When I arrived in Thailand roughly a month ago I was warned about certain symptoms one might experience due to the hot weather and high humidity and the local cuisine – one of the most common ones: diarrhea. Fortunately, I have been spared so far. Some of the students, which live at the same accommodation as I, have not been so lucky and had to see a doctor. Most of them would come home with antibiotics, prescribed for a few days. The procedure was always the same: they describe the symptoms, a prescription is written and the medication was purchased for only a fraction of the price they would have paid in Europe at one of Bangkok many pharmacies. Soon the low prices of the medication would become a topic of conversations and how nice it was to easily deal with an illness in Thailand. Read the rest of this entry »
A couple of months ago Asianowblog.com reported about their personal indentations after visiting Kerobokan Prison located near Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. This very same prison now again appeared in the news, because of rioting inmates.
The violence is believed to be triggered by an act of retaliation by unidentified gang members after a convict was stabbed. During the uprising the rioting prisoners hurled rocks at guards, set fire to an office and took control of the prison over night. At dawn 100 members of police and military forces squalled the prison and believed to took over charge, but reportedly the unrest continued as well on the following night when again inmates “started throwing rocks and petrol bombs at around 10 pm”, Kerobokan prison police told the BBC. The results of the riot are prisoners who suffered burn injuries and injuries in the legs from rubber bullets the police used to bring the unrest to an end. Read the rest of this entry »
People line up for visiting hours at Kerobokan Prison where the Bali Nine and other Australians are held in Bali, Indonesia.
For study experience and a broader view on foreign policies the International Protocol And Diplomatic studies (IPAD) went to visit the Kerobokan Prison located near Kuta Bali Indonesia. Quite a thing visiting a prison, most of us had even never set foot in a western prison. Brave, but uncertain what to expect, we left our safe hotel towards the prison. Waiting in front of a very unwelcoming door one begins to observe. These people are wives with young children, girlfriends, mothers waiting to see their husband, father, boyfriends, and sons. Why did we go here again? Then there is doubt, a feeling that to some extent you’re guilty of some sort of doom tourism.
There were some arrangements with a guard, who however, was nowhere to be found upon our arrival. After living in Indonesia you learn never to give up, and so we didn’t. While a long conversation ensued the situation started to look more and more uncertain while the minutes passed by, the taxi driver jumped in to help out. As it turned out someone he knows is serving time for drug possession. Suddenly the whole situation swiftly turned around and after giving the guards an ID card, we were issued with special visitor ID tags. Other visitors had to settle with a stamp, the visitor ID tags gave us more freedom to walk around and the visiting hours were not applicable. Read the rest of this entry »
Every month it is the same big party at Ko Phangan, all foreigners that go to Thailand has either joined one of them or has at least heard of them. The Full Moon Party is described as unforgettable and a once in a lifetime experience. Why is it that the United Kingdom discourages to go there. And that some might consider it to be the most dangerous place on earth? Read the rest of this entry »
Within the governmental war on drugs in 2003, a total of 2,600 suspects were killed without much further investigation. Today, eight years later Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra calls for another war on drugs and people fear the killings to happen again.
The new campaign against drugs actually is a call to the government by Her Majesty the Queen from August 12th this year, that is now being reacted on. According to governments information Thailand has 1.2 million drug addicts between the age of 16 and 24. Therefore, dealers and traffickers are not the only focus but also protection of drugs and people with drug addiction. Prime Minister Yingluck said: “As a mother, I do not want to see children fall victim to drugs” and highlighted the fact that they are the resources and future of the nation. Supporting this statement the campaign that is set to a duration of one year shall include a rehabilitation approach of 400,000 of the 1.2 million people. The rehabilitation is expected to be hosted mainly by military barracks or in prisons since current professional centres like the Spirit College could not cope with the expected demand. The Spirit College is referred to as example because drug addicts are not only rehabilitated but also taught skills such as electronics, woodworking and agriculture. These skills and the help of family members shall increase their chances to re-enter society.
However, the biggest concern remains with the way the drug dealers and traffickers are being fought. Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung has been appointed as head of the campaign and strives the attention to the last war on drugs of 2003 and that there is no intention to see a recurrence and hence, no killings or torture shall be used against prospects. National police Chief Priewpan Damapong has sent special teams to the main areas of conflict in the north of Thailand where 70% of the drugs enter the country. In addition, the Royal Thai Police Office supplies them with budget, weapons and vehicle. Big changes to 2003 shall be that the Justice Ministry’s Central Institute of Forensic Science has permission to investigate police cases and not be hold back by police like before. Furthermore, homes can only be searched with a court approval and charges are only pressed in case of strong evidence.
Officials are warned by authorities that in case of turning a blind eye to the trade for their own advantage through bribes, strong measures will be taken against them. The neighbour countries Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are asked to cooperate and decrease drug traffic to Thailand or they have to face international pressure in case they continue business as usual.
Although many theoretical improvement to the past war on drugs people still have renewed concerns and, on the 13th of September, a day after the first newspaper article Mr. Chalerm again tried to calm down the people in a second article that the new campaign against drugs is no licence to kill. On 23rd – 25th Sept he will personally attend a meeting in the North of Thailand concerning the current drug situation.
Thailand’s Police first was on the news for taking bribes in order to have casinos run underground. Instead of reforming the police, the government exchanged the high ranked people with their own. Now police has to proof themselves in a peaceful campaign against drugs and rehab patients await better future than before.