Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Satish (Facebook)
The announcement on MCOT online today that the Centre to Maintain Peace and Order has ordered the Immigration Department to deport Satish Seghal, a well-respected Indian businessman and ardent royalist, is being met with incredulity in many places.

Whether Chalerm Yubamrung’s command will be followed or whether this is just more hot air is yet to be seen. Satish, who has taken a leading part in the anti-government demonstrations remains at liberty but the announcement is being taken seriously by the Nation newspaper.

Satish Seghal, now 70, is a very popular member of the community in Bangkok and although born in India he says the love he has for Thailand is ‘much stronger’. He has been here most of his life and his children are fully Thai.

For quite some time he worked in the Bangkok Post’s advertising department and he moved on to become  publisher – publishing ‘Look East’ among other things. 

He was President of the India-Business Association for two terms, a member of the General Council of the Bangkok Sports Club, and so devoted is he to the King of Thailand that he currently has a project to have a million pictures of the King framed and sent throughout Thailand at his own expense.
'or those who take a more active part' -Twitter

“When I went to negotiate with the Indian government, I sat on the Thai bench and always protected Thailand’s interests. 
"I helped Thai-India trade value increase from one billion to ten billion baht, not to mention my continuing charity work. For my work records, I never take tea money or bribes. So I want to ask, do I really deserve this?"

The Indian press and television are also running with the story.

Satish says he stopped all political activites after the government issued its emergency decree for Bangkok and its environs.


To demonstrate is of course a democratic right. 

Could other foreigners be deported? – even those curious tourists who join in the nighttime concerts and feasts or just those who take a more active part.

Or is this just racist?  Satish Seghal seems to have contributed a lot to Thailand – could or will this government actually kick him out?

Unfortunately this action is sending a wrong signal to the world from a government which professes its democratic principals. Satish Seghal has not threatened to burn down Centralworld as did one famous Brit in 2010.


Tim said...

I don't know what he's really 'contributed' beyond being involved some self Serving talking shop... he obviously prefers Thailand which I can fully understand having visited both countries.

His actions smack of naievty at best. I can understand and agree with some Thais desire to see him deported given his clumbsy intervention in what is very much a 'Thai problem'. The guys a clown.

Andrew Drummond said...

Racist comments will be deleted

Observer said...

My understanding is that the laws are clear and specific regarding foreigners protesting in public, Considering Satish Seghal's position in Thai society I believe he would be fully aware of the laws and consequences. My prediction is that this will be a much ado about nothing. As one person mentioned to me last Sunday, if you want to make predictions about the future of Thailand, predicting that Thailand will be the same as "yesterday" has been more correct than not.

sirgordon said...

Sorry Tim but on this occasion you are a little off the mark, This man has lived in Thailand since he was 5 years old, his siblings and children are all Thai.So one could say that he is Thai in all but passport. He has also worked as an adviser for many Thai governments of all political persuasions who obviously didn't think he was a clown.


Gerry westerby said...

Stoking up nationalism by focusing upon foreigners is not new in the lexicon of the jingoistic demagogue. In this case one hopes the chap has sufficient friends to counter Chalerm's rhetoric. Remaining silent may well seal his fate. As ever, best to keep one's head down and let the Thai continue with their fledgling democracy in their own inimitable way. Non - Thai have no input here and , frankly, who cares? Nothing matters very much and very little matters at all.

Christy S. said...

The fact is it is against the law for foreigners to engage in political protests. Yes, it is a xenophobic, unfair and basically racist so it's a great example of the treatment foreigners can expect while visiting Thailand.

Born2Serf said...

I think I heard/saw this guy on Bluesky Radio/TV. He really did not pull his punches, and spoke at great length in English. It also made it very plain that he had royalist sympathies. My immediate thought was that he would be deported.

mattowensrees said...

Deported for royalist sympathies?

Tim said...

Fair enough. I didn't realise he grew up there. I wish him no ill. I somehow think the distinction may be lost on the Thais though.

The Weapon said...

Thailand has been greatly influenced by two cultures in Indian and Chinese. India gave Thailand Buddhism and its language. Chinese are masters of commerce and control the financial sector.

You could say there are positive and negative sides to both these things but most of the problems we now see in Thailand get back to two things. A patronage system riddled with nepotism and rampant corruption.

All religious and spiritual doctrines have valid principles, but are meaningless if only given lip service and not put into practice. I am a great fan of the late monk Buddhadasa from Surat Thani.

He said that any system of politics that is not grounded in moral and ethical principles is basically corrupt from the start and doomed to fail. Even if your not religious you can practice 'ahimsa' which means not hurting or harming any life as the life in another is the same as the life in yourself.

Respecting all life is a way to live happily and peacefully but that doesn't mean you accept undesirable and deviant behaviour from others. The ancient Tamil text on living called the Thirukural written by the great sage Tiruvalluvar is an amazing document giving wise principles to live by.

About good men-

When a man vows to advance his community,
God Himself will wrap His robes and lead the way

The world exists because civilized men exist.
Without them, it would collapse into mere dust

If a man does not feel ashamed of what makes others feel ashamed,
virtue itself will be ashamed of him

On Bad men-

The low-minded are happier than men who know goodness,
for they are never troubled by the pangs of conscience.

Is there anything for which lowly men are suited? Well,
when crises come, they are the first to offer themselves for sale!

Lowly men are never high, even when elevated.
High souls are never low, even when downtrodden

When a vile man meets a wicked one, he will outdo him
in his vices and pride himself on the achievement

On tackling rebrobates-

Chop down a thorny tree while it is young.
Left to grow mature, it will one day cut the cutter’s hand

A wise king will remove criminals from his society like
a wise gardener will remove weeds from his beautiful garden

So what if a legion of rats roars like the raging sea?
The mere hiss of a cobra will deaden their din