Saturday, April 18, 2009

Injustice upon the Thai people

What happened in Thailand recently between April 11 and 14 is not very different from what happened here in Edsa Tres from April 29 to May 1, 2001. The forces of the Establishment (which include the elite, oligarchy, plutocracy or specifically, in Thailand ’s case, the monarchial cabal) ordered their captive armed forces to shoot on unarmed citizens of their own land. Like in Edsa Tres, scores of Thai anti-Establishment “reds shirts” were mowed down and carted off to be hidden from view and only two deaths were reported. As it was in Edsa Tres, pictures or videos exposing these atrocities, which Thaksin Shinawatra in his cable TV news interview tried to point out with futility, were deliberately suppressed by mainstream media. These historic injustices against the respective peoples of these “twin sister-nations” must therefore be addressed by these two together.

Let us clarify the real issues by looking at the timeline of events that led to the present crisis. Thaksin Shinawatra was legally elected as prime minister in 2001, and again in 2005, with the largest voter turnout in Thai history. As chief administrator of Thailand , he introduced the first-ever universal health care system and boosted rural agricultural and cottage industry economies--by extending unprecedented investment funding and by writing off un-payable farmers’ debts to jumpstart economic recovery. He made decisive moves to quash the endemic drugs trade, wiping out 2,000 drug dealers, which earned him the enmity of so-called human rights advocates. He put Thailand ’s economy on the map by driving hard bargains with the Asean for his country’s truck manufacturing program.

Because Thaksin’s actions on the privatization programs imposed by the globalists were neither here nor there, as the privatization of the electricity generation and distribution sectors became long-drawn-out, such elicited the latter’s displeasure. What followed was that the controversial sale of the Thaksin family’s Shin Corp. to Temasek Holdings of the Singapore government was charged by opponents as corrupt. However, some view this merely as a case of rivalry with other interested buyers, including the royal family and its allied business groups--not excluding the Western conglomerates. A campaign of demonization against Thaksin then ensued and the “civil society” of Bangkok , composed of urban professionals employed in the financial sector, went into action, much like our local civil society did from mid-2000 to early 2001.

A prime mover of the “yellow shirts” in their siege of the Thai airports in December 2008 (which the police and military did nothing to control), failed media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, had his shrill anti-Thaksin tirades carried prominently by the Dow Jones-owned English newspaper, The Nation. His protracted rallies, meanwhile, funded by bankers to the tune of $25,000 a day, as he later admits, became the platform for their demands to shift from an elected parliament to one selected by the crown to their complaints against what they branded as Thaksin’s “fiscal irresponsibility,” all because the popular leader was well-loved for having distributed funds to poor communities for their development. Limthongkul, thus, led a coalition of activist, labor, professional and Buddhist religious groups--much like our evil civil society, composed of Catholic priests and laity, Makati business groups, leftists and labor movements.

Foolishly, some western media anchors opined that now it seems that only the Thai King can resolve the crisis, overlooking the simple truth that the Thai monarchy has been the root of the problem. For one, the King’s Privy Council, led by US-trained ex-general Prem Tinsulanonda, staged the coup against the twice-elected Thaksin in 2006. Plus, the monarchy not only acquiesced to the sabotage of the economy via the yellow shirts’ occupation of Thailand ’s premier Subvaranabhumi airport, but it tacitly supported the rabble-rousers wherever they went.

The Thai royalty still gets good press from the West; that’s true. But this shouldn’t be surprising anymore as the West is still actually controlled by the monarchies of old, through their control of the western financial system, as evidenced by the Bilderberg group.

Domestically, there is absolutely no criticism of the monarchy too because Thailand is probably the only country in the world to have a lese majeste law that criminalizes any form of insults against the sovereign (the King or Queen, as the case may be). For instance, Harry Nicolaides, an Australian writer, was sentenced to three years upon setting foot in Thailand for allegedly insulting the Royal family in a novel which isn’t even much read anywhere.

I can’t imagine anyone defending such a state of affairs in any modern society, but several columnists in the Philippines are precisely doing that--maybe for fear that they may not be able to do their viajero buy-and-sell of cheap Thai goods anymore.

Truth to tell: Aside from fomenting political instability in Thailand through the outright suppression of the will of the people in two elections (which sounds familiar to Susan Roces’ “Not once, but twice” charge against Gloria Arroyo), the Thai monarchy is responsible for even worse offenses against its own people:

(1) Thailand, with its 64-million population, ranks third in the world in prostitution, with NGO estimates of up to 1.8 million women and children engaged in the officially-sanctioned trade linked to the promotion of its tourism industry that has spawned one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world; (2) up to 20 percent of the population have no sustainable access to clean water, and (3) amid the 30-percent poverty rate, the King is reported by Fortune magazine to be the world’s richest monarch with $35 billion in wealth.

These conditions of injustice have thus led to the call among many for the abolition of the Thai monarchy. What is unfolding in Thailand is a struggle of the people versus the aristocracy--not different from the struggles of the Filipino people against the “elite” and of the people of the world against the global oligarchy--that’s responsible for today’s system of global financial and economic oppression.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulong Pilipinismo, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Monday with Atty. Alan Paguia, Wednesday with former Mayor Jun Simon, Friday with Ver Euistaquio / May Pag-asa, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday; Talk News TV, Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; also visit

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