Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No Respect For Suthep

Thailand, known as the "Land of Smiles", is usually regarded as friendly to foreigners.  According to the Thai government the kingdom received 15.8 million overseas tourists last year and the sector generated 585 billion baht ($19 billion), or 7 percent of economic output.

But last month the Thai government showed its true color (yellow) when Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and all round thug, Suthep Thaugsuban, said this:

"I don't respect 'farangs'. We do not have to surrender to them," he said, using the Thai word for "Westerners".

This should be a wakeup call for all Western governments to realize what the ruling Thai Democratic Party really thinks of them.  

And just who is Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban?

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban
'Doesn't Respect Westerners'

In 1992, Suthep became Agriculture Minister. As part of the Sor Por Kor 4-01 land reform scheme, Suthep was responsible for giving land intended for poor families in a land reform scheme to his wealthy buddies.

In 2009, Suthep was accused of violating the Constitution of Thailand by holding equity in a media firm that had received concessions from the government. Members of Parliament are banned from holding stakes in companies which have received government concessions. 

In July 2009, the Election Commission announced that it would seek a ruling by the Constitutional Court to disqualify Suthep and 12 other Democrat MPs for having allegedly violated the charter. Suthep held a press conference a day later, announcing his decision to resign from Parliament. If his case had been submitted to the Constitution Court, he would have been suspended from duty as Deputy Prime Minister.

Even more recently, Suthep, as head of the Thai Palm Oil commission, engineered a shortage of palm oil and ensured that his family - prominent palm oil growers in Surat Thani - got a big slice of the 4 billion baht profit made by the major palm oil families down south.

Suthep also constantly stated that the Thai Army didn’t shoot anybody in April/May 2010 when 2000 people mostly unarmed citizens were shot in the streets of central Bangkok. He also said that all of the 2000 people shot and 91 killed “ran into bullets.”

In his capacity as director of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), Suthep is directly responsible for ordering the operations which killed those 91 people last year.

And Suthep doesn’t respect Westerners.  Well, as a Westerner, I don’t respect corrupt politicians, liars, and murderers, so I guess we’re even.

A November poll by the Nation showed that Suthep was considered to be the least honest politician in Thailand (that is really saying something). Obviously Thais don’t respect him either.

And in this rare video clip, his own mother, Mama Suthep, doesn’t even respect him.

That's the way to go Mama Suthep. 

Time to throw out the rest of the garbage known as the Democrat Party.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The General and the Colonel: Killers by Clusters

Cluster munitions are large weapons which are deployed from the air and from the ground and release dozens or hundreds of smaller submunitions.  

Many of these submunitions fail to detonate on impact and become de facto antipersonnel mines killing and maiming people long after the conflict has ended. These duds are more lethal than antipersonnel mines; incidents involving submunition duds are much more likely to cause death than injury.

Air-dropped or ground-launched, they cause major humanitarian problems and risks to civilians. For example, their widespread dispersal means they cannot distinguish between military targets and civilians so the humanitarian impact can be extreme, especially when the weapon is used in or near populated areas.

They have killed and injured thousands of civilians during the last 40 years and continue to do so today. They cause widespread harm on impact and yet remain dangerous, killing and injuring civilians long after a conflict has ended. One third of all recorded cluster munitions casualties are children and 60% of cluster bomb casualties are injured while undertaking their
That is why there is the Convention on Cluster Munitions which bans the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions, requires states to destroy stockpiles, clear contaminated land, and assist victims and affected communities.

There have only been two countries which have used cluster munitions since the Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force on August 1, 2010. Yes, you guessed it: Thailand and Libya.  Countries run by two of the worst military despots in the world today, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha and Colonel Moamar Khadafi.  Both of these men have no problems at all invading their weaker neighbors for more territory (Cambodia and Chad) or even using their military to massacre their own people.


Humanity would be better off if these two were out of power and in prison where they belong.

This reminds me.  I have endorsed boycotts in the past such as the one against Mama Instant Noodles.  Now I formally endorse the boycott of General Prayuth’s new Thai Military breakfast cereal.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Prem’s Driving Lesson for the Children of the Privileged

I came across a video of what appears to be 90 year old and current Head of the Privy Council Prem Tinsulanonda giving driving tips to teenagers of rich and well-connected Thai families.

Now to be fully honest, the character in the video may not be the real General Prem Tinsulanonda but there is a strong resemblance.
Papa Prem 
Regardless, this particular driving lesson seems to have made an “impact.” Here are three examples:
1. In 2007 Kanpithak Pachimsawas, 20, was driving his Mercedes in Bangkok when a bus cut him off, an argument ensued and Kanpithak hit the bus driver in the face with a rock.  A crowd at the bus stop was witness to this and they started shouting abuse at the young man who responded to this by getting back into his Mercedes and driving directly into the crowd.
A 42 year old woman was killed and many more injured, when the police arrived on the scene they were accompanied by Kanpithak’s father, a well connected business man, who proceeded to threaten the witnesses with the police watching.
When the case eventually came to trial in 2009 (quite a feat in itself to actually bring it to trial) the spoiled child was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 10 years in jail, then promptly released on 5 million baht bail not having spent one minute in jail!
Kanpithak Pachimsawas
Kanpithak’s mother is former Miss Thailand Sawinee Pakaranang and his uncle is retired deputy police chief Ukrit Patchimsawat.

2. On December 27, 2010 nine people associated with Thammasat University were killed and five injured in a car accident in Bangkok when Prae-wa (Orachorn) Thephassadin Na Ayuttaya, a 16 year old girl, slammed the Honda Civic she was driving into the back of a passenger van. Almost immediately afterward, this photo was circulating all over the internet showing the young lady with her smashed vehicle sending a text on her Blackberry to one of the social media web sites.  
Prae-wa Thephassadin Na Ayuttaya
Orachorn also comes from a rich and well connected family.  Her uncle, General Wit Thephassadin Na Ayutthaya, is chief adviser to army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha.  Another relative was the leader of one of the paramilitary groups so prominent in another massacre of Thammasat students - October 6, 1976.  It appears like mass killing with impunity runs in her family.
Orachorn has never been formally arrested because according to the Thai Police, “Authorities had no grounds to detain the teenager.”  I guess that having no driver’s license, the closed circuit cameras that recorded the entire event, the photos afterward, the girl’s own admission that she was speeding, and the nine dead bodies are insufficient grounds to imprison one of the rich and famous in Bangkok.

3. On Mar 25, 2011, 19 year old
Peerapol Thaksinthaweesap was driving his father’s Porsche at 120 km/hour when he hit a young girl on Pathum Thani-Bang Bua Thong highway in Pathum Thani.  The impact from the crash was so severe it cut the girl's body in half.  The lower half of her body flew out the back windshield and landed in a ditch in the middle of the road but the upper half of her torso remained in the car which Peerapol abandoned 10 km down the road to take a taxi home.
I won’t actually post the video of the recovery of the body parts here but I will provide a link to it below with the warning that is frightfully gruesome. Please don’t watch it if you have a weak stomach.
When police contacted the owner of the car, Peerapol’s father told them that ‘the driver’ would only surrender to police after he attends the Cheng Meng religious festival, where he would pay homage to his ancestors.
After finally reporting to Police in a black hood and sunglasses, Peerapol eventually admitted that he was speeding, and he was charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.  He was released into his family’s custody and it is unlikely that he will ever be held criminally accountable for his actions as well.
Peerapol Thaksinthaweesap

Common sentiment is that justice is blind unless it's in Thailand where justice favors the rich, powerful, and influential.

Now, I don’t want to appear to be so callous.  These are kids and I can’t help but sympathize somewhat over their situation.  May they manage to live good lives and at least attempt to redeem themselves and try to make up for the tragic losses they are responsible for – and they are responsible.  However, I believe they have gotten off on the wrong foot by having mommy and daddy elite take care of their legal responsibilities.
The truth is that these kids have become lightning rods for the hate that the aristocracy in Thailand has brought upon itself over the years.  They symbolize the enemy; rich, uncaring, reckless, and protected.  A true democracy in Thailand could ultimately solve this problem. That's why the people want it and the elite/military establishment are so opposed to it.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Paradorn Srichapan Goes Into Thai Politics

Inspired by Chart Pattana Puea Pandin core member Suwat Liptapanlop, who is the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand president, former professional tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan plans to run for a seat in Thailand’s Parliament.
Paradorn Srichapan

The 31-year-old who retired from tennis last year announced his plans on April 11th to contest in a constituency in Bangkok in the upcoming general election.
I suppose that after retiring from playing tennis, Paradorn wanted to rake in the really big money by being a Thai politician. But there’s many good things that can be said about Paradorn.
First of all he did divorce his hottie wife, Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova.
Natalie Glebova

Plus, Paradorn was a very great tennis player. Ranked as high as the Number 9 best tennis player in the world, Paradorn “owned” the court.
Below is an example of how Paradorn could use his skills to get out of trouble on the court.

As opposed to current Thai politician, Abhisit Vejjajiva, who also “owns” the court. 
Below is an example of how Abhisit can use his skills to get out of trouble from the court.

Yes, that’s Democrat MP for Ranong province Virach Romyen, in his capacity as legal representative of the Democrats meeting with the Secretary-General of the Constitution Court at a restaurant in order to prepare the Election Commission testimony to be positive in a legal aspect so that their party is not dissolved.  This comes after the serious consulting with Prem and Constitution Court judges as from the facts. Facts that clearly show the Constitutional Court judges as being corrupt and biased.
Speaking of Prem and other news from Thailand, I saw this headline: Thailand Seizes 2,000 Monitor Lizards.