Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thai and Hungarian Mirrors

A coup d'etat has been staged in Thailand, apparently in response to recent unsavory political events in that country. The tanks that ring important locations have yellow ribbons tied around their guns, a sign of loyalty to their much revered King. The Prime Minister, Thanksin Shinawatra, was in New York at the time. It seems his protestations have so far been ignored. An uneasy calm reigns in Bangkok. Too early to tell how things will pan out, but historically, coups Thai style are predominantly non-violent.

Riots are rife in the Hungarian capital, Budapest. People are irate over an audiotape wherein their Prime Minister, Gyurcsany, admitted to lying about Hungarian the country's economic situation. Gyurcsany's refusal to resign over this scandal has angered the people even more, and the riots have worsened.

The actions of the army in Thailand and the enraged people of Budapest are indicative of just how much each people value their national dignity. The coup in Thailand proves that changing the form of government does not ensure peace and prosperity. I truly wonder what pro-Cha Cha folk will say to that.

Now what do these international events have to do with us? The parallels between the Philippines and Thailand, our country and Hungary, are eerie. In Thailand, the PM has been accused of several anomalies, the Hungarian PM of lying. I don't have to list the Philippine similarities here, we are all aware of them. What does our collective apathy say about us as a people? Because a majority of Filipinos seem not to care about what has happened, what is going on, right under our noses, does this mean we are flawed? Flawed by utter selfishness (me first, then my family, then my business, my neighbor next to last, my country last), the dismissive attitude towards accountability, guilty of the refusal to admit responsibility, and the terrible sin of omission.

6 comments:

Puyat1981 said...

I hope the Philippines wont replicate a Thai Coup...i have siblings to take care and its scary...

john marzan said...

I'd don't want a coup. i'd rather see her step down and call for special elections.

but the one thing I will never do is support, defend, or acknowledge the legitimacy of this corrupt and illegitimate government if a coup occurs.

Maybe many Filipinos are tired of "people power", but I also sense many of them may be "too tired" to resist a coup and may not feel it is worth defending this corrupt administration from a coup (unlike during cory's time).

I wish Arroyo would step down na, call for special elections, and end this national nightmare, but the longer she continues to cling to power, mas magiging malaking posibilidad ang coup.

And no, Cha cha or a shift to parliamentary will not prevent future people powers or coups.

schumey said...

The administration is at its weakest as the eyes of the world are upon us. After the pretender was scolded by the internation community because of her abuses, she and her gang wouldn't dare lift a finger against the people. The Lakbayan was not blocked nor dispersed. Even Esperon was tamed by the UP students. See what happens when the world cares. Even despots mellow down.

the bystander said...

It's been a while since I posted a comment here.

As to the prospect of staging a similar bloodless coup in the Philippines, I have this to say: I will not advocate for it nor openly support it. But if it so happens and is the only way to solve this political impasse, then so be it.

Rhochie said...

Be careful what you wish for...

Helga said...

Hello all. Would have replied sooner if it wasn't for an ailing PC. Not sure if it's the motherboard now, have replaced DDR and hard drive. To make matters worse, my PLDT line's funny - phone's dead, but I have DSL. Ahay.

As to your comments - I agree that martial rule is far from the best solution to our problems. At the time of this writing, Thai students have staged a rally and in answer, the junta has banned meetings of more than 5 people. I wouldn't stand for that. It's true, some good things can rot and turn bad.

Besides, our military's just as dysfunctional as we are, so why trust them to do the right thing?

My dream is for special or snap elections. That's Everest, but we must continue to climb. But if our gift to the world, People Power, has been relinquished to others, how do we get that pride back?

There's hope - we held a STOP Cha Cha forum in FEU yesterday on the Muslim perspective on Cha Cha. The interest of the students was fired up, and they have asked for a meeting to discuss how they can interest other youth.