Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Unrest in Bangkok - PAD

Hi Bloggers,

Well, most of my blogs are about my travel experiences. However, I felt I should make some comment about the current political situation here in Bangkok, where a state of emergency has been declared, following the PAD's demonstrations and occupation of the government buildings.

I'm personally strongly against what the PAD are doing, as they're making an absolute mockery of democracy. No matter what the faults of the current government, they were democratically elected, fairly and squarely in what was generally regarded as a legitimate election last year. To just go on the streets like this and try and force change just because their party isn't in power is to reduce politics to mob rule. And this is definitely not what Thailand needs with its history of military coups. It is important that democratic processes be allowed to take root, ultimately for the benefit of all Thais.

On a more general note, I also think most of the anti Taksin feeling is largely political in nature. Actually, Thailand's economy boomed under him and he was certainly more than a competent leader. Regarding the corruption issue, he did nothing any other Thai politician wouldn't have done. Corruption is simply endemic to SE Asian politics. That's not to condone it, but the point is that he also did a hell of a lot of good for the country. He wasn't simply a guy out to fleece the nation, like Marcos of the Philippines, for example. Taksin genuinely cared about the welfare of Thais, particularly the rural poor.

So, all in all, sad times for Thailand at the moment. It'll be interesting to see how the current turmoil affects investor confidence and tourism.

Hope to get a few pics up soon.

Cheers,
Robert

5 comments:

Surensan said...

Hi,

Glad to read something else than the general opinion orchestrated in the media, different and frank!

Do you think President Buto in Pakistan will fare better with saying they are closer to democracy with him now?

Gerrit

tropicalrob said...

Hi Gerrit,

What's the media in Japan saying? I think the Western press has been reasonably objective. I'm going to try and ride out to the area this week and see if I can get some shots. On my new bike, of course!

Robert

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