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Hello Bangkok Christian College – It’s the 21st century

Tim Newton

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Hello Bangkok Christian College – It’s the 21st century | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Christian College

In a sign that the Thai education system still has a way to go, the Bangkok Christian College has been forced to backtrack on using the phrase “sexual deviation” to describe transgenders and other shades of the GLBT spectrum. But the college insists it will still host a controversial seminar in Bangkok as planned.

The seminar, “How to raise a child to not be sexually deviated” is being run by the all-male student Bangkok Christian College on Monday.

A spokesperson for the Parents Association at the college said, “the seminar is exclusively for parents of the school’s students and aims to attract 20-30 people.”

“Parents should be able to raise their children in a way that causes them to identify with their (birth-assigned) biological sex”, he insists.

The controversy surfaced as gender-diversity groups on Thursday denounced plans by the all-male school to host a seminar for parents on the theme of protecting their children from “sexual deviation”.

The college has backtracked on their language but have no apologies for suggesting parents should be able to impose expectations on their children to identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.

“I accept and respect LGBT people, but that doesn’t mean I encourage my son to be one,” he said. The Facebook page for the college carries an advertisement for the event.

“Sexual deviation often comes from the environment in childhood, especially from the family. How does sexual deviation affect the children and how can we prevent it?”

The college’s ignorant, or at least ‘old fashioned’, language seems to imply that they believe sexual diversity is somehow ‘made’ by influences at home. The language also suggests that, by wanting to ‘prevent it’, that there is something wrong with people who grow up a slightly different shade of grey in the sexual orientation spectrum.

The Bangkok Christian College was the first private boys’ school in the Kingdom of Thailand and was founded in 1852. Whilst the college was founded on strong Presbyterian traditions, the students at the college are mostly, according to their Wikipedia site, Buddhists.

“We don’t intend to impose hatred or disgust on sexually diverse students or sexually diverse people,” said Chatchai Charuwatee, a member of the school’s parents association that co-organised the forum.

Well, they did. Their implications are scientifically inaccurate and simply reinforce old Christian text – many passages in the New Testament assert hate and violence against gay people. These sorts of passages, cobbled together by ignorant sheep herders 2000 years ago, and translated and interpreted by Christian theologians in the middle ages, have no place in a modern country, especially a modern Buddhist country.

Gender diversity groups claim the forum’s theme stigmatises LGBT people and oppose the seminar. They say the forum may also violate the Gender Equality Act 2015. The law forbids any act that causes division, discrimination or limitation of any rights and benefits due to a person’s sexual orientation.

Hello Bangkok Christian College - It's the 21st century | News by The Thaiger

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now CEO and writer for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He presented for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and provides stories for Feature Story News as the south east Asian correspondent.

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Opinion

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing

The Thaiger

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“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing | The Thaiger

The rules are applied in a lumpy fashion at various tourist hot spots around the country as well as some national parks. Sometimes it’s applied, sometimes, not, sometimes there are signs, sometime they make it up as they go, sometimes they will allow local expats in for the Thai price.

There are dual-pricing apologists who say ‘Hey, it’s cheap anyway, so pay up and shut up’. Whilst dual-pricing whiners say it’s unfair, racist and shows a lack of grace towards tourists and foreigners.

Here’s the story from ‘Despondant Foreigner’. You can have your say on the post at our Facebook page

“I would like to share my story with you that happened to me this morning. I visited Promlok waterfall in Nakhon Si Thammaratt with my Thai wife, child and wife’s family. Upon arrival two soldiers approached our car and my wife began talking to them. They explained to her that as today is Songkran all Thai’s get to go to the waterfalls free of charge but I had to pay. Then a woman dressed in yellow approached the car who confirmed what the soldiers said and told my wife that this is a new law. Well we were all disgusted and proceeded to drive back down to the bottom of the waterfall where we could all swim for free.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. Yet another example of Thailand’s racial profiling and xenophobia towards foreigners. The fact that I am married and have children here doesn’t make a difference. Because I have white skin I must pay the fee whilst all Thais go in free.”

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

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Opinion

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet

Bill Barnett

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Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, C9Hotelworks.com

As Phuket moves slowly into low season, a story published in the international media by the US-based Fox News about how tourists could face the death penalty over taking photos at the island’s airport is a highly flaw piece of sensationalist fake news.

Clearly there is no likelihood that the Thai authorities will apply a legal maximum penalty under the Air Navigation Act for tourists posing for selfies as airplanes land. More likely would be a  charge of trespassing and a fine.

Clicking into Google this morning the story is now running with the New York Post, MSN and other news outlets abroad.

What is distressing is to see how news providers sensationalize Thailand and Phuket with little regard as to the consequences of the economic impact of such a story.

For most readers, what they will remember when reading such a piece is only the headline about Phuket, Mai Khao Beach and the death penalty.

What a sorry state of affairs mainstream news has become.

To read the Fox News article clock HERE.

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Election

Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision?

The Thaiger

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Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision? | The Thaiger

Is Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit a popular fad or does he, and his party, have the staying power to make him a sustainable threat to the entrenched Thai political elite?

Many analysts are comparing Thanathorn to Thaksin in his early days. They say there are clear similarities. First off, Thanathorn is facing the kind of legal trouble that Thaksin faced when Thailand’s political crisis started to brew.

After becoming Thailand’s PM, Thaksin faced a share transfer scandal in which he moved his company shares to poor servants, allegedly to avoid stock market restrictions imposed on people owning big lots of stocks. Now, 40 year old Thanathorn is facing a legal controversy over his previous ownership of media shares, which could still doom his election candidacy.

The allegations are yet to be considered by the Election Commission.

Thaksin, in spite of repeated denials, was always alleged to have controversial political ambitions. Thanathorn, meanwhile, is seen in an increasingly similar situation. The list of complaints is growing, many to do with his perceived unorthodox ideology that contrasts with the conservative political ‘Thainess’ that includes non-negotiable support for the Army and Monarchy.

Thanathorn has been criticised for something he said about the Khana Ratsadon Party, which played an instrumental role in changing Thailand’s system from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1932. The secretary-general of Thanathorn’s party has also been forced to deny making highly-controversial comments about Thailand’s political culture.

Future Forward did very well on March 24, surpassing pundits’ predictions for the new party. Analysts say the success is due to three main factors — Thanathorn’s youthful image that attracted the majority of first-time voters, the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart Party that shifted a lot of votes to Future Forward, and the new party’s fresh ideology and perspectives.

He, and the party, attracted a lot of newer voters along with a core of disaffected voters who are looking for change.

But Thanathorn’s looming legal trouble is described as a potential banana skin. It concerns a large number of shares he had in a media company, which were transferred to his mother so that he could qualify as an election candidate.

One apparently-private document, which he is relying on, showed he transferred the V-Luck Media Company shares on January 8, before he applied for election candidacy. Another document, which his accusers are relying on, apparently showed the transfer was brought to the authorities’ attention after he became an election candidate.

Controversy continues to build around the young billionaire and chances are it will grow.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger

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