Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Wake up and shed the shirts

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Island residents and expats alike breathed a collective sigh of relief late last month when a dreaded showdown between the Pitak Siam (“Defenders of Siam”), the latest incarnation of the anti-Thaksin People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and government security forces fizzled out on the streets of Bangkok due to lack of popular support and other factors.

As events unfolded in the capital, local hoteliers and other players in our island’s all-important tourism industry cringed at the prospect of yet another crippling episode of “politically”-fueled violence coming at the worst possible time for Phuket: just as accommodation establishments entered the start of the annual “high season” for tourism and most hotels were finally reaching occupancies at or near capacity.

During the Phuket Gazette‘s daily coverage of the drama, some posters in our popular Phuket Forum implied that our coverage was partial; that we had somehow demonstrated support for the protesters by reporting an account of the events by Apharat Chartchutikumjorn, a well-established PAD organizer in Phuket.

As this is quite a serious charge, the Phuket Gazette would like to state for the record that we have no affiliations with, or sympathies for, shirt groups of any color. The red and the yellow must share the responsibility for having brought this country to near-ruin, and both are certainly capable of starting down that path again.

The Gazette has long held this stance – not because we think that the media should refrain from commenting on affairs political, but rather because we oppose any behavior, of any color, that places at risk the success of Thailand’s arduous struggle to establish itself as a genuine Democracy.

We find incomprehensible the enthusiasm with which folks branding themselves as “champions of democracy” jettison the core principals of it as soon as they suspect that their own vested interests are under threat.

Violent street protests, coupled with an endless series of military coups and shredded constitutions, will never get Thailand where its people want and need to go. Creating a level playing field for one and all, with respect for the rule of law, is the only hope.

We acknowledge and support the right to peaceful protest as part of the democratic process, but the reality on the ground is that national-level protests in Thailand are always heavily imbued with the threat of violence – and those who organize the events invariably know this.

We hope our readers will view the Gazette as what we are: staunchly anti-shirt, anti-thug and anti-corruption – and pro rule of law.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Hot News7 mins ago

Flooding may impact Thailand’s tourism recovery

Road deaths31 mins ago

Young woman killed in hit-and-run in Chon Buri

Hot News34 mins ago

Myanmar youth artists hold art challenge to raise awareness of country’s struggle with democracy

Sponsored7 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Entertainment43 mins ago

“One For the Road” film is Thailand’s 25th try for an Oscar

Thailand49 mins ago

Disabled lottery seller swindled out of one million baht

Hot News58 mins ago

US, South Korea respond to North Korea’s missile over Japan with bombing drills

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism1 hour ago

E-visa and visa drop boxes in India will help tourism

World1 hour ago

Angelina Jolie claims Brad Pitt abused her and their children

Phuket1 hour ago

Phuket taxis drivers promise to quit fighting rivals

World2 hours ago

Miss Ukraine slams Miss Grand International promoter

Northern Thailand2 hours ago

Cracks in road to popular mountain in northern Thailand

Crime3 hours ago

Thai chicken vendor fakes being a lawyer and wins in court

Opinion4 hours ago

Hot tip – Don’t pay hot tips!

Thailand4 hours ago

VIDEO: PM Prayut gives army veteran a haircut in northeast Thailand

Travel4 hours ago

10 underrated places to visit in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending