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Phuket Opinion: The middle way

PHUKET: Bangkok is once again being rocked by protests. Thankfully, they have not reached the level of unrest that lay siege the capital in 2010, or the ’Bangkok Shutdown’ that suffocated the capital in 2014. Yet they are providing a very clear image of key issues gripping the country at this time.

COVID-19economicstourismpolitics
By The Phuket News

Sunday 18 October 2020, 10:47AM


Bangkok protests provide a clear image of key issues gripping the country at this time. Photo: Bangkok Post

Bangkok protests provide a clear image of key issues gripping the country at this time. Photo: Bangkok Post

As always, it would be wise to be wary of how all news reports are describing not just the events as they unfold, but also the context. This includes how international reports are portraying the protests.

Oversimplifying does not help understand what is happening. The same old agendas are being touted: royal and military influence in politics, the extent of corruption among uniform-wearing officials and the degree of class inequality throughout society, among others. These are certainly key issues, but bundling them altogether as if all the protesters want all the same things is just not real.

As valid as these issues may be, and regardless of what each person agrees or disagrees with each issue, for certain the goal for some players in this arena is to polarise the issues – and hence polarise the people in opposing camps.

While this is playing out in Bangkok, the whole country is still figuring out whether or not to allow tourists to enter the country, amid fears that doing so will spark an outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the nation.

This issue now also seems to have polarised the people. Some areas such as Phuket are in dire need to restart tourism to provide incomes one way or the other for local residents, while in other, geographically much larger areas, tourism is a far from a primary concern. People in those areas can do without tourism, and from their point of view quite rightly call to keep the door closed. In the long-term, Phuket cannot. The island needs tourism to restart anything.

The key to both these two critical concerns – political uncertainty and the economic crisis – is that on both these issues, we must not reach an impasse. The longer a stalled scenario plays out, the longer everyone suffers. The Kingdom must work its magic to find the middle way.

In the political realm, those who claim they want peace and have a clear agenda to enforce change or maintain the status quo – and have the support to carry that agenda out – they can do so peacefully and legally. If they do not hold to that, regardless of who they are, their claims are not genuine.

The same applies for the tourism-restart standoff. The answer does not have to be either allow all tourists in immediately, or allow none at all. The response to COVID-19 has never been about eliminating any infections. The reality has always been about how the rate of infections is managed.

Both these key issues require a real-world approach, without the catastrophic consequences.

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LALALA | 21 October 2020 - 19:52:50

DEK,who actually tells you that I am still in LOS ?

DeKaaskopp | 21 October 2020 - 16:21:50

"...lack of brain capacity",haha and this from someone who still can't find a way out of here to the UAE ! And if a Covid -denier starts talking about to little testing,then it can't get any better ! A real genius who doesn't know what he's talking about. Kanakstan is waiting to welcome you.

LALALA | 21 October 2020 - 13:07:59

DEK..you are directed to my previous posts in which an explanation to your questions was given, I am very sorry that due to your lack of brain capacity you obviously was not able to understand it.

DeKaaskopp | 21 October 2020 - 11:46:53

Kurt, search the internet. There you can find everything about those cases and the response of the government. Not my job to educate you on those cases. Don't wait for answers on here and do your own research !

DeKaaskopp | 21 October 2020 - 09:18:04

@Lala  It might come to you as a surprise that many countries in Asia do not test much . And as you know so much, tell me, where are  all those infected people and why are they always start mass testing whenever there is the possibility of infections like Tak now or Buriram before.And again,why does a tin foil hat wearer cares about testing ?  

Kurt | 21 October 2020 - 09:06:44

Huh? .."They contracted the virus and that's it"  ??? No, only a person who can't imagine the transmitting implications can say that. It is not ..'that's it'.  How they came into Thailand without quarantine, with how many thai people they were in touch? Sure they contaminated/transmitted the virus to a number of Thai in Tak. Are these found and isolated/treated? 

LALALA | 20 October 2020 - 17:12:28

and reg. the 2 cases in Tak I find it very curious how first of all a Myanmar Truck driver could enter Tak province versus the current quarantine regime for flights / tourists and second of all why this cases are rarely published and the press is not following up on it, looks like again something fishy or does LOS wants to maintain the fairy tale of zero local transmissions on and on.

LALALA | 20 October 2020 - 17:07:30

Why I care care about their testing rate DEK is very simple, because the testing regime in LOS is another example how things in LOS are handled in general. No hear, no see, no speak = no have = hey we have all under control. In this context it is irrelevant if Covid is the flu or not, its a principle. 

DeKaaskopp | 20 October 2020 - 11:48:33

LALALA, why do you care about their testing rate ?  You call Covid the flu and you call Covid a scamdemic . And what should be with the 2 cases in Tak ? They contracted the virus and that's it !

Kurt | 20 October 2020 - 09:36:11

Yes, it would be interesting to see about Thai domestic Covid-19 testing among the present local people everywhere in cities, towns and villages.. Is the 'no testing-no cases' the Thai ostrich way handling numbers?  I not believe that only returning from abroad thai blue collar workers are arriving back tested positive.

LALALA | 19 October 2020 - 17:51:39

...because they are testing in the UK. In Thailand is no active testing regime and test are NOT affordable for local people...that's the ONLY reason why LOS has a low amount of cases...by the way whats with the 2 local cases in TAK province....

Little Tommy Tucker | 19 October 2020 - 12:06:55

You think Thai government is bad? Look at how Boris and his crew are making a right pig's ear of things in the UK. Economy trashed, as in Phuket, BUT, and it's a ruddy great big but, hardly any infections in Thailand. They are rampant in the UK.

ThorFinger | 18 October 2020 - 20:47:34

Infection rate should never be the issue. If 100 20 year olds get infected, the deaths = 0!
If 100 80 year olds are infected the death rate could = 30 plus! 
I'm just sick of this whole thing. The whole world is just full of idiots.

Kurt | 18 October 2020 - 12:18:46

The Kingdom is from high to lower levels very experienced in finding middle ways, but that comes with... "mediation, kick backs, and brown envelops". And that takes time. More time, more pressure, than more money will shuffle, and than slowly 'recovery' will start. As written in "Damage done", recovering will take many years.

CaptainJack69 | 18 October 2020 - 12:10:08

For too much of Thai society the issue of tourists in Thailand is already as polar as it can be. To them simply all foreigners are tourists. That's why it's so easy for them to cry "keep 'em out". Whether they run businesses, support family or own property it's virtually impossible for ANY foreigners to enter Thailand.

 

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