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There was over 900 marginalized people in front of the Government Building on 2 Oct 2012 [Bangkok]. They gathered, to show solidarity and for the government to address their needs and concerns affecting their land, homes and rights. Many are poor folks, those living in urban slums, in hardship and a minority of those struggling against statelessness.
Despite the incredible heat and humidity, hundreds listened to the speeches of their community leaders. Some spoke about the delays of development, others mentioned rights to land, housing and an identity, while words of unhappiness against the encroachment of corporations and people who live by the whims of greed.
By evening, I was informed that the Government of Thailand had responded to act upon the issues expressed by the demonstrators. I admit, I found that their prime minister, Yingluck, has proactively set a culture of assembly where Thais can gather to express themselves on most issues. I eagerly hope that more Thais embrace the peaceful concept of demonstrations and the government sets the benchmark of good governance for and by the people.
The right to a land is not just a human right, it sparks the life blood of a community. These folks seek to remove themselves from poverty and peacefully advocated their rights to a better life.
P-MOVE = Justice for the Poor
Read Isa Ibrahim’s post: Faces of the Ostracized
Despite the incredible heat this morning, I walked eagerly to meet a dear friend: Kwan, an activist. Didn’t let the last minute plans stop me from rushing to the nearest MRT station. Was eager to meet her as it was a rare occasion for her to make the odd trip down to Bangkok. She had a meeting in Bangkok, although scheduled a few hours for me.
Kwan works with disadvantaged children and refugees near the Burma-Thailand border in an almost isolated location, according to one Bangkok resident. She is a humanitarian worker who specializes in child protection and her approach towards her work has always inspired me, not to mention her sensual smile.
I was early, not really knowing the exact location, fumbling through the madness of finding a landmark in Bangkok. Eventually she found me, we hugged and spoke rapidly about her work, some challenges faced by refugees in Thailand Its similar, somewhat, to Malaysia however NGOs in Thailand seem more involved in the rights-based needs of the marginalized community.
I think about the refugees in Malaysia — the absence of sustainable activism in championing the rights of refugees. Malaysia is a hub for refugees, some coming from the Middle East, and with a growing population of stateless and migrant workers. Those seeking sanctuary in Malaysia are treated as “illegal immigrants” with no rights as refugees in accordance to UNHCR; and there seems to be a bloated community of migrants from Indonesia acquiring citizenship in East Malaysia (i.e. Sabah). Obvious discriminatory policies of the federal and state governments, and yet there is barely a hiccup among Malaysian NGOs on the issues, needs and concerns of the refugee/migrant communities.
Anyway, back to Kwan — I admire her passion for her work and the community that she represents. Amazing, as working with marginalized children is tough, taxing one’s core abilities in order to do what needs to be done, for the rights of the child.
She is a member of a small circle of child protection activists in her country. At times, I know she works against a monstrous wall of societal apathy, isolated and swamped with cases. However one person can make a difference, hopefully inspiring other Thais to action — an empowerment of justice and human rights.
I wish her the best, and I look forward to meeting her again, just to listen to her speak, exchange opinions and see her smile.
One can’t deny the oddity of this snapshot, which I took on a Saturday afternoon in Bangkok. The “skull” cloud seems to be peeking at the inhabitants of this city, watching… a bad omen? I don’t believe in such, but who knows. Some of my Thai friends seem to think so, wrapped up in their superstition and the usual-dose of gossips.
I have learned great many aspects of the Thai-psyche, and surprisingly there’s not much of difference between the superstitious minds of Malaysians and Thais. Almost everything could co-relate to a bad omen or good fortune. Make no sense to this traveler, nor would I want to indulge in such thoughts, though I would continue nodding my head while desperately trying to make sense of what people are trying to say.
Bangkok has been good to me. Yes, despite the hectic work, confusing schedules, misunderstands due to the lack of proficiency of my Thai (and their English), and the expectations which appears to always contradict with one another. Language has been a challenge although the blame may go on my shoulders, me and my inability to speak and understand basic Thai. Oh hell, no point beating myself silly on this issue.
I have met many people during my journey, with the exception of one asshole, the rest are friendly, warm, even though some may be as odd as me, on a whole, they are hospitable with their disarming smiles. I like Bangkok, despite the senseless madness that sometimes tend to grip the mechanics of this city, and the people.
พร้อมเติมความหวานให้คุณแม่คนพิเศษ ด้วยมาร์ชเมลโล่ ฟองดู รสช็อกโกแลตเข้มข้นสไตล์สวีเดน
และพิเศษ สำหรับคุณแม่และครอบครัวด้วยการเก็บภาพวันแสนสนุกกับช่างภาพมืออาชีพพร้อมรับรูป ใส่กรอบกลับบ้านได้เลย รูปและกรอบจำนวนจำกัดสำหรับ 400 ครอบครัวแรกเท่านั้น
โอกาสนี้มีครั้งเดียววันอาทิตย์ที่ 12 สิงหา 55 พาคุณแม่มา IKEA แล้วเจอกันนะ
A simple bowl, without fanfare, served by a tireless elderly man. Beef broth, noodles and loads of dry chili flakes. If you’re into noodles and broth, Thailand is for you. Though when I was there, I did miss Malaysia’s kueh teow goreng… Heaven.
Tom, an American, living in Isaan. The old man has a blog, and travels around Thailand. He journeys to the most simplest of places, patiently taking snapshots and video footage of the Isaan life and history.
Tom is an experienced traveler, he toys with his electronic gadgets to record moments. Through his eyes, I am learn a bit about Isaan every day. Through his zest for Isaan life, I grow eager to visit the land that he calls home.
I am no stranger to traveling distant foreign lands, but I must admit there’s something so outrageously exciting about his journeys ~ I get to be with him (and another friend & brother, Ray, from Oz) on his outings; occasionally listen to his grumbling, his candid behavior, and share a bizarre laugh with him. I envy the simple excitement he infused into his day, when he goes on live telecast via TwitCasting ~ I have yet to see others use TwitCasting on Isaan.
Thanks to Tom, I am glued to my tablet almost every day at 5pm (Isaan Time), and the excitement of being young and having fun again.
Join Tom, explore Isaan. Come, come.
วันนี้อ่านบทความออนไลน์ชื่อ′ความเป็นไทย+ความเป็นคน′ โดย เกษียร เตชะพีระ หนังสือพิมพ์มติชนรายวัน ฉบับประจำวันที่ 3 กุมภาพันธ์ 2555 แล้วประทับใจบทกวีเก่า ขอคัดลอกบทกวีเหล่านั้น มาไว้เพื่ออ่านย้อนรำลึกเองอีกครั้งค่ะ Read More
“12-year-old Nuch (not her real name) lives with her mother Dao, stepfather and five siblings in a single room hut in a small slum settlement near the flower market in Bangkok. She used to go out begging in Bangkok’s commercial district but her mother decided to find another way to earn a living. Now, Dao goes to the market early each morning to buy flowers. She uses these to make garlands, which Nuch and her siblings sell to tourists and worshipers in the temple district of Banglumpu, undercutting the prices in shops.”
Source: UNICEF Thailand
ลอกเค้ามา . .
(1) ดี,โอเค: คำนี้ผู้หญิงใช้ปิดการโต้เถียงตอนที่เธอมั่นใจว่าเป็นฝ่ายถูกและถึงเวลาที่คุณจะต้องเงียบได้แล้ว.
(2) ห้านาทีนะ: ถ้าเธอกำลังแต่งตัว นี่จะหมายถึงชั่วโมงครึ่ง แต่ห้านาทีก็คือห้านาทีสำหรับคุณถ้าเธอเพิ่งยอม ให้คุณดูบอลต่ออีกห้านาทีแล้วค่อยไปช่วยเธอทำงานบ้าน Read More