Apparently They Don’t Understand
The tragedy unfolding in Thailand could grow to mammoth proportions financially and through to the possible loss of human life. This is as difficult a situation as the recent attacks in India, the unrest in Pakistan, or the fight for survival in Afghanistan. Those whom seek to gain an advantage are unknowingly causing such great harm to this nation that is already at the edge of an uncivilized society. The loss of income from tourism and investment may very well end in a complete economic breakdown. The financial outcome will be indiscriminate having a negative effect on all citizens in all walks of life.
Previous postings are correct – the economy will be left in a shambles following this ordeal. Real tourists (not sex tourists) have now officially written Thailand off as a destination of choice for the next 2 – 3 years. If one foreigner is killed during this siege many will view Thailand the same as Somalia, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. The international news (in every country) has broadcast the traveling nightmare of their own citizens being stuck in airports and / or losing thousands of dollars. If resolved today, the after effects will not be much better as returning citizens will recount their ordeal on local news stations. We all know Thailand for what it is – those whom do not will now view Thailand in a very bad light.
These “protestors” are inflicting more injustice on the people of Thailand than they have apparently NOT imagined. If you were planning a trip to Thailand for the first time now or within the next year would you reconsider? I certainly would.
I, as many people within this forum, are world travelers. I personally avoid, at all costs, countries which have had problems like what is happening now in Thailand. Particularly, those with children, are elderly, or are not “seasoned travelers”
– forget about it! You will not see them for years.
Many potential investors, including owners or upper management types, will analyze this situation and choose to set up shop elsewhere. Further, those whom currently have factories, sales and technical offices, will reevaluate their decision and leave Thailand for good. The failure of the Thai government to resolve this in an organized, swift, and civilized manner is the nail in the coffin. In the eyes of potential suitors the Thai government has now proven they have no influence over the citizens; one could not ask for a worse situation. The corruption, deeply embedded within Thai society, will also be brought to the eye of the world and could be viewed as an indication of a completely lawless society. God forbid the FAA designate the Thai Airport Authority as incapable and remove their stamp of approval. Add in the history of recent coups (or threats thereof) and it is not hard to imagine that foreign investment may come to a complete standstill and even worse, result in a withdrawal of that which remains. In the current, worldwide economic turndown they have not picked a better time to protest their frustrations – the effect will most likely surpass the recession of the nineties. The only difference being it will be focused only in Thailand.
I understand the frustration that has besieged this group of Thai people but this is not the means to the desired end. The Thai people should accept a portion of the blame for allowing corruption to grow to this current goliath proportion. What do they expect? Corruption is as much a part of life as is sticky rice. I truly hope this will not mark the beginning of the end – at the very least the Thai people are in for a very hard road of economic depression and continued civil unrest. There is no magic wand to repair the damage and fix the broken system but hope, hard work, and sacrifice.
I really feel for the good Thai people (and there are many) that work hard, live a clean life, and strive for a country they can be proud of for generations to come. My wife's family comes from Nakorn Sri Thammarat in the south of Thailand. They are educated people having all gone to college. Both daughters (my wife included) attended universities in Thailand and then in either the US or Australia for their masters degrees. They are what I view as a good middle class family. The parents worked very hard to send them to a foreign university and I am sure they made sacrifices along the way. Their culture is one of common sense, hard work, being kind and respectful. The father has never (as far as anyone can tell) cheated on his wife nor has the mother cheated on him. They look around (in general) and specifically at the current situation and they are disgusted and ashamed.
Thais are very proud of their country in comparison to other third world countries. For the educated, intelligent citizens this situation is a complete embarrassment and a very hard pill to swallow. How can they raise their head high and say “I am a (proud) citizen of the country of Thailand”. They way in which the Government treats and takes from their citizens is outrageous. I have given up hope for Thailand , at least for the next 25 years. What a damned shame.
Alluding to older Thais' disgust at the way things happen today is to reflect on the massive changes in Thailand over the past couple of decades, change the country has very much struggled with…and which is partly responsible for where the country is today.