re: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
This is a democratically elected leader of a severely oppressed country whose people have long suffered under the heavy boots of the military junta. A leader who was not only robbed of her election victory but of her basic human rights for decades, who is now facing a real threat of being tried unfairly and put away in jail for five more years. Where is the outcry from the foreign media? Where are the articles and high-minded opinion pieces condemning the undemocratic elements? Where are the lectures and derision?
Atiya is a delusional hypocrite. When has there ever been an outcry from Thailand? Thailand is Burma's biggest economic partner and the Thai military and politicians have been propping up the Burmese junta for decades with moral and business support. Further, the western media has been a hundred times harder on Burma than on Thailand. Burma is almost at the level of Axis of Evil state; Thailand is only at fucked up and can't get its shit together state.
Has the bad press been reserved for struggling democracies like Thailand? Like, if you try real hard to hold your stuff together and be compliant with Western values, you get slapped when you come up short. But if you are a fully-fledged autocracy that shuts the country off from unwanted relations (and keeps the wanted relations plus profit to yourself) who also could not care less about what the world may think, then you can be left alone. No foreign press would nag that the Burmese prime minister was not elected, that its roadmap to democracy is a coup-produced sham, or that Snr Gen Than Shwe has not been seen smiling or anything.
It seems Atiya has been reading too much of The Nation and has destroyed her brain cells. Where does she come up with this outrageous crap? The western media has never been a friend of the Burmese junta. In typical Thai media fashion, Atiya can't come up with one article, one paper to support her argument.
The Economist, for example, has been harsh on Thailand to the point that its own integrity can be called into question. In its April issue, for example, the magazine took aim at Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's mandate to govern. "He rode to office, unelected, thanks to the yellow shirts," the magazine stated.
There is no doubt, at least to me, that the Democrats came to power on the coat tails of the PAD's terrorism that brought the country to a standstill.
What is the Thai media's obsession with The Economist? They really have a problem with anybody having a contrary opinion to their own.
The statement would have proven the magazine's theory about Thai democracy being usurped by undemocratic elements - had it not been factually wrong. One has one's own doubts why such an esteemed publication would opt for dispensing false information for the sake of being critical of a country.
Atiya really has fallen as a journalist to sink to such fallacious argumentation. She is almost as bad as Thanong and Sopon. Like The Nation, she equates The Economist not agreeing with her opinion as an attack upon Thailand.
The same magazine has this to say when it comes to Burma: "According to this view the top generals are wicked, but not everyone inside the system is. And given the state of Myanmar's economy, the choice may be between working with the government and not working with anyone."
What does this quote have to do with anything? What is the implication here? That Atiya has poor English comprehension skills?
It's probably this kind of attitude (and profit that can be made from natural resources that Burma has to offer to those who please them) which allows the Burmese dictators to feel free to oppress. They know that if they don't care about the world, then the world will have no choice but to work with and through them. They also know that if they would just come up with some absurd charges against their political opponents, the world would not put any pressure on them except to wring their hands and sing the same old global chorus of being "so concerned".
Again, Thailand has been the worst supplicater and enabler of the Burmese junta and its authoritarianism. Thailand and the Thai generals are the biggest exploiters of Burmese natural resources. What has ASEAN done except to only invoke its policy of non-intervention? The West, on the other hand, has strict economic sanctions against Burma.
Do you think Atiya would support an international peace keeping force on Thai soil that would invade Burma and depose the junta? Of course not, because the Thai media is in the pocket of the Thai military generals and the Thai military generals are the Burmese junta's biggest business partners.
The truth is that democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi should never have been placed under house arrest and no country should be "working" with the military junta that took power by force, save to make them relinquish their grip.
Maybe Atiya's vitriol should be saved for the Thai government that has legitimized the Burmese junta time and time again.
It is quite puzzling how the world press is ready to heap scorn and pressure on a half-baked democracy like Thailand's and refrain from applying the same kind of heat to a fully-fledged dictatorship like Burma's. Maybe they think it is an exercise in futility because the Burmese generals won't care. But that would then be an act of hypocrisy.
Why does Atiya have to lie? She is either intentionally misinformed or a liar. Truthfully, the international media doesn't care that much about Thailand. In terms of human rights and international attention, Burma is a bigger cause. This is indisputable.
And the Burmese people can't afford any more hypocrisy from a world that preaches democracy and human rights protection.
Maybe Thailand can't afford a hypocritical Thai media that supports the crimes of the Thai military while wringing its hands over the Burmese military.
Bangkok Pundit did a much better fisking of Atiya's column here.
The irony of Atiya's column is that the entire Thai media would go absolutely apoplectic if the evil foreign media harshly criticized Thailand one percent of the time it criticizes Burma. The notion that Thailand is picked on more than Burma is the lamest argument I have read since Sopon's last column.