Thai Protests and Colorful Shirts

I know very little about Thai politics, but like everyone else I can’t help but watch on as the protestors wearing different color shirts block traffic, take over airports, and appear on the news channels almost 24/7 over the last year.  There is already much written about these issues by people who understand the situation much better than myself, but I would like to offer an observation.

In the course of my travels I’ve spent time in Mexico, South America, Northern Africa, and many parts of the Mideast.  All areas with severe poverty.  I’ve also spent much time in the three southern provinces of Thailand (Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat) and of course the north and northeastern provinces.  These areas are often just as poor and the people struggle just as much as these other areas.  Education is marginal at best, food is scarce, living conditions extreme, and the people exploited.

Would it be any wonder at all that a savvy politician turn to these people for votes?  Not much would need to be done as they all look forward to anyone willing to help them from their plight in even the most simple ways.  Cheap votes.

And would it surprise anyone that if you take away the first politician who has, in their eyes, shown them the first signs of compassion and help from the government.. is it any surprise they would respond in extreme ways?

I’ve long said in this weekly and my other writings that Thailand needs to do much more for its poor, for its young workforce, and for those without the resources to adequately do for themselves.  In my mind, this would be the most simple way to ensure a stable government and happy people.  Too simple minded?  Perhaps the old adage “keep it simple stupid” applies..

See you next week...