Sunday, August 4, 2013

Two Ding-A-Lings

A bell and General Preecha Iamsuphan
General Preecha Iamsuphan, a well known fascist and core member of the People's Army against Thaksin Regime, rings a bell to start Sunday's political rally in Lumpini Park, Bangkok.

You may remember Gen Preecha. He's a particularly nasty fellow. A Royal Cadet School classmate of core PAD leader Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Gen Preecha has led yellow shirts in raucous protests near the Prear Vihear site.

At the PAD's rally of nutjobs in Sanam Luang back in November 2009, he spoke to the crowd that it was time to get rid of traitors, as they all had appeared before their eyes.  “We have to quickly finish them off for the sake of our beloved King and ancestors, so that Thais stop quarrelling with one another because of these scoundrels.” - Now, he's starting a quarrel between Thais.

He also said back then that he heard a government spokesperson say on radio that Jakrapob Penkair had smuggled weapons across the northeastern Thai border to start a revolt. This was 2009 when the Dems were in power so whatever a government spokesperson said should have been completely ignored.

The retired blowhard general also said the Thai army had fought those “vulgar Cambodians” at the Aranyaprathet border, and he himself had attacked them with bombs.  He would not mind if there was another war.  If the army does not fight, he will fight with his bare hands.

It’s certainly no wonder why the government is not buying into this “People’s Army” claim that they are a peaceful group of protesters when their leaders are violent ding-a-lings.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The NSTDA Writes a Letter And I’m Calling BS

There is another “smear job” in the Bangkok Compost today about the current Thai government. This time they tried to discredit the Ministry of Science Technology.  The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) said that science and technology development in Thailand is "going downhill" under the Pheu Thai government.
I’m calling “Bull Shit’ on this!
First of all, it is impossible for the Ministry of Science and Technology go any further downhill with regards to research when that ministry under the Abhisit led regime hit rock bottom.  The only way to go is up.  You would assume that the scientists at the NSTDA would know even the basics of gravity.
Of course there was not even a peep out of the NSTDA when the Minister of Science and Technology under the Abhisit regime, Kalaya Sophonpanich, made this statement to Thai students and scientists in London about those fraudulent GP200 bomb detectors the morons in the military got snookered with:

"Regarding people's beliefs, some kinds of beliefs are harmless. If these beliefs make people comfortable, we should just leave them alone, shouldn't we? Some people are happy to worship trees, for example. We don't need to disturb them, do we?"
Kalaya Sophonpanich, Science Hack
Not exactly a grand motivational message for students and scientists to go out and do research.
But that was then and this is now. The current government earlier announced a goal to raise spending on research from 0.25% of gross domestic product to between 1% and 2%, which I believe they have done.  But that didn’t stop the NTSDA in calling on people to wear black on Monday to protest against Pheu Thai's failure to keep its promises to improve research and innovation.
The NSTDA claimed in an open letter released  on Friday that policies imposed on different agencies under the Ministry of Science and Technology are not in line with the government's declaration.  One of these agencies which policies were imposed on was the NSTDA itself which is probably why they’re whining so much.
One of these polices the NSTDA is complaining about is that any project costing more than 2 million baht must be approved personally by the science and technology minister.  The NSTDA claims that this type of “political micro-management” makes conditions worse for researchers.
“Political micro-management”?! The government has a duty to carefully spend tax payers’ money and they have a responsibility to see that there is no waste or fraud.  
The letter from the NSTDA grumbles further that, it has been assigned to work on projects that focus on generating revenue for the organization instead of creating knowledge for further application.
This, to me, isn’t unreasonable. If the NSTDA can generate income on projects then they can spend that money on whatever research they like.
The bitching in the NTSDA letter only continued by claiming, “The usage of creativity and innovation had dropped due to limitations placed on researchers.” I can only assume that the NTSDA would prefer an “anything goes” policy when it comes to spending tax payer’s money. Do they really believe the government should hand them money with no strings attached when there is a current public environment expressly concerned with corruption and waste? 
Would you just hand money over to an NTSDA scientist such as the one pictured below?
NSTDA Scientist Buncha "Bat Shit Crazy" Thanaboonsombat
"We're concerned about the internal and external changes and challenges that affect our country, and the fact that our country attaches little importance to creating knowledge and innovation that will increase skills in the long run."
"The government only sees science and technology as a way to solve short-term problems or to create business opportunities.
"As a result, our country's skills and competitive edge are steadily declining."
They actually start to make a bit of a point here but by this time they had already lost most of their credibility. It would help if the NTSDA would have offered at least one example of research which would have increased the country’s skills and competitive edge in the long run but was dropped due to the Ministry of Science and Technology’s policies. But I doubt that they could.
And I also seriously doubt NTSDA could offer any evidence on a vile accusation they made about government funding being used on other activities besides research. Throwing around baseless accusations is shameful. We should expect better from the NTSDA.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Speech Causes Many to Foam at the Mouth. Yes, It Was Really That Good.

Last week, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra gave a wonderful speech at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies in Mongolia. 

Thailand's Always Gracious PM Yingluck Shinawatra Giving Her Speech 

She brought to light how those in Thailand who oppose democracy would intimidate, jail and even kill those standing in their way of total dominance in Thailand. She also extolled the people who “fought back for their freedom” (the Red Shirts).

The speech was obviously very good because it has the democracy haters’ “fascist panties in a bunch.”

Thai Rath’s spare cartoonist and yellow shirted loser, Chai Rachawat, (real name Somchai Katanyutanan) who really hates democracy to the core, posted photos of Yingluck with the message: "Please understand that prostitutes are not bad women. Prostitutes only sell their bodies, but a bad woman has been wandering around trying to sell the country."

Yellow Shirted Loser Chai Rachawat
I posted a video of the speech on my Youtube account and some of the comments were just as atrocious. They certainly lacked the truth and graciousness of Yingluck’s speech.

The MOST Truth is .. This Fucking BITCH from CHINAWATRA Family's Speech(s) always be LIE and MENDACIOUS.
The FACT in Files Folders is .. Every-Persons from CHINAWATRA Family are CROOKs and Cruel-DESPOTIC-DICTATOR. Their Greedy Rapacious Swinish Voracious POLICY(s) oppress Citizen.
CHINAWATRA Family & their Gang are TREACHEROUS TRAITOROUS Politician(s).

I’ve provided the video of this speech and the transcript below and hope that you have a chance to either listen to it or read it in order to judge for yourself.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Delegates to the Conference, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to begin by expressing my appreciation to His Excellency the President of Mongolia for inviting me to speak at this Conference of the Community of Democracies.

I accepted this invitation not only because I wanted to visit a country that has made many achievements regarding democracy, or to exchange ideas and views on democracy. But I am here also because democracy is so important to me, and more importantly, to the people of my beloved home, Thailand.

Democracy is not a new concept. Over the years, It has brought progress and hope to a lot of people. At the same time, many people have sacrificed their blood and lives in order to protect and build a democracy.

A government of the people, by the people and for the people does not come without a price.  Rights, liberties and the belief that all men and women are created equal have to be fought, and sadly, died for.

Why? This is because there are people in this world who do not believe in democracy. They are ready to grab power and wealth through suppression of freedom.  This means that they are willing to take advantage of other people without respecting human rights and liberties.  They use force to gain submission and abuse the power.  This happened in the past and still posed challenges for all of us in the present.

In many countries, democracy has taken a firm root.  And it is definitely refreshing to see another wave of democracy in modern times, from Arab Spring to the successful transition in Myanmar through the efforts of President Thein Sein, and also the changes in my own country where the people power in Thailand has brought me here today.

At the regional level, the key principles in the ASEAN Charter are the commitment to rule of law, democracy and constitutional government.  

However, we must always beware that anti-democratic forces never subside. 

Let me share my story.

In 1997, Thailand had a new constitution that was created through the participation from the people.  Because of this, we all thought a new era of democracy has finally arrived, an era without the cycle of coups d’état.

It was not to be.  An elected government which won two elections with a majority was overthrown in 2006. Thailand lost track and the people spent almost a decade to regain their democratic freedom.

Many of you here know that the government I am talking about was the one with my brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, as the rightfully elected Prime Minister.

Many who don’t know me say that why complain?  It is a normal process that governments come and go. And if I and my family were the only ones suffering, I might just let it be.

But it was not.  Thailand suffered a setback and lost international credibility. Rule of law in the country was destroyed. Projects and programs started by my brother’s government that came from the people’s wishes were removed. The people felt their rights and liberties were wrongly taken away.

Thai means free, and the people of Thailand fought back for their freedom. In May 2010, a crackdown on the protestors, the Red Shirts Movement, led to 91 deaths in the heart of the commercial district of Bangkok.

Many innocent people were shot dead by snipers, and the movement crushed with the leaders jailed or fled abroad.  Even today, many political victims remain in jail.

However, the people pushed on, and finally the government then had to call for an election, which they thought could be manipulated. In the end, the will of people cannot be denied. I was elected with an absolute majority.

But the story is not over. It is clear that elements of anti-democratic regime still exist. The new constitution, drafted under the coup leaders led government, put in mechanisms to restrict democracy.

A good example of this is that half of the Thai Senate is elected, but the other half is appointed by a small group of people. In addition, the so called independent agencies have abused the power that should belong to the people, for the benefit of the few rather than to the Thai society at large.

This is the challenge of Thai democracy.  I would like to see reconciliation and democracy gaining strength. This can only be achieved through strengthening of the rule of law and due process. Only then will every person from all walks of life can feel confident that they will be treated fairly. I announced this as part of the government policy at Parliament before I fully assumed my duties as Prime Minister.

Moreover, democracy will also promote political stability, providing an environment for investments, creating more jobs and income. And most importantly, I believe political freedom addresses long term social disparities by opening economic opportunities that would lead to reducing the income gap between the rich and the poor.

That is why it is so important to strengthen the grassroots. We can achieve this through education reforms. Education creates opportunities through knowledge, and democratic culture built into the ways of life of the people.

Only then will the people have the knowledge to be able to make informed choices and defend their beliefs from those wishing to suppress them. That is why Thailand supported Mongolia’s timely UNGA resolution on education for democracy.

Also important is closing gaps between rich and poor. Everyone should be given opportunities and no one should be left behind.  This will allow the people to become an active stakeholder in building the country’s economy and democracy.

That is why my Government initiated policies to provide the people with the opportunities to make their own living and contribute to the development of our society. Some of these include creating the Women Development Fund, supporting local products and SMEs as well as help raising income for the farmers.

And I believe you need effective and innovative leadership. Effective in implementing rule of law fairly. Innovative in finding creative peaceful solutions to address the problems of the people.

You need leadership not only on the part of governments but also on the part of the opposition and all stakeholders. All must respect the rule of law and contribute to democracy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Another important lesson we have learnt was that international friends matter.  Pressure from countries who value democracy kept democratic forces in Thailand alive. Sanctions and non-recognition are essential mechanisms to stop anti-democratic regimes.

An international forum like Community of Democracies helps sustain democracy, seeking to promote and protect democracy through dialogue and cooperation.  More importantly, if any country took the wrong turn against the principle of democracy, all of us here need to unite to pressure for change and return freedom o the people.

I will always support the Community of Democracies and the work of the Governing Council.  I also welcome the President’s Asian Partnership Initiative for Democracy and will explore how to extend our cooperation with it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to end my statement by declaring that, I hope that the sufferings of my family, the families of the political victims, and the families of the 91people, who lost their lives in defending democracy during the bloodshed in May 2010, will be the last.

Let us continue to support democracy so that the rights and liberties of all human beings will be protected for future generations to come!
Thank you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Thai Royals Give Me the Willies

Recently, Princess Ubonratana Rajakanya the eldest child of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Consort Sirikit showed an interesting but a bit creepy new look in her instagram feed.

I’m not sure that this new “Willy Wonka” look quite works for her but evidently the 2005 movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” starring Johnny Depp made a profound influence on the Princess.

Of course, Princess Ubonratana isn’t the only member of the royal family to be influenced by a character named “Willy” in a famous movie with a “bluish” twist. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thailand's Jack in the Box Court

The nine justices who sit on Thailand’s Constitution Court form a unique elite. They are not elected and they are not held directly accountable for their actions and when the Court strikes down actions by elected officials, it overrules the majority.

This doesn’t sound too democratic, does it? Of course not, courts aren’t supposed to be democratic.

But they are supposed to champion the fundamental rules of democratic fairness and be a beacon of hope for marginalized citizens.  This is where Thailand’s Constitution Court fails miserably. Instead, they have been the guardians of the old elite privilege. Constitution Court President, Wasan Soipisuth, has openly admitted this.

When advocates for popular democratic values of inclusion, equality, and fairness start to make progress, elitist judges like Wasan step in to promptly quash them.  Be it disqualifying candidates, dissolving political parties, or stopping legislation, the elite judges are a hindrance to democratic progress, civil rights and liberties.

The Constitution Court is like a Jack in the Box. You start to hear music for awhile then it abruptly stops and a clown pops out.

C'mon and sing along.  Everyone knows the popular "Jack in the Box" song...

All around the Parliament,
Something is about to get done.
And after them in double haste,
Pop! goes the Wasan.

Civil rights and liberties,
Someone put the brakes on.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the Wasan.

Yes, Wasan Soipisuth is a Weasel.