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Travel Tips - The Adventures of Roman Wanderaugh - Cambodia & Thailand's BAD KARMA

Roman Wanderaugh - National Radio Text Service

 

Its rain season in the region - Swine Flu cases and deaths are rising in Thailand - Thaksin's Red shirted followers plan to demonstrate again - Thailand's violence in the south continues - Cambodia to open an airport near the beach resort town of Sihanoukville

 

Monday June 29, 2009

RAIN SEASON

Its rain season in the Southeast Asian region and what that means is it's not a good time to travel to the area. The season is starting late and farmers are concerned that is they don't receive the expected seasonal monsoons the rice crop won't be fruitful.

For those who enjoy lying on the beach in sunshine the clear days are there but not as plentiful during this time of the year. The good news is hotel prices are lowered due to the low occupancy rate during the rain season.

SWINE FLU

The H1N1 Swine flu is raising its ugly head in the region with Thailand reporting the most cases. Pattaya and Bangkok reported 100 cases overnight last week. To date Thailand has reported 1331 cases with three deaths.

It's a land where tourists arrive daily from plane trips which is where it is believed that much of the contraction of the virus can be transferred. Though the topic hasn't been addressed the countries thriving sex industry could be another major factor in the continued spreading of the disease.

PROTESTS IN THAILAND

Thailand continues to deal with bad karma and pay for their transgressions of human rights abuse. Thaksin Shinawatra's Red shirt followers are preparing to protest again. A CNN Worlds Untold Stories report which aired today in Southeast Asia noted the horrid treatment given to the Roughinia refugees by the Thai militaries ISOP (Internal Security Operations Command.

The airing was an update of a report which was televised in January of this year. CNN reporter Dan Rivers described how the military towed out to sea the Muslim refugees who are believed to be fleeing from Burma with the intention of seeking work in other countries preferable Malaysia.

The report noted that the refugees were towed out to sea and set adrift to die. Some refugees whose boat drifted ashore in Indonesia were interviewed and they explained that they were beaten and abused by the Thai military. The video showed some of the refugees with scars, abrasions and slashes in their skin. Rivers noted that another boat was found with the survivors standing if human waste and water up to their hips.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Veijajiva said, "I believe there were boats that were left to drift to other shores but (they were given) food and water. It's not exactly clear whose work it is (those responsible). Some of these incidents even happened before I took full power."

A Human Rights group was concerned that the army will investigate its own army. Abhisit said that the ISOP will provide its version and others will also do so.

During the program Rivers interviewed a refugee Ickbau Hussein who described the inhumane treatment. He was then taken to a police station and led to a cell where he remains.

Thailand has been experiencing bad karma since the Tsunami. They continue to abuse their own Muslim population in the southern communities bordering Malaysia. This problem has been going on for years.

When we were traveling from Malaysia in the early 90's a Malaysian man who worked for the railroad warned us not to go on the train to Hat Yai, Thailand since there was a bombing at the station. We took his advice and took an air flight from Penang to Phuket and read about the incident he was referring to the FOLLOWING DAY in the newspapers.

The bombing and killing there own people problem continues in that area now fifteen plus years on since we first became aware of the situation.

The Thaksin regime caused a lot of attention from human rights groups after they killed almost two thousand SUSPECTED drug dealers in the early part of this decade. Though the murdered were never proven guilty in court it was summarily dismissed by Thaksin that they killed all the bad guys. With his red shirt supporters wanting him back in office is indicative of an emerging Thai mentality.

It's thinking like this that makes Thailand so dangerous. Thailand can purchase all of the TV ads they want but the stories of abuse continue as well a several tourists who have disappeared in Pattaya jails along with missing paperwork while they were being detained for the serious crime of overstaying a visa for a few days.

The mysterious death of actor David Carradine who is portrayed as a magician in police reports who was capable of hanging himself in a closet with his hands tied behind his back. News reports noted that the police report indicated that Carradine was a person seeking sexual pleasure and something went wrong. Carradine's family and friends disagree.

Thailand sells itself as the land of smiles and amazing Thailand. What's amazing is that the real Thailand isn't widely known. It's a country which is very nationalistic and doesn't accept criticism very well. They are more likely to put someone in jail for the criticism than correct the problems which prompted the critique.

In the governments effort to hide the truth Channel News Asia reported Sunday February 22 that the Thai government had blocked 4,000 web sites which criticize the government.

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY

Thailand somewhat lost the plot when they were embarrassed by the film The Beach which depicted the country as a backpackers refuge for alcohol drugs. What followed was a complaint to the film company and then establishing an Elite Card for purportedly elite people.

When the card was first introduced the price tag for membership was 1 million baht (US $28,000) which the cardholder had the privilege of receiving a 5% discount at certain businesses and a discount on golf range fees. The program failed and corruption followed and the Elite Card has been in trouble ever since with various revisions being applied.

Common sense would dictate that a 5% discount is not a value when paying such a large fee for an Elite Card. Anyone with any business skills can usually negotiate a 10-20% discount on there own and sometimes receive 50% discount to free as is the case with major casinos in as Vegas, Nevada USA.

Thailand's love of money has led them on a path of disdain and the loss of their culture and Buddhist values. They are now primarily materialistic, greedy and power seeking driven and that is the underlying problem for the power struggles that exist in the country today.

COMING - THE OTHER SIDE OF THAILAND


CAMBODIA

July 27th is the scheduled opening of the Sihanoukville airport. According to the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism at this time there isn't a commercial airline that has scheduled flights to the destination. Chartered flights from Siem Reap will most likely be to first to use the facility.

Dr Beat in Siem Reap

Dr. Beat Richner is most notably known for two things... building children's hospitals in Cambodia and playing the cello. Dr. Beat performs in Siem Reap at Jayvarman Hospital Saturday nights from 7:15 to 8:00pm.


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