Thailand in “East Wind”

The latest issue of East Wind, a periodical publication of Asian Student Association at UNC has a couple of interesting points about Thailand, though one may not take it seriously as one of those by/for undergrads.

Firstly, in a section called “Student Speakout”, there are five students giving opinion about “Who is the most influential Asian political figure alive?” A junior student named Catherine Kronk goes for..

“The King of Thailand [Bhumibol Abdulyadej Adulyadej] (Note: The typo is found in publication. Grrr…) because he is a moderate and stabilizing force in volatile Southeast Asia.”

Two of them voted for Hu Jintao, Chinese president, one for Junichro Koizumi, and the other one for Dalai Llama.

Secondly, an article on page 6-7 named “Change of Power” by Rocky Gao is dedicated to the update on the coup. What is interesting in the article is those comments from Kevin Hewison, a UNC professor who earlier posted a question mark on the current PM’s name tag in his article, General Surayud Chulanont: A man and his contradictions. Since I could not find the online/electronic version of the publication

The article begins with his opinion + assumption that the coup was highly supported from urban folks.

“Often when you have a coup in the part, the Bangkok population has responded quite quicly against it.”

“In this case they have supported the coup very strongly.”

The paper quotes that he has skeptical idea about the promises from Council for National Security (CNS – formerly Council for Democratic Reforms).

“The 1997 constitution, often called the People’s Constitution, has been thrown aside by the coup.”

“My guess is that the new constitution will be much less a people’s constitution and much more an elite one.”

He reemphasized the political power of Bangkokians, as one might not happy with the idea of Bangkok = Thailand.

“Many people are already very disappointed with the turn of events following the coup”

“The people who call themselves democracy activists who were caught up in the anti-Thaksin campaigns in Bangkok are already regretting it.”

The article mentions a little bit about his perspective on the slow down on investment.

“There is going to be a hiatus while these things get worked out.”

“I think foreign investor are going to stand back and see what happen for a while”

And it ends with an interesting quote.

“The honeymoon period has finally finished and the struggles are now on again.”

Hmm real short honeymoon, huh? One may argue/wonder whether they already have one.

The article also has a concise timeline of the “history of polical unrest” with 6 points of time, 1973, 1976, 1981, 1991, 1992, and 2006.

Personally, I’m kinda wondering about when the interview took place, since the publication get published per semester. The situation is moving pretty fast. His comment about the investment is somewhat too late to say as the ambiguity is somewhat less than it was. Anyway, this piece is rather summative rather than informative. I just want to share as the online version is not distributed.



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