Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Government Social Networks Your Rights Online

Thailand Shuts Down 43,000 More Websites 166

Posted by timothy
from the everybody-loves-the-king-or-else dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Bangkok Post reports that the Thai government has now shut down over 43,000 websites deemed defamatory to the royal institution. Thai ISPs are warned to cooperate 'voluntarily' or lose their license. This is in addition to 17,000+ that were recently blocked for 'national security,' including both Facebook and Twitter accounts."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Thailand Shuts Down 43,000 More Websites

Comments Filter:
  • by mykos (1627575) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:07AM (#32610594)
    We'll freaking do it. Don't think we won't, Thailand!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We'll freaking do it. Don't think we won't, Thailand!

      You mean Bhumibol Adulyadej, the pedophile?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That's HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS KING Bhumibol Adulyadej, the pedophile terrorist if you don't mind!!

        Show the kiddy diddler some respect please!!

        • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

          C'mon, it isn't the king, it's the heir apparent, Crown Prince Somdet Phra Boromma-orasathirat Chao Fa Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayammakutratchakuman

    • by mjwx (966435) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:37AM (#32610910)

      We'll freaking do it. Don't think we won't, Thailand!

      Jees, you know almost every business will have a picture of the king up. Why don't you threaten to wear yellow as well.

      • by S.O.B. (136083)

        Every business and home does have a picture of the king and on Mondays a lot of people wear yellow as a show of respect for the king. Why Monday? Because Thai tradition assigns lucky colours to the days of the week the same as we have birth stones and astrological signs. Monday is yellow [wikipedia.org] and the king was born on a Monday.

        It's perfectly acceptable to draw a picture of the king as long as it does not show disrespect. So political cartoons would be out of the question. If you spend any time with Thai peopl

      • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
        In the context, I suspect he'd mean draw nasty caricatures. But if you prefer we can just go say fuck Bhumibol Adulyadej. Fuck Bhumibol that fucker. Fuck him for now having his people change the laws. He might look all magnanimous occasionally pardoning someone for insulting him after they've done time or suffered long court cases but that just indicates how much of a problem there is. If he were really serious and couldn't get the law changed he'd just preemptively pardon everyone every single day. So fuck
        • by mjwx (966435)

          In the context,

          In context, the GP was being facetious and I was being sarcastic. Laugh, it was funny.

          BTW, this is being pushed by the office of Prime Minister Abisit, not the King. The two entities are completely different and the King cant get a word in sideways (especially as he currently has trouble getting out of bed, poor bloke). The office of the PM holds power in Thailand, the king is someone for the people to love.

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:55AM (#32610996) Journal
      And if slashdot is not blocked, the Thai net censors have been a little negligent.
      • It's not blocked yet. I live in Bangkok.

        Oddly, most of the sites I come across that are blocked are porn sites, and not many of them (i.e. it's not difficult to access porn as most sites are not blocked).

        *ahem*

        I mean sites that my friend comes across. Yeah, that's the ticket. Anyway, the blocks are easily avoided by proxy services, and they are really slow about blocking those. Although, anonymouse.org has recently (in the past few months) come under the block list.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          It's not blocked yet. I live in Bangkok.

          Oddly, most of the sites I come across that are blocked are porn sites,

          I'm assuming you're not Thai. If you really need pron, you can get it from a DVD vendor for less then US$2 (if you're a bad haggler). Also you can hire an actual lady* for less then US$40.

          * save the transgender jokes /. if you cant tell beforehand you have bigger problems.

        • by Thing 1 (178996)

          I mean sites that my friend comes across.

          Eww? I mean, a little graphic...

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      It's a completely different culture there. I was stationed there in the USAF in 1974, and going to Mars wouldn't have been any more wierd. Nothing whatever is the same as here (USA). If you drop Thai money you'd damn well better not step on it, because the King's picture is on it, and you'll get your ass kicked at the very least. OTOH I was once scolded for swatting a fly -- they're Bhuddists, and worship life. It's a bit paradoxical.

      We're talking about a 5,000 year old culture that was barely into the 20th

      • by S.O.B. (136083)

        Last year I lived for 3 months in a small, rural town in NE Thailand and I can tell you that a lot has change from what you describe of Thailand in 1974 (it's OK to swat a fly now) but culturally it is still like landing on Mars. I think the availability of TV and the internet have played a big part in that. When you have a window out to the rest of the world it's going to have an impact on your views and expectations of your life. It always amazed me every time I saw one of the 2 or 3 room shacks with a

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I can tell you that a lot has change from what you describe of Thailand in 1974

          We had a young intern from Thailand a few years ago, and she said the same thing. In 1974 TV there (at least in the small towns near the base) was practically nonexistant. There was only one TV set in Bongchong; every afternoon they'd roll up the wall and a hundred children were sitting there watching cartoons on that one black and white set. And of course there was no internet.

          but I didn't get the impression it was because they

    • by DrXym (126579)
      Before I visited Thailand for the first time I ordered some Thai currency from my local bank. Their paper notes features their King Bhumibol on one side but the odd thing was how they drew him with big jug ears poking out in a lopsided way. I thought it was odd but it kind of reminded me of some carvings of Bhudda so I thought it was some cultural thing.

      Then when I get there I see photographs of his face plastered everywhere. And guess what - he just has big jug ears that stick out lopsidedly. So I guess

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:12AM (#32610614) Homepage

    Should have designed the internet to be more resistant to oppressive governments.
    Since they are more dangerous than nuclear weapons anyway.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sourcerror (1718066)

      Should have designed the internet to be more resistant to oppressive governments.

      It's a rather weird suggestion as the internet was designed by a government agency.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sakdoctor (1087155)

        Not really. I remember somewhere the CIA publish literature, on how to organise an effective resistance against ... oppressive governments.

      • It's a rather weird suggestion as the internet was designed by a government agency.

        I understand what you're saying, of course.

        But people often say things like this as if things don't change. It's really irrelevant TODAY how and why the Internet was developed because what it was developed for and by who is not what it is TODAY. Things change.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        It's a rather weird suggestion as the internet was designed by a government agency.

        Well then perhaps a re-design would be in order since role of the internet has changed dramatically since then.

        Of course that would be impossible in practice - but some new protocols should be possible. Personally I'd wish to see something that integrates (anonymous) P2P-style file sharing with www-style browsing, secure connections between peers, strong authentication, and ease of use. Why? Because that would do away with a lot of ad-hoc solutions like BT, Tor, Freenet, anonymizing proxies, etc, etc, th

        • What about .onion sites? They're anonymous at both ends and easily reachable through a TOR enabled browser without any additional setup. It's not particularly fast, but that's what you get when you want security/anonymity.
        • by Kjella (173770)

          With secure connections between peers so that 3rd parties can't see who's getting what, from where.

          Like BitTorrent clients with encryption? As long as we are talking about an open network, you must presume that the 3rd parties are part of the system. Trying to prevent nodes in the system from finding out is very hard because you can do:

          a) Pattern attacks, send a unique traffic pattern and follow it
          b) Latency attacks, the faster you get replies the closer you are to the source.
          c) Statistical attacks, gather where bits are coming from and follow it

          The first two are a big problem for the website over proxyn

  • All I can hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sparx139 (1460489) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:15AM (#32610622)
    is that the idiocy of one country will force people to care about what happens to their own - that Thailand will be a warning about where the UK et. al. are headed.
  • from what I heard the King of Thailand was a decent guy. Apparently there were a number of PMs in the last few years who have been sacked for one reason or another, and the only one who wasn't tossed out was the one that the King put into power himself (and he only did it because the country was having problems trying to appoint a PM or something...).

    Hopefully the Thai people can sort all this stuff out. Maybe after they get the government running smoothly, then they can talk to the King about the possibili

    • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:33AM (#32610698) Homepage

      Perhaps you have also heard of PR, public relations. Those purveyors of lies and false images in order to create a false impression of some of the biggest arse holes on the planet, of course rich arse holes.

      All people are defined by the actions. Any arse hole that lets tens of thousands of web sites be shut down in their name in order to preserve the bull shit public relations image, well guess what, they are arse holes.

      If the Thai people are having their ability to critique the political leadership than it behoves free thinkers from around the world to make those criticisms seem like nothing compared to the public derision piled upon the decietful and shameful Thai un-noble un-royal house. The sheer arrogance of people who believe they are special because of the particular hole they were squeezed out of, special enough to be honoured and obeyed by every citizen of their country and if that's not enough they also expect that specialness to be acknowledged by the rest of the world, more than 6 billion meant to be less than a bunch stupendously arrogant arse holes, they are special, a special kind of arse hole.

      There is never an excuse for that kind of behaviour, for that arrogance of the minority over the free and democratic will of the majority. Monarchy a lie that has been based on centuries of torturing to death anyone who disagreed, well that time is over and, no way it is ever coming back.

      • Any arse hole that lets tens of thousands of web sites be shut down in their name in order to preserve the bull shit public relations image, well guess what, they are arse holes.

        Last I heard, he was near death and in the hospital - been there for 9 months or so.

      • by mjwx (966435) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:46AM (#32610958)
        Wow, you must be sanuk at parties.

        If the Thai people are having their ability to critique the political leadership

        This is true, but it has little to do with the King and a lot to do with the wealthy Bangkok families who hold the real political power. The King of Thailand has as much political influence as the Queen of England and deliberately tries to keep the royal family out of politics (much like HRH Elizabeth II).

        The current party in power who ousted the PPP (Peoples Power Party) are funded by the wealthy Thai's and backed by the army (the real political decider in Thailand, if the army supports your party you will get in). Meanwhile the "Red Shirts" are backed and funded by ousted PM Thaksin Shintarwa (who was, until recently one of Thailand's wealthiest).

        Perhaps you should learn about a countries political situation before driveling on about it.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          So to be blunt he is too chicken shit to say no while tens of thousands of other Thais demonstrate courage and a will for freedom. You know what they say about those that collect the rewards whilst they watch others suffer and die, let's not lie about that un-royal family profits by passively and publicly accepting the status quo of the minority exploiting the majority and "oh yes" profits enormously whilst doing it.

          I am sure they feel really, really guilty living in the lap of luxury in a palace filled

          • by mjwx (966435)
            Wow, you are retarded aren't you.

            while tens of thousands of other Thais demonstrate courage and a will for freedom.

            And 500 Baht.

            Yes, many of the protesters including assassinated leader "seh daeng" were paid. Thaksins lieutenants stood on the street in Khon Khean and many other cities in Issan giving 500 Baht and a red shirt to anyone who'd get on the bus to Bangkok. As I suggested before try learning about a nation before shooting your mouth off. The true trouble makers in this are the rich Thai fami

      • I seriously doubt that many these closings have must to do with the current king or even the royal family. Considering the recent large protests in Thailand, I'm reasonably confident that this is much more about the current power elites trying to keep the protests down.
        • Hit the nail on the head.

          This is also about trying to draw supporters to the government by saying, "look, we support the king" despite what HRH has to say about Thailand's leste majesty laws (HINT: He openly doesn't support them).
    • by mjwx (966435) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:40AM (#32610924)

      Apparently there were a number of PMs in the last few years who have been sacked for one reason or another, and the only one who wasn't tossed out was the one that the King put into power himself

      This is inaccurate. Thailand is a nation that has had as many coups since 1932 as the US has had elections.

      The King has not put a single PM into power in recent years. Most are removed via political jockeying from their opponents. The only Thai PM to complete his term was Thaksin Shintrawa (sp) and he was ousted for corruption in his second term by a military coup (Thailand is a third world nation, did you expect political stability). Most coups/oustings are simply attempts by one political party, not in power to gain power. Thaksin is far from innocent (who is), he is the main driving force as well as the bankroll of the recent political unrest in Bangkok.

      Thailands biggest political forces are the rich families like the Nana family. Mostly ethnic Chinese, which is a major division between the rich and the poor, who are mostly ethnic Thai. Most of the unrest is caused by these power-brokers.

      The King is about the only stable political force in Thailand, this is mainly because the King rarely speaks about politics. I'd hate to think how bad things will get when the King dies (and I doubt this will be too long). The last demonstration saw Silom burn and 50 people killed.

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:52AM (#32610982)

        They make between 900,000 and a million automobiles a year, have a diversified economy and are a net food exporter.

        "Thailand has a GDP worth 8.5 trillion Baht (on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis), or US$627 billion (PPP). This classifies Thailand as the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Despite this, Thailand ranks midway in the wealth spread in Southeast Asia as it is the 4th richest nation according to GDP per capita, after Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia."

        They have a million person military with advanced fighters like the F-16 block 50 and Saab/BAE Gripen

        The UN classifies them as Developing, where the classic "third world country" is an under developed country.

        Really the only thing that links all the under developed countries to the classical Cold War "third world country" is that all third world country demand and receive Western aid.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Really the only thing that links all the under developed countries to the classical Cold War "third world country" is that all third world country demand and receive Western aid.

          Fair enough, Thailand is one of SE Aisa's highest performing economies.

          What I meant was they don't have a stable political system, Thailand still has the government of a third world nation (not the economy)

          Thailand also has a few "white elephants" in their military including an aircraft carrier dubbed as the worlds most expe

        • by fnj (64210)

          Shall we just call it a banana republic instead of fixating on it not being third world? They shouldn't feel singled out, because the US is also rapidly turning into a banana republic.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        The only Thai PM to complete his term was Thaksin Shintrawa (sp) and he was ousted for corruption in his second term by a military coup

        So their political system actually works better than the ones in the so-called first-world nations?

        • In the US, corruption is actually legal and ok ("donations", and see GWB and Halliburton).
        • In Italy, the whistleblower Gaspare Spatuzza who outed Berlusconi's connections to the Cosa Nostra is now a dead man due to the political powers.
        • ACTA is a treaty against the very people the politicians are supposed to represent.
        • The media industry is buying several laws in many countries (like the USA, Australia, GB) that
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Mostly ethnic Chinese, which is a major division between the rich and the poor, who are mostly ethnic Thai.

        When I was there in 1974, the Thais I knew (not rich ones; cab drivers, gancha dealers, hookers, cleaning ladies, street vendors, waiters, tailors, etc) absolutely hated the Chinese, and it was explained to me that it was because of 5,000 years of war filled history. The Chinese were falongs, just like we Americans were, but they LIKED us (well, those of us who weren't assholes and showed them and thei

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Does he have an heir?

          What happens when a strong king leaves a weak heir.

          I don't think the crown prince is all that weak but he'll be thrown head first into a pit of Thai (political) Cobra's. You have to be Hercules combined with chuck Norris just to survive that I'd say. If people (Thaksin) are willing to burn parts of Bangkok before the king is dead, it will likely get a lot worse when he does die.

          those of us who weren't assholes and showed them and their culture respect).

          For the record, despite my

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Your comment made me think of Foundation. Mayor Indbur the first was brutal and efficient. Indbur II was merely brutal. Indbur II was an excellent bookkeeper gone wrong.

            most of you I meet are great people

            I worked at Disney for five years, and learned that most people from everywhere are, but every country has its share of assholes.

  • What an opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zedrick (764028) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:32AM (#32610688)
    I really wish this would have happened here, in Sweden. Then there would be a public outrcy, the monarchy would have been abolished in 2 seconds, and we wouldn't have to suffer this stupid coverage of the crown princess and her upcoming boring wedding every XXXXXXX minute on every XXXXXXX channel. Our king might be harmless, but he's hardly more important than uncensored access to the internet.
    • ...coverage of the crown princess and her upcoming boring wedding... on every XXXXXXX channel...

      That doesn't sound like any kind of wedding I've ever been to, and not that boring at all. Unless she's a little... err... Homely.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      When I was young, I used to find the whole British Monarchy obsession ridiculous. Who would wait on the street in long lines for another human, no matter what she symbolises? On one typical day twenty five years later, I saw people winding long queues outside an Apple store for the latest ephemeral plastic toy, and walked home past three nationalised banks, a row of high street shops converted into charity outlets because no-one can afford the rent, and one bursting Jobcentre. My only comfort that evening w

      • by orzetto (545509)

        I'll bite...

        why should you be better rewardeed because you were born more healthy

        Because my DNA is better and positively contributes to the gene pool. That is a major asset for any country or social group. Most royalty are known to have crappy DNA because of centuries of in-breeding.

        or with greater IQ

        You aren't born with IQ no more than you are born with muscles. You have to exercise the brain to develop it. Barring insanity or genetic problems, your IQ reflects your effort.

        • Because my DNA is better and positively contributes to the gene pool.

          (1) Define "positively" in the sentence fragment "positively contributes to the gene pool" without begging the question;

          (2) You haven't explained why this means you should be rewarded. If breeding some genetically superior race is your aim, then the healthiest male specimens should probably be interned, fed and given a mandatory exercise regime to ensure their testicles remain in premium condition, then forced to produce sperm for shipping (no sex for you! that'd introduce extra risk) to the fittest females

    • by Luckyo (1726890)

      If you seriously think that housewife and tween crowd that follows that coverage resulting in media frenzy you're seeing will care for uncensored internet access in some far away country that's a quarter of planet away, you're in for a sore disappointment.

      Humans are self centered, egoistic and generally unemphatic crowd when it's something that happens far away. But shove them a live webcam of a bird nest, and you'll have thousands upon thousands of angry housewives screaming up hell at politicians to "help

    • As a dutch resident, I can only say that I welcome the fact that we are a kingdom. Not because I particularly like our royal family, but because of the horror of the alternative. We have a few important political separations in our society:

      • Separation of church and state
      • Separation of law-making and law-enforcing powers
      • Separation of power and representation

      You won't learn the last one at school, but it is very important. We have a queen to do official openings, shake hands, etc. but she cannot make political

      • I gladly admit that a democratic monarchy is old-fashioned, expensive and looks like a lot of theatre. But there is hardly anything better.

        In Hungary the President does have very little power, very similar to your king/queen.

        So I guess it doesn't have to be expensive.

      • Re:Kings and Queens (Score:5, Informative)

        by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Friday June 18, 2010 @05:59AM (#32611016)

        The President of the United States can not declare war.

        The United States Congress declares war.

        So...George Bush didn't declare war on Iraq or Afghanistan, the United States Congress voted for the use of force (the new PC way to declare war here).

        For Iraq the law is...

        The Iraq Resolution or the Iraq War Resolution (formally the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Pub.L. 107-243, 116 Stat. 1498, enacted October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114) is a joint resolution (i.e., a law) passed by the United States Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No: 107-243, authorizing the Iraq War.

        For the Afghan War and the Global War on Terror the law is...

        The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (Pub.L. 107-40, 115 Stat. 224, enacted September 18, 2001

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zedrick (764028)
        I don't mind fake monarchy as such, or the king himself (I've met him twice, seems like a decent guy who would be better off doing environmental work of some kind). But I really wish we could choose out king (or queen) in an election. Like it was done in the old days, before the 16th century kings decided that they and their children were chosen by god. (it would also be nice/fun if we could cut of their heads if we got bored with them, unfortunately that's not really an option in the 21st century.)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SakuraDreams (1427009)

        Monarchs help with continuity and political stability. No matter who gets elected there is always some form of continuity - national identity - some form of heritage to remind people who they are or what they stand for - even if many of those things are ascribed to modern non-absolute monarchs and may have previously been outlawed by their predecessors.

      • either the queen has power, or not. if she has no power, then the dutch system has all the same positive and negative attributes as germany, usa, france... PLUS you have an expensive, pointless figurehead. what i don't understand is what you think that expensive, pointless figurehead adds to the governmental mix to make it somehow superior to a system without the expensive, pointless figurehead

        in other words, to me, you seem to see value in what essentially has no value

        either the queen has power, or not. if

        • by tnk1 (899206)

          Well, the monarch is basically at this point something like the combination of a figure that can be revered without political overtones and a last resort political institution. In a system where the democratic process is humming along, that seems almost pointless. However, when there are crises where the confidence of the people in their democratically elected leaders is shaken, sometimes it really can help to have someone who does not owe their position to special interest or corporate dollars able to st

          • where they have a monarch and the military has staged a number of coups regardless?

            your words do match reality, friend

            i think nepal has the best idea:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/world/asia/03nepal.html [nytimes.com]

            monarchies are simply expensive useless national follies. like a favorite national breed of lap dog or a famous national landmark. except, unlike a landmark or a pet, the maintenance costs for a monarchy are rather high. prohibitively high, in my view

            but if the dutch want to keep footing a bill for an ex

      • The president of the USA can declare a war. Personally. Thank goodness our queen cannot.

        Minor technicality, if we still followed the constitution, the President cannot declare war.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        You don't need a monarchy to have those things, and I don't see why royalty is needed at all. To quote the fellow from Unforgiven who was speaking with English Bob on the train - "I recon we don't need no queens."

        Separation of church and state is in the US Constitution, as is separation of law-making and law-enforcing powers. Separation of power and representation was until the Constitution was amended, making Senator an elected position -- before the amendment, Senators were chosen by state legislators. An

    • by muffen (321442)
      Being Swedish myself I unfortunately do not think this is what would happen.
      People may have voted for the pirate party in the EU elections due to "FRA Lagen" and "IPRED", but both those laws passed anyways and where are the pirate party votes now when the general elections are coming up?
      In fact, I don't even see this being debated in media anymore.

      It's easy to think that things would be different here but if Sweden had a government that didn't hesitate when it came to shooting protesters, I don't thi
    • by EvilIdler (21087)

      Your king might be harmless, but I'm not so sure about ours. Keep him under observation while he's there :)

      What passes for defamatory in Thailand, anyway? Telling the truth?

    • I stole a nickname from there and they haven't bothered to try to get it back.

  • by chill (34294) on Friday June 18, 2010 @04:55AM (#32610750) Journal

    The King is a fink!

  • Sounds like a mugger walking up to you and asking you to voluntarily hand over your cash, or he'll be forced to shoot you. Just about any time someone is asking you to "voluntarily" do something, it's just a veiled threat.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Where is representative Joe L. Barton (R) when you need him to point out a classic isp "shakedown".
    • Just about any time someone is asking you to "voluntarily" do something, it's just a veiled threat.

      Wow. You must be a real treat at dinner.
      "Please pass the salt...or else."

  • Most Thais view the monarchy as a symbol of national pride, mutual respect, and is part of their overall spiritualism. For example, before any movie begins everyone stands to the national anthem and images of the current King doing good deeds and meeting with the public. It reminds me much of how we used to say the pledge of allegiance in grammar school. Many Asian cultures (past and present) have rules against defamatory content re: the monarchy, with Nepal being one of them up until the current decade. It
    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Hell, I remember standing up to do the pledge before watching movies at the theater. My dad was military and we'd watch movies on base.

      [John]

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      As far as this being some form of political censorship, think again, it's not. The Thais have much more freedom to express their political views then say Americans. Can anyone imagine a protest in America where LAX was shut down for a week and filled with protesters against the Bush regime?

      Two words: Kent State. [wikipedia.org]

      Hell, try smoking a fag on the beach in LA and u get a ticket!

      Smoking a fag in LA isn't the same thing as smoking a fag in Britain! ;)

  • It's not so bad... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mathimus1863 (1120437) on Friday June 18, 2010 @07:13AM (#32611250)
    ...and I should know since I've traveled there many times and I even speak .

    Thailand gets a worse name than it deserves, based on stories like this. It's actually a relatively open society and just about every development index has them at the top of "developing country" (if they could clean up their tap water, they'd probably break the threshold). Speech is only limited when it comes to the King and Buddha, both of which are highly respected, but not really "in power" (influential, but not making and enforcing laws). Of course, that doesn't make their censorship ethical, but it shouldn't be considered to be an oppressive government.

    There's an an ounce of justification to the recent violence, but most of it came from the rural poor with nothing to lose, fighting for the one PM who stood up for them. Unfortunately, that politician that tried to help out the poor (Thaksin Siniwatra), accumulated no less than $2.2 billion while in office, and accused of countless corruption charges (convicted on a couple of them in absentia while he living in exile). Many poor refuse to admit he's corrupt, or say "well sure he is, all the politicians are, but at least he helps out the poor that desperately need it." The situation really is a mess, with no clean way to bridge the gap between the poor and the middle+ class. While they have some political instabilities right now, I would still consider it to be the most awesome place on Earth (where else can you go that has virtually no violent crime, you can get 1 hour Thai massage for $4 and the best Pad Thai ever for $0.50?).

    I think that the monarchy will be phased out soon anyway, as the King's health is waning and the crown prince is not very well liked, despite the lese mejeste laws. But make no mistake, despite such laws, the king was justifiably considered a "benevolent dictator." He is an engineer, and used his skills to plan and update infrastructure in the country to help out both the rich and the poor. There was actually reason to like him.
  • Hope you enjoyed reading slashdot.. Bhumibol Adulyadej is a cunt. byeee!

It's later than you think, the joint Russian-American space mission has already begun.

Working...