Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Voluntarily Bloody Thailand?

Yet another round of political protest in Bangkok, Thailand. This one by the 'Red Shirts' supporters of deposed ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (a billionaire telecommunication tycoon with good - if corrupted - economic record but lousy international relation and much to blame for pushing the minority Southern Muslims into uprisings that led to a slew of bombings a few years back) who want the current moderate Democrats (that's the name of the party there, but in policy it is more conservative and comparable to what the American Republican Party used to be... before it was usurped by the neo-cons into today's religious-fanaticism-ish party) ruling party to dissolve itself and hold another (sure to be) dysfunctional election.

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Those who actually live there can analyze the political situation better than I could even try. Watching what's being done in this protest, though, with the voluntary shedding of blood in order to splash it around the government building's gate and such... I have to wonder just how much of a public health problem it is for the biohazard material (human blood... after all, according to WHO statistic of 2005, 1.14% of all Thais age 15 or older are HIV positive) to be spread around in public places like that. Check out Avert.org's educational stats page if you wonder about what the statistics mean.

If you haven't been following the political unrest in what used to be peaceful Thailand, BBC News has a good set of fact sheets to help you catch up.


Georg said...

Don't think it is a good idea to induce democracy/political parties/elections into a country with so different traditions.

We should sponsor rule of law and a kind of accountability and then let them find themselves the best way to govern their own country.

Spilling blood: maybe it was only red color, like in the movies, for publicity stunts.


Smorg said...

Hallo Georgy,
Thailand is an interesting case in terms of government indeed. They have a monarch who doesn't really rule (he's supposedly under the law, but the constitution also prohibit criminal prosecution of the royals... so I'm not sure what to think about it), but has a lot of influence especially with the rural (not educated) folks. There's a complication in that he's old and in ill health... and the crown prince isn't well liked at all (his older sister can't take the throne according to the current law). So... if it looks unstable now, I'm afraid it's going to get even more so once this current 80 yrs old king is gone. :oP

Yup, they were using real blood instead of red dye. It's pretty icky... They supposedly had real doctors on hand to draw it (I'd like to ask the doctors myself how they felt about wasting all those blood like that when the Red Cross is always running short on donation... But then it's their blood and they can do what they want with it... I just hope they also were made to clean it up afterward).

Thanks a bunch for stopping by! I'm working on the email. Should get back to ya' properly in a few days. Hope you're having a splendid spring weekend! :oD


Georg said...

Bonjour Smorgy,

Thanks for explaining.

Just one point. I am not sure if you are right saying "it's their property they can do with it what they want".

Blood means life (animals and humans). If these people are unable to respect the life of others, why should the others respect them?

Can't help thinking these guys are on a slippery road. And seeing their faces on your video I think they have kind of beefy looks.