ASIA APPEARING MORE DESPICABLE IN WESTERN EYES – In modern western society we have developed laws that dictate we must not discriminate against others and above all we much protect the basic human rights of people, regardless to their race, creed, colour or religious beliefs.
It is arguable whether our rules of law have worked for the greater good; after all western society suffers its fair share of atrocities; just look at the issues of Muslim terrorists and rarely are we permitted access to any satisfactory form of justice; this is generally down to our views of political correctness and human rights laws.
When it comes to Asia it almost appears as if there is a cog missing in the great machine and the name of that cog is humanity. Simply look to India where children are being raped and murdered without any real justice for the families or women as a whole.
We are not talking about one or two isolated cases but a trend that is growing at an alarming rate. It’s as though the Indian authorities are sanctioning such atrocities.
More further to the east and we enter China; a communist state that now appears to be adopting the values of western capitalism and yet despite the country’s growth in prosperity little seems to have changed for hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens living in poverty.
In the news this week we’ve had the suspicious death of 13 year old Miss Cao – her first name still hasn’t been released by the authorities to the media. What we do know is that Miss Cao ran away from home in the Lianjiang in the Guangdon Province last month to avoid school and to find work.
According to news reports Miss Cao fell from the 5th floor of a packing plant building. Was she pushed? Was she raped? Police are currently telling the press that they are not treating this as murder and that there is no evidence of rape. Miss Cao fell from the window after an argument broke out with the four men she was sharing a room with at the plant for not doing their laundry.
Miss Cao’s death follows the recent gang rape and murder of 22 year old Yuan Liya. During the investigation the public openly protested over the alleged cover-up of the case after police refused to allow her relatives access to the CCTV footage.
There have of course been far more serious allegations laid at the Chinese Government; none more so that it’s ‘one-child’ policy that has lead to a rise is child murders and numbers of children now in state care.
The issue here is that boys are often the preferred sex of a child; due to his ability to carry on the family name. It has been reported on a number of occasions where baby girls would be murdered by their parents or simply dumped on the streets so that parents could try again for a boy without the state knowing about it.
From China we can take a southern course and move into Thailand. Thailand is not a country where most westerners take much notice of; this is due to its political insignificance on the world stage.
Thailand is often perceived as a society of gentle Buddhists and yet without the political muscle and protection from the United States, Thailand would have long ago been placed firmly on the International Human Rights Watch List and even obtaining the No.1 spot for human rights abuses.
Yes currently the No.1 spot is reserved for Iran but Iran, China, India and other so-called oppressive regimes around the world can’t come anywhere close to the human rights atrocities that Thailand is responsible for.
Slavery on the high seas within its fishing industry has recently been brought to light on the international stage. There have been numerous reports of Burmese, Cambodians, Royhinga and other ethnic groups of being captured and sold to fishing fleet bosses.
These slaves work for nothing other than the odd bowl of rice a day. Those who do not comply with the captains orders are often beaten within inches of their lives; some are left to die or simply murdered and then thrown overboard.
There are not official records as to how many people have been forced into slavery upon Thai fishing boats but the estimates run into the thousands along with the murder rate.
Recently the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry told Thailand that 2013 was the year they must clean up their act as it would no longer pardon their activities. A listing on the International Human Rights Watch List would certainly involve a number of sanctions that could send Thailand’s economy plummeting and its society into chaos.
Last week the European Union issued a stark warning to Thailand in that they either clean up their slavery practices on Thai fishing trawlers or the EU will ban fish exports to the European Union.
Human Rights groups have long been exasperated at the U.S stance on protecting Thailand from international admonishment. It’s not just slavery on the high season but also the vile practice of trafficking children from neighbouring countries for the ever growing sex trade in Thailand from national and foreign appetites.
Burma, or Myanmar as it now likes to be referred to, has also engaged in the open persecution of the indigenous Rohingya, a Muslim faction of the country’s population. The persecution that is often incited by Buddhist monks and government officials has resulted in the continued slaughter of these people.
Often the Rohingya have been forced to flee Burma in boats that presents them with a perilous journey across open seas.
In 2008, just four years after the world provided billions of dollars in aid to Thailand after the 2004 Tsunami, it was discovered that the Thai Government had a covert policy of having its Navy disable engines on the Rohingya boats and casting them adrift; sealing their fate to death by starvation in order to ensure the Rohingya didn’t reach Thai land mass where they would be forced, under international law, to process the refugees.
Has this despicable practice stopped? That’s debatable as earlier this year there were reports of the Thai Navy opening fire and murdering a number of Rohingya who were attempting to make landfall in Thailand.
Currently there are a number of Rohingya refugee camps in the southern providences of Thailand but instead of being cared for the camps are marred in accusations of human trafficking; again often taking women and children for the ever growing sex trade in Thailand.
As a country that heavily relies on tourism the Thai Government continues to engage in every possible route in being able to suppress the human rights abuses in order to minimize the damage to its reputation.
Recently Police Maj Gen Pisit Pao-in, commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division announced a change in Thailand’s penal code and Computer Misuse Act to include anyone clicking on the ‘LIKE’ or ‘SHARE’ button within Facebook on issues deemed to be damaging to Thailand’s national image.
It is a fact that the west has its fair share of problems and there are many expatriates living in Thailand who prefer living under such conditions rather than residing in their own countries, however there are advocate groups accusing these people of simply supporting such atrocities through the income they bring into the country.
The truth is that the element of human suffering rarely, if ever, touches on the lives of foreign nationals living in Asia and yet the question is being raised; ‘Are expatriates culpable of supporting a regime, through their residency that provides vast amounts of income collectively for the country?’
The truth is that we are all to blame in some way or another; whether this is through financial support by residing in such a country or through turning a blind eye and not petitioning Governments worldwide to do more to protect these vulnerable people.
The answer to these questions simply lay within our own conscience and perception of the way things are. Change can never truly be accomplished unless people come together for the common good but as society appears to become detached and our own issues become the overriding factor then the abuses across Asia, and indeed the rest of the world, will continue.
There are a number of Thai Forums on the web whereby mostly expatriates take to voicing their concerns; one such website is ThaiVisa.com where expatriates discuss news issues in order to bring greater awareness.
Whilst forums are known to take on vastly differing opinions it is at least nice to know that there is a growing number of people who deeply care about other people’s rights and ultimately their well-being.
Do you think Government’s around the world should apply more pressure to Asian countries involved in the persecution of others? Or do you think it is more appropriate for Government’s to take care of their own affairs before interfering in others? Please leave your comments below.