Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok’

2nd July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that media outlets around the globe are discussing the pending elections in the Kingdom of Thailand. In order to provide more insight into these developments it may be best to quote directly from the official website of Channel News Asia, ChannelNewsAsia.com

BANGKOK – Thailand votes on Sunday in a closely fought election seen as pivotal to the future of the deeply divided kingdom, after years of political deadlock and often bloody street protests. The poll is the first major electoral test for the government since mass opposition rallies paralysed Bangkok last year, scaring away foreign tourists and sparking a military crackdown that left about 90 people dead. Now the tense vote could herald a comeback for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies…

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this story.

Politics in Thailand can have ramifications for the economy and the business community. Meanwhile, developments in Thailand can have reverberations throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This regional grouping is currently having a substantial regional and global impact upon geopolitics. Also, this organization’s ascendancy comes at the same time as international commentators discuss the increasing significance of the so-called BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). China has also received a great deal of international coverage recently as that nation’s Communist Party celebrated the 90 year anniversary of the Party’s founding. To quote directly from the official website of the Hindustan Times, HindustanTimes.com:

The world’s largest political party, in charge of the world’s fastest-growing economy, marked its 90th anniversary with a prolonged campaign of revolutionary Mao-era lyrics sung in schools, universities and parks. Television stations pulled out soaps and crime shows to air red propaganda. Employees of state-owned companies were told to troop into cinema halls to ensure that the film Founding of the Party, made with 108 actors, could claim blockbuster status…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this insightful article written by Reshma Patil.

As noted previously on this web log, China is becoming an ever more important player in the international economic arena as that nation’s Premier was recently noted for making a trip to Europe and the United Kingdom. In related news it was noted that China has previously announced plans to construct a high speed rail system to connect Southern China with the Thai city of Bangkok. It would appear that a plan is also in place to construct a large Chinese Trading Complex in the Bangkok metropolitan area. How such developments will play out in the future remains to be seen.

For related information please see: Thailand Company.

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2nd June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has expressed some concern about the possibility of the Union of Myanmar (also sometimes colloquially referred to as Burma) becoming Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In order to provide further insight it may be best to quote directly from the website of Channel News Asia, ChannelNewsAsia.com:

SINGAPORE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday urged ASEAN to openly discuss Myanmar’s political and human rights problems before the country takes its turn as chair of the regional bloc. “Looking at the discussion about Myanmar and its interest in taking over the presidency of ASEAN, I am a little bit concerned,” she told a forum in Singapore, a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Merkel told an audience of government officials, foreign diplomats and academics that “the present leadership of Myanmar has not really proved that they are serious about embarking on the road of democracy…”

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to learn more on this topic.

The Union of Myanmar has been in the news a great deal recently as that country recently held elections ushering in something of a new era in Myanmar’s politics although there are some who argue that there has been little real change resulting from the aforementioned elections. That stated, it is this blogger’s personal opinion that any progress under the circumstances would be a good thing. Frequent readers of this blog may note that Myanmar was recently rumored to be pondering the opening of a stock exchange although that has yet to see fruition.

Meanwhile, the United States and China appear poised for cooperation in matters pertaining to ASEAN as a recent article on the Voice of America website pointed out. To quote directly from the aforementioned article:

A top State Department official says that as the United States works to deepen its engagement in Southeast Asia, working closely together with China is a key part of that effort. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell says that one of the the most important things that the United States is seeking to do this year, both at the ASEAN regional forum and the East Asia Summit, is show the United States deep commitment to working with China…As the United States works to find common ground with China, the world’s second largest economy and a rising Asia-Pacific military power, Campbell says Washington will be seeking to highlight areas of common pursuit with Beijing and find specific projects the two countries can work with each other in the region…

This blogger encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to find out more.

It is good to see that American officials are making an effort to become more engaged in the ASEAN region especially with the cooperation of the Chinese since combined efforts could yield significant benefits in the form of better diplomatic and trade relations for all concerned. In a previous posting it was noted that Chinese officials plan to incorporate a high speed rail link into the current rail system employed in the Kingdom of Thailand so that there would be a contiguous rail link between Thailand, Laos, and Greater China. In addition, it was also announced that Bangkok will likely soon see a Chinese Trade Complex which is to be designed to provide a platform for the trade of goods in Thailand. How all of these developments will ultimately play out remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: there is room for optimism in a current analysis of ASEAN developments.

For related information please see: US-Thai Treaty of Amity.

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15th May 2010

Please be advised that the following announcement was posted on the official website of the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand:

Announcement

Due to the security situation in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy, the Embassy will be closed for services on Monday, May 17.   Visa applicants with appointments scheduled for Monday, May 17 are instructed to come for an interview on Friday, May 21 at the same time as their originally scheduled appointment (e.g. If your appointment was scheduled for 9:00am on Monday, May 17, please come for your appointment at 9:00am on Friday, May 21).   Should you be unable to come to the Embassy on Friday, May 21, please make a new appointment through the appointment system on the U.S. Embassy website: http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/non-immigrant_visas/visa-appointments.html.

Please be advised that applicants impacted by this closure are being been notified through the e-mail addresses and/or phone numbers supplied during the appointment registration process. Please check your e-mail INBOX and SPAM folders, as some e-mail software may direct our e-mails to the SPAM folder.  Only those applicants who were registered with the Embassy for their original appointments on Monday, May 17 will be permitted entry on Friday, May 21.

We ask that you please appear 30 minutes prior to your appointment time on Friday, May 21 to allow time for the enrollment process.  Please check the Embassy website prior to your arrival, should the unrest in the vicinity of the Embassy remain ongoing. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact visasbkk@state.gov.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation.

Non-Immigrant Visa Section

U.S. Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand

In a previous posting on this blog, it was noted that the US Embassy had closed on Friday May 14th in anticipation of possible unrest. Apparently all non-essential US government staff, along with their families, have been allowed to leave Bangkok. To quote from the website Wireupdate.com:

The Department of State has authorized the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members from Bangkok. This replaces the Travel Alert dated April 28, 2010, and is in response to updated information on increased violence and security concerns. The Department of State recommends against travel to Bangkok and non-essential travel to Thailand at this time.

This author would like to take this opportunity to note the determination and professionalism shown by the staff at the US Embassy in Bangkok up to this point. It has been this author’s experience that up until the most recent rounds of violence, the Embassy continued to conduct activities with grace, efficiency, and fortitude. The officers of the Embassy and the Consulate should be commended for providing extremely diligent service in the midst of an extremely difficult and unpredictable situation. Due to the situation, it is this author’s opinion that the closure of the Embassy and the evacuation of non-essential staff was both necessary and unavoidable.

From anecdotal evidence this author has learned that many areas of Bangkok have been impacted by the worsening violence. This author has heard reports from at least one source which confirms that sporadic and unpredictable gunfire has been exchanged in certain sectors of the city. For this reason, travel into the Bangkok City Center is not recommended at the time of this writing.

The website ThaiVisa.com, on  2010-05-16 07:29:13, is reporting the following:

The facts were 17 had been killed and they were all civilians. By evening, one more death was reported – that of an emergency rescue worker. The response by the government’s Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) came late in the afternoon. CRES officials said the high death toll was a result of reds shooting one another and the government faced the threat of political order being overthrown.

At present, an accurate portrayal of Bangkok is difficult as there is a great deal of uncertainty. Media outlets are having difficulty reporting the news as a sort of “Fog of Confusion” seems to have descended upon parts of the city. This author will continue to try to provide useful updates on this blog if necessary. At present, the Bangkok School System will postpone reopening of schools, previously scheduled for Monday May 17th, until the civil unrest has subsided.

As always, for information about attorney assistance with Consular Processing in Bangkok please see: US Embassy Thailand or US Embassy Bangkok.

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25th April 2009

Istanbul (Not Constantinople).


After the christening of a “New Rome” in Eastern Europe, Constantine founded Constantinople as both the administrative and political capital of the Roman Empire (thus, moving the capital from Rome and beginning what most scholars refer to as the Byzantine Empire).

In the 1400s, after years of internal turmoil and foreign encroachment, Constantinople fell and was captured by the Ottoman Turks. The fall of Constantinople is seen as the end of the Byzantine Empire and after its capture the use of the name Constantinople fell into decline, although not outright disuse as is mistakenly believed by some. Both the names Istanbul and Constantinople were used somewhat interchangeably until the turn of the twentieth century.

Subsequent to the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the alternate labels for the city, other than Istanbul, became outmoded. With the promulgation of the Turkish Postal Service Law in 1930, the government of Turkey officially requested foreign correspondents to stop referring to Istanbul with any customary non-Turkish appellations. The refusal of the Turkish government to deliver parcels addressed “Constantinople,” led to a worldwide adoption and use of the name Istanbul.

New York and New Amsterdam


New York was originally founded by Dutch Settlers who gave the major city on Manhattan Island the name New Amsterdam. As the British and Dutch vied for control of the new colony the city’s name was changed. At one point New Amsterdam was rechristened New Orange, but finally, upon a finalized Treaty between the Netherlands and England, the City’s name was fixed as New York which is the way it is identified around the world to this day.

Siam and Thailand

The country today known as Thailand once had the official name of  Siam. In 1939 it was decided that the name should be changed and the current label was promulgated, then it was officially renamed Siam again between the years 1945 and 1949 (the Japanese Occupation of Thailand) after which time the name Thailand was readopted. Many people believe that the word Thai stems from the word “Tai”  which means “free” or “freedom” in the Thai language. This belief is a misconception as Thai actually refers to an ethnic group from the central lowlands of South Eastern Asia. A noted Thai academic is a proponent of the theory that the etymology of the word “Tai” has a meaning more closely translated as “people” or “humanity” because studies of the language has determined that in some non-urban locales the term “Tai” was utilized as a substitute for the conventional Thai word “khon,” meaning people.  That being said, Thais have accepted the apocryphal meaning and will generally explain that Thailand means: Land of the free.

As a side note, Bangkok is not the proper name of the city in Thai. Bangkok’s real name in is:

กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุธยามหาดิลก ภพนพรัตน์ ราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์ มหาสถาน อมรพิมาน อวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะ วิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์

Which translates in English script to:

Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit

and when translated means (loosely):

The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (of Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.

If Cities won awards based upon the length of their name, Bangkok would probably be the perennial winner.

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