Is it really conceivable that we could be on the brink of Revolution in Thailand….The land of Smiles?
I am no expert on Politics in Thailand or for that matter any kind of politics but I do have a keen knowledge and sense of history and having spent a lot of time in Thailand and being married to a Thai woman I can see and feel the massive change that is taking place in that exotically beautiful country.
The disturbing and almost surreal scenes we witnessed only just over a year ago in 2010 of ‘Thai killing Thai‘ certainly set the stage for change and I for one had the inkling that even though those scenes eventually stopped that it would not be the end of it. Of course we know that wasn’t the beginning of it all as there had been previous eruptions of unusual aggression in the country famed for it’s passive and peace loving nature.
But history shows us that once the seeds have been sown they will eventually grow into something more substantial and it seems Thailand’s history like many other countries is being written in front of our very eyes.
What I have found interesting is that only a couple of years ago I was being told to be careful of what I say in Thailand. Even as a Farang, who supports the right to freedom of speech and thought I could find myself in some hot water or even worse if I was not careful. For many Farang it is difficult to conceive the idea that we cannot freely express our opinions and observations whether positive or negative as throughout history we have fought many wars for that right.
It is interesting to witness the changes in attitude of many Thai people who are now beginning to voice a similar objection and express their thoughts, ideas and opinions about their country, their Monarchy and the state of their politics and constitution. This is causing reactions between Thais who hold different views and it doesn’t take much to see that this cause will eventually effect massive change and possibly a Revolution in Thailand.
Usually it takes one empowered leader to stand up and show a passion and commitment for progression of the masses and revolution will surely follow. You might think me being a bit hasty or even excessive using the word Revolution in Thailand but how else would you describe a country that is on the verge of changing old ways that have been bitterly held onto for centuries, to new ways that some are bitterly resisting?
Only recently we are hearing more and more about cases of people being jailed in Thailand for exercising what we call in the West our basic human right of freedom of speech.
The question is just how big will this change be and how fast will it occur. How much resistance will there be from the traditionalists and to what level will force be required to effect the change. We saw last year that the proponents of the change “The red shirts” are prepared to use some force and the resistors “The yellow shirts” are also prepared to use force as well.
However, the difference that we see now is there is a new Thai Government that openly supports the change and so it remains to be seen if this will help in making the change more passive and peaceful without the need for bloodshed and violence we witnessed last year and sadly witness all over the world.
If it is inconceivable we are on the brink of Revolution in Thailand and is it also inconceivable to wonder if it could be achieved peacefully. History tells us not. Yet Thailand is a very passive country by nature and predominantly Buddhist in culture both of which promote peaceful acceptance of change. Could this be the one key element that could allow true democracy in Thailand to evolve without war?
It looks like 2012 could be a very interesting and profound year in the history of Thailand. Let’s hope that they can demonstrate to the world that change can be made without bloodshed.