Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Just back from the Bank Holiday break to see that ASEAN continues to demonstrate its racism internationally and continues to foot-shoot over the Rohingya problem. I also see that the Thai economy is down, and Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-Ocha has cancelled any attempts at major reform of the Royal Thai Police.

The only star in the sky is Sanitsuda Ekachai, the Bangkok Post’s voice of reason, a person of principal and ethics, who is having a lonely life criticising Thailand and ASEAN’s action, or lack thereof over the Rohingya problem. 

Thailand can lie of course. This country usually does when she is caught with her pants down. It’s a national characteristic, harking back long before Thaksin and his cronies started eating KFC in the middle of the avian flu crisis.

Thai Police officers of course have long since been implicated in the exploitation of the Rohingya as they are transported through the country and put into camps. The Thai Navy has also been exposed doing push backs of Rohingya’s into the sea.

And now in an almost laughable move the Bangkok Post is reporting how General Prayuth has now launched air reconnaissance looking for Rohingyas stranded in boats to almost certain deaths – boats which the Royal Thai Navy itself was pushing away to those almost certain deaths.

The purpose – none apparently other than they might offer them some sort of assistance before pushing them on to other countries.

Meanwhile Thai social media indicates like in Burma that no-one wants these Rohingya and the vitriol level is high.

Sanitsuda describes it as a ‘failure of our hearts’.

Burma’s (Myanmar’s) dealing with the Rohingyas, whom they regard as Bengali, is of course, according to Sanitsuda “racism not Buddhism”.

When they took to the streets in Myanmar to demonstrate against the Rohingya she wrote:

 “If the Buddha's words were not important to them when they took to the streets, then what was? 
“The answer is quite simple: racist nationalism. The monks do want justice for people, but just for their own kind. Aren't empathy and non-exploitation the key words in Buddhism? Aren't monks supposed to devote their lives to deepening spiritual practice in order to see through the different layers of we-they prejudice so that compassion prevails in their hearts, words, and actions? 
“Many people outside Myanmar were asking these questions because the anti-Rohingya monks were the same ones who dared challenge the government in 2007 to champion the people's cause, and who themselves faced a violent crackdown by the military junta.
“If the Buddha's words were not important to them when they took to the streets, then what was? 
“The answer is quite simple racist nationalism. The monks do want justice for people, but just for their own kind.”

Also laughable is the action by the Royal Thai Navy’s criminal libel action against journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian of Phuketwan. The Thai Navy has merely joined criminals in abusing Thailand’s Computer Crime Act libel laws to stifle exposure of their activities.

If this gets to court in the accusatory system Thailand has, together with its dysfunctional servants of the court, the only thing stopping a guilty verdict would be due to international publicity and loss of face – the main reason for the reconnaissance patrols.

Actually over the period since this action was planned Alan and Chutima have written stories full of praise for the Royal Thai Navy (in other actions). I’m not so sure I would have bothered myself and I am sure be obsequious must have stuck in their throats. The Thai list of great naval victories is, after all,  in the red.

Prayuth Chan-ocha’s decision not to pursue the reform of the Thai police merely tells us what the status quo is. Not so long ago the Royal Thai Police and Thai Army were fighting over the spoils of the heroin trade. They have both been stuck into the Rohingyas.