Even Thais Don’t Know What’s Going On

Skip the advert but listen to this song by Joe South relevant to this pierce.


Even with the power of today’s internet, being aware of what’s happening in Thailand is not that easy or obvious. I recall, a few days after the 2006 coup, reading a respected observer of the Far East writing that anyone who knows anything at all about Thailand accepts that no one really knows what is going on.

He went on, “those that think they know what’s happening are doing a lot of talking, however cautiously. Those that really are in the know aren’t saying anything at all.”

And, as of June 2023, no-one, Thai or foreigner, knows whether the M.P. who won the recent election will be allowed to serve in Parliament.

Thai media have their own agendas.

Most of the media have their own agendas. Thais, in any case, dislike reporting criticism, conflict, or unpleasant news that their countrymen do not want to read or would prefer to ignore. It is a cultural characteristic which is a little enigmatic when you see gory photos of road accidents on the front pages. Thai newspapers, including the English language dailies, openly self-censor. Sometimes there are legal reasons why information cannot be published.

His relationship with Wallace Simpson was reported by French newspapers years before this announcement.

The UK Abdication Crisis
It is not a uniquely Thai phenomenon. Leading up to the abdication crisis in England in the 1930s, the Prince of Wales’ relationship with the American divorcée Wallace Simpson was known only to a handful of the élite in the UK. Some papers in France printed the news, but copies were not available for general distribution in England.
I tend to watch Al Jazeera, CGTN and RT. These programmes have different points of view and spin the news differently; by comparing them one can get a more balanced picture of events.

Only by having a wide range of Thai contacts, ordinary folk and maybe a few in higher places, and reading between the lines and listening carefully will you ever get a smattering of the truth and reality within the country. Browse the internet forums but check what you read from other sources, other Thais, and from your own observations.

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