~Meaw & More~

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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, , , ,

Blackwater Ordered Out of Iraq

yesterday, several links in my inbox reported that the Iraqi government order explusion of Blackwater, a private security company working as protector for diplomats and westerners in the Green zones.

The Guardian reported:

The ministry of interior yesterday took the decision to expel Blackwater after eight Iraqi civilians were killed and 13 wounded in Baghdad when shots were fired from a US state department convoy on Sunday.

Diplomats, engineers and other westerners in Iraq rely heavily on protection by Blackwater. The Iraqi decision created confusion on the ground, with uncertainty over whether protection was still available and whether Blackwater staff should leave the country immediately.

Ms Rice called the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to apologise for the shooting. They agreed to run a “fair and transparent investigation”, according to a statement from Mr Maliki’s office.
It added: “She has expressed her personal apologies and the apologies of the government of the United States. She confirmed that the United Sates will take immediate actions to prevent such actions from happening again.”

The office did not specify whether the apology was sufficient to reverse the expulsion decision.

The gap between the have and the have not start to be filled in by local communities as AP also publishes a photo of “A private security guard paid for by the Shiite community”

Obviously the security development in the “Green” zones would not offer the first priority to Iraqi, as it is reported that Blackwater, which is paid for by the US government to protect westerners, according to the Guardian, put Iraqi civilains at risk. What other Iraqi who are also at risk like the Shiite communities that could not afford protection from military depolyed to Iraq will have to adapt hiring their own private security guards. The question of not enough troops deployed is noto avail. Troops distribution to protect civilians in Iraq are probably less important than troops to protect some national interests.

By the way, I hope if they were out of iraq, they will not seek job in the South of Thailand.

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, INTERNATIONAL, Security

Blood Gem?

Bangkok Post reportedBurma to hold special gem auction

(Agencies) – Burma is to hold a special gem sale in Rangoon starting on July 4 to boost foreign exchange earnings, the Central Committee for Sponsoring the Special Sale of Gems, Jade and Pearls announced

Domestic gem traders are being urged to display their quality gems, jade and pearls at the special show scheduled for July 4. The foreign exchange proceeds from the sale will be designated as legal export earning, the sponsor said.

It will be held as a “competitive bidding system,” presumably meaning auction.

The country’s special gem sale for both foreign and local gem merchants is the third of its kind introduced four years ago in addition to the annual and mid-year ones.

During the last special gem sale held in June, 2006, nearly 1,500 foreign and local gem traders bid on the available jade, gemstones and pearls.

At the 13-day, 44th annual gems emporium held last March, 3,652 lots of jade, gems and pearl were sold out of nearly 6,000 such lots displayed. They gained a record high 148 million euros ($185 million).

That emporium was attended by 3,421 merchants, 2,000 of them foreign. The foreigners came mostly from China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Thailand.

Burma began its gem shows in 1964. The mid-year one was first held in 1992 and the special one was introduced three years ago.

Burma, a well-known world producer, is the source of nine gems – ruby, diamond, cat’s eye, emerald, topaz, pearl, sapphire, coral and a variety of garnet tinged with yellow.

To develop the gem mining industry, Burma enacted the New Gemstone Law in 1995, allowing national entrepreneurs to mine, produce, transport and sell finished gemstone and manufactured jewellery at home and abroad.

Since 2000, the Burmese government has become involved in the mining of gems and jade in joint ventures with 10 private companies under a profit-sharing basis.

The military regime will grant 319 new more unexplored jade mining blocks in Kachin state’s Moenyin and Sagaing division’s Khamhti to local entrepreneurs to encourage jade production, according to reports earlier this year.

There are six mining areas in Burma under gem and jade exploration: Mogok, Mongshu, Lonkin/Phakant, Khamhti, Moenyin and Namyar.

Jade sales represent one of Burma’s major foreign exchange sources, the fourth largest export earning sector in the fiscal year 2005-06 with $205.47 million, according to state statistics.

Of the top 10 exporters for 2006-07, dominated by the state sector, the Myanmar Gems Enterprise was third with sales of $296.9 million. Only Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and the Myanmar Timber Enterprise sold more.

The government’s Central Statisitcal Organisation reported that in fiscal year 2005-06, Burma produced 20,390 tons of jade and 28.458 million carats of gems, including ruby, sapphire, spinel and peridot, as well as 177,692 mommis of pearl. The production in the first half of 2006-07 (April-March) went to 10,388 tons from jade, 10.042 million carats for various gems and 56,607 mommis for pearl.

Burma also is working to establish the first ever gem merchants’ association as part of its bid to enhance the development of the country’s gem mining industry.

The Burmese mining sector, which also includes other minerals such as gold and copper, contributes 0.4 per cent to the national economy.

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, INTERNATIONAL, non proliferation, Security

Transit State: State in Transit

Updated charge at the Nation

After General Vang Pao and Lao Hmong military weapon deal was terminated before the weapons are delivered, what could be a better example for my interest of Thailand as a transit state.

BBC reported:

The accused allegedly conspired to buy hundreds of machine-guns, rockets and explosives from US federal agents who were working undercover as arms dealers.

They are said to have sought to spend millions of dollars on weapons to carry out attacks.

Prosecutors said the coup leaders planned to blow up government buildings and kill “thousands of people”.

The “Hmong insurgency planned to use AK-47 automatic rifles, Stinger missiles, LAW rockets, anti-tank rockets and other arms and munitions to topple [the] Lao government and reduce government buildings in Vientiane to rubble,” a public prosecutor in California said in a statement.

Being a non-major producer, rather top importer and having no internationally highlighted conflicts of our own, Thailand boast a peaceful tourism destination. If we have a conflict, we will smile and said it is a minor problem that can be solved by understanding and reconciliation. Note that the “Truth” as in “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” tradition is missing, which I will elaborate in my thesis (that must be in chapter 5.2)

Readers should send more “Ceylon” tea for refreshing my poor brain).Back to the point.

Why Thailand is involved in the deal to overthrown the “official” Laos PRD government. Ain’t it a friendly relationship as elaborated by Ai Pin and Nong Champa?

The official partnership is rather steady as Nam Thuen-Hin Bun dam, I guess, but Thailand’s lousy reputation in arm transit, particularly the “black” trade make me want to cover my head with a bag, though as the country we escape the accusation because of, ahem, African nations and non-state actors.

The place to drop the $ 9.8 mil. weapons secured through Arizona connection is Thailand. Geographically perfect, logistically viable and technically will not know anything about this until ATF sniffed it, according to Thairath.

Oh, thank you, ATF. (Bag to the Thai government and intelligence, please)

The abuse of Thailand as a transit point in this case were made after weapons will be shipped to the country according to Thailand on 10-12 June 2007. Will it go through the Customs or not I could not guess because the weapons might not be shipped now.

9.8 million USD to topple a government. . . that is a good price. I hope the underwater current will not copy this and start to make MANPADS instead of Manchester City deal.

But tanks work the best I guess. it’s umm, almost free.

The Thai government commented, as reported by Bangkok Post

The Thai government declined to comment before a verdict was reached.

“Thailand will not tolerate the use of its territory for any movement that undermines the stability of its neighboring countries,” said Tharit Charungvat, a spokesman for Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

A regular routine comment indeed, but as before, when the Sri Lankan and Burmese Government used to comment about lousy control, the Thai government just issued blanket denial that the state will not tolerate. Obviously, they can tolerate illegal arms transfer anddeal using the state as transit point.

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL, non proliferation, Security

Rethinking the Rs for Burmese Refugees in Thailand

In the Nation’s UN welcomes resettlement moves for Burmese refugees The most welcomed refugees (This is myblog.) resettlement had been planed. UNHCR authority expresses concern over:

A downside to the resettlement programme is that the camps have lost a lot of teachers and medics, but work is being done to replace those service providers,

In fact at Mae Sot the camp near the town is hemorrhaging (you know I owe you this word, na.), small and insignificant news of people being either smuggled or voluntarily reintegrate themselves to demanding “dirty-dangerous- ” labour markets in the town or somewhere else in the city. I believe that the in-depth information available to the INGOs, IOs, refugee’s and Thai authority would point out that the demand for labour in growing border trade and business has been overwhelming. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Development(?), INTERNATIONAL, Security

Routes: Existing Structures for Weapons Smuggling

route-copy.jpg

The following pictures were made from my memories about weapons smuggling in the southern part of
Thailand during 2000-2003. I am looking for more back up evidence. Now when Aceh does not need weapons anymore, the excess weapons could find new targets. Additonally if weapons can go from
Thailand to Aceh, there is not reason that they can be transfered back. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, INTERNATIONAL, Political Sciences, Security