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Travel Advisory

  • Written by Lookpapa
  • February 27th, 2014
  • 4 min read



Keeping in mind that Stick isn't partial to political commentary on his site and that even when he reports about the current turmoil he is very careful not to appear taking sides, so I wonder if he'll let this be posted.

I, as opposed to him, no longer live in the Kingdom so I can speak freely and hopefully in an unbiased fashion from afar.

Mind you, I was there only recently, in fact in January, and have witnessed some of the protests and its affects in the capital.

I kept a close eye on happenings ever since Thaksin's demise and all the pros and cons between yellow, red and other colours.

With Stick reporting regularly and devoting a special chapter to this latest protest action, he has been consistently advising people that it is safe to visit Bangkok if you keep away from trouble spots. Which was fairly spot on and we weren't inconvenienced when in Bangkok for 9 days in the beginning of last month.

However what's occurring now and in particular the deaths of children near Big C opposite Central World a couple of days ago changes the advisory drastically. This attack was perpetrated right in the centre of a Bangkok tourist area and the wanton nature of these people who last night also attacked a rally site in Lumpini Park makes it far too dangerous a place for any visitor to risk, be it for a family holiday or a to partake of the pleasures of the red light districts.

Who these murderers are is open to speculation, I have my suspicions and you just have to ask yourself : who benefits from these attacks and what end results are being achieved. War weapons are being used – who has access to them?

Are there different factions both in the military and the police who are having a turf war here as well?

Certainly Machiavellian forces are at play so you can't always accept the obvious.

A lot of Thai commentators now call it a failed state. This is a concept which can be interpreted in a number of ways. Uganda was a failed state when the Hutus and the Tutsies were slaughtering each other and in Thailand we're not there yet. Nevertheless the intransigence of the opposing parties here can lead to something a lot worse yet. The red shirts are waiting in the wings and should they feel that their agendas will be sidelined again they can wreak havoc too.

We farangs, whether living there as expats or former residents or just frequent visitors, can not and should not get actively involved in another country's social issues and political problems. Those who live there should definitely have a quick exit strategy. Those who have relatives there should be ready to give a helping hand if needed and those who just like the place to visit should put it off indefinitely until, and if, the place gets back to functioning.

As the military refuses to intervene, the courts hand down confusing decisions and the Government is scared to make the hard decisions to stop the chaos (probably because it doesn't want to be seen to be tough and brutal as Suthep was against the red shirts), it seems like more people will have to die before it ends. Unfortunately innocent children dying for hidden agendas of vested interests is totally against Buddhist principles. This is an aspect which is truly disturbing – what happened to a country where innocent lives are sacrificed whereas before they maintained a higher Buddhist moral stance? The Thai people are lost, and they forgot their upbringings as a people.

When we were there last month and they had a rally at Asoke, the small business opportunists were doing a roaring trade in whistles and other nationalistic paraphernalia. Is this the so-called revolution people are dying for? How to make a buck while ignoring others' rights?

So what is the upshot of all this for us who aren't Thais? Well, if they want to destroy their society and each other who are we to interfere? They actually had it made and advanced from a lot in the last 40 years. Then they got greedy and selfish and inconsiderate. They shot themselves in the foot and literally too. The blame lies with all parties, the Democrats who refused to participate in elections, who don't have a strategy to win over the rural constituency Thaksin has are also culpable. The Peua Thai Party who can't figure out that even without Thaksin they could be a viable force. The people in uniform who moonlight in their spare time and are guns / muscle for hire.

There doesn't seem to be a visionary who can see past petty issues. Maybe because the Thais don't have such a mindset?

In the meantime if you still haven't left and made your travel plans concrete it's time to reconsider. The world is your oyster, Thailand is just a small speck.