one-third of the Bengal Florican’s habitat in Cambodia, threatening the critically endangered bird with extinction…

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Human rights infringed – terrible events on our southern borders

Human rights infringed – terrible events on our southern borders – translated and summarized from Matichon, April 14, 2008
The issue of human rights is an important one. And it is especially important when we consider the ongoing violence in our southern border provinces. It should be of serious concern to us all that the policemen and army personnel operating in the restive region have so often been accused of infringing human rights.
Two cases that were hugely antagonistic, in the ongoing conflict between the region’s locals and the state security forces, were the mysterious death – in 1954 – of the leading human rights activist Haji Sulong Tohmeena and the more recent disappearance of the famous Muslim lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit. A 2007 report by the Human Rights Watch organization said that there had been numerous ‘disappearances’ in the region, with no apparent reason for the majority of them.
Such reports impact very directly on the public image of our government officials – some of whom are under suspicion of involvement in the heinous crimes that undoubtedly lie behind these disappearances. Such events impact very negatively on Thailand’s image abroad, as our country has already signed many treaties with international organizations to protect human rights.
I believe that the government urgently needs to create a better awareness, among government officials, of the negative impacts that can accrue from the cruel treatment of suspects. As the Sook Kaew Kaewdaeng Foundation says, the region’s unrest can only be resolved if both its residents and its state officials have a shared vision of the need to protect human rights. The foundation hope that their project to promote a better respect for human rights will eventually lead to long-term peace in the restive region.

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Boys will be girls – If they’re from Bangkok

href="http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=124378&command=displayContent&sourceNode=252963&contentPK=20368931&folderPk=116242&pNodeId=197022"
class="tr4">Boys will be girls – If they’re from Bangkok Derby Evening Telegraph, April, 2008
…Organisers insist it is sexy not sexual,
exotic not erotic – and is inspired by the bright lights of Las Vegas
rather than the back streets of Bangkok.
“The Lady Boys are reviving an ancient tradition which existed for
centuries in Thailand,” says the show’s PR manager Tony Wilkie-Millar…

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Thailand must ratify the international criminal court now

Thailand must ratify the international criminal court now The Nation, April 14, 2008
Thailand must ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) without delay.
…All the past unsound arguments surrounding the monarchy related to the ICC have been proven false. Countries with similar institutions have ratified the ICC including Britain (2001), Japan (2007) and Cambodia (2002). Their consciences were clear and they realised that their monarchies would never engage in crimes against humanity, or issue a command for others to do so. It is that simple…

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On the forum: Lonely Planet controversy

On the forum: Lonely Planet controversy


Lonely Planet rejects fabrication claim – AP, April 14, 2008
[This sounds like the writer in question is just generating free publicity for his new book…]

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Monkey on a mini motorcycle

Monkey on a mini motorcycle – April, 2008

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Poll: Adultery main cause of family break-ups in Thai society; politicos poor role models

Poll: Adultery main cause of family break-ups in Thai society; politicos poor role models – TNA, April 13, 2008

Adultery is the major cause for family break-ups and divorce in Thai society, according to a new survey conducted by Assumption University’s ABAC Poll…

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Myanmar enjoys rare freedom

Myanmar enjoys rare freedom Dawn Sun, April 13, 2008

Young women in miniskirts walked down the street, catching the eye of punks with red and blue hair, as Myanmar let loose for an annual festival on Sunday when the military allowed a tiny breath of freedom.
The Thingyan water festival — marking the Buddhist new year also being celebrated this week across Thailand, Cambodia and Laos — is the only time of year when the ruling junta allows people to assemble freely…

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Is the temple of Buddha’s footprints the temple of doom?

href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3721675.ece?token=null&offset=0"
class="tr4">Is the temple of Buddha’s footprints the temple of
doom? Times Online, April 13, 2008
It’s a Buddhist temple that cares for dying Aids
patients. It’s also a hugely successful money-making operation,
attracting thousands of tourists with its displays of mummified
corpses. So where does all that money go?…

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Songkran cartoons in the Thai-language press 2008

Songkran cartoons in the Thai-language press
Earlier: Songkran cartoons 2007

Left: Kom Chad Luek header from April 13, 2008

Editorial cartoons featuring political figures are featured every Songkran on the front page of major newspapers. Here are a selection from 2008…

From Matichon, April 13, 2008 Happy Songkran Festival 2008
May the Buddha drive away all diseases
May the Dharma keep me from all vicious things
May the Sangka protect my mind and myself from meanness
May the Triple Gems protect my family from all misfortune

From Khao Sod, April 13, 2008 – Happy Songkran Festival –
Revise the Constitution or not [Government figures on the left battle opposition figures on the right.]

From Daily News, April 13, 2008 – Refreshing Songkran Festival – Happy Year of the Rat 2008 [Sondhi, Chamlong, and other -Thaksin foes stand guard at Democracy Monument. Note the "hidden hand" throwing water on the top right.]

From Kom Chad Luek, April 13, 2008 – Happy Songkran Day April 13, 2008 from all of us at Kom Chad Luek

From Kom Chad Luek, April 13, 2008 – Interesting headline of the day. It reads: The Election Committee decided by 4-1 to disband the Chart Thai Party and the Matchima Thipataya Party. Sanan is dusting off the Mahachon Party [This last part means political king-maker Sanan is getting ready to start the Mahachon Party to create a new political block from the remnants of the two banned parties. The big letters in the headline read "disband" or "dissolve."]

From Kom Chad Luek, April 13, 2008 – More Songkran water splashing activities in the B section of the newspapers.
It reads: Nat, Tol, and Puifai in a Kom Chad Luek activity for fans

Earlier: Songkran cartoons 2007

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