Sep 24

Democracy or Democrazy?The english pages of host an interesting discussion about democracy in Thailand after the recent coup. Click here to read more. I am really thinking, that the Thais are about to losing it for the tourists this time – at least for this high season, which is about to start in 3-4 weeks time.


Things are coming in tough these recent weeks in Thailand:

– the 6 simultaneous bombs on September, 17th that rocked Haad Yai, killing 4 people, not only locals this time; but amongst the dead a 29-year-old canadian tourist and a chinese national

– the seizure of a Heckler+Koch assault machine gun and 133 rounds of ammunition at a routine car check at Phuket’s Sarasin bridge on September 21st, which could have brought easily more bloody nightmares amongst tourists in the region

– another bomb blast in Pattani at a bus stop, on September 24th, injuring 4 police men

– of course the ‘bloodless’ coup to overthrow an elected government (Khun Thaksin or “Toxin”, as some people like to call him), which enjoyed (even though there might have been corruption or cronyism involved) the majority of votes. But okay, most of the voters came from villages and rural areas, so maybe they don’t count as much as votes from capitol people? The coup was widely celebrated and following the latest polls, 84% of Thais are supporting it. Huh?

– the increased security and tightened control of local and international media, internet censorship and the ban of broadcasted opinions and public gatherings of more than 5 people with the threat of unspecified punishment for violations

– recent change of ‘Visa-on-arrival’ rules (90 days maximum stay) for long-term tourists and continuous increase of fares and fees (National Park fee raise to 400 Baht for “Farangs’/80 Baht for locals, Departure Tax 500->700 Baht, Dive and Hotel Industry rule tightening) and continuous milking of the ‘farang cow’ (i.e. through continuous pretending that you can really ‘own’ a business or real estate here, when you actually can be kicked out by your necessary Thai partners any time)

Not to talk about the high crime rates, countless rapes, killings and contract assassinations of locals and ‘farang’ business people alike, due to Thai business jealousy and ‘all for the Thais’ and ‘blame the victim/foreigners’ attitude. Even the fake smiles and thousands of ‘mai pen lais’ can’t help there anymore.

Is that still democracy or more democrazy??? In my view – Thailand is about to destroy its peaceful image of a pristine and tranquillizing holiday destination. Let me close this time with the comment of again, that “the crux of the entire issue” consists precisely in the fact that “Thaksin came to power thanks to a majority of voters electing him, and that majority didn’t care about his anti-democratic activities.” That’s why “a swift return to democracy looks doubtful in Thailand”.

That’s it for now… ;-/

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written by Chris

3 Responses to “Does Thailand Have a Democratic Future?”

  1. Laos: Coup Attempt Prevented | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] 24/09/2006 Does Thailand Have A Democratic Future? […]

  2. dee yanNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    For Vacation and traveling around southeast, this Oct I plan to visit pataya, but after some “democrazy” things, should i change my mind ? :-/

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi dee yan, it depends on what you want for your vacation. You won’t probably have troubles running into military or other things during your stay. As mainly the troubles seem to be in Bangkok, as usual. I would avoid Pattaya though, as there is nothing much to see, except prostitution. The seas are dirty, the town is uninteresting and the whole place probably full of fat, ugly tourists or touts trying to skim money from you. There are soooo many better places to go in Thailand, I wouldn’t start with Pattaya. ;-)

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