thailand political situation

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Mon May 24, 2010 9:19 pm

A good story here:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/leisure/leis ... o-town-now


And here an interesting personal account from a Westerner in Thailand, which is related to the rally in Ubon reported earlier:


many people wonder how the redshirts fund their activities

lets just explore this a little:

someone a couple of months ago said that after the travelling seminars around the country there were 1.5M red members @50Baht each

probably lot more members now (especially after the military action)

plus heaps of donations, we were at the rally at Rajamangala Stadium 2 years ago and joined many people in donating, there were lots of notes up to 1oooBaht in the box which was emptied every couple of hours

and a very indirectly related story:

about 10 years ago we went to the funeral of Ajahn Chah, a revered monk near Ubon

we helped in one of the big group of food kitchens that were setup ro feed people for 2 week period

it started with only a few thousand people camped in the forest, by the end of the week the MEA was installing major new electric power lines and transformers and truck loads of rice and all donated foodstuffs were streaming in.

we were feeding everyone for free, the crowd peaked at 1.5M people that turned up for the two nights and the day of the funeral

so a rally of 100,000 or so is childs play and possibly not as significant for the people of Esaan

its also an indication why Esaan people dont quite understand Bangkok peoples fixation on trivia like money



The presence of Buddhist monks at the red shirt rallies is easy to understand: most of these people from the provinces offer food to the monks every morning and their lives are much closer to the local temples than those of the Bangkok people, who may occasionally visit a nice touristy place on the weekend, but they often don't have any direct connection with the Sangha.

I know that some of the monks at Wat Pathum in Siam Square, for example, come from the "red areas" in Isaan, and so they were trying to help them by providing a safe zone as a shelter.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Pannapetar
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby Pannapetar » Tue May 25, 2010 2:53 am

In times like this, some people wonder whether democracy and rule of law can work at all in Thailand.

The road to democracy is hardly ever a smooth one. If you look at the history of those nations where democratic rule is now firmly established, it becomes obvious that this did not happen by chance, but with considerable struggle and often with conflict. Libertarian civil rights, rule of law, transparency, and democratic leadership don't come for free. Thailand is no exception. In addition to the difficult task of establishing the mentioned qualities in society, Thailand also faces the challenge of jumping from a traditional agrarian society to an industrial (post-)modern society, a process which has been underway for at least four decades and which probably takes several more decades to complete. We should expect occasional setbacks, such as the current political crisis.

Thailand must not take this as pretext to question libertarian civil rights and the path to democratic rule.

Cheers, Thomas
Last edited by Pannapetar on Tue May 25, 2010 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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robertk
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby robertk » Tue May 25, 2010 3:13 am


nathan
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby nathan » Tue May 25, 2010 3:41 am

But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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robertk
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby robertk » Tue May 25, 2010 12:50 pm

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_ ... 7Ae01.html
interesting article from 3 years back- how the yellow shirts leader saw it at that time.

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cooran
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby cooran » Tue May 25, 2010 8:32 pm

"

The Thai government says Mr Thaksin was a key player in recent unrest
A Thai court has approved an arrest warrant for ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra on terrorism charges related to recent anti-government protests.
The nine-week protest paralysed parts of Bangkok and left more than 80 people dead.
Many of the protesters were supporters of Mr Thaksin, and the Thai government accuses him of fomenting the unrest.
In a separate development, authorities have extended an overnight curfew in Bangkok and 23 provinces.
A curfew has been in force since the government operation to disperse protesters on 19 May and the subsequent fires and unrest across the city.
Authorities said the curfew would run for four more nights, between the hours of 0000 and 0400.
'Enough evidence'
Mr Thaksin was ousted by the military in a 2006 coup, then convicted of corruption in absentia. He now lives overseas.
Many of the red-shirt protesters who arrived in Bangkok on 14 March and shut down key parts of the city for two months support him.
Thai prosecutors have accused him of co-ordinating the protests, and an official said that the court found there was reason to issue a warrant.
"The court said there was enough evidence to believe that Thaksin was the mastermind, having played a significant role in instructing and manipulating the incidents," Department of Special Investigations chief Tharit Pengdit told Reuters news agency.
Mr Thaksin rejected the charges in a statement issued through a legal advisor.
"I have never supported violence," he said. "The arrest warrant against me is unfair. I am ready to prove that I am not a terrorist and the accusation is politically motivated."
This is a much more serious charge than anything Mr Thaksin has ever faced before but, say correspondents, whether the warrant will be effective is the big question.
It is not known where Mr Thaksin lives. He travels widely, splitting his time between Dubai and Montenegro, which recently issued him with a passport.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_p ... 152436.stm
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Pannapetar
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby Pannapetar » Wed May 26, 2010 6:39 am


nathan
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby nathan » Wed May 26, 2010 7:51 am

But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Wed May 26, 2010 12:05 pm

There are some Buddhist monastics with a broad knowledge of social structures in today's world and are able to suggest new interpretations of Buddhist principles to be relevant to such changed conditions. One of them is the Thai monk P.A. Payutto who has written quite a lot on these subjects (e.g. Buddhist Economics).

Also see this video series by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

Towards a Postmodern Model of Buddhism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDy2G3obN04
Bhikkhu Gavesako
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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Wed May 26, 2010 12:07 pm

More about Wat Pathum:

Army task force denies role in killing 6 at temple
Questions raised over 'skytrain special forces'

... A monk at the temple told the Bangkok Post he saw protesters shot in front of the temple and the gunfire had come from the skytrain track. He said other protesters moved the wounded into the temple.

"First aid volunteers also emerged to help injured people and they were shot," the monk said.

Military officers responsible for overseeing the temple area said they suspected several monks in the temple were red shirt supporters and helped harbour armed militants.

The monk said most of the monks at the temple came from the Northeast but he denied that they were red shirt supporters or that they had allowed armed militants to hide out in the temple.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/3 ... -at-temple
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Wed May 26, 2010 12:14 pm

Something about millenial movements in Thai history:

http://2bangkok.com/2bangkok/thaimediap ... ment.shtml

From Rattanakosin Bicentennial, 1982 - During the long reign of King Chulalongkorn, there were some disturbances to the peace of the Kingdom, such as the invasion of the Hos, a hilltribe in the North, a revolt of the Phrae; but those who were engaged in the disturbances were quickly defeated by the government authorities.

In 1901, a man, named Phi Boon, lived in Ubon Ratchathanai, a north-eastern province, declared that he was the super, no weapon could do any harm to him, and he could communicate with God and Spirits. He persuaded people and collected arms to build up forces. The government had to send the army unit to defeat them and keep the country in peace.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: thailand political situation

Postby Pannapetar » Thu May 27, 2010 4:35 am

A little miracle occurred yesterday. My sister in law was allowed for the first time to enter Central World again, after the shopping mall had been destroyed by the red shirts last week. The management had made an appointment with her and the other shop owners. The section of the building where my sister in law's shop is located did not burn down (miracle no 1). However, since this was the jewelry section, it was heavily damaged and looted. Most vendors found their shops destroyed; all the glass was broken, and much of the merchandise was missing. Watches, rings, and necklaces were strewn all over the floor. However, my sister in law's shop was completely intact (miracle no. 2). Not only was the glass unbroken, but not a single item was missing. It was the only jewelry shop that did not suffer any damage; even the manager could not explain it. My sister in law now believes that Luang Pu Du, whose amulet and image was installed at her shop, helped protecting it. And since this is the stuff of legends in Thailand, Luang Pu Du suddenly became very popular and all the other vendors wanted amulets as well.

Cheers, Thomas

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Re: thailand political situation

Postby nathan » Thu May 27, 2010 6:21 am

But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Thu May 27, 2010 3:08 pm

Thanks for the miracle story, it shows how deep the Thai animism really runs, and how relatively shallow the Buddhist roots are...

Sanitsuda Ekachai urges all Thais to remember the 5 precepts tomorrow which is Visakha Puja:
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... mal-are-we


And here is a self-critical piece from a Thai who does not believe all the propaganda about "foreign enemies":
http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... thai-idiot


...But I now believe that if we continue with this long-running charade of self-deception, Thailand is on its way to becoming a failed state shortly.

We present Thailand as the Land of Smiles full of gentle Buddhists. We regularly give alms to monks and often make donations to temples, believing that those are selfless acts for the welfare of others.

Deep down, however, we do that only because we wish to get something in return - to go to heaven or have a richer next life. It is a trade, pure and simple, nothing kind or selfless about it.

Few of us give for the sake of giving. We are basically very selfish.

Every time we go to the temple or attend a Buddhist ceremony, we duly accept and recite the Five Precepts as a guide to our daily lives, but we leave them there, as we always make promises without ever intending to keep them.

Actually, we understand little about Buddhism.

Even among the ranks of the monks, most do not know the teachings in-depth and lead their lives accordingly - all they know is how to conduct ceremonies from which they earn easy income.

This reflects something deeper - we are generally lazy and like to take short-cuts to the sabai (do-nothing) state. Lottery tickets, therefore, always sell out at premium prices; prostitution is rampant and young women readily marry foreign pensioners.

We love to talk but rarely listen. Even when we do, we often fail to hear, as we never learn to think critically.

We cannot put up with different points of view nor can we work cooperatively.

Many of the over 30,000 Buddhist temples were built next to one another because when we disagreed with one, we just built another.

That the cooperative movement has never been successful here is another indication of our inability to tolerate different points of view.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Fri May 28, 2010 8:02 am

Jotman has now collected all the evidence about the Wat Pathum shootings here:

http://jotman.blogspot.com/2010/05/kill ... emple.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Fri May 28, 2010 3:52 pm

And finally, some direct report about the "Ronin fighters" helping the red shirts and responsible for the violence called "terrorism" by the government:

Unmasked: Thailand's men in black
By Kenneth Todd Ruiz and Olivier Sarbil

http://atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/LE29Ae02.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Sun May 30, 2010 7:32 am

Why was forgiving zone violated?
Wat Pathum Wanaram was opened up as a refuge to red shirt protesters, but there were several obstacles preventing it from becoming a true haven

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politic ... e-violated

Chaiwat Satha-anand of the Peace Information Centre at Thammasat University, who was among those who were instrumental in initiating the apaiyatan, pointed out that Thai temples have historically been separated from the social and political arenas. Thus the traditional apaiyatan zones in Thai temples might have been perverted to become safe zones only for fish and birds, and it may be hard for many people to extend their compassion to human beings.

"In general, the moral and social force of the temple in Thailand has been violated," said Mr Chaiwat, "as temples are not free from crimes or other moral violations. For example, many temples have signs warning people about pickpockets."
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: thailand political situation

Postby Virgo » Mon May 31, 2010 2:58 pm



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gavesako
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Re: thailand political situation

Postby gavesako » Mon May 31, 2010 5:12 pm

The video of snipers shooting from BTS towards Wat Pathum has been released here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77xvkhnW ... _embedded#!
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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