Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thailand oh Thailand

Thailand is very popular in Indonesia, not only because it is, like Indonesia, a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), but also because many of its agricultural and industrial products are consumed in Indonesia.

For example in Jakarta, Thailand's Durian Monthong and other fruits are very popular and widely sold at supermarkets,  its cars are used by many people, it's restaurants are available in so many places.

Further, Thailand's capital city Bangkok and popular tourists resorts like Pataya and Phuket have became favorite destinations for many Indonesians.

Furthermore, the military forces in Thailand tend to have their attention focused on the government, thus quite similar to the condition in Indonesia (especially until 1998).

For the above reasons, I felt so sad when I heard and saw the news about the social-political unrest that has been going on for the last few months in Thailand.

Please find below an article about the latest development in Thailand quoted from The Jakarta Post.

Hopes raised for brokered talks in Thai chaos

Vijay Joshi, The Associated Press, Bangkok | Tue, 05/18/2010 12:39 PM | World
Hopes rose Tuesday for an end to deadly mayhem in Thailand's capital as leaders of a protest movement occupying central Bangkok said they would unconditionally accept an offer by the Thai Senate to mediate talks.

Scattered violence continued Tuesday in the standoff between soldiers and anti-government Red Shirt protesters that has killed 37 people in the past six days.

The country's upper house of Parliament on Monday offered to broker negotiations between the warring sides providing they both stopped that fighting that has transformed large swaths of downtown Bangkok to a war zone.

A Red Shirt leader, Weng Tojirakarn, told a news conference "we accept the proposal from the Senate." Another protest leader, Nattawut Saikua, said, "It would not be right if I set conditions for the Senate."

It was not immediately known whether the government had agreed to the Senate talks

In perhaps the most hopeful of recent signs that Thailand's two-month-long crisis could be resolved, both sides Monday evening also revealed that the government's chief negotiator and a Red Shirt leader had discussed negotiations in a mobile telephone call.

But previous attempts to negotiate an end to the standoff - which has destabilized a country once regarded as one of Southeast Asia's most stable democracies - have failed. A government offer earlier this month to hold November elections foundered after protest leaders made more demands.

Meanwhile, violence continued unabated on Bangkok's streets with security forces arresting a 12-year-old boy Tuesday morning for allegedly setting fire to several houses during the mayhem.

At least 37 people - mostly civilians - have been killed and 266 wounded since the government began a blockade last Thursday on a sprawling protesters' camp in the heart of Bangkok. Most of the unrest has flared outside the camp, with troops firing live ammunition at roaming protesters who have lit tires to hide their positions.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's administration gave the anti-government demonstrators, who have been entrenched in the upscale Rajprasong district for more than a month, a Monday afternoon deadline to leave or face two-year prison terms.

By Tuesday, there was still no exodus among the estimated 3,000 protesters remaining at the camp, and no sign of troops trying to break through their tire-and-bamboo barricades.

The Red Shirts, many of whom hail from the impoverished north and northeast, have been rallying in the city since March 12 in attempts to unseat Abhisit and force immediate elections. They say the coalition government came to power through manipulation of the courts and the backing of the powerful military, and that it symbolizes a national elite indifferent to their plight.
 

19 comments:

umihoney said...

Assalamualaikum..back from a long absence..miss you and yr awesome blog..seriously whatever happens across the border affects us in Malaysia to some extent..we share very similar culture and have a very long history together especially for the states bordering Thailand like Perlis,Kedah,Kelantan and Trengganu.Its hoped that they can resolve the conflict soonest. Thank you for sharing. As for my blogs I hope to update them in a day or so.Just came back.Have to catch up on a lot of things :)

H. Nizam said...

Alaikumsalam,
It been very long time, I am glad to see you back on the blogosphere. I look forward to reading your blogs' updates.
I remember taking a ride on a train from KL to Bangkok many years ago. Let's hope that things would get better very soon.

Amanda Krzywonski said...

I find your blog very informational and well written. I hope to learn more as you continue to post. Well done, God bless!

Witless Fool said...

Peace talks have broken down and well, not sure what's going to happen next. :( Hope this will all get settled soon. Violence is never the answer to anything.

H. Nizam said...

@Amanda,
Thank you very much for your kind words. I'll do my best.

@Witless Fool,
Thank you very much for following my blog on Google Friend Connect. I have also followed your fine blog.
Re: Thailand, let's hope things would be settled very soon.

jojo said...

This is a nice post. Very informative. Keep it up.

H. Nizam said...

Jojo,
Thank you for your visit and comments.

Wrist man said...

Thanks for your Attend in Thailand. It's a serious news of foreign but the truth is not that news.
It does not protest the government but It is the terrorist.The most people agree with the government's suppress terrorists and want the terrorists to surrender.The Redshirts group are protest for to the former prime minister came back to power again. Impossible
Thanks for good intention of everyone. I hope that Thailand will resolve the problem soon.

H. Nizam said...

Wrist Man,
Thank you very much for your kind comment. As a citizen of Thailand I am sure that you know better about your country. Let us hope that everything would get better very soon.

s.isaac said...

Hey friend, thanks for the ADD! I added you back on google connect as well.

Thanks and happy blogging!

H. Nizam said...

S.Isaac,
Thanks a lot, I'll go and follow your blog now.

Ladyulia said...

hello
yes
meanwhile I have a plan to go to thailand at september
but still affraid with the condition
:(

Aby Umy said...

salam kenal dari http://aby-umy.blogspot.com/

kalau ade mase singgahlah ke blog saye,,

Yari NK said...

It reminds me of what had happened in our own backyard 12 years ago, when the students and the protesters wanted to oust the New Order regime. It seems to me like nothing comes without a price if we want to stand for the democracy to survive. Even it has to cost innocent lives. Pretty sad! :( Hope the political conflict in Thailand will soon be resolved.

H. Nizam said...

@Ladyulia,
Let's hope that the conflict will be over soon so that you can go to Bangkok on September.

@AbyUmy,
Terima kasi atas komentarnya. Saya akan kunjungi blog anda.

@Yari,
Yes, it's similar to what happened in Jakarta exactly 12 years ago.
Like you said, democracy has its price.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

A very sad state of affairs in a country so many kiwis visit. We hope they can sort their problems out before things get worse.

peter

H. Nizam said...

Peter/Kiwi,
It is very sad that Thailand should face such kind of ordeal.

Herdoni Wahyono said...

Thai products are well known in Indonesia. There is now a demo of the 'against' the government. We also are concerned with this incident. Government must act wisely in the face of them, but must also be quick to act firmly and loudly if efforts 'peace' deadlocked.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Herdoni,
The Thai govt has acted firmly on the anti govt demonstrators and the result: 37 people dead.
The key should be negotiations between conflicting parties to reach a quick settlement.
Our experience in Indonesia shows that conflicts tend to be politicized by politicians for their own selfish interests, and if that happen it would be very difficult to stop the conflict.