Thongchai Thailand

Archive for the ‘Thailand’ Category

The claim that “when it comes to weather related disasters then there is a trend upwards connected with climate change” (UN warns of mega disaster, Bangkok Post, June 7, 2010) has been made so many times since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that it has taken on the aura of truth and it has been cited by world leaders including Obama but in fact there is no actual evidence to support it and the authors of the original IPCC report on this topic have since recanted. The 2% per year increase from 1970 to 2005 in losses from weather related disasters due to global warming that they had once reported turned out to be an artifact of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons. It is a case of spurious statistics sold to the public as scientific fact. A recent article in the Sunday Times (“UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters”, ST, January 24, 2010) summarizes the evolution of this bit of climate change fiction.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand

Reference: Essay probes Islam-Buddhism interface, Bangkok Post, June 6, 2010

It is claimed that Muslims and Buddhists share “the truth of karma” as it is “highly cherished” in both religions (Essay probes Islam-Buddhism interface, Bangkok Post, June 6, 2010). In fact, the karma principle, common to Hinduism and Buddhism, is completely absent in Islam and would be impossible to implement in Islam because its belief system includes neither reincarnation nor nirvana both of which are necessary ingredients in the karmic system of reward and punishment. Islam, like Christianity, Judaism, and Akhenatenism before it, uses the heaven and hell method for reward and punishment, not karma.

It is further claimed that the Saudi-Thai jewelry scandal of 1989 caused (1) loss of Saudi jobs for the people of Isaan that caused  (2) poverty and misery in Isaan which provided (3) the opportunity for Thaksin to use populist policies to garner the Isaan vote and that ultimately led to (4) the red shirt riots in Bangkok; and that this chain of events constitutes karmic justice for Thailand’s misdeeds in the Saudi scandal.

The cause and effect presented appears to be the product of a tortured mind. Isaan’s poverty and Thailand’s political problems are complex, historical, and endemic. In any case, the the sudden loss of  140,000 Saudi jobs in 1989 was quickly overcome by overseas employment in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong and Korea. In Taiwan alone, the number of Thai workers peaked at over 200,000 in 1995.  Poverty in Isaan is not derived from the loss of overseas employment but rather Isaan’s dependence on overseas employment is derived from poverty.

Cha-am Jamal, Thailand


Thailand does not have the power to influence every decision and every case brought before the UN human rights body after tomorrow.

One can hope that the new members will try to take advantage of quiet diplomacy.

The world body and its successive leaders have the power to use the bully pulpit and inform world opinion.

UN members also voted in countries that were far from being considered democratic exemplars like Pakistan, Egypt, China, and Cuba.

We will be staring at the next problem of the drought, which looks set to come after the oppressive hear.

Accusations flew against the army.

Three explosions ripped the early morning air.

There cannot, however, be any justification for the endemic violence that has occurred.

Such people are the true enemies of he country in almost all ways with no interest in reaching political solutions.

Even as the political crisis in Thailand descends into civil war it is important to remind ourselves that the simplest and most obvious of solutions is and always has been at hand. That solution has to do with one man, his money, and his jail sentence.

The Gordian solution to what has been made unnecessarily complex as some kind of deep-rooted social disease, is to give this man what he wants.

Give him the money. Withdraw the charges of corruption. Cancel his jail sentence.

Voila, the civil war will be over in a heartbeat. Many lives will be spared. The red shirts will go home. This beautiful mai pen rai country with its ever so intoxicating “live and let live”  style will then go back to being the kind of never-never-land that we have grown to love so much.

The older generation will need to retire later, but also acquire skills that employers need.

With better medical care people are living longer and each successive generation is smaller than the last.

In a traditional home environment 3 to 5 generations often lived together under the same roof and many still do.

Mr Aquino held a raucous campaign but little hard political talk.

Mr Aquino is a multi-millionaire from the family fortune.

Past elections have caused complaints and lawsuits.

The voting machinery seemed a prime suspect even before a vote was cast.

Murderous intimidation has proved impossible to wipe out.

The voters will do their part to make the election democratic.

The country is holding the election according to the law.

But the lawful, scheduled election will not necessarily be smooth.

My summary of Reuter’s 1000 word Q&A analysis of the Thai political crisis.


Yes, eventually, in some form or another.


Yes, given the degree of armed confrontation.


Yes, Abhisit is tougher than he appears.


No, Abhisit will finesse his way to an election without a coup.


No. It will be a shouting match and little skirmishes.

Here is the link to the Reuter’s story: