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Taiwan: Responses to Thailand's upheaval, if there is any

Taiwan is no stranger in terms of “Red Shirts” and street protests. In September, 2006, the island had its own anti-corruption campaign which also involved about one million red-shirt protesters demonstrating against the former President Chen Shui-bain (who has been still under custody since Nov.12, 2008). And when the first tide of Red-shirts protest started in Bangkok, 2007, and Yellow-shirts in 2008, many Taiwanese people expressed concern over the situation.

Two years later, for many Taiwanese, memories of fierce protests had become history although Thailand is still the hottest tourist spot and one of the most invested country for Taiwanese people. (400,000 Taiwanese tourists visit Thailand every year, and Taiwan ranks No.3 in terms of foreign investment in Thailand.) People were no longer interested in understanding the cause of the protest, nor its political implication. The most direct reaction was touristic safety.

The consecutive upheavals make many Taiwanese worries about their safety, the twitter queen Carol Lin is one of them:

還好之前一直阻止我弟他們去泰國畢業旅行,曼谷市區連百貨公司都被燒了…….Central World Fire Bangkok May 2010 http://bit.ly/d7oorg

Fortunately, I stopped my brother and his classmates to visit Thailand for graduation tour. They even burned the department store…Central World Fire Bangkok May 2010 http://bit.ly/d7oorg

It seems that the whole world is indifferent to the situation in Thailand. Torrent Pien was one of the first commenting on this weird silence:

From@torrentpien

從國際至今仍靜觀泰國政府執行的和諧社會政策,可以看出平常口水噴得一堆的普世價值只是虛偽、看對象的垃圾嘴泡而已

From the silence of global society on the harmonious social policy executed by Thai Government, we learn that the so-called universal value upheld by many is just hypocritical and target-exclusive bullshit.

From@torrentpien

真是死有輕於鴻毛、重於泰山,平平都是狙擊暗殺,也都有影片流出,伊朗的Neda就能獲得國際媒體大量煽情報導,泰國Khattiya卻只是一個小插曲,每個人都該自問,為什麼當時會被Neda感動到,對Khattiya卻完全沒感覺

Death can be light as a feather or as heavy as a mountain. Same sniper assassination, same live video exposed online, Neda in Iran could earn huge amount of sensational coverage by international media while Khattiya in Thailand ended up as just one small episode. Everyone should ask themselves: Why were you moved by Neda, while indifferent with Khattiya?

From@torrentpien

要我是泰國政府,會覺得國際媒體真犯賤,之前幾次國際上的鎮壓事件,記者被抓、被關、被殺傷個幾個國際媒體就排山倒海譴責。這次泰國軍方不知道已經有意無意射傷、射殺好幾個記者,國際媒體還是維持「平衡」報導,這個真理部在哪裡啊?泰國政府要感謝都找不到單位

If I were the Thai Government, I would look down and trash these international media. When repressions happened in other countries, as long as there was one journalist caught, detained, or killed, the international media, like landslides or tsunami, would seriously condemn the governmental behavior. This time, I cannot count how many journalists were shot or murdered with or without intention by Thailand military, but the international media still maintain their “neutrality”. Is there any “Department of Truth” behind all these silencing work? Thailand Government, even if they want to say thank-you, cannot find this department.

Cobain Yah retweeted Torrent's opinions, and explained why people kept silence:

一堆人等著去泰國瞎拼阿,有誰會去伊朗,當然希望泰國政府越快解決這件事情越好,哪管得著用什麼方式解決…

Many people are waiting to go shopping in Thailand! Who will go shopping in Iran? Of course people want the Thailand Government to end this matter as soon as possible, regardless of how….

I also used the twitter account of Global Voices in Chinese@globalvoiceszh to collect conversation related to Thailand:

相信許多人都對泰國的情況很關心,如果你對泰國有話要說,歡迎直接 @globalvoiceszh 給我們,我們會將你的問題、意見整理成文章。

I believed that many of you are concerned with the situation in Thailand right now. If you gave something to say, please @globalvoiceszh. We will transfer your questions and ideas into a post.

Publisher and blogger @octw asked:

@globalvoiceszh 我想知道泰國政爭的結構性背景。泰國知識份子如何看待這樣的鬥爭?總理、王室、樞密院和國會的組成和相互的權力關係是?

I wish to know the structural background of the political controversy in Thailand. How Thailand's intellectuals view this kind of struggle? What is the power relationship formed by and between the Premier, the royal family, the Privy Council, and the Parliament?

Political talkshow host of PTS(Taiwan Public Television)@achhong suggested a twitter account to follow:

關心泰國鎮壓的網友,可follow此推特帳號得知最新情況 http://twitter.com/georgebkk/

Dear fellow netizens who care about Thailand repression, please follow this twitter account to get updated.http://twitter.com/georgebkk/

Music commenter and blogger @honeypie said:

關於曼谷情勢,我從鳳凰衛視記者閭丘露薇的微博看來的現場報導,比我看到的所有台灣媒體都更有料、更翔實。 http://t.sina.com.cn/luqiuluwei

About the situation in Bangkok, the live coverage I read from Phoenix TV reporter Rose LuQiu's sina microblog is much better and more substantial than anything I saw on all Taiwanese media.http://t.sina.com.cn/luqiuluwei

So, maybe the last tweet of Rose LuQiu before she left Thailand could be a useful note for Thailand people, for Taiwanese people, and for many:

離開酒店去機場,泰國司機說,終于結束了。其實沒有結束,撇開政黨鬥爭,如果泰國社會沒有一支發展中的力量代表基層來爭取利益,泰國的社會矛盾會更加深刻。

Leaving for the airport. The Thai driver said that it is finally over. Yet, it is not over. Despite the controversies between parties, if there is still no such a developing power that can represent the grass roots to fight for their interests, the social controversy will only get worse and deeper.

Special thanks to Marta Cooper for language editing

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