Whatever happened to Paradon?: Thai tennis star launches new herbal Viagra – AP, August 26, 2009
Remembering Bobby’s Arms – August 26, 2009
Jared notes: …found this ad for the now-closed Bobby’s Arms on Silom Soi 4 in the
“Key to Bangkok” guidebook by Harry Rolnick, 1977.
China officials shown at Thai transvestite show – AFP, August, 2009
…”Going to see transvestites in Thailand is normal, the problem is whose money they used to go!” one angry Internet user said in a posting…
Eurasian secret services daily report – Axis, August 25, 2009
…Journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu from daily Gandul writes on his own blog that the brother of the President of Romania participated in a highly classified operation of international trafficking of important quantities of explosives. According to his source, five ships with explosives and ammunitions which arrived from Thailand were anchored in the port of Constanta, the operation being managed by Mircea Basescu, who assured also the secret re-exporting of the explosives to a military unit from Valcea County…
Garlic Soft Shell Crab (left) Hot Chili Squid (right) flavors.
Stiglitz receives hero’s welcome in Bangkok – WSJ, August 23, 2009
…On Friday, Stiglitz, a Nobel-prize winning economist who teaches at Columbia University, addressed an enthusiastic crowd of businesspeople at a conference in Bangkok about the failures of American-style capitalism…
Old postcard of “Chiengmai Airport” – August 22, 2009
Greencastle teen impressed by Thailand’s culture – The Herald-Mail, August, 2009
…Andrew counted prayer beads as instructed in an effort to stay focused. He found the practice relaxing and compared it to yoga.
Andrew said Thailand’s culture had less consumerism, which taught him to be smarter about what he buys and why.
“I’m going to try to live a little bit more simply. I’m going to try to be a smarter consumer and less wasteful,” he said…
Thai town carries out mass hernia operation on monkey population – EARTHtimes, August 19, 2009
The Thai town of Lopburi has coughed up a special budget to perform hernia operations on its resident monkey population who have been harming themselves in their greedy pursuit of handouts…
Then and now in Samut Prakan – paknam.com, August, 2009
Google Earth has just announced their latest satellite image updates and Samut Prakan is one of the major places in Thailand with an update. Places that have now changed a lot include the Kanchanapisek Outer Ring Road, the Paknam Tower and the Suvarnabhumi Airport Drainage Canal…
Deputy PM orders investigation into Phuket jet-ski scams – Phuket Gazette, August 19, 2009
[Thanks to Mud for pointing this out.]
…The typical Phuket scam runs like this: a tourist rents a jet-ski at the beach. When they return the jet-ski, the operator claims it has been damaged and charges the tourist an exorbitant amount for repairs…
UAE expresses worries over Thaksin’s political movement – Xinhua August 18, 2009
…Thaksin claimed to his supporters he is a political victim, and has not been fairly treated since involved authorities adopted double standards in the country’s justice system against him. Hence, he has to turn to His Majesty the King, he said.
…”The phone-in address has mirrored Thaksin does not follow his promise to the UAE government. Significantly, the UAE has to manage this matter in a bid to avoid any negative impact on the Thai-UAE relations,” said Panit.
The Thai government on Monday contacted the UAE government through a diplomatic channel and was told that the phone-in address from the UAE won’t re-occur, he said…
Thailand: 70 years of traditional brew – Christian Science Monitor, August 18, 2009
“Grandpa” Lee scoops ground coffee into a long sock and slowly pours boiling water through it into a pan. He then decants the rich brew through another stockinglike filter into a tumbler…
Thai Buddhists’ spirit endures at memorial of massacre – YourWestValley, August 17, 2009
…Around midnight on Aug. 8, 1991, two Avondale high school students, Johnathan Doody, 17, and Alessandro “Alex” Garcia, 16, arrived at the temple dressed in military clothing. Armed with a 20-gauge pump shotgun and .22 caliber rifle, they killed nine people…
I’ll fly to Thailand to confront the man who murdered my brother – Belfast Telegraph, August 17, 2009
The family of a man brutally murdered by playwright Bobby Niblock have vowed that they will not give up their quest to discover why the former loyalist paramilitary killed their sibling, no matter where he is in the world, after being told he is to move to the Far East…
Rohingya teenagers die in Thai detention camp – The Irrawaddy, August 17, 2009
Two young Rohingya migrants have died in the past three months in a detention camp in southern Thailand, while 13 other inmates are reported to be in poor health…
LA film producers to stand trial in bribery case – AP, August 17, 2009
…Prosecutors contend the Greens paid Juthamas Siriwan, the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, about $1.8 million to help secure the Bangkok International Film Festival and tourism-related deals, beginning in 2002. The payments, often disguised as sales commissions, were transferred into accounts of Juthamas’ daughter and a friend or paid in cash to Juthamas directly, according to court documents…
Thai boxer outed from Sea Games over gay mag pics – BoxingScene.com, August, 2009
…In a press conference, General Taweep said the association had decided to ban Worapoj from the national boxing squad for three months, which will bar him from representing Thailand in the upcoming SEA Games in Laos at the end of this year. Taweep said Worapoj’s images in the gay magazine are not considered obscene, but still they have tarnished the reputation of the national athletes.
Wikitude, the best friend to call – Blacktown Sun, August 15, 2009
[Thanks to Pieter for pointing this out.]
Imagine yourself in Bangkok, eager for directions to the Pratunam clothing markets but lost in a language you can neither read nor pronounce…
Why they still long for Thaksin – Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 15, 2009
Thailand’s leaders can refuse to understand and address the issues dividing the country into “red shirts” and “yellow shirts” at their peril, analysts say.
Much like the Philippines, power in Thailand rests with traditional elite in control of institutions and processes that are seen to protect its interests over those of the mass of the population that is poor and has limited or no access to political power.
Whether he did it through manipulation and lies, as the new government says, the exiled ex-Premier Thaksin Shinawatra was able to temporarily change that equation so that even in exile he continues to remind his rural supporters of the benefits that he had brought to them, and the sense he gave them that they had power and could change things.
Ironically, Thaksin, whose government was said to be “the most corrupt and most abusive ever,” has become a symbol of democracy.
“Thaksin may never be able to come back. I don’t think he has any kind of political future in Thailand. But it’s now a question of what he represents,” said Kevin Hewison, director of the Carolina Asia Center, Department of Asian Studies, at the University of North Carolina in the United States.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was appointed by Parliament after a military-appointed Constitutional Court in essence removed two governments headed by a Thaksin proxy party that their followers believe won clear election victories.
The red shirts are frustrated that the representatives they have elected have been overthrown repeatedly by court decisions perceived to be unfair and undemocratic.
“If this keeps happening, if their votes keep getting voided, so that they feel they cannot win, then there will be violence,” said Hewison.
That is, unless the Abhisit government is able to hold elections in which the people that the red shirts vote for lose, but the elections are seen to be fair.
Otherwise, the frustration will just build up and there will be recourse to uprisings that could become violent.
Hewison explained how throughout the history of democracy, “the people who run things, the big money people” trade off some of their power with the lower echelons of society as a way of containing uprisings. Or they do something to make people think that they are sharing power even if they actually aren’t.
However, he doesn’t think the elite in Thailand, and for that matter the Philippines, has really come to a compromise on how to share power with the masses. They prefer control rather than compromise, he said.
“They [the Thais] must work out a compromise with the disenfranchised who really must have a say. Unless they can come to a compromise that allows for that, I think they?re in trouble. But the problem is, does the elite really want that?” he said.
That’s why people in Thailand feel some disquiet that Thaksin and his followers could again sow disorder in the streets, or worse. Leah Makabenta
H1N1: Bangkok hospital charges patient $127k – AsiaOne, August 15, 2009
…”When you go to a private hospital you already known that you will pay a lot of money and this is your choice,” he said…
Oklahoma woman works to free slaves in Bangkok’s sex trade – The Oklahoman, August 14, 2009
…She said some of the girls are forced to wear school uniforms so they will appear younger, while others are made to wear immodest clothing.
“That’s their life. They live in darkness,” McGee said…
Book boat in town: Doulos in Bangkok – August 14, 2009
Here, here, and here and official website
Prohibition of Thai wish balloons – De Telegraaf, August 14, 2009
[Published on 14 August in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Thanks to Pieter for pointing this out.]
Amsterdam – The fire department would like to prohibit the popular wish balloons. These burning lanterns, frequently launched at weddings and birthdays, create according to the fire fighting organization NVBR a large risk for buildings and forests. The low flying objects are also a risk to traffic.
The NVBR (Dutch association for fire fighting and disaster management) requests a prohibition on the sales and launching of these Thai, Chinese or Vietnamese wish balloons. As a rule they provide a negative advice when private persons or companies apply for a launch permit at the local authorities.
According to spokesman Frank Huizinga there are plenty of examples of fires and near-fires caused by the lanterns. In May of this year a thatch roofed villa in Loosdrecht caught fire and burned down. In addition, the flying objects cause commotion and confusion. Last week fire engines in the Soest area tried in vain to locate a hot air balloon which according to a caller went down burning.
Huizenga: “The balloons are made of vulnerable materials and the wind has a free play with them. The chance of a confrontation with a fixed object is therefore large. The circumstances for a safe launch are limited. ‘Use your brain’, they say. But these balloons are launched at parties. It is the question if – after consuming alcohol – the brain is fully utilized”. In recent days also the farmers organization LTO made critical remarks: cows could be poisoned by the materials of the balloon. Last year also the Aviation Police declared itself to be against balloons. Also the Coast Guard wants an end.