Friday, December 21, 2012

A Christmas Poem

Printing a short poem or message honoring the King on his birthday, December 5th, is fairly routine and traditional for newspapers in Thailand.  However, this year there was some controversy concerning a poem printed by one very respected newspaper, Matichon.
It was a short four-line poem printed without attribution but all hell broke loose in online social networks, with angry royalist nutjobs posting comments bashing or condemning the newspaper.  Most of those who were critical of the poem felt the content was ambiguous and none of it could be seen as praising or honoring the King.
One of the critics who railed against the poem and the newspaper in particular included Suravich Virawan, executive editor of the ASTV cable channel and someone with absolutely no clue on the values of poetry.  He questioned why the poem was written in an ambiguous fashion which could be interpreted in different and negative ways.
He also noted that similar poems which were printed by the newspaper in the past for the occasion were quite straightforward, meaningful and easy to understand.
Reinforcing December 7th as a day of infamy, Sondhi Limthongkul appeared on ASTV grumbling about the poem.  The Manager Group proprietor and year-round fruitcake said the poem in question looked all right if the reader simply glanced through it.
But, he said, if one carefully read through it to find out the true meaning of the poem, the ambiguous nature of the writing could be misinterpreted, or might suggest the unnamed writer might have wanted to criticize the King.
The former leader of the yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy and current poster boy for abortion, then suggested the newspaper might have already been bought by the "Man in Dubai".
Also, issuing critical points of view were some of the other dregs of Thai society; pop singers. They published their responses to the poem in the most respected and intellectually accepted media in Thailand;  Facebook.
Pop singer Billy Ogan posted his own poem condemning both the poem and Matichon, likening them to a dog.
Not to be outdone in idiocy, pop singer Kalyakorn Naksompop wrote on her Facebook page that there was no need to write in a cryptic or ambiguous fashion if the intention was to praise someone or wish him well. She added the newspaper would have been better off not writing anything at all if it did not want to honor the King.
The criticisms prompted the Matichon editorial department to issue a statement through its website in defense of the controversial poem. It said there was no ulterior motive on the part of the newspaper or the writer of the poem to offend the King.
Now I don’t want to get too involved in this poetry controversy. It is, after all, their king and their poetry.
Besides, I’m too involved nowadays with the holiday season here. Ironically, it is also the celebration of the birthday of a king – the King of kings to be exact.  That’s why we have Santa Claus, decorated trees, singing, etc…
Like during the King of Thailand’s birthday, we also have poetry for Christmas and nothing brings out the spirit of the holidays when the family all gathers around and I read a Christmas poem to them.
So, in honor of the festive holiday season, I’d like to share a traditional Christmas poem which brings cheer to my family and I hope it brings cheer to you as well.  It’s not cryptic or ambiguous but I’m fairly certain that Sondhi is not going to like it. But who cares?  He knows as much about poetry as he does about democracy. 

Twas a Sondhi Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land
Nothing was stirring, not even the third hand.
The generals were sleeping, retired ones too.
Those arrogant bastards were dreaming of coup.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Christmas danced in their heads.
But I waited until I heard nary a peep,
Then I settled in bed for a much deserved sleep.

When out in the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The lights on the street with their bright yellow glow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
“I just don’t believe it,” I said to myself,
“There’s some kind of deranged, goofy looking elf. “

Weaving between cars and against traffic flow,
In a crude little wagon pulled by four buffalo.
More yellow than lemons and more stupid they claim,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Phipbob! Now Chamlong! Now  Boonlert and Tul!
It’s all for the King. Try much harder and pull!
To the front of the porch! To the front of the wall!
Now plod away! Plod away! Plod away all!"

And then after a short and relative calm,
The front door exploded from a ping pong ball bomb.
You wouldn’t have guessed who next entered the room,
Sondhi the Terrorist of Suvarnabhumi.

From his head to his feet, he was dressed in all yellow.
He looked very scary, a despicable fellow.
Afraid for my children and even my spouse,
I yelled “this is my home, not the Government House!”

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Wrecking our home, that fat facist jerk.
He smashed into our tree and the ornaments broke,
Is this what he learned from the Santi Asoke?

His eyes were glazed over! His breath smelled of booze!
He acted quite crazy, like his mind blew a fuse!
He called me a name and stuck out his tongue,
He was a very rude man, that fat piece of dung.

He started to chuckle as he broke wind with glee,
Taking all the presents  and even the tree.
Quickly making an exit where once was our door,
He was fully loaded and he could carry no more!

He sprang to his wagon, to his team gave a hoot,
And away they all went pulling that fascist galoot.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"I love the King so this makes it all right!"

The children were shaking and filled with great fright.
They had just witnessed a horrible sight.
Their presents were gone. They didn’t know why.
They thought they’d miss Christmas and started to cry.

But the crying all ceased when reassured by their mother,
“He didn’t take everything, we still have each other.”
It was then and there when we discovered the reason
and the meaning of Christmas and the holiday season.

Christmas is more than a tree or a toy.
It’s about love, happiness, giving and joy.
These are all things Sondhi can’t carry away.
Keep them close to your heart and you’ll have Christmas Day.

It’s peace on Earth, good will towards men.
Practice this and you’ll always win,
The wrong will fail, there’s no need to dread.
Santa doesn’t wear yellow, Santa wears red.

And Santa Says to Free Somyot!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Abhisit’s Revealing Fingerprints

Last Thursday former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his evil toady former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban reported to the Department of Special Investigation to acknowledge criminal charges, including murder, in connection with the massacre of unarmed pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok two years ago. Part of the procedure was to fingerprint the two charged suspects.

However, someone took a photograph of Abhisit being fingerprinted which was later posted on the internet and dubbed “a historic picture.”

This incident prompted the Democrat Party to demand that legal action be taken against a DSI official for taking and leaking the photograph.

Democrat spokesman and renowned loony conspiracy theorist Chavanond Intarakomalyasut insisted that it was clear the picture had been taken from where Pol Lt-Colonel Theeraphol Pinmuangngarm was sitting while Abhisit was being officially charged.  Chavanond also said Theeraphol had denied taking the photograph and posting it on the internet, though he was convinced that the photograph had been e-mailed to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in exchange for a reward. 

Fingerprints, of course, offer an infallible means of personal identification. This technique has been around for years.

Making sure they have the right individual charged with the appropriate crime is why the DSI takes fingerprints in the first place.  Abhisit’s fingerprints were also allegedly leaked to the internet and they are very revealing in that they clearly show that he should be charged with murder, attempted murder, bodily assault and other crimes which incurred during the 2010 pro-democracy protest massacre in Bangkok.

When Abhisit called the military in to crush the pro-democracy movement which would have led to his removal from office, he knew there would be death and violence. The Thai military have a long and well documented history of killing unarmed pro-democracy protesters. Both Abhisit and Suthep should be held to account for these crimes.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Children of the Korn

The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, wasn’t the only person to get nauseous recently over an impending event in the UK involving children.  I was too.

Andrew Spooner, aka Asia Provocateur, posted on his site about former Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his economic henchman, former Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, being invited to a reception for the Thai Children’s Trust 30th Anniversary Celebration. Korn’s team was especially touting the request to attend.
Korn  Chatikavanij

I find these invitations extremely inappropriate at best, particularly sickening at worst. And those who know me know that passing judgment is like passing a kidney stone. It’s going to hurt and someone is going to walk funny.

Korn is a well known supporter for the terrorist organization known as the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).   Lest we forget his op-ed article on September 9, 2008 in the Bangkok Post where he statesLet’s be clear – I am a PAD sympathizer.

Since Korn is a PAD sympathizer then he must condone their use of children as human shields during that group’s violent takeover of the Bangkok airports as was reported by NineMSN on November 30, 2008. “The idea is that the military or police won’t use as much force because children were still there.”

Of course, the democratically elected government of Somchai Wongsawat did not use force against the PAD to free the airports.  But there was no reward for refraining from violence as Somchai was removed from office, banned for 5 years, and his political party (People’s Power Party) dissolved.  Afterwards, the Thai Democrat Party, including Korn, who openly supported the PAD, took over the government with the help of the military.

This was in 2008. But just when I thought that nothing could be as disgusting as supporting the use of children as human shields for a terrorist group, the Thai Democrat Party unbelievably manages to find a way to lower the bar even further.

In 2010, the Thai Democrats, in their attempt to crush a legitimate pro-democracy movement and maintain power, gave the orders that actually shot and killed children.
A Young Victim of the Thai Democrat Party's Quest for Power

There’s nothing like showing the population that you are willing to do anything and commit any atrocity in order to intimidate and control them.  

An invitation to an event supporting the Thai Children’s Trust by a British MP doesn’t absolve Korn nor Abhisit from their crimes against Thai children.  It does not legitimatize their callous actions. It only shows that some British MPs need to be better informed about Thai history and Thai Democrat Party blood lust.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Abhisit and Suthep Charged, Bring on the ICC

After brutally massacring peaceful civilians protesting for elections in Bangkok during April and May of 2010, the military installed government led by Abhisit Vejjajiva arrested thousands in order to further crush the pro-democracy movement.  Thailand’s prisons are currently packed with hundreds of these political prisoners. These men and women include political activists, labor leaders, bloggers, and ordinary citizens who have been arrested on charges of lese majeste (Article 112 of the Criminal Code) or violations to the 2007 Computer Crimes Act.

Yet nobody has been arrested for the murders of the innocent protesters in Bangkok during 2010! 

Let me draw you a picture…

In Thailand, the scales of justice are as unbalanced as some of the judges there. 

Let me draw you another picture…

Does this Judge Look Mentally Balanced?
For too long now, Thai authorities have not genuinely pursued those most responsible for the murders of innocent civilians.  

However, according to a rare bit of journalism in the Bangkok Post, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has charged Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban for authorizing the killing of anti-government protesters during the 2010 unrest in Bangkok.

Suthep Thaugsuban and Abhisit Vejjajiva
They're not laughing now

And in an interview with The Daily TelegraphPitch Pongsawat, Professor of Political Science at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University, said, This is just the beginning of a long process and there’s no guarantee that the courts will rule against Mr. Abhisit.” 

Of course there’s NO guarantee that the courts will rule against Abhisit. Part of the royalist elite strategy for self-preservation is to utilize the Thai judicial system for political gain. This includes the judicial protection of their friends and criminalization of their enemies in the pro-democracy movement. 

Thailand’s judges have increasingly made flagrantly political decisions, from dissolving political parties to stopping the charter amendment process, making the justice system there completely defective.

This is where the International Criminal Court (ICC) intervention can help.

The ICC is a mechanism that will complement the criminal justice system of any country whose justice system is flawed and cannot function effectively which describes the justice system in Thailand perfectly.  ICC involvement doesn’t mean that Thailand hands over jurisdiction to the ICC as some have claimed.    

And one of the felonies the ICC will help to adjudicate in a country with a faulty justice system is a crime against humanity.

And make no mistake about it. The killing and wounding of civilian demonstrators in 2010 was systematically planned by Abhisit and Suthep.  A crime against humanity, by definition, is any action as part of a wider, systematic attack with the politically motivated aim to harm the citizens or intimidate or destroy particular groups of people.  So if the 2010 massacre doesn’t qualify as a crime against humanity by Abhisit and Suthep, then I don’t know what does.  

Now the elitists in Thailand are saying that the ICC is not needed to improve the justice process and that what they have is “good enough.”   This is a good example of the maxim, "better is the enemy of good enough."  It is even a better example of the maxim “better is the enemy of sucks big time.”   

I say, bring on the ICC.