One group of Thai protesters isn't fooled

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 28 Oct 2020

The international media is easy to fool, but local people aren't.

The protests in Thailand feature a wide muddle of grievances - but one unusual group of protesters yesterday headed for the United States embassy in Bangkok.

They carried a message for Michael Desombre, a wealthy former Hong Kong corporate lawyer who was appointed by US President Donald Trump last year as ambassador to Thailand.

Their banner was aimed specifically at the undercover CIA agents known for stirring up and financing anti-government protests around the world.

It said (I am not making this up): "Your job in Hong Kong was good but it doesn't work for Thailand."

There's big drama in the semi-autonomous enclave of Cathay-Pacific-Land, also known as Tung Chung. Sacked airline crew members are rapidly moving out of the airport township while retirees snap up bargain apartments.

"All the attractive young air hostesses are moving out," complained one male resident. "The retirees are less scenic."

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Talking of retirees, a reader aged 62 was annoyed to hear that the government plan to extend the "HK$2 to anywhere" scheme to include people aged 60 and up (currently it's 65 and up) has been delayed for perhaps two years. "If it takes three years to implement, I'll be 65 anyway," he complained.

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This road sign from the UK will probably have less of an effect than the wrecked car behind it.

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Free speech in Hong Kong is in trouble in one sector: cinemas. This newspaper reported last week that the Cinema City chain was nervous about showing Era, starring Mat Yeung Ming, who last year said: "I'm very sad that rioters became more and more violent in the streets and ordinary people got hurt."

Hong Kong director Yonfan's acclaimed animation No. 7 Cherry Lane has still not been put on general release here.

Don't hold your breath for journalistic organizations to denounce this loss of free speech.

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Indian journalist Sameera Khan recently wrote that Tibet, before the Chinese started managing it, was obsessed with class divisions. A furious Tibetan activist named Meera immediately made a video clip denying this and accusing Sameera of being "third class." (Spotter: Daniel Dumbrill.)

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"The UK is now recording more deaths per million than the United States," the Daily Mail reported yesterday. Hongkonger Angela Hon Fuego commented: "BNO holders, it is vital that you move to the UK. The UK population needs you."

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Hong Kong University heads need to run mandatory lectures on Joseph McCarthy. In the 1950s, this American politician became famous for firing a question at people: "Are you or have you ever been a communist?" He expected everyone to be on his side, but the wider community soon realized his stance made him an enemy of freedom. HKU student leaders, listen and learn.

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A Yuen Long resident last week boarded a Qatar Airlines flight to Hong Kong and was handed a transparent face shield. He endured the next few hours squinting through a fuzzy haze. "That's when staff told me it would be clearer if I removed the inside and outside protective film," he told us.

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Useful tip from a young reader named SJ: "Always wear a 3D mask that has a bit of room in it. Then you can stick your tongue out at people."

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