Media – what do they know about the coup?

Thai school children offer their respects to a soldier.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

In 1978 whilst the Thai King was visiting and helping a remote area in the North East a Western journalist mistakenly thought the King was trying to influence the communist insurgency. He asked “Do you think your visit and support to these people will decrease the number of the communists?”

The King replied “I don’t know if it will reduce the number of the communists but I hope that I am making them less hungry.”

All Thai people love the King and he loves all his people. He is the father to the entire nation, no matter what their religion or beliefs. He does his best to help the people. In the following story, which is a simplified explanation of the coup, the King of course is referred to as the father, whilst the deposed Prime Minister, Khun Thaksin is referred to as the older son or lost sheep. It explains the coup and Thai peoples’ feelings quite well.

the Kingdom and the lost sheep

Our father has always loves his children dearly.
Our father has never been raged and called his kids stupid.

When he tells us about a problem, he always has a moral lesson for us. So when we think about it again, we then will understand life better.

He always reminds us to brush our teeth before bed to keep our teeth strong. But we always realize that after we already lost our teeth again and again.

He always tells us to “work hard and be honest”, so that will bring us a good life. He never tells us that we have to be rich, so we’ll have a good life. He tells us that we can be happy with what we already have, not what wealth will bring.

Our father has more than 60 million children.

He has never traded his own kids or taken advantage of them so he would have a richer life.

Even with his vehicles, his old shoes, he saves them and takes good care of them. When they’re broken, he would fix them, and not just throw them away.

He never forced his kids to pay him a penny so that he would have more money for himself.

He always says to his kids that we have to walk together.
If only the oldest son would have a great luxurious life, while his other kids are suffering. Being fooled by all kinds of materials from the oldest son, that eventually has changed them into a slave of money, technology and gambling. Such idea, for him, has never been called a Development.

Our father has told his children to select their representative to work for the family’s most happiness, not for the family’s most profit.

Everything should be done for the sake of the family under different conditions inside and outside the house. But there’s only one very stubborn, prideful child in the house. The only one child, who covers his face as an innocent sheep, is trying to put his feet in the father’s shoes.

He uses his siblings who don’t aware of the situation and those who do but give in to the only evil magic, “Money”.

From a few black sheep in the house, now the cult of wealth, the cult of pride and the snob has been spread in our society.

From a tamed sheep who comes from the faith of people and who once respected even the poor ones on the side of the road. Now he has become a mad and snobbish one who can be furious and rude to everyone around him. . From an ordinary man whom the father once trusted to manage the family despite his shadiness in the property. From a humble one, he has become the founder of fear, hatred, insult and accusation that anyone who does not agree with him is a fool. He has become the vainest leader who dares to judge his 60 million siblings ’ human rights and even invade their thoughts and way of life.

From an open and innocent man, he has now become a mysterious one who would never answer any questions and is afraid of giving any answer, and who has seized his family’s properties to be his own.

Our father once said, “ I loath the corrupters” (King Rama IX is the second king in the Thai history who has a speech cursing corrupters of the kingdom, and he already cursed the current government.)

The lost sheep said any investigation is not necessary. Since he is the biggest one in the family and anyone who has a problem with him should look out for their job security.

When our father says someone is his good child.
The lost sheep says that child must be kicked out of the party.

The father says we should live with a sustained economic.
Those lost sheep, instead, concern only about what to eat and yell at others, “You’re gonna live in a slum, you fool!” The father says we have to go together and develop our family. The lost sheep has sold national welfares to make profits for his own friends. Even in the House of Defense, he dares to choose which one he wants and not want to be in there—and nobody can change it as the father must always be under the house’s law

Thai Buddhist monks walk past an M60 tank.(AP Photo/David Longstreath)

I mention this as I have been very disappointed with the media coverage of the recent Thai coup. It has shown how little journalists understand Thailand and the other places where they work. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. Some are sent for only short periods whilst others may be sent to cover a region for a year or two. But even then, they are paid Western wages and live in expat areas and hangout in expat bars. They generally do not speak the local language and have very limited schooling in world history. They of course see things through their own views and perceptions that were developed in their home country and culture. And of course their job is to report interesting and exciting news that people will watch or want to read.

It is important to be aware of all this when you read the paper, a magazine or watch the news. To understand the world you must read between the lines and analyse what you are seeing and hearing. Who is it that is saying this? Who is he supported by? Why is this camera angle a close up or this one from such a distance? What knowledge does this person actually have and where did he get that?

An example was the ABC news last night. Obviously a news crew has been sent there to cover the coup and any developments. So last night the news showed a close up of a demonstration against the military coup. They spoke about the demonstration and didn’t mention what else was going on. It seemed as if maybe there was drama in Thailand and people had begun complaining about the military takeover. I don’t think the ABC were deliberately trying to misinform people, they were simply trying to make a story.

Which would have been hard. There is no story. Yesterday most Thai people went about their business. They are happy and relaxed. The vast majority of Thais support the military coup and are not anxious about the situation. The demonstration that occurred had only 20 people. Thailand has more than 63 million. The anti Thaksin demonstrations had 100s of thousands of people taking part. 20 people is nothing. And it was watched and allowed by the military who don’t want to stop people supporting democracy. Although they do want a temporary stop to divisive actions it really isn’t worth hassling 20 young people holding a 15 minute call for elections.

So anyway, please be careful of what you see and read; it may not be an accurate reflection of the truth.

Oh, please also don’t believe articles which say the King had a part in planning the coup. These are quite rude and again it shows how little journalists know and understand. Actually the King and Queen have been sick and both recovering from surgery lately. Normally they are very busy helping people. They don’t waste time and energy on politics and coups. Their aim is higher than politics. They simply help all the Thai people. It is true that they have endorsed the new leader, General Sonthi, and this is an important step in Thailand as it gives the new government legitimacy. I suspect the King will offer advice to the new rulers, but I do not think he had anything to do with planning the coup. This is not what he does.

Lastly please ignore ignorant governments who say that the coup was wrong. Unfortunately we will only have our beloved King for so much longer. He is already old. While we have this amazing man, who all Thais love and respect, this is maybe one last chance to hold such an action and get the constitution right before the politicians are let loose again. After the King goes, there will be no such unifying force in Thailand whom we can all trust without any doubt. We will only have politicians to choose between. So this is another reason why the Generals were probably right to do what they did now, in the interest of the Thai people and their future. Of course little Johnny Howard doesn’t have the intellect to understand this but I hope at least some of his people do.

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