Monday, April 20, 2009
The Ethnic Component of the Crisis That Nobody Wants to Touch
Very few seem to want to point out that this crisis is not just about yellow versus red, but Bangkok Chinese versus upcountry ethnic Thai/Lao. Just look at the faces of the people who are Red and Yellow.
I know the ethnic lines are not 100% clear cut, and Thaksin is Chinese himself(though from the Lao North), but frankly, I think part of the simmering anger of the Reds is the "Apartheid" component of this crisis. Who owns the modes of production in Thailand? Who controls the media and bureaucracies?
Is it fair to ask, are the ethnic Thais/Lao slaves in their own country?
Regardless, maybe we should stop the pretence that Thailand is this country united under a benevolent monarch, where the birds sing endlessly, the virgin maidens frolic in the rice fields, and everybody holds hands and sings kumbaya.
Thai history tells a different story. There has always been regional divisions, seperatist movements and political autonomy for upcountry muang. There was always a lot of rebellion from the Lao against Ayutthaya and Bangkok during the early Rattanakosin period. The Deep South is in open state of rebellion as we speak. No peace, love and granola, ever.
Posted by Fonzi at 7:16 AM