Daily Archives: March 16, 2007


Sadly to say that living in Betong for years, I have become inured to the insurgency in Southern Thailand. They are considered as “accidents” instead of real threats. The riots in the Southern provinces seem to have little influence on Betong. Betong, known as the “Town of Sparrows” and “City of Midst-Beautiful Flower”, is always praised for its cool weather, its greeneries, its harmonious multi-racial and multi-cultural society and its peacefulness.

In the midst of the insurgency in the area, Betong is developing well in its own pace and attracted tourists from all walks of life. Visitors came to Betong not only for the entertainment, but also for its historical and cultural attractions. In the past three years, the Chinese International Education Center project alone had attracted thousands of visitors from various Chinese clan associations, educational organizations and press media from the neighbouring area and other countries.

Two weeks ago, there was an anniversary procession of temple sculptures organized by the highest Chinese Authority in Betong – the Chong Fa Foudation. It was filled with sound of crackers, joy and hope for a prosperous Chinese lunar year.

Today, there was a procession too. A procession filled with sadness, anger and roaring.

The tragedy of insurgent ambush on a shuttle bus (from Betong heading to Hadyai) in Yaha district had shaken the peacefulness in this town. Eight innocent civilians had been killed, including three students accompanied by parents on their way to take their examination in Hadyai.

The tragedy indicates that the unsafe zone in Southern provinces is slowly expanding and its effects and threats are spreading, should the situation not be controlled. It is not only the problem of Southern provinces, it is the concern of everybody who lives in this land, who loves and find hope in this land.

(What did the students do wrong? Why did they have to be murdered?)

Betong is a small town, news and word spread fast, be it good or bad, true or fake. These last two days, the basically tolerant and submissive Thai started to speak out…

Why don’t the government focus on current problems instead of digging mistakes of the past? Why was the government spending time and effort in finding faults of the ousted PM instead of channeling the manpower and resources to help solve the many problems in this country?

Why don’t the government come out with solid plans to help the 500 redundancies caused by the rubber factory burning down in Yala district? Someone from Chiang Mai was also saying that people in the North were suffering as their OTOP products have no more market. They will soon rush to the big city to find a living… These are all sources of potential social problems…

I hope that their voices were loud enough to be heard and strong enough to move the relevant parties to take appropriate actions.

Left (How can we live together? We can’t go on with our daily life.)
Right (What is the government doing? What is more important than preserving our homeland?)

Left (What is the government doing – the land will be depleted.
Right (These bastards kill even children and women.)

A New House

The above photograph is a survival. The Asian Pacific Postal Training Centre used to function from these premises. Now its name has changed to The Asian Pacific Postal College. It’s a premiere institution in Bangkok under the ageis of The Universal Postal Union and the Asian Pacific Postal Union.

The old premises have lots of open space and when management classes were held here for international participants, at coffee break, the courtyard used to be festive. In the new premises everything is modern, with sleek class rooms and auditoriums. The changing face of Bangkok keeps on changing. Sometimes its so fast that if one would visit the city after say, a gap of six months, one might get disoriented.