Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Taking It Off the Top in Thailand

Took this from the top of my blog roll:

"Thailand, International Oil, and the Future of Energy

by Tony Cartalucci
Activist Post
April 1, 2015

The Southeast Asian nation of Thailand is currently wrestling with a particularly contentious issue involving international oil concessions. In essence, foreign oil monopolies, particularly Western corporations including Exxon, Chevron, and British Petroleum (BP) have been given access to Thailand’s oil and natural gas supplies, to explore, develop, and exploit for billions in profits year to year.

Much of this money, it is alleged, ends up leaving the country. What remains is often divided up amongst a handful of special interests leaving little if anything at all left for the actual people and nation that has provided this vast source of energy and riches.

Also of particular contention is the domestic energy market itself. Being run mainly by foreign and local energy monopolies, many suspect the price of energy for consumers is arbitrarily or criminally manipulated. This in turn has a direct impact on the quality of life of Thailand’s 70 million people as well as an impact on the overall economic development of the country.

Raising suspicions further were admissions by the Saudis that they have been intentionally rigging global energy prices as a means of “pressuring Russia regarding Syria.”


For those protesting Thailand’s concessions today, they should perhaps consider a second track to pursue in parallel – one in protest of concessions that put Thailand at a disadvantage, and another seeking to end Thailand’s dependency on energy monopolies altogether.

Energy is a matter of national security. As such, those protesting oil concessions in Thailand, and those hearing the protests, should be able to agree that the current energy paradigm is far from ideal. Finding a middle ground on current concessions would be a start, and agreeing on a longer-term, permanent solution to absolve Thailand of dependence on foreign corporations and their unwarranted power and influence should be a favorable final goal all parties can agree on.

The beauty of Thailand’s potential ability to navigate and escape from the edge of the black hole that is international big-oil, is that it will provide a model for other nations to follow. Such a journey is surely fraught with great risk, but in the end may deliver salvation.


Let the salvation begin:

"Thai panel urges impeachment of 250" Associated Press  March 13, 2015

BANGKOK — Thailand’s anticorruption body has recommended that 250 former lawmakers be impeached, in the latest move targeting supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

National Anti-Corruption Commission spokesman Vicha Mahakun said Thursday the agency found the lawmakers had misused their authority by seeking to amend the now-defunct constitution to make the Senate fully, rather than partly, elected.

The Constitutional Court ruled in 2013 that the attempt to change the composition of the 150-member Senate was unlawful.

Vicha said the agency will submit its evidence to the interim National Legislative Assembly, appointed after a military coup last year. A vote for impeachment could ban the former lawmakers from political office for five years.

The assembly voted Thursday in a related case in which the anticorruption commission recommended the impeachment of 38 former senators for seeking to change the constitution, but fell short of the three-fifths majority needed to carry out the motion.

The moves by the anticorruption body, along with various court rulings, are widely seen as attempts to cripple the political machine of Thaksin, who was overthrown in a coup in 2006, and to prevent his allies from returning to power.

Thaksin’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was prime minister until a controversial court decision forced her from office just a few days before last year’s coup. She was impeached earlier this year in connection with a money-losing rice subsidy scheme, barring her from office for five years.


"Ex-Thai leader to stand trial in May over rice program" Associated Press  March 20, 2015

BANGKOK — Thailand’s Supreme Court said Thursday that former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra will stand trial for her role in overseeing a rice subsidy program spearheaded by her ousted government that lost billions of dollars, a move expected to deepen the political crisis in the military-ruled nation.

Yingluck faces 10 years in prison if found guilty in the case, seen by her allies as part of an attempt by an elite minority to crush her family’s political machine, which has repeatedly won power through democratic elections over the last decade. 

I'm tired of the distortions. The whole thing was a popular people's revolt with authorities coming on their side and rejecting the globalist banking puppets of that political family. It's like the opposite is always true in my paper!

In a post on her Facebook page, Yingluck insisted she was innocent and called on the judiciary to give her a fair trial — unlike past cases she said were ‘‘politically intended to destroy me.’’

Yingluck was ousted from her post as prime minister by a court decision that came two weeks before the military staged a coup last May. Earlier this year, she was impeached by the military-appointed Legislature, which banned her from politics for five years.

The fact that they call it a coup -- unlike, say, in Ukraine -- goes to show you the propaganda pre$$ didn't like it and that it was not part of the agenda.

On Thursday, Supreme Court Judge Weerapol Tangsuwan said that a nine-member judicial panel had studied documents submitted by prosecutors from the attorney general’s office and accepted the case since it fell within the court’s jurisdiction. He set the trial for May 19.

Yingluck, who was not present in court, is being charged with dereliction in overseeing the controversial rice subsidy program, which temporarily cost Thailand its crown as the world’s top exporter.

The program was a flagship policy that helped Yingluck’s Pheu Thai Party win elections in 2011, and Yingluck has argued it was aimed at helping poor farmers who were paid about 50 percent above what they would get on the world market. The program, however, racked up losses of at least $4.46 billion as the Thai government stockpiled mass quantities of rice. Prosecutors say Yingluck ignored multiple warnings about possible corruption. 

That's where my print copy ended. 

You will have to find your own bowl of rice for related links because my blog search is going haywire and calling up all things not related.

Earlier this year, the National Anti-Corruption Commission recommended the Finance Ministry sue her personally for at least $18.4 billion.

Thailand has been plagued by political turmoil that boiled over after the army ousted Yingluck’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, in a 2006 coup. The putsch was part of a societal schism that in broad terms pits the majority rural poor, who back the Shinawatras, against an urban-based elite establishment supported by the army and staunch royalists who see Yingluck’s family as a corrupt threat to the traditional structures of power.

Oh, it's a putsch now!

The day Yingluck’s trial begins has significance in Bangkok. It marks the fifth anniversary of a bloody army crackdown against demonstrators backing the Shinawatras who had occupied downtown Bangkok for two months. More than 90 people were killed in the protests, which ended with parts of the city shrouded in black smoke from burning buildings.


No insults, please:

"Parents of Thai ex-princess jailed for insulting monarchy" Associated Press  March 12, 2015

BANGKOK — The parents of the now-estranged wife of Thailand’s crown prince were sentenced Wednesday to two and a half years in prison on charges of defaming the monarchy, in the latest legal action against relatives of the former princess, who until recently was in line to be the country’s next queen.

The well-publicized split of Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and his third wife, former Princess Srirasmi, has been accompanied by a public shaming of a number of her family members, who have been accused of insulting the monarchy, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Those prosecuted for various offenses include a former senior police officer.

The court found Srirasmi’s parents, Wantanee Suwadee, 66, and Apiruj Suwadee, 72, had misused the crown prince’s name during a dispute in 2003 with a neighbor.

The pair had pleaded guilty.


All finished again, and proud of it.


"Thailand’s junta moves to consolidate power; Lifts martial law, but cracks down in new measure" by Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press  April 02, 2015

Well, we know how the Bo$ton Globe feels about events anyway.

BANGKOK — Thailand’s junta lifted martial law in most of the nation, but 10 months after staging a coup, it remains firmly in control — with new laws invoked Wednesday that essentially give it absolute power.

Why nothing about Jade Helm 15 in my propaganda pre$$?

The government of former army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha had faced growing pressure from foreign governments, human rights groups, and particularly Thailand’s own business community to revoke martial law.

Although it was not generally visible in everyday life — there were few soldiers in the streets — it scared off foreign investors and hurt tourism.

They don't have antigay laws, do they (even if they did, Thailand is awash in all sorts of sexual tourism, much of it minors procured for elite pedophiles and such; however, you will find none of that kind of talk in the ma$$ media that fronts for those honorable people)?  be lifted.


In place of martial law, though, the junta invoked a special security measure called Article 44 in the military-imposed interim constitution that gives Prayuth the power to override any branch of government in the name of national security, and absolves him of any legal responsibility for his actions.

When does he start issuing executive orders.

Thai media have referred to it as ‘‘the dictator law.’’ Under similar legislation in the 1960s, a Thai dictator carried out summary executions.

Well, Obama has claimed the right to strike people he deems terrorists anywhere in the world -- including on US soil.

‘‘From the outside, the lifting of martial law is good news for business and tourism,’’ said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political scientist and director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University.

Business have always liked authoritarian rulers who can keep labor in line. 

And did you NOTICE the MONOGRAM there? I.S.I.S.!

‘‘From the inside, we’re functionally in the same boat,’’ he said of Article 44. ‘‘Similar restrictions are still in place. And where there are pockets of dissent and political expression it is likely to be more draconian.’’

The main difference between the two measures is that martial law — which remains in place in several southern provinces where the army is fighting a decade-old Islamic insurgency — is very specific and Article 44 is very vague.

I'm sure the U.S. approves of that even as they create, fund, and direct those very same groups through covert intelligence means and propaganda pre$$ cover.

Martial law places the military in charge of public security and allows arrests without warrants, trials of suspects in military courts, bans on public gatherings, and censorship in the name of preserving order.

Soon coming to AmeriKa?

The junta issued 14 orders late Wednesday under Article 44 that are similar, giving the military the power to make arrests, conduct searches, seize assets, censor the media, and crack down on threats to national security, or the monarchy. Some reiterated past junta orders imposed after last year’s coup, like bans on political rallies of more than five people and threats to jail those who violate junta orders. Other orders under the article could be issued later.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch said the decision to invoke Article 44 marked ‘‘Thailand’s deepening descent into dictatorship.’’

Who is Human Rights Watch anyway? 

Maybe they should be called Juman Rights Watch since they always seem to show up when the agenda-pu$hing war promoter needs them.

‘‘Thailand’s friends abroad should not be fooled by this obvious sleight of hand by the junta leader to replace martial law with a constitutional provision that effectively provides unlimited and unaccountable powers,’’ said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director.

Thailand’s military has a history of intervening in politics, having seized power 12 times since 1932.

How many times was the U.S. supporting that effort, 'eh?

Stability was restored but at a price. Thailand’s democratic institutions were dismantled, and the country’s authoritarian rulers have crushed dissent.

Critics say the coup leaders’ real goal is to eliminate the political influence of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in a 2006 coup. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was ousted by a court days before last year’s coup.

Junta, coup, you get the agenda-pushing, mind-manipulating point, right?


Just hit bottom on Thailand.

UPDATE: Jade Helm 15 – To “operate undetected amongst civilian populations”

I didn't think things could get lower, but....

"Thai charter, weakening political parties, ready for review" Associated Press  April 18, 2015

BANGKOK — A draft of Thailand’s new constitution, written to reduce the power of political parties and keep politicians in check, was submitted to an advisory council for review Friday, nearly a year after the military took power from an elected government.

The military abolished an earlier constitution after the coup last May, and the government operates under a temporary charter. The junta chose the drafters and a 250-member National Reform Council to create a new constitution.

General Lertrat Ratanavanich, a spokesman for the drafting committee, said he hoped its proposal would help move the country past almost a decade of political conflicts.

However, critics say the document is aimed at preventing a comeback by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a still-popular figure who was deposed in 2006.