Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of Thailand

img033-1000

The larger dispute between Red Shirts, Yellow Shirts, and Multicolor Shirts is complex, and it includes big players.

Mr. Thaksin the Billionaire is the major player, and I suspect that someone close to him is behind the accusations that Mr. Abhisit is a murderer.

I have no proof of this suspicion, just as there is no proof that a man’s hand is actually in the glove at the end of his arm.

Mr. Thaksin is more powerful than I am.   He could order me killed with a gesture.  Would he do it?  Maybe.  But at least he is not a torturing Mexican drug dealer.  It would be a simple bullet.

Would Mr. Abhisit have me killed?  Never.

And so I am defending someone who is now powerless, facing murder charges, and even if Mr. Abhisit were still in charge of the Thai government, he would not have me killed.  He would ignore me.

img034-1000Royal Thai Army soldiers near the protest site. They are good soldiers.

I have nothing to gain from defending Mr. Abhisit.  He has no power.  He may wrongfully go to prison for murder.

There is nothing for me to gain but pain, and the peace of conscience that I did not passively watch an innocent man go to prison, while the RTA is accused of atrocity, when I know that silence is wrong, and speaking truth is right.

img035-1000Some of the most courageous reporters were women.

I have been warned that the current Thai government will punish me for writing these dangerous words.

Mr. Thaksin’s sister is the current Prime Minister.  The elementary school that she attended is just down the road from my home.  My friends went to school with her.  This is her country.  Red Shirts love her.

Mr. Thaksin’s government has not lifted a finger against me.  They have been honorable despite my words.  This is Thailand, not Iran.

Thailand can be dangerous, but mostly it is dangerous for those who bring their demons with them, or for those who do not know how to behave as guests.

img036-1000Red Shirts burned this woman’s small dress shop. Why?

I live on a street where a hundred Chiang Mai police officers live.  The apartment buildings near my home are loaded with police.  They all know me.  They often say hello.  They have been kind.  Many are Red Shirts.

My home is just a short walk from the Red Shirt headquarters.  They know me.  They know where I live.  Sometimes I go to their functions.  I walk by their offices.  The Red Shirts have made no threats against me.

The Thai government has not hampered me in any way.  They renewed my visa with a smile even though I am writing and making statements that they do not like.

img037-1000Amazing Thailand. There is much to learn here.

img038-1000

Life is short.   We should stand up for what is right.  Mr. Abhisit and the RTA did not commit murder.

The Kingdom of Thailand is a great and free country.  Thai people, including those who hate Mr. Abhisit, should not allow perversions of their judicial system.  This is wrong for such a great country as Thailand.

Charges against Mr. Abhisit should be dropped.

Long Live the King.

Comments   

 
+21 # RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of ThailandWF 2012-12-29 20:08
Thank you Mr. Yon for covering the truth, many of us really appreciate your work on covering the truth. I myself really hate it now when the truth were twist for evil purpose and the false rumors were spend to destroying innocence people who do good deed.
Still those who really need to face justice now become the one in power I don't know if us Thai people will really knows the real Peace. The situation is just like A group of Blind people believe they can see very clearly than before and refuse to accept the reality even we throw the truth at them they won't believe it.
Thank you again for the details truth.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+26 # Mr.Ralph Schatzki 2012-12-29 20:40
Thank you so much for this very well-written and powerful piece. I lived as an ex-pat American in Bangkok for more than thirteen years, and I agree unreservedly with everything you have stated with regard to Thai hospitality and acceptance. Not long into my stay in the Kingdom- a wonderful and vastly different place than the USA- I realized that "freedom" can be construed very differently depending on one's expectations, background, culture, and experience. I underwent tremendous growth while living there, and I have no doubt that any American who desires to experience similar growth would benefit immeasurably by spending time there (or, for that matter, in any other culture significantly different from our own).

I had written a short piece awhile back, the gist of which was that Americans celebrate diversity, and in an almost paradoxical way this is what defines us. Thais, on the other hand, are in so many ways a very unified people. The colors of the Thai flag represent the country, the religion, and the King, and to criticize the King is tantamount to a renunciation of one's "Thai-ness."

I salute both your tenacity and your courage to speak the truth. This is the kind of reporting of which the world needs more.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+13 # As alwaysThomas Dikel 2012-12-29 20:41
Michael,
As always, a beautifully written dispatch. Too bad I'm not on the Pulitzer committee, otherwise you'd have my vote. Thank you. Stay safe brother.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+13 # RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of ThailandWill Fireatte 2012-12-29 21:49
Beautifully written. I was not there during that difficult time, but everything else you wrote agrees with my own experiences. Thailand is such a wonderful country in many ways. I wish it, and it's people, the best. Thank you for acting with courage and integrity. You represent your own countrymen better than some of our diplomats (or tourists) do! Stay safe. Swasdee Pee Mai krub (Happy New Year)
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+2 # RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of ThailandKurt Olney 2012-12-29 22:50
Not sure what to make of this. You have definitely placed yourself in harms way. The journalism you describe in Thailand is non existent in Mexico. Crime scenes in the U.S. are definitely restricted to journalist. Of course visiting any country you are subject to their laws and customs. I will give what you have a written a lot of thought. In the meantime I hope they don't decide to shoot you.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+26 # This a complex matter.Heywood Jablomi 2012-12-29 23:35
But it is also very simple.

There are more Red Shirts than there are Yellow Shirts. So the Puea Thai party indisputably won the last election.

Part of the problem is that the Red Shirts felt as though they were disenfranchised by the coup that deposed Mr. Thaksin in 2006, and there is no question that it was a national trauma inflicted on the Thai body politic.

Because the Democrat party was able to form a governing coalition with the Bumjaithai party, Red Shirts felt that the Bangkok elites illegitimately took power. You must remember that the constitution and the judicial system disbanded both the PPP and the TRT parties, the predecessors of the currently ruling Puea Thai.

This is the reason why the current government, and the Red Shirts (they are not synonymous), wish to amend the constitution. They want to delete the clauses that ban corrupt politicians who commit electoral fraud from participation in politics for five years, and most of all they want to delete the clauses that punish parties for the individual abuses of party members by disbanding the parties.

Mr. Abhisit, as the opposition leader in Parliament, opposes these constitutional changes. He also opposes efforts by the government to pass "reconciliation " measures, which are really a mass pardon for all who committed violence in 2010. Such a pardon would magically make Mr. Thaksin's conviction for corruption vanish, as well as the plethora of criminal charges that are pending against him, including support for terrorism. Mr. Thaksin could, in the event of a pardon, finally return to Thailand.

Mr. Thaksin and the Red Shirts believe that he was wrongly exiled. In truth, however, Mr. Thaksin has exiled himself. He was granted bail after his conviction on fraud charges, and he received permission from judicial authorities to attend the Olympic Games. Mr. Thaksin never returned to Thailand. He chose self-exile, rather than face the prospect of a jail term. In any case, Mr. Thaksin and the Red Shirts characterize his conviction as "political," and they insist that it was not legitimate.

The primary obstacle to "reconciliation " and the changes to the constitution that the Red Shirts advocate is Mr. Abhisit. So they attack him. They attempted to have his military rank revoked, but only His Majesty can do that. So the Reds were stymied there. Now they are charging Mr. Abhisit with murder. There is no question that this is an abuse of police authority.

When Thailand is a country that can prosecute former Prime Ministers for doing their job, (and Mr. Abhisit was very lenient, in my opinion, in his approach to the 2010 riots), it is on an evil path.

The Reds are pursuing evil tactics in an effort to perpetrate evil goals.

I grieve for Thailand.

Long Live His Majesty.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Heywood,Russki Top 2013-01-02 21:15
Excellent synopsis. I wish you were just polemicizign, but form the bit I keep up with you've pretty well nailed it.
Michael, outstanding piece. My limited time with Thai government employees, soldiers, and civilians gibes with what you've written and experienced here. They take their democracy and their royalty very seriously. They also take personal responsibility equally as seriously. I hope they can get through this crisis with a minimum of pain. Were Thaksin to return and face the music, much of this could be put to rest.
Thank you again for your reporting and your willingness to call it from the ground view.
Stay safe.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+4 # Great dispatchNazir 2012-12-30 10:06
nicely written Michael, and i miss your Afghanistan photography :)
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+5 # Mr.Aranyabhuti 2012-12-30 13:00
Thank you for sharing Truth.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+6 # RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of ThailandMarybeauty 2012-12-30 14:30
This considerate message might not change anything they did and will do with Abhisit but the intention was there. Really appreciated your honesty and courage.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+19 # A fair reflection of what really happened!HP 2012-12-30 14:55
I've lived in BKK for 4 years now lived through the red shirt protest living 500 meters from the battle zone ( if I may say it) and I saw exactly what you say, was in the center of things almost daily with my camera ( though I'm not a journalist) and have enough to show why this was never something the army created. Having a protest and what the red shirts did were very different, and shielding it behind innocent civilians and children were cowardly to say it mildly! I ain't no supporter of eithe party but I beleive the government acted like any government in power would and should! Maybe they should have acted earlier! Any death is sad but no group can be allowed to take over a city no matter what color they are! I wish only the best for this beautiful county and hope reds and yellows find a way to move forward and avoid such instances being repeated.
Long Live the King!
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+2 # AuthorMichael Yon author 2012-12-31 04:59
Thank you for the thoughtful comments. My webmaster blocked one comment due to wild profanity. Otherwise, comments are only blocked when they are advertisements, pages of unrelated text, or simply vulgar or gratuitous ad hominem by any standard.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+1 # Thank you!leyla 2012-12-31 07:03
Thank you for getting the truth out and God Bless you this coming New Year!!
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Great Hotels - Islands in the streamScotch7 2012-12-31 07:19
Delighted to recognize the Dusit Thani in your photo. Stayed there in the '80s. Many happy memories of architecture and staff. Sad to read it took fire, but I'm confident it will be repaired gracefully.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Well DoneSkip 2012-12-31 14:27
Very well written, nice to see a journalist with morals and honesty. There are so few left around the planet. Makes me want to visit Thailand for an extended stay.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Disco?Scott Dudley 2012-12-31 15:01
I recall visiting the Dusit Thani in the '69-'70 timeframe in a brief respite from the gunline. Think the disco there was called the Panda room or the Boom Boom room. Latter might have been a different mission.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# Red Shirts vs Upstanding Thai CitizensF Thomas 2012-12-31 23:40
Politics can turn ugly in places such as Thailand. Michael, your coverage I'm sure is factual and to the point.

Happy New Year!
Stay Safe - Keep your head down and rear end lower!
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+1 # RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of ThailandChaik 2013-01-01 06:57
Thank you and let the god-forsaken truth be told! We, the Thai people have to live with the twisted lies by the gov. controlled media day in and day out. Thank you again from all of the Thai people who want the world to know the real truth.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+5 # And you're still hangin around?DD 2013-01-01 23:26
dude, you have balls of titanium.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
+1 # Alaswolfemanjack 2013-01-04 01:11
"In India, if you want to swim with crocodiles, the Indian Police might say, 'I wouldn’t do that if I were you,' but then they will watch you go. Later that day, Indian police will dutifully alert the US Embassy that you were eaten. Indians do not protect you from yourself. Thailand is similar. I love it. ***
Personal responsibility is real here. You are free. All consequences are on you. *** You are free to wade into a firefight or to pet crocodiles. Do not whine when you get bitten or shot. *** We say that we want freedom, but Americans do not live in freedom. We Americans seem to spend every waking hour plotting how to shackle ourselves. Freedom is becoming an empty word in America. ***
America does not want fewer laws. Many Americans want more laws."

Sad but true (the part about America).

I don't know much about Thai politics but thanks for the balanced reporting.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of ThailandRR 2013-01-17 03:34
Thank you for your covering the truth. As a Thai, I wish Thai journalists are as honest and truthful as you are. We all need to hear the truth.
Have a happy and safe year.
Reply | Report to administrator
 
 
# RE: Some Thoughts About The Kingdom of Thailandpor pae 2013-04-07 16:43
can we use this in court? if summoned, will you testify?
Reply | Report to administrator
 

Add comment

Due to the large amount of spam, all comments will be moderated before publication. Please be patient if you do not see your comment right away. Registered users who login first will have their comments posted immediately.


Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Recurring and one-time donations are available through PayPal or Authorize.net.

supp

supp

subscribe

You can now help support the next dispatch with bitcoins:

Donate Bitcoins

My BitCoin QR Code

This is for use with BitCoin apps:

189