Away from the main road, a family takes a moment from work. Street vendors don’t appear to be doing well in the city. Not much for them to depend on with the poor economy and the increasing cost of living.
Tags: behaviorism, Buddhism, film, monk, puritan, right wing
Thailand, once again, confused partly by the purity of nationalist ideology and perhaps low self-esteem, is struggling with its own identity.
As reported by Aljazeera:
A Thai horror film about Buddhist monks has been banned over fears it could “destroy” the kingdom’s majority faith, authorities say.
The culture ministry on Tuesday objected to certain parts of the film Arbat, including a kissing scene and one where a monk is shown taking drugs.
The clergy have long been revered in overwhelmingly Buddhist Thailand but in recent years have been rocked by scandals, including gambling and prostitution, as well as corruption at the increasingly wealthy temples propped by donations from the faithful.
“The movie has some scenes that will destroy Buddhism. If it is shown, people’s faith in Buddhism will deteriorate,” Somchai Surachatri, spokesman for Thailand’s National Office of Buddhism, told AFP news agency.
Hmm, and what about the PDRC leader cum “monk” Buddha Issara who wrecked the streets of Bangkok with his ultra fundamentalism? Did the faith of Thai Buddhists deteriorate? Seems the institutions of Thailand are not interested to take action against him for shaming Thai Buddhism, or perhaps, due to his hardliner views, they fear his persona?
In the six weeks since then the behavior of 56-year-old Buddha Issara, abbot of Wat Or Noi in the central Thailand province of Nakhon Pathom, has sunk to increasingly depraved levels with photos of him interrogating undercover police who were caught intelligence gathering at his rally site and who were dragged before him after being beaten by his “guards” widely circulated.
Just days after this he led hundreds of his supporters and attempted to check into a hotel owned by the Shinawatra family where ten rooms had been booked in his name and a deposit of Bt4,200 (about US$129) paid. When the hotel refused to honour his booking fearful the affect the presence of protesters would have on their business he refused to leave until he was compensated for the inconvenience and what he claimed were costs incurred by farmers in getting to the hotel from up-country.
Surrounded by his “guards”, some wearing bulletproof vests, he received Bt120,000 ($3,680) compensation which he was photographed counting (The Vinaya-pitika, the disciplinary code laid down by the Buddha for monks and nuns, disallows monks from touching or handling money) and which he said would be paid to farmers for wasted diesel and other costs.
Source: The Establishment Post
Tags: army, Phuket, police, protest
An angry crowd of about 500 people surrounded Thalang police station in Phuket on Saturday (Oct 10) to demand justice after two people were killed in a police chase.
About 700 police officers and military personnel have been dispatched from nearby Krabi and Phang Nga for reinforcement at the police station in Thalang, local news site Phuketwan reported.
At least five cars near the police station were reportedly set on fire as the protest continued.
Phuket Governor Chamreon Tipayapongthada is investigating the alleged deadly police chase that claimed the lives of the two victims – Prathomwat Panarak, 22, and a 17-year-old whose name has been withheld, according to Phuket News.
Source by Channel NewsAsia
Images from https://www.facebook.com/PataniPeaceful
So much for ‘happiness’ in junta-controlled Thailand.
Tags: accountability, behaviorism, community, junta, NGOs, poverty
Community-based programs, NGOs and privately-run social initiatives are actively involved in areas where Thailand military government support is not sufficient. Often the junta-led “government” projects are cosmetic, and fail to provide much-need policy changes that would greatly improve quality of life.
However efforts are still being made in forging partnerships between NGOs and the government. It’s a fact that the role of an NGO is important especially in the rural parts of the country where poverty incidence is high.
One of my concerns is rural micro-finance programs implemented by NGOs and provincial/federal authorities. Such programs provide valuable services to the rural poor although I have yet to see indicators of accountability and transparency in the financial aspects of these programs. There’s also the issue of questionable deliverables (unachievable expectations, low capacity) and the late dispersement of monies to the stakeholders.
Core problems of social programming are often related to the lack of participation in democratic decision-making. Perhaps some NGOs and officials do not want to see an empowered marginalized community to make informed decisions and lobby for their rights. In this case, from the absence of their rights to a transparent process of not just the budget allocation but also to the conceptualization and project monitoring.
I once mentioned to someone from a reputable local “poverty eradication” NGO that its within their interest to encourage communities to be part and parcel of problem-solving in the programs. But rather than consider and consult the stakeholders about this issue, the officer was rather defensive about the state of affairs. Apparently foreigners do not understand ‘Thainess’ and as such have no business expressing my views. It could also be that he and his organization prefer the comfort zone of prescribing solutions to the communities, rather than consultation.
Anyway as the national economy plunges, its difficult to not come to the conclusion that corruption will increase and that marginalized communities will be extremely vulnerability; as flawed systems, pride and human greed override the original objective of community-service.
Economic growth can help reduce poverty through an increase in household income, providing earnings to obtain the minimum basic needs. That being said, equality and other rights-based concerns must be tackled by all parties to enable a reduction of poverty. I’m not so sure whether the junta realise this, or maybe they just don’t care. I wonder.