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3 Interviews from Locals in Bangkok

3 Interviews from Locals in Bangkok

May 22, 2010749Views

3 Interviews from Locals in Bangkok

By Mizaru

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Editor’s Notes:

Bangkok, a vibrant nitty- gritty city that everyone has visited or certainly dreams of visiting,  has been cast into shadows and lights of fire flames and violence and now hopefully has seen its harshest moments subside. Its  immediate future is still dicey as on Thursday here in East Asia,  “The Thai military declared that it had recaptured control of central Bangkok, but Thailand remained on edge after the worst urban violence in the country’s modern history.”  Thomas Fuller- NYT (Article Here)

The Three Wise Monkeys has elicited  3 Q and A interviews with three locals living in Bangkok (one an Englishman living there to teach English) and they are printed below; pics of those interviewed are withheld for obvious concerns.

Since Weds the 19th I have tried to contact one of my favorite Bangkok  haunts the seedy-is-as seedy-does Miami Hotel and then The Hotel Manhattan to find out if tourists are now welcomed back and could not reach anyone directly.  3wm will update the situation in Thailand as we get direct contact from people who are actually there.  If you have any info Email: 3wmseoul@gmail.com

 

1. What is the situation you are personally in right now? (Your name, age Job and reason for being in Bangkok)

My  name  is  Jutharat .  I’m  33 years old  living  in Bangkok. Working  as  a fashion  business  freelancer.
2. Did you expect anything this violent and dangerous to happen in Bangkok?

We absolutely know one day the violence would happen but did not expect it to be getting so hard like this.
3. Who do you think is at fault in all of the violence?

MR Thaksin  Shinawatra. The Son of  the  bitch !!!!

4. Do you feel like you are physically in Danger?

Yes, of  course. The  situation is okay for now but the unexpected could happen again. It is life here day by day.

5. How would you describe who the Red shirts and the Yellow shirts are?

Red shirts are a group of people whom Thaksin uses as his army to get his power back.  I believe that they are brain washed .

The Yellow shirts are a civic Group of good people who are anti-corruption and against Thaksin ‘s being in government.

6. How do you feel about Thaksin Shinawatra?

He was a business man who got into politics to make a monopoly for his business interests. He made a lot of money while he was PM  and also he corrupted many mega-building projects so that he had to get his cut.

7. There are reports of terrorists (men in black masks with weapons) who have been causing more violence.  Do you know anything about this?

They ’re the group who serves Thaksin for his hardcore plan. They carried out the order to kill some of the red protesters on April 10, 2010 and give a false reason to bring the army in. Which then   made the nonviolence protesters get angry at the government and they increased their protests and that forced the army to come out to squash, and we are still very close to civil war.

8. What do you think has to happen for stability to occur? And will the stability last?

I have no idea about this. It depends on how strong the government enforces the law.
No one believes that the action is over.

10. Are you for the new elections in November?  Why or why not?

Yes of course, I will vote.   The Violence just curses our economy.

11.  In the past, the monarchy (in 1972 and 1992) released some words that ended social conflict.  Why do you think it has remained quiet during this long period of protests?

It ‘s a different situation.  Those last two times both sides were fighting for democracy while respecting the monarchy. But this time the Red Protesters are some kind of communists and are very anti-monarchy.

12. Is Bangkok back to being normal? If it is what is your regular day like?

For now the violence is down but this not normal for us. I just  want to work hard and be happy in my city.

Kind  regards, Jutharat W.

hope it helps =)

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1. What is the situation you are personally in right now? (Your name, age Job and reason for being in Bangkok)

Nitnada panpipat, 30, Thai nationality, working in publishing.

2. Did you expect anything this violent and dangerous to happen in Bangkok?

No,  I can’t say I didn’t I understand there were events that were more violent than what we are having now but those time the people were fighting for true democracy and societies’ happiness. This time people are paid and tricked to fight for one greedy man.

3. Who do you think is at fault in all of the violence?

The red shirts are now brain washed by Thaksin his people and his money…I think it’s all Thaksin’s fault!
4. Do you feel like you are physically in Danger?

Mmm…When I have to drive pass or close to the protesters or be in a place close to the red zone…Yes I still feel in danger =(

5. How would you describe who the Red shirts and Yellow shirts are?

Red shirts are people (most of them are poor) who are tricked and paid to protest…I’m not sure if 1/2 of them know what’s going on!

Yellow shirts are people (most of them middle class) who can not stand seeing Thaksin taking over the country… I have no color myself…I just wanna live my normal life work and hope we have good people working for the country.

6. How do you feel about Thaksin Shinawatra?

I believe he is now addicted to “being somebody” he has more than enough money…what he wants now is the  power he used to have when he was a prime-minister =)

7. There are reports of terrorists (men in black masks with weapons) who have been causing more violence.  Do you know anything about this?

I heard and I see it on the news…also there’s rumor saying the men in masks are from Thaksin …and the general who got shot in the head while interviewing with the press… well that’s Thaksin’s order too…I  believe it’s tall true >=)

8. What do you think has to happen for stability to occur? And will the stability last?

Honestly, I  like what the government has to offer…the protesters have to  stop burning tires and go home…and then the talks can begin.

10. Are you for the new elections in November?  Why or why not?

If there will be an election then yes… if it’s will make the red shirts go away then yes =)

11.  In the past, the monarchy (in 1972 and 1992) released some words that ended social conflict.  Why do you think it has remained quiet during this long period of protests?

I believe the king had said something about it…2-3 weeks ago when he was on national television…that event was a ceremony for the new judges i don’t know exactly how you call it…but yes he did say something like “do what you have to do” I guess the message is for everyone: it wasn’t clear who he was talking to =) does it make sense to you?

12. Is  Bangkok back to being normal? If it is what is your regular day like?

I am going back to work and meet up with friends somewhere from Siam Square Area in the Central World. in the evening =) ratchaprasong is right in a center of Bangkok, it’s the best meeting point for work and after work too. The mall has been badly burned but we are going back there.

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Editor’s Note: We are waiting on an update from Edward Elric and will post it as soon as it arrives.

1.) My name is Edward Elric (24), I moved to Thailand from England around 2 months ago, planning to teach English as a foreign language. Currently I have just been given a job teaching however due to the situations schools are closed and i haven’t chance to start yet. I came out here because teaching English gives me a chance to live a better life than working at the bottom of the ladder in England and Thailand is an exciting dynamic country to live in.

2.) No. However when the protest began, with the Red Shirts moving into Bangkok, a situation was immediately created that could only lead to conflict, hence it is no surprise that things have escalated to this extent. The situation is by no means just a red and yellow conflict based around the ousted PM Thaksin but a class struggle between the poor country workers and rich elite of Bangkok.

3.) It is impossible to point the finger of blame at one side rather than the other; the Reds want what they see is their Democratic right; the Yellows want things to continue as they always have. The military, which is draft based so basically the poor Thai’s who can’t bribe their way out of military service, are stuck in between trying not to cause a blood bath and doing their duty to King and country. Overall the situation has been badly handled, either the military should step in with full force and crush this as if it is just a terrorist movement or their should be re-elections. This current situation seems like it may last forever causing more and more economic damage and social turmoil.

4.) As I live in fairly close proximity to Si Lom and the conflict around Rama 4 road, I do feel uncomfortable walking the streets. This is a largely pro Red shirt area so there is continues fear of snipers but as long as i avoid conflict zones i should be fine although i have heard reports of a civilian being injured by a stray bullet. Overall my main security fear is people taking advantage of the situation, the street lights are off and the police no where to be seen, so naturally I worry more about being robbed by opportunists.

5.) The red shirts largely come from North Eastern Thailand. They are the poor who drive taxi’s and taxi bikes for a living in the city, they are the workers on construction sites and the lower paid income workers that make up society. The yellow shirts are the comfortable well off Bangkok Thais who are closer to the monarchy and to the seats of power. They generally are the Thai people who have their own car, access to the Internet and a lifestyle similar to that of people in the west.

6.) I don’t like Thakin Shinawatra, as far as I know he is corrupt and driven by greed and i would like to think this current conflict is not based around him but that he is just the catalyst that has lead to this turmoil. It is undeniable that the red shirts receiving funding to continue their protest and this money must come from somewhere, so very likelyThakisin . However, how else are poor farmers going to stand up and fight for their down trodden rights, camping out miles from home in Bangkok’s center for over two months unless they receive financial support.Thaksin caused this problem by giving the Reds a voice and now I would like to think that the red movement has out grown Thaksin however as a farang (foreigner) this is impossible to know for sure.

7.) There has been brief images in the news of the black clad terrorists however neither side seem to claim responsibility for them. They could plausible be the extreme Red shirt solders or mercenaries employed by the yellow shirts to stir the military into a decisive action crushing the protests.

8.) I think the Thai government needs to dissolve and allow elections to take place. However I believe the elections should be managed and overseen by an international body such as the United Nations or another power to ensure that all members of Thai society can have no reason to deny the validity of the results. However the chances of this occurring are bleak at best, the yellow shirts have the power and it seems they would rather see the red shirts massacred than letting democracy decide the future of Thailand.

10.) I think fresh elections are the only peaceful way forward but the elections have to be reliable and honest. There can no excuse for the military to preform another coup and no reason why protesters should camp on the streets again causing chaos though out the city. If Thailand is a democracy then it should act like one.

11.) The King is very old (82) and now it seems he constantly needs medical care to be close at hand. He seems to be in no fit state to make a stand and affect the country in any way. On top of which if this conflict is more about the class divided between rich and poor in Thailand how can he possible have a message that could satisfy both the poor red shirts and the wealthy yellow shirts, after all he is the king, the pinnacle of the social structure.

12.) If this was a normal day i would probably be preparing to teach tomorrow after having a tasty bowl of noddle soup form a street vendor. Instead I’m sitting at home hopping i won’t hear gun shots and explosions coming from down the road.

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