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  1. #1
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    BBC's Jonathan Head Moves To Turkey

    Friday, August 07, 2009



    BBC's Jonathan Head Moves To Turkey


    Jonathan Head, the Bangkok-based BBC correspondent, has moved to Istanbul, Turkey.

    In an interview published in the current issue of Dateline, the magazine of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand, Jonathen Head who had been living in Bangkok for six years and covering South East Asia for more than 13 years, says "There are some surprising parallels (between Bangkok and Istanbul); a conservative establishment, backed by the military, judiciary and bureaucracy, clashing with a flawed, new electoral force, with a revered figure above it all who cannot be criticized. Maybe I will feel right at home!"

    During his time in Thailand Head had been the subject of three charges of lese majeste.

    FCCT-The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand

  2. #2
    Mid
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    wow , I was picking notthenation .......................

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    Member Kapilvastu's Avatar
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    Well! In my opinion he is no loss to Thailand. He reported Thai stories like someone who had never even visited the country. Some of his reports were sheer nonsense and he pronounced Thai words like someone who had never eve heard the language spoken. I have a hunch that he never spoke much to anyone outside the correspondence club bar, other than an official, that is. Maybe the next BBC correspondent will get to know and understand a bit more about the country and provide more insightful coverage. Turkey’s loss is Thailand's gain!

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    Mid
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  5. #5
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    Well, the ' foaming at the mouth ' Thaksin haters over on Thai Visa will be happy. Definately an occasion for a lot of clapping and wanking. Its a pretty fair bet that the phrase ' good riddance ' is going to get a thorough airing.

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    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapilvastu
    Turkey’s loss is Thailand's gain!
    Agreed. I met him a couple of times and thought he was a pretty bland guy just coasting along on the fact that he worked for the BBC. Anytime something important happened the Beeb seemed to fly in a heavy-weight to replace him on the updates within a couple of days.
    bibo ergo sum
    If you hear the thunder be happy - the lightening missed.
    This time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapilvastu
    He reported Thai stories like someone who had never even visited the country.


    His reports for the BBC was for an international audience not just for us that live here.

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    Not surprising he did a runner. He was quite obviously on the current Thai governments hit list.
    Have always found his BBC reports to be fair and balanced, which why he was on the hit list I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gjbkk
    His reports for the BBC was for an international audience not just for us that live here.
    Exactly.

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    Member Kapilvastu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by English Noodles View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by gjbkk
    His reports for the BBC was for an international audience not just for us that live here.
    Exactly.

    Well! Yes, that much is taken for granted. But he was based in Thailand and one might expect him to display some local knowledge and some insight into how things work here, precisely so that he could explane things to his international audience. Otherwise they might as well have reported the stories from London.

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    ^I think maybe you are confusing "local knowledge" with surrendering your principles and pretending that liberal-democracy isn't superior to the sham that calls itself politics in this country.

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    He was one of the better reporters based here, which I realise is a backhanded compliment.

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    my bro met him in the park
    said he was a decent fellpw

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by good2bhappy
    my bro met him in the park
    after dark in Lumpini?

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    The fist website we visit when logging on? CNN and BBC. Why?

  16. #16
    Gohills flip-flops wearer
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    If you lot aren't carefull, you may be invited into the lounge for an ale.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapilvastu
    But he was based in Thailand and one might expect him to display some local knowledge and some insight into how things work here, precisely so that he could explane things to his international audience.
    I cant fault this article by Head: maybe you can come up with some that show his lack of local knowledge


    How did Thai protesters manage it?

    By Jonathan Head
    BBC News, Bangkok

    Claiming victory, the yellow-clad hordes from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) rolled up their mats and sleeping bags.

    They queued for souvenir autographed scarves - yellow of course - from the leaders who had taken them into this astonishing act of insurrection, and boarded buses and pick-up trucks for the ride home.

    An army of cleaners, technicians and security personnel moved in behind them to get Bangkok's $4bn (£2.7bn) state-of-the-art airport back into operation.

    Within a few days the mass sit-in will just be a surreal memory.

    But the questions their actions have raised about the state of Thailand will continue long after the last plastic hand-clapper is picked up and disposed of.

    How could a country as advanced and as dependent on exports and tourism as Thailand allow such a vital transport hub to be stormed by a mob that never numbered more than a few thousand?

    What is the PAD, and what gives the movement the confidence to commit its dramatic acts of economic sabotage without fearing any legal sanction?

    Weak police

    The airport sit-in shows the PAD's skill at pulling off bold and unexpected stunts.

    When the first PAD convoys approached the airport last Tuesday, they said they were only going to protest against then-Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who was due to arrive back from the Apec summit in Peru.

    The government had a strategy of avoiding confrontation - it did not want a repeat of the disastrous events in October, when several PAD supporters were seriously injured in clashes with the police.

    The police were under orders not to use force and retreated.
    No-one thought the PAD would try to take over one of the world's biggest and busiest airport terminals.

    In fact, PAD organisers told the BBC they had carefully planned the seizure of the airport weeks before.

    The weakness of Thailand's police is also important.

    They have proved no match for this determined and organised movement. They are poorly trained in riot control, and lack the status of the army.

    When it became clear that the PAD was set on taking over the airport, the local governor asked the army for assistance. None came.

    As throughout this year, the army's refusal to help contain the PAD has left the government with no means of resisting this insurgency.

    The police are up against an organisation of considerable logistical strength.

    It is a remarkably well-trained and well-funded movement.

    Logistical efficiency

    One of the many retired generals supporting its occupation at the airport observed that it should be seen as a military, not a civilian organisation.

    Behind the "aunties with clappers" and well-groomed young women clutching lap-dogs that are the public face of the movement are squads of hoodlums, armed with batons, metal spikes and hand-guns who man the barricades and hunt down intruders.

    One morning I followed them as they dragged an alleged government spy off to an undisclosed location, kicking and punching him.

    I was unable to find out his fate. Some of these thugs are members of private armies run by retired generals.

    The PAD's logistical efficiency is impressive.

    Within hours of occupying the airport it had ample supplies of food, water, blankets and medicines for the thousands of supporters who joined the sit-in.

    The food never ran out. You could get your mobile phone charged, or have a massage. PAD cleaners were brought in to keep the floors and toilets in order. The duty-free and check-in areas were sealed off and vigilantly protected by PAD guards.

    The PAD's propaganda arm is equally impressive.

    It runs its own television station, ASTV, which is widely broadcast and pours vitriol on the government.

    Everywhere the movement goes it takes mobile stages, on the back of trucks, which blare out speeches and music from dawn until the small hours of the following morning.

    The message is simple: Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is evil, stole the people's money and will destroy the country. The poor rural people who voted for his party were all bribed, and unable to think for themselves.

    Some of those taking part in the airport occupation had been listening to these firebrand speeches for months, without a break.

    They all passionately believed their actions were worth the cost to the country, to see Thailand's politics cleaned up.

    The question of who is behind the PAD is a subject of intense speculation in Thailand.

    I met a lot of ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs at the airport who were helping keep the PAD supplied.

    But much bigger Thai businesses are widely believed to be financing the movement, including at least two national banks.

    Royal support?

    Thaksin Shinawatra made a lot of powerful enemies while he was in office with his aggressive efforts to re-shape the country.

    These are now using the PAD militants to get back at his party.

    There are also plenty of former military commanders offering their help to the PAD - people like General Pathompong Kesornsuk, who has openly urged the army to launch a coup against the government.

    One of the top PAD leaders is Chamlong Srimuang, a former general with close ties to Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the king's most senior advisor.

    Then there is the most sensitive question of all - the royal connection.

    The PAD has justified its actions as being in defence of the monarchy, and the king's portrait has been displayed prominently during all its protests.

    Senior figures close to the palace have openly supported the movement.

    When the queen offered to preside over the funeral last month of a PAD protestor killed during clashes with the police, it appeared to be a tacit blessing for the movement.

    Some in the government even believe the revered king may be backing the movement, although at the age of almost 81 this seems unlikely.

    Hard evidence is difficult to come by. But people's actions in Thailand are now being driven as much by what they believe as what they know to be true.

    The government and its rural followers believe there is a palace-army-elite conspiracy to rob them of their electoral mandate.

    The PAD and its middle-class followers believe the pro-Thaksin camp intends to turn Thailand into a republic, and overthrow the existing social order.

    With so much believed to be at stake, compromise between the two sides is almost impossible.


    there is a bit more information about him here

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    ^ Perhaps something to do with why he had to leave town in a hurry?

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    It is rather sad that he will be more free to practise his trade in Turkey than here.
    I wonder what Giles Ungaporn will have to say about this?
    No doubt we will read it in the Bangkok Post.

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    exactly i thought he did a pretty good job too.

  21. #21
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    Was he also the TV face for the Beeb?

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    Member Kapilvastu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjbkk
    I cant fault this article by Head: maybe you can come up with some that show his lack of local knowledge
    OK! OK gjbkk, you win! I declare myself defeated on this one. It is a pretty insightful piece o reporting.So maybe I have misjudged Mr.Head. I unreservedly withdraw my .negative comment

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    Could this be part of the reason Jonathan Head decided to exit stage left???

    FCCT board faces police probe over lese majeste - Nationmultimedia.com

    For the first time in its five-decade history, the whole board of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) has been accused of committing lese majeste, a crime with a maximum jail sentence of 15 years.

    The board, includes three British nationals including the BBC's Bangkok correspondent Jonathan Head, three American nationals, including two working for Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, an Australian national and a Thai news reader for Channel 3, Karuna Buakamsri.

    One said: "Put them in jail for 99 years."
    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kapilvastu View Post
    Well! In my opinion he is no loss to Thailand. He reported Thai stories like someone who had never even visited the country. Some of his reports were sheer nonsense and he pronounced Thai words like someone who had never eve heard the language spoken. I have a hunch that he never spoke much to anyone outside the correspondence club bar, other than an official, that is. Maybe the next BBC correspondent will get to know and understand a bit more about the country and provide more insightful coverage. Turkey’s loss is Thailand's gain!
    That's my sense as well. A bit self-closeted.

  25. #25
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    Perhaps the BBC could now get around to doing something about that annoying canadian piece of crap Lice Douchebag?
    She was a regular on BBC UK programming, and it was a relief to get away from her when i came here.
    Now i find she is all over BBC world news asia and middle east.
    I think i am being punished for some past indiscretion.

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