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Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Banned books/articles are good

This news will prompt me to abandon my noodle soup, catch a motorcycle to the nearest mag shop and check the Economist. As you may have read earlier, the Economist article resurfaced again this time, despite the ban, in Thai on the internet, thank to kind people that translate it and to my friends who sent thai article and asked for English one.

The article would have not generate not so much wave had it not been banned, like the King Never Smiles, once it was banned, the book was made available in both English and Thai online for free. So I give the credit to anyone that ban those books and articles and try to save my money spent buying them when they were not banned.

The matter I discussed with my friends was some Thais know about the interventions and they think it is legit or even beneficial to do so. We are aware of tacit domination in rumors, a chat with taxi drivers after returning from the red rally or an endorsement from the yellow rally. The red believe that they could convince the king to pardon Thaksin. There are red that love him and Thaksin while dislike her and the general. and Some even petition for national government, thus, they can hardly not to think about the picture of intervention-free politics. The mutual attraction between father and never-grown up children are, much needed by some as an easy, less bloodless and less sweat life support. It is not, as the Economist pointed out, a remedy for any parties.

Responses like, “Yes, I know he did it. If not him, who can stop the crisis,” was again, overwhelming, comparing to those people who think that he should not involve in exerting his intervention or domination. Even some foreign friends, my parents and my friend’s parents think it is a good thing to have a backup royal safety net, as opposed to social safety net that could collapse anytime.

It was long after BE 2475, we are celebrating fake constitution day, and many think ‘democracy’ was granted.

And thank you for banning those stuffs, make more people read them more at zero cost and become more aware.

Then after reading it, some Thais will say, “Yeah, I know that and it is ok/not ok to do so.” Oh, heard many do have the less perfect and unofficial narratives of him that they would not tell the foreign press about it. It was a negotiation between their perception of “good deeds” and those things. If they senses the good deeds are effectively transformative to their lives, then another eyes would pretend to ignore the other stuff. Well, you know, like the famous relationship between Thaksin’s corruption and his populism.

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Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, Free speech, INTERNATIONAL, , , ,

Hints and Allegations

Disclaimer: Since the Sanam Luang People Council claimed that they are insufficiently presented in mainstream media and much of PAD were featured in PAD-streams (PADcast?) and non PAD-streams, and the new website of Thai-grassroots (formerly “hi-Thaksin”). The posts displaying, citing or referring to the sources do not mean that I agree or disagree with the materials or “ideology” (if there are any) presented by the following sources (also PAD or otherwise.) The posts were intended to show that there were people that think different and no matter how we personally view them, they will think different.
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To deny and question symbolic representation of the institution used by PAD, Thai grassroots presented several articles questioning the “abuse” of symbols such as yellow shirt, a blue scarf worn by Sonthi L. and Chitlada drinking water. The council announced that it intended to “[…]seek clarification from the office of HM’s Personal Affairs and the Royal Household Bureau. Currently, the academic division of the council is assigned to draft letters of inquiry to the agencies in charge. […]”

The website also features a video clip of broadcasted royal speech inMay 1992 with headline “May 1992: Phor Luang led the anti coup movement” The clip was posted on 22 May 2008. It also show the entrance of member of the privy council at that time, including Prem and two targeted audiences of the royal speech.

The burden of proof is now shifted to PAD and its supporters, particularly Sonthi L., who was demanded by Thai-grassroots to publicly announce the source of scarf and justify the manipulation of other related symbols. If the letter to the royal household bureau were actually posted, even silence or an answer would not benefit the PAD movement.

However, Chatupon Phromphan (Partylist, PPP) said he was rather partial to the inquiry. “[…] It is believed that the majority of people understand what is right and what has been going on. [We] should not question [about the scarf and other symbols.] The matter is too sensitive to be questioned. it should be believed without any questions [doubts] that the institution do not involve. THe more we question, there will be doubt and PAD will probably be benefited.[…]” (เพราะเชื่อว่าขณะนี้ประชาชนส่วนใหญ่รับรู้ว่าอะไรเป็นเรื่องที่ถูกต้อง เรื่องราวเป็นมาอย่างไรอยู่แล้ว จึงไม่ควรที่จะตั้งคำถาม เพราะประเด็นดังกล่าวเป็นเรื่องที่อ่อนไหวเกินกว่าที่จะตั้งคำถามได้ ซึ่งสามารถเชื่อได้เลยโดยที่ไม่ต้องตั้งคำถามว่า สถาบันไม่มีส่วนเกี่ยวข้องอย่างแน่นอน ยิ่งหากไปตั้งคำถามก็จะก่อให้เกิดข้อสงสัยขึ้นมา” แล้วจะกลายเป็นว่าไปเข้าทางของกลุ่มพันธมิตรฯเสียมากกว่า”)

While PAD creates myths, Thai-grasroots and Sanam Luang People’s Council try to demythify and distance PAD from its “symbolic” partnership. Yet, the two movement still strongly rely on manipulation of the untouchable. If PAD “fight for the king”, the Thai-grassroot’s ‘public transcript’ also appeared to say so in its website but it gives many hints to hidden ones.

Filed under: Free speech, Political Sciences, , ,

At your interpretation: Communicating “the” Institution

In a country that an open discussion and direct exercise of intervention cannot be officially communicate, subtle codes intended to be interpreted by receivers can be affirmation of without confirmation. By communication through symbols allowing interpretation without obligation to reveal what is actually a driving force and politic behind the use and reception of ‘encoded’ message in such symbols also implies that the people who belief in the message will do so at their own risks.

Tie that Yellow Ribbon around My M16: Color Code and

What would you expect from people wearing yellow polo shirts? Would it be the same application of yellow banner in some websites? What about yellow ribbons tied to military uniform?

The subtle message of yellow ribbons tied to uniforms will be the message that many have to keep it to gossip and personal discreet interpretation. Again, it is up to the receptive channels to decode the message.

What many people believed to be true to themselves cannot be backed up by solid evidence. We many believe or think we ‘know’ something and we have talked for affirmation with like-minded person. Yet there would be no “historic” trace left. We could be right or wrong. Ambiguity worked before and it is working now. Again people who use the color or the symbol may not take the same side as the actual institution, but who care about “actual?”

In the name of Sathabaan

Formerly referred as “Min Phra Boromadejanupaap,” to extend the coverage, either the new term “Min Sathabaan” was coined to accommodate an offensive act against whoever related to the monarch such as the privy council (collectively as an institution on its own or individually), who are not the monarch themselves. To some people, it is agreeable that any defamation against such “institution” could be interpreted as an assault against the monarch, not a non-royal individual.

In gray areas, an extreme attempt to decode an assault against a person as an assault against the monarch and monarchy. (See for example the Manager’s interpretation of Chakapob Penkair ‘s speech, released in LA, according to the Agency). A defamation against “an individual member of Privy Council” could be rendered on thin line between a violation of the institution of Privy council to “lese Majeste” (Min Beung Soong). Yet the person or the police who place an accuse on the offender may not wish identify what institution was violated. They will, eventually leave it up to interpretation until the police finished the translation and decided if they will press charge. (Probably Jonathan Head was just a bait for the bigger fish.)

During the last few weeks, academicians and media critics spoke out about new approach for media not to rife that nation and even broaden polarization. To me, the media also tries to speculate the encoded message s, some go over the board to claim to be the authorized resource of interpretation and intervention. Some say it is just a general bullshit that people should not believe it. Yet, finally, who say ‘investigate’ those interpretation, their political motivations and the consequences they wanted.

Updated

Updated analysis of Penkair by Anand Laolertworakul at the Manager (http://www.manager.co.th/Politics/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9510000061329). Even the professional analysis almost always came too late, the believers and organic intellectuals already launched series of actions and reaction. What Penkair said was important, and what this speech will brings will be even more important. Many people would feel, ah the same old tricks are working again. Opps! I did not speculate there will be a coup.

Filed under: Free speech, Political Sciences

“Democratic” End Justifies Undemocratic Means?

The following websites / blogs were said to be listed by Prachatai as 29 sites that improperly address the institution.

http://www.youtube.com/StopleseMajeste
2.http://www.2519me.com/
3.http://hello-siam.blogspot.com
4.http://rukchard.blogspot.com
5.http://chakridynasty.googlepages.com
6.http://www.midnightuniv.org/
7.http://www.serichon.com/
8.http://www.prachatai.com/
9.http://sapaprachachon.blogspot.com/
10. http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p73/nicolejung99/?
11. http://www.weloveudon.net/
12. http://www.tlt-global.com/
13. http://www.secondclass111.com/
14. http://thai-journalist-democratic-front.com/
15. http://www.sameskybooks.org/
16. http://www.newskythailand.com/
17. http://www.chupong.net/
18. http://pcc-thai.com/
19. http://datopido.newsit.es/
20. http://thai-journalist-democratic-front.com/
21. http://www.mvnews.net/
22. http://www.cptradio.com/
23. http://www.thaipeoplevoice.org/
24. http://www.nationsiam.com/frontpage/Itemid,1/
25. http://www.arayachon.org/
26. http://www.siamreview.net/
27. http://warotah.blogspot.com/
28. http://killerpress.wordpress.com/
29. http://gunner2007.wordpress.com/

Additionally, Prachatai also published a briefing, citing Midnight University’s statement that criticize Democrat Party for urging ICT to ban and for immediate actions against the above websites/blogs.

I am not an avid students of Democrat Party history and their standpoints. I supposed that in the meantime, being left or right is not that important for Thai political parties as long as they want to be the winning side. Democrat Party sure know how to play along with the institutions. From Chaun’s veteran comments about Prem to the series of movement from the Democrat Party to ‘defend’ their place in Thai party system through being a defender of the institution.

I am wondering whether this will be the new sentiment of Democrat Party that they will trade their democratic principles for anything that turn down people’s democratic verdicts.

Finally what is the point to be a “democratic” party? Will they let the end justify the means?

Filed under: Free speech, Political Sciences

Love Thy Nation

Bangkok Post published a comment “For the love of the country” by Ploenpote Atthakor, Deputy News Editor

  If patriotism really has something to do with listening to the national anthem and seeing the national flag fly up the pole at exactly the same time, twice a day, let’s start with parliament.

If it works – and Mr Yuranand believes it will – this might be the easiest way to eradicate the use of vulgar language, corruption, abuse of power and other unethical political behaviour.For the love of the nation, some politicians might voluntarily correct their actions and serve as a model for our children.

 

 It is back-to-school time and as several hundred thousand students are busily preparing for the new semester, they may have little, if any idea, about a new plan to instil more patriotism in them.

That particular plan, which will require all schools to play the national anthem at the flag-hoisting ceremony at 8am and 6pm sharp, comes from Yuranand Pamorn-montri, a People Power party politician who now serves as adviser to the Education Minister.

Obviously the actor-turned-politician is not happy with the fact that some city schools have opted to delay the timing of the ceremony to 8:15am (with many others slotting it for 8:30am) theoretically to avoid traffic problems. He says such delays prevent students from properly expressing their patriotism.
In his opinion, the best time to show one’s patriotism by standing in line for the anthem song is at 8am and 6pm sharp, and the show of patriotism would be even stronger if all the schools played the anthem simultaneously.

“Students should not be thrilled only when the Thai flag is raised to the top of the pole at a sporting event,” said the adviser.
In fact, he thinks such feelings must be reinforced (twice) the same time every day. This is the way, he further adds, to make students think more of the nation.

Unless he encounters any hiccups, Mr Yuranand says, he will hand in his plan – which would also be applicable to all state offices – to the Education Minister in the hope it will be implemented when schools reopen this week.

Mr Yuranand is not the first politician who wants to boost patriotism through the anthem and flag rite. Mr Yuranand’s plan reminds us of a move by a group of NLA members (mostly with military background) who came up with the controversial idea to have all vehicles on the roads stop at the same flag-anthem time. Mr Yuranand and the NLA people share the same thought: that standing up for the national anthem when the flag is raised is the proper way to show one’s love for the nation. Like it or not, this has been the practice in Thailand and some others countries in this region.

However, I have to admit that I find Mr Yuranand’s idea more entertaining (without giving much thought to his background as an entertainer) than realistic.

And I also have some questions.

Initially, I just can’t help but doubt his theory that links the national anthem with patriotism. Besides, I don’t think children (and adults, too) who are stuck in traffic can really think of the nation at that particular time.

But what if Mr Yuranand is right? What if one’s patriotism really has something to do with one’s listening to the national anthem and seeing the national flag fly up the pole?

In that case, I think the very place where such a rite is badly needed would be none other than Parliament. And yes, Mr Yuranand should see to it that his fellow politicians come outside the parliament building and form a line in front of the flagpole to observe the rite daily at 8am. Don’t forget to have them sing the national anthem out loud, too.

Mr Yuranand must see to it that no one is excused from this flag-anthem rite. Regularly enforced, the practice might help certain politicians to realise their duty to serve the nation and eventually behave.

This could probably be the first step for some politicians to learn that it does not do the nation any good to verbally – and physically, in one particular case – assault their fellow parliamentarians and to lie.

Yet, love of the country, for me is different from not standing at any anthems. Being students that had to reach school by 8 am sharp for the national anthem blasting from the radio helped shaped me to be what I am, as for me, it would not make I love the nation more or less.

Yet, we have to love the nation critically And the patriotism should not be reduced to the “thrill” and nostalgic appreciation of the institutions twice a day. The nation should be loved and “protect” by constructive engagement, investigation and monitoring by the people.

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, Free speech, Political Sciences

To stand or not to stand at the theatre: Testing the political implication of Lese Majeste

Chotisak’s new as reported by Thai media and international media is a good way to put “grounded” and interpretive information to use.

Several agency put and interpreted this act in various ways. (Please refer to New Mandala (http://rspas.anu.edu.au/rmap/newmandala/2008/04/25/taking-a-stand-against-lese-majeste/) for the brief)

Prachatai reported ground its “human/civil rights ” standpoint. It also differently grounded the “sitting up” as violating minor law and not that as violating lese majeste (http://www.prachatai.com/05web/th/home/11950). Note that Prachatai also later report context of Chotisak’s T shirt (Anti-19 Sept Coup).

Manager clearly deducted Chotisak’s action as a part of active pro Thaksin network members. Chotisak was reportedly a Anti 19 Sept Coup, and Nor Por Kor (http://www.manager.co.th/Politics/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9510000047235), putting the context this way, one who is convinced by Manager’s argument, can perceived the (actual or imagined or both) connection between anti-royalist claims the agency has been used against Thaksin since the earlier protests. (http://www.manager.co.th/Crime/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=9510000048141) Later Chotisak appealed in Prachatai that he was not associate with Nor Por Kor (http://www.prachatai.com/05web/th/home/11963)

The new reached wide international media such as Asia Sentinel and a brief in many newspapers.

The Lese Majeste Game

Any interpretation of Chotisak’s action does not, on my opinion, pointed out that the “Lese Majeste” has been over-abused and indeed that law should be abolished because it failed to do what it had promised in text: to prevent any expression of defamation, hostility and damage against the monarchy. What Lese Majeste law as a criminal law had been recently used before and after the September coup, an even before that but I will leave it to other real historians to point out, is a huge pit of black smear paint and that everybody use against anybody for every political motive except to fulfill the function mentioned in the text itself.

For example, I can accused someone for not paying respect to the monarch, without giving any proof and convince that the person should get kicked out by a coup. I can accused someone of Lese Majeste, even when what s/he said is well grounded by solid objective and neutral facts. I can accused someone of Lese Majeste when I want someone to shut up, particularly they are not Thais. Vice versa, I can accuse any reports, panel discussion, papers or blogs mentioning anything about the monarch that are not conformed to repeated patterns, which we may not know what they really means to individual “us” anymore. Literally, the monarch became the “untouchable,” depending on the interpretation of “untouchable.” By using “untouchable,” I could be praised or booed, depending on motives of people who read it.

These has nothing to do with the monarch or to prevent any damage against the institution. The law that intend to enforce respect in “public transcript” had been prescribed, for those with political, official or popular power or even any motive to defame, smear, destroy and discourage the other.

The non-royalist strike back?

Likewise, the people can use this game. By positioning such action as human right and rather prepared exposure to international media, any harsh action against “perpetrator” would affect international perception of the country and several institutions. The action could bring support of anti-royalist. Yet I am afraid that there is a tendency that everybody will lump things together, which is very dangerous.

So what lese majeste law actually accomplished on behalf of the monarchy institution. Nothing, The reasons that it has not been abolished because people who can use it as a major smearing campaign found that they can use this law to extend their political motivations, thus the law has to stay.

When it is not functioning?

What to do when the law has been abused for political gain, for a coup and a significant blow of democratic culture, for suppressing freedom of speech and putting everything underground (seem like the only discussion available is gossips, rumors and stuffs)?

We already know so well that respect comes from the hearts, not the law.
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PS Any reference and inference just make me feel we are under absolute monarchy, where the reference point, most political motivations circle around it. When will we remove the mooring point?

Filed under: Free speech, Political Sciences

Who is the 4th Speaker in KNS panel?

Chang Noi has an op-ed about the “fourth speaker” at KNS panel.

And the “fourth speaker” was err…. er…

Man, I didn’t know who is the fourth speaker. Do I have to count from the moderator or begin with the first speaker?
Chang Noi has an op-ed about the “fourth speaker” at KNS panel.

And the “fourth speaker” was err…. er…

Man, I didn’t know who is the fourth speaker. Do I have to count from the moderator or begin with the first speaker?

From what Chang Noi review about the fourth speaker. I like the arguments. I like both.

Seriously I think santibal should do what the fourth speaker and Chang Noi suggested. Buy a copy and have it translated, then see if what they have imagined and promoted mass paranoid about the KNS, was reasonable. Had people who worried about it read it? Had people who had read it really think it is a new framework? Can they describe what is new?

The fourth speaker and Chang Noi, to me, offer the most honest assessment and opinion of the book. They do not try to raised its academic significances if/where it may not have. They do not try to churn out anything new when it was not presented in the book just because it “named” the worn out phenomenon already known openly for years and years and many Thais endorse and embrace more than willingly.

And the fourth speaker is (after asking my friends)…

You know that I am kidding, man. I knew who is the fourth speaker because I checked New Mandala From what Chang Noi review about the fourth speaker. I like their arguments. I like both.

Seriously I think santibal should do what the forth speaker and Chang Noi suggested. Buy a copy and have it translated, then see if what they have imagined and promoted mass paranoid about the KNS, was reasonable. Had people who worried about it read it? Had people who had read it really think it is a new framework? Can they describe what is new?

The forth speaker and Chang Noi, to me, offer the most honest assessment and opinion of the book. They do not try to raised its academic significances if/where it may not have. They do not try to churn out anything new when it was not presented in the book just because it “named” the worn out phenomenon already known openly for years and years and many Thais endorse and embrace more than willingly.

And the forth speaker is (after asking my friends)…

You know that I am kidding, man. I knew who is the forth speaker because I checked New Mandala

Filed under: Free speech, Narratives, Sociology and Anthropology

At the end of Anti-Communism, what a right time to utter.

I read with amusement at the comment of using Maoist strategy to tame the nation. Had it been the anti communism era, at the public endorsement of Mao, would land someone to be re-trained and reoriented to be faithful to democratic system. All the Maoish stuffs had to be underground and utter with a shhhhh….

Any person who like neo communism as fashion (check out the Mao outfits and stuff) could have been arrested and detained. A public comment about Mao’s excel in combat and political would be a down fall, particularly to a general.

The country had learned that suppressing freedom of expression under the former military regime did not ensure long lasting stability. The country learned to tolerate some degree of differences in faith, ideologies and beliefs. What could not be uttered decades ago, or could be subtly did so at the higher price to say, now can be said under principles of tolerances and freedom of expression.

Obviously, the generals might not appreciate what people or bloggers have been ranting on the internet. On the other hand, without freedom of expression, some of them might not be able to talk about Mao in front of microphone and tape recorders.

The Computer/Cyber Crime laws is now similar to the anti communist activities law, it is not an enabling law to foster growth by suppressing people and force them to be smarter by going underground. It is even harder to suppress all cyber space activities than to curb pro-communist flyers and propaganda in the past. The cat and mouse chase would be more complex as people played by the loopholes and advancing technologies.

People need certain degree of freedom of expression, being CNS members or general bloggers. If a person should not be judged as pro-communism by citing Mao, the other should not be labeled threats of security by citing Thaksin or criticizing CNS and vice versa. Then we can achieve reconciliation through tolerance, not suppression.

Filed under: Free speech, Political Sciences, Something To Remember

Sombat Boon-ngarmarnong Released from Detention

At 7.34 pm on 7th July 2007, Sombat Boon-ngarmarnong was released from Meng Rai Maha Raja 3rd region army base. He was greeted by family, friends and fellow campaigner to inform the public about the draft constitution and democracy.

Filed under: Free speech

Spot VS Combat Stripe

Just after went back for a dinner meeting (Friday routine), heading home and read Coelho. I checked my e mail about ten just for the news, then a headline hit “Editor Spot,” or Sombat Boonngarmanong was “invited” for an interview at an army base in Chinag Rai to ask if someone hired him to hyde park against the coup.

An uncool and oppressive operation was staged Chiang Rai, where marshall law is implemented as in most of border province in the North, even prior to the coup for security reasons (e.g. almost every district in Mae Hong Sorn, border district in Tak and several other places I need to consult a list.) In such areas, the military can do anything they justify, probably not even a sound one, that it is a security reason. Thus, in those area, one can be easily invited to interview in a military base. Honestly, they can interview people in a hotel room rather than a military base.

The official statement from the spokeperson at the base stated that no bail is needed for Sombat, becuase it is not an arrest, thus, the toning down and change of term make the military evade the law of lawful arrest and detention for question. Sombat was not allowed to see a lawyer or to be visited by family members because it is a confidential interview. I am wondering if he can file a charge against officers that they invited in, though harshly, for an interview.

Sombat will be in this limbo– a little Guantanamo in marshal law land until two or three as the military base chief said some senior chief from Bangkok would like to have a talk with him. He could not be transported to Bangkok, I guessed, due to the authority to detain him is valid in Chiang Rai and those provinces.

People are losing patient over plummeting economic, delay election and the government that cannot solve problems. The baht was 34ish and the amount of money spent to promote yeses to the constitution to move on based on lies. It is a hopelessly gray saturday.

It was not right from the start and they don’t want to redeem themselves.
Photos

Filed under: Free speech