AsiaPundit has been generally ignoring the rest of Asia while covering the NPC in Beijing. Normal updating will be further disrupted for a trip to Nanjing from Thursday for a much cooler event. Along with travel days, AP will be taking a break to spend time with Mrs AsiaPundit and our Infinite Cat Dee Dee. Regular updates will not be resuming until next week. This is regrettable as there is really interesting stuff happening on the rest of the continent.
As a site that aspires to be a pan-Asian tabloid, AP is particularly upset that he hasn’t had the time to keep abreast of events in the Philippines and Thailand. There is serious tabloid fodder in both countries at the moment.
Events in the latter country seem to be now getting much more attention from the Western press. Times of London correspondent notes on the paper’s official Asia blog that he has been flown in from Tokyo to cover the collapse of Thaksin’s government.
As for tabloid fodder - as if nationalism and cronyism were not enough - Richard aptly adds a sexual element into the story.:
I encountered this group of ladies among the anti-Thaksin protesters along Ratchadamnoen Avenue, a few hundred yards from Government House in Bangkok.
They are standing in front of their painted cardboard box, one of dozens painted by demonstrators from various organisations. As it makes clear they are members of the Thailand Sex Workers’ Network.
They were distributing a statement apologising to their fellow Thais for the support which they had formerly given to Thaksin. Since his election in 2001, there has been a clamp down on Thailand’s world famous bars, clubs and massage parlours. The Network also objects to the unannounced on-the-spot urine tests which the police are now empowered to make in their “war” against drugs .
“We are just victims, and this leader despises us, and tramples on our dignity, regarding us as stupid buffalo,” the statement reads.
As for the Philippines, where there are a fantastic number of journalist bloggers,, Ellen Tordesillas reports that evidence of Gloria Arroyo’s alleged electoral fraud has now seemingly been revealed visually as well as on audio tape.:
AsiaPundit generally prefers that governments are removed democratically when the means are available. As both the Philippines and Thailand can remove leaders through the ballot or the courts, it would be unfortunate if either Arroyo or Thaksin were ousted by coup or rebellion.
AsiaPundit is not impressed with either leader, but he is not impressed by their opponents either.
As a Canadian, AP had waited more than 12 years for a reprehensible government to be replaced by a dreary opposition. That’s democracy and AP believes that it works better than any other existing system over a long term.*
(*However, AP is working on a system where governance could be based on voting on plans submitted by investment banks rather than parties or personalities. Choosing between UBS or Morgan Stanley would be better than voting Liberal or Conservative, Republican or Democrat, Arroyo or film star, etc…. AsiaPundit favors corporate governance).
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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