Color of Thai media
Khun Pleum’s today article on Bkk Post about ways out of present situation :
“… for a sustainable national reconciliation process to get under way, now is a critical time to understand – especially for those wearing yellow – why the reds acted the way they did…
The deep-rooted resentment came to exist simply because there was any crackdown at all, in contrast to the free rein the armed forces allowed those who wore a different colour a year ago when the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) even more illegally entered Government House and seized Bangkok’s two international airports…
The unshakeable perception, which underlies the argument that there is unfairness from the armed forces possibly due to influences of those close to the conservative establishment, is that preferential treatment has always been given to those wearing the royalists’ colour while a less accommodating welcome is handed to those who wear the “communist” colour…
The road ahead for the conservative establishment is clear as well as unavoidable. In this context, the conservative establishment comprises the Constitution Court, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, the NACC, the Office of the Attorney-General, the Privy Council, the conservative media and role-playing academics who frequent television studios to serve the royalist fervour.
Their integral role is to prevent the cementing of the definitive battleline of the future. Their role is to bring down the deepened resentment felt among the reds. Their role is to lessen the severity of the grudge held by pro-Thaksin supporters who still number in the millions.
Their challenging role is to bridge the divide between the conservative yellow and the liberal reds so that a road to peaceful reconciliation can be constructed.
There is, to be honest, very little hope that any of the mentioned tasks can be accomplished. Nearly all articles and commentaries in the Thai media at this moment are overly and overtly considerate of the yellow and the royalists’ cause.
Just look at the recent mainstream coverage of the Sondhi Limthongkul shootings. Stories involving the newspaper owner are given more air-time than even the Prime Minister, while groundless accusations immediately flew off the pages against those who dared stand against this political media influential.
Is the threatened life of a yellow-shirt leader valued more by the mainstream media than possibly the hidden dead bodies of those who wore red?
Conservatives are ubiquitous; they are trusted by newspaper reporters and respected by television producers. The radio airwaves featuring anti-establishment causes have either been brought down or screened out.
The author personally does not see a route of the type to facilitate a reconciliation as mentioned. In all honesty, what is most likely to happen is a continued stomping down of the liberal voice, the censoring of the anti-Democrat voice, and an ostracising process of any persons or entities potentially linked to the imagined republican cause.
For the sake of the conservative establishment’s own survival, the author here truly hopes that he is wrong.”
It is a good definition of Establishment ! Although somehow it doesn’t mention Army generals – has he forgot them, or purposely omited them?
Also I think should be included “sponsors” (all those HUGE companies’ and corporations’ big bosses) – who certainly play active role in politics directly or indirectly.
According to readers’ comments there on this article, this is the FIRST more or less neutral article so far on Bkk Post about Reds (even though it can be noticed that most of things he says are like “supposedly” or “allegedly”). So, one may get the idea of the scale of anti-Red and pro-Yellow propaganda on Thai media.
His assessment looks very sober and relistic, but I tend to agree with him that it doesn’t look like the problem of resentment will be solved. Because Establishment will not willingly shed away their “tasty morsel” of pie. Naturally they’re inclined to try hard to keep things as they are. Therefore they are trying over-simplify it as “stupid uneducated peasants” who are rebelling because they are “being paid by Thaksin”. This is the main theme which prevails in most steady and consistent COMBINED Propaganda of Government (Establishment) + Thai MSM + PAD.
I think Fonzi in his blog has summed it up nicely in his comment to Pleum’s article:
It is a battle of resisting and overturning the ancient Sakdina* feudal regime.
The Yellows and their allies want to sustain their feudal privileges and keep the poor under their feet.
The Reds no longer want to be slaves and serfs and want their political rights to be respected.
Once again – I think the sooner Establioshment realizes this and accepts – the better. I got the feeling that Pleum says the same. But as him – I see a very slim chance for that.
* According to Wiki Sakdina is Nobility class in ancient Ayudhaya Kingdom.
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