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The mirror has 60 million faces

Erstellt von Samuianer, 06.09.2009, 12:42 Uhr · 6 Antworten · 563 Aufrufe

  1. #1
    Avatar von Samuianer

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    The mirror has 60 million faces

    Ein Essay von VORANAI VANIJAKA aus der Bangkok Post - besser kann die gegenwaertige Situation - Thailands Dilemma nicht zusammengefasst werden!

    Kollektive Karma einer nation die aus Prinzip, aus Prinzipien wie "kraeng Dschai" lange, zu lange nur auf die eigene Tasche und folgedessen generell weg geschaut hat!

    Eine Gesellschaft wo das Inakzeptable aus Prinzip, einfach so hingenommen wurde, wo zu hinterfragen auf allgemeine Ablehung stoesst, wo Leute in Positionen sich drueber erregen, wo es verpoent ist Fragen zu stellen und Tabu ist unbequeme Fragen zu stellen, wo es eine Tugend ist weg zu schauen und blindes Vertrauen zu schenken, wo sich anpassen, nicht herausstehen zur Tugend hochstilisiert wurde, wo Korruption zum allgemein gesellschaftlich akzeptierten Umstand verharmlost wird, kann es nicht anders sein als es Heute ist....


    SUNDAY FORUM

    THE MIRROR HAS 60 MILLION FACES

    VORANAI VANIJAKA

    One night in October 1973, my mother (who was 8 months pregnant with me at the time) was sitting at home, worrying and crying. My father, an officer in the riot prevention unit, was trapped in a police station surrounded by left-wing militants.

    He was cradling in his arms one of his subordinates, who had been shot in the guts. He was bleeding profusely.

    There were between 15 to 20 policemen trapped in the station, surrounded by hundreds of the opposition. The situation was hopeless. Snipers were everywhere. The policeman who was shot eventually died from blood loss.

    Late in the night, my father ordered his subordinates to strip off their uniforms and put on civilian clothes. Under the cover of darkness, they escaped from the police station.

    A few hours later, my father made it back home to my mother.

    Thinking of all the coups, the protests and the bloodshed that Thailand has been through, I wonder: What have we been fighting for? What have we achieved?

    The majority still live in poverty. Our children still beg in the streets. Not just politics, but our society as a whole is still corrupt. And we still have no clue what democracy is.

    Coups, protests and conflicts are nothing more than the squabbling between rich and powerful men, whose fiery rhetoric, fancy tactics and deep pockets are able to rouse the people to flock to their banners.

    I am no fan of prime minister Samak Sundaravej, nor am I a fan of the five leaders of the PAD. However, I am a fan of everyone who wakes up in the morning, goes to work, provides for his or her family, lends a helping hand to the less fortunate and lives an honest life, regardless of the colour of their shirts.

    Getting rid of Prime Minister Samak and dissolving the parliament would make a lot of people happy, it would make me happy. But then what?

    Would there be less corruption? Less social injustice? Less income disparity? Would it better the lives of the people?

    We want to get rid of him because he is corrupt. But is he any more corrupt than the average Thai person? How many among us never cut corners, go under the table, use connections, or hand over a hundred baht bill?

    We want to get rid of him because we don't want Thaksin-style mega projects. But then - look at our media, look at our society - why are we so obsessed with materialism and superficiality?

    We don't want him to change the constitution to serve his (or his boss's) agenda. But then why do we the people each and every day bend the rules and manipulate the laws to serve our own agenda?

    If we want to change Thailand for the better, getting rid of a few individuals won't do it. The change starts with us.

    We march to get rid of one man, but do we march to save the lives of our children begging in the streets?

    We march to get rid of one man, but do we march to save the lives of our brothers and sisters in the three southernmost provinces?

    We march to get rid of one man, but did we march when Thaksin mandated the murder of innocent men and women on the streets?

    If we want to change Thailand for the better, getting rid of a few individuals won't do it. The change starts with us.

    The PAD has the right to protest, and Samak has the prerogative say he was democratically and overwhelmingly elected.

    We can say the election was bought, but which election wasn't? Buying an election is just a matter of supply and demand, it can't be bought if the people aren't willing to sell it. And the people is us, the Thai people. It is us who sell our freedom, our democracy.

    If Samak resigns, there are thousands and thousands more Samaks ready to replace him. The idea and being of the likes of Thaksin or Samak is like the proverb "fish in the water and the rice in the field".

    Yes, like fish and rice, there are an abundance of Thaksins and Samaks in Thailand, in all level of society, from the poor to the rich.

    The jealousy, the factionalism, the close-mindedness, the hate, the cronyism, the corruption, the politicking, the manipulation, the exploitation, the selfishness and self-righteousness, the refusal to change for the better - the things that we see play out in the political landscape, that we the people never cease to complain about in disgust - are we also guilty of the same in our families, in our social circles, in our schools, in our work places?

    Samak is merely a reflection of our society, a mirror of who we are - the writer of this column not excepted.

    Finding scapegoats and blaming others is easy. The rich blame the poor, the poor blame the rich. Failing that, we blame karma or black magic - and of course, we blame foreigners.

    Yes, we should take to the streets against corrupt politicians, but not much good can come of it if we simply huff and .... every few years and then go back to our daily corruption, apathy and superficialism.

    The fact is: Each and every one of us is responsible and accountable for our country, our society and the future of our children.

    Whatever that is wrong with Thai politics and society, we 60 million plus people all have a hand in it - we are responsible for it.

    We make Thailand. Not just Thaksin. Not just Samak. But all 60 million plus of us.

    Samak is not worth one act of violence, not worth one drop of blood, not worth a single tear. He is not even worth the insults and hates the PAD throw at him each and every day.

    Take to the streets and protest for the right reason: march not because we hate Samak, rather march because we love Thailand.

    What we do in life each and every day, individually and collectively, is what will change our country, for better or for worse.

    We should continue to fight corrupt politicians. But if we truly want better things for Thailand, the change starts with us, the Thai people.
    Quelle:

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/070908_Ne...008_news18.php

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  3. #2
    Bukeo
    Avatar von Bukeo

    Re: The mirror has 60 million faces

    Zitat Zitat von Samuianer",p="771008
    Ein Essay von VORANAI VANIJAKA aus der Bangkok Post - besser kann die gegenwaertige Situation - Thailands Dilemma nicht zusammengefasst werden!
    guter Artikel - ist aber nicht das, was unsere Rothemden-Fraktion gerne liest. Steht ja gar nichts gegen Abhisit drin :-)

    Übrigens auch gerade gelesen:

    A clear majority of 63 per cent wanted the government to remain in office in spite of mounting obstacles. Only about 18 per cent voiced support for a snap election.

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009...s_30111611.php

    Wusste übrigens gar nicht, das Thaksin an Krebs erkrankt sein soll. Er bestreitet es zwar, aber manchmal ist an Gerüchten auch was Wahres dran.
    Na dann wünschen wir ihm alle gute Besserung.

  4. #3
    hello_farang
    Avatar von hello_farang

    Re: The mirror has 60 million faces

    Zitat Zitat von Bukeo",p="771262
    Na dann wünschen wir ihm alle gute Besserung.
    Sollte es zutreffen, dann wuensche ich ihm alles Gute und eine Heilung, auch wenn ich ihn nicht mag.

    Ich habe vor gar nicht langer Zeit einen guten Freund an den Krebs verloren.
    Und so einen langsamen Tod wuensche ich selbst meinen Feinden nicht. :-(

    Chock dii, hello_farang

  5. #4
    Avatar von Samuianer

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    Re: The mirror has 60 million faces

    Hier noch ein weiteres Essay von Vorachai ueber Demokratie im Allgemeinen und im Besonderen in seiner Heimat und der Wahlheimat unzaehliger Farangs - Thailand:


    Fight for democracy

    Voranai Vanijaka, Bangkok Post 21. Sept. 2008

    [highlight=yellow:b3045c7e51]The opinions of non-Thais range from disbelief to disdain and disgust at what is going on with Thai democracy. Here is help for our foreign critics to understand how we got into this mess.[/highlight:b3045c7e51]

    In recent times, "democracy" is a word that has been thrown around more often than a ping pong ball in Patpong - and suffers about the same level of degradation.

    From words in the pubs to letters in Postbag, to the reports by foreign correspondents and commentaries by the esteemed editors of various prestigious western media, everyone has an opinion on what democracy is, and that it either does not exist in Thailand, or has been battered and abused into something quite undemocratic.

    From the observations of many non-Thais, opinions have ranged anywhere from disbelief to disdain and downright disgust at what is going on with the democracy of this Kingdom. With harsh words and brutal assaults, slamming and insulting the Kingdom, and with it, my fellow countrymen.

    Well, allow me to address our foreign critics and help form an understanding of how we got into this mess. Though by all means, this observation is one man's humble opinion offered up to be considered, discussed and debated; nothing less, nothing more.

    In the West, democracy is a tradition of over 2,000 years old, although it had taken a nap for centuries before it was rediscovered. One may trace the origin of modern democracy to the French Revolution (1782), the American Revolution (1776), or even the signing of the Magna Carta (1215). But no matter which event one would like to attribute modern democracy to, it is unarguable that Western democracy has been several centuries in the making and written by numerous conflicts and much bloodshed.

    So if the West has gone through centuries of mistakes, of trials and tribulations, to arrive at a healthy, though imperfect system of modern democracy, why can't Thailand embrace the finished product, packaged with a beautiful ribbon? Well, it's not that we don't want to.

    To understand where we are now, one must look at the historical evolution of Thailand since the conversion to constitutional monarchy in 1932.

    From our first prime minister, Praya Manopakorn Nititada, to our latest, Somchai Wongsawat, in the 76 years since there have been 36 prime ministers, most of whom were "appointees", by the military or otherwise.

    There were many reasons behind these "appointees", military or otherwise, not least of which was the influence of the superpowers and their Cold War chess match. Like the majority of the Third World, we were but a pawn served up on a platter with a side order of freedom fries by our leaders, to be exploited in the name of democracy against the rising tides of communism. Never mind the fact that we ourselves were ruled by military dictators for much of that time.

    It wasn't until 1988 when we sustained a succession of "elected" leaders, starting with the government of General Chartchai Chunhawan.

    Only for 20 years had the electoral process been able to sustain breathing room in this Kingdom, minus the hiccups in Black May 1992 and the 2006 coup. Is the Thai democracy young and fragile? It's a sickly, crying toddler in an incubator. So why, I ask you, would anyone look at an infant in an incubator with disdain and disgust?

    [highlight=yellow:b3045c7e51]Through much of our history in the 20th century, the overwhelming majority of the Thai population were peasant farmers, the backbone of the Kingdom, who wouldn't know a democracy from a tamagochi. How could they? With little to no education, their primary concerns were simply feeding and clothing their children? Democratic ideals are the luxury of the "haves", the "have nots" hold graver concerns. Is that so unbelievable? So disdainful? So disgusting?

    It was only the economic boom of the late 1980s and 1990s, the advances in communication technology and globalisation, that saw the burgeoning middle class. Western education, or education period, was no longer the privilege of the elites.

    Be that as it may, not unlike the period of Industrial Revolution in the West, the people were much more infatuated with the newfound riches than the ideals of democracy.[/highlight:b3045c7e51] Human nature: a pile of cash on the table versus some lofty ideal, which would the average Somchai and Somying one generation removed from the rice field (or the villages of Communist China) choose? Is that so disdainful, so disgusting, so unbelievable?

    The infant may be wearing Gucci and the incubator may be the latest Mercedes model, but the fact is, in the 1990s Thailand's democracy was still just an infant in the incubator. As such, we were easily exploited by corrupt leaders, thrifty merchants (local and foreign) and, of course, our own greed. That is disdainful and disgusting, but which country has never gone through such a period? Like puberty, it isn't pretty, but it's a natural process of evolution.

    [highlight=yellow:b3045c7e51]With the Asian financial crisis of 1997, we woke up and realised that we simply exchanged "appointees", military or otherwise, for opportunistic thugs and gangsters, who knew about running a country and economy as much as we Thais know how to queue up in orderly fashion to board/deboard the Sky Train. They simply sneaked into office while the educated middle class were too busy having a bubble bath.[/highlight:b3045c7e51]

    Then it happened. Clouds parted, Beethoven's Symphony No 3 echoed out of nowhere, the birds and the bees chanted, "hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah"! For the messiah had arrived! He was not a general, nor a gangster. He was a businessman who built a telecommunication empire with his own hands.

    For a society that had embraced capitalism for only a little over a decade, we were googoo and gaagaa over him like he was some K-pop heartthrob. For the first time in the history of Thailand, the rich, the poor and those in between agreed on one thing: Thaksin Shinawatra was our man.

    Chuan Leekpai was solid, but he was a plain housewife. This new guy was Paris Hilton on steroids. Is it so unbelievable, so disdainful, so disgusting? Infant in an incubator, we were lost lambs, confused and desperate, then came our shepherd, our saviour, all glittery in golden lights.

    And well, you know the rest of the story.

    Here we are in 2008. Duped and deceived, scarred and full of scorn. Conflict in all levels of society. Flocking to the banner of the PAD are simply people who have had enough. Sure, the leaders of the PAD are questionable. Sure, many of the PAD's tactics are unsavoury. But allow me to speak for the average Thai person - rich, middle and poor - we marched simply because we have had enough.

    Similar to Black May 1992. Then we marched because we wanted no more military dictatorship, but now we march because we want no more greedy money merchants and their thuggish cronies.

    Is this undermining democracy? There is no democracy to undermine. We never had it. Democracy isn't just about going to the poll and voting. Democracy isn't about smiling as you are getting screwed over once again. That may be fine for countries with healthy, but imperfect democracy. But here, in this corner of the Third World, we are tired of taking it lying down and are simply saying enough is enough.

    They don't hand out democracy at the local mom and pop store, and it isn't on sale at Central or Paragon. One must fight for it.

    It's an ugly fight. But is there such a thing as a pretty fight? Definitely, there isn't anything democratic about a fight, just ask the Coalition of the Willing. At least we avoid bloodshed as best we can. Granted, a lot of us aren't even sure what we're fighting for, a lot of us are simply venting frustrations and anger, but at least we're conscious and alive enough to stand up and fight.

    Certainly there are and will be mistakes to overcome, trials and tribulations to triumph over in the road ahead. As I wrote in my first commentary on Sept 14, we Thais also have to look at ourselves and start the change with ourselves, not just point fingers at our corrupt leaders.

    Is it so unbelievable, disdainful, disgusting? [highlight=yellow:b3045c7e51]For those who are understanding, we thank you. For those who are not, please take no offence. You don't have to help us, or support us, constructive criticisms are welcomed and appreciated. But beg your pardon, please do not insult us. Especially if you are a guest in our country.[/highlight:b3045c7e51]

  6. #5
    Avatar von Armin

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    Re: The mirror has 60 million faces

    Zitat Zitat von Samuianer",p="771267
    ...For those who are understanding, we thank you. For those who are not, please take no offence. You don´t have to help us, or support us, constructive criticisms are welcomed and appreciated. But beg your pardon, please do not insult us.
    Eine gute und verständliche Schlussfolgerung.
    Und ich verhalte mich sehr in dieser Richtung, wenn ich sage die Thais müssen das selbst gebacken bekommen.

  7. #6
    Bukeo
    Avatar von Bukeo

    Re: The mirror has 60 million faces

    Zitat Zitat von Armin",p="771716
    Zitat Zitat von Samuianer",p="771267
    ...For those who are understanding, we thank you. For those who are not, please take no offence. You don´t have to help us, or support us, constructive criticisms are welcomed and appreciated. But beg your pardon, please do not insult us.
    Eine gute und verständliche Schlussfolgerung.
    Und ich verhalte mich sehr in dieser Richtung, wenn ich sage die Thais müssen das selbst gebacken bekommen.
    natürlich, aber man kann ja wohl seine Frau unterstützen, oder :-)

  8. #7
    Avatar von Samuianer

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    Re: The mirror has 60 million faces

    Zitat Zitat von Bukeo",p="771723
    Zitat Zitat von Armin",p="771716
    Zitat Zitat von Samuianer",p="771267
    ...For those who are understanding, we thank you. For those who are not, please take no offence. You don´t have to help us, or support us, constructive criticisms are welcomed and appreciated. But beg your pardon, please do not insult us.
    Eine gute und verständliche Schlussfolgerung.
    Und ich verhalte mich sehr in dieser Richtung, wenn ich sage die Thais müssen das selbst gebacken bekommen.
    natürlich, aber man kann ja wohl seine Frau unterstützen, oder :-)

    Muss sagen das der hier angesprochene Schlussatz, Thai typisch ist, da hoert es nicht auf, oder faengt es da erst an....?

    Sicher koennen sie das nur selbst loesen!

    Da gab es ein interesantes Editorial, meine mal war in "The Nation" ueber die online Partizipation vieler Expats in der politischen Diskussion der Begebenheiten seit Entstehen der PAD - davor war das politische Interesse der Expats wohl eher gering.

    Hier ein Auszug:


    The strength of online political debates and networking may also serve as a new force in countering what is otherwise an overwhelming state power and its control over most of the broadcast media, as well as corporations' pervasive influence over society, advocates say.

    In the end, whether one is optimistic or pessimistic, [highlight=yellow:ef9e836b7b]this new virtual sphere of political interaction is here to stay and as it proliferates and grows more thinking is needed on how to make it more public and conducive to the maturing of Thai politics and beyond. [/highlight:ef9e836b7b]
    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009...n_30111585.php


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