Friday, November 17, 2006

Cat and mouse: Thaksin torments the Thai government

Ousted PM Thaksin Shinawat is playing mind games with his deposers. He’s traveling all around Thailand and being very public about it. The coup squad are doing their best, but the aging bunch now in control are struggling to keep up with the master manipulator. They have smartly set up a special group similar to the ICAC in Hong Kong to investigate the assets of Thaksin and his henchmen, but it’s taking time to build a concrete case, not due to lack of offences but simply of how purposely covert and obfuscated all Thaksin’s acts of patronage and embezzlement were. Thaksin's behaviour has suprised or confused somepeople. For my part, I always knew his ego was too big to accept defeat or acknolwedge his crimes against the people that choose him to serve them.

With the folk in the north still under his spell, the interim government really have a task on their hands. Better news lies in the terrorism riddled south of Thailand. The interim PM has taken massive steps by publicly apologizing to the people for their treatment under Thaksin, and legal measures have been taken to assist unfairly charged suspects and blacklisted teachers in the area. A few maniacs continue to kill innocent people though, despite losing some of their hysterical reasons to do so


Tomorrow I’m doing a one day visa run to Cambodia. It’s part of a process to basically go back to square one in terms of applying and acquiring all the documents to make me a legal teacher. Anybody who switches employers has to do this.


....and the students go marching in..................

Today – as with every Friday – the students in my school did their marching duties. As part of school discipline procedures, all students (in nearly every school) must stand outside for the national anthem, say a prayer, and work up a sweat by marching. I was walking past the masses of kids as usual when they started doing their chanting. Suddenly I started having flash backs of football matches. Images of Southampton playing Man Utd, Liverpool, and Arsenal came flooding back. I couldn’t figure out why. Then I got it: the shouts from the kids were echoing off the school walls. That noise – unified shouting and chanting reverberating round – was the first I had heard since my football days. Sounds are second only to smells in triggering nostalgia.


“The Departed” starring Leonardo Di Cpario, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson is great. It’s based on a Hong Kong movie called Infernal Affairs, but this western version is better. It’s a definite break on the Hollywood slump.

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