From today's news:
More than 1,000 foreign volunteers from about 25 countries helping tsunami survivors rebuild shattered lives were outraged yesterday to hear they face legal action by the Labour Ministry unless they have a work permit.
This was out about a week or so ago (on TV, I linked to it via the Ice Box I think), I posted about it in the Ice Box around 3 weeks ago when I was arguing with Discus saying it wouldn't surprise me if they started harrassing the volunteers for not having WP.......'cos I'm like a fortune teller and that!
Mental though ain't it? But to be honest I can see the logic behind it personally, and it does kind of make sense in some ways1
Riddle me this brother can you handle it
Your style to my style you can't hold a candle to it
Equinox symmetry and the balance is right
Smokin' and drinkin' on a Tuesday night
It's not how you play the game it's how you win it
I cheat and steal and sin and I'm a cynic
Probably just trying to sort out the genuine volunteers from the illegal dive instructors.
Apparently (from a reliable source working in Phuket) the work permits are easy to get as long as you are working with a recognised agency.
Excuse me for not taking this seriously .....
I've never respected fools who do volunteer work.Originally Posted by Kernel
Makes me sick.
Self-stroking the ego and ulterior motives often supercede altruism.
Making Volunteers get WPs or face legal action it terrible. But this also is Thailand.
Volunteering = voluntary exploitation by Thais.
Why don't all volunteers just up and leave and stop providing free assistance? I think the authorities would soon sit up and take note.
Thais have always been baffled as to why farangs come to Thailand anyway.
On Monday after the tsunami teachers at my school were wondering why I didn't go to Phuket to help. I really thought about going, then I thought about donating blood, then about going to Thammasat relief center. Didn't do any of those good things.
Shame that people who went to help get harassed by Immigration.
"Volunteering = voluntary exploitation by Thais."
I don't see it that way - it's a one off thing and it's about helping those who need help. If some Thais skimmed off some money from the donation funds or whatever - it's their own problem with their own consciousness.
By the same token - we are trying to teach our students to the best of our abilities at all times, at least I do, when others are looking . If I was thinking only about bosses screwing parents and swindling money out of English Program, I wouldn't last a day in Thailand.
Teaching English - that's voluntary expoitation. They give us rice money, just enough to keep us in place, and they expect us to wai, say thank you, agree with their stupid ideas and look the other way when they are screwing up students' future.
I'm not talking about any particular school - just the general teaching scene here. It will be this way almost averywhere you teach in Thailand.
So, volunteering to do something useful, it takes guts (and some financial back up).
I can't recall exactly, but on a billboard showing a disaster like a hurricane, the American Red Cross had an ad: "We'll be there when you need us." It's no wonder that the International Red Cross is almost the only agency to receive the Nobel Peace Prize more than once.
When you're sitting in the rubble and your loved ones are crying out underneath, you don't question the motives of the rescuers. You don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
It's okay if you don't understand what motivates volunteers, or even if it's the wrong motive. Just be glad they're there ( or that it's the other guys out there, instead of you).
Now, back to Neal Young, introduced by a guitar solo and fireworks: "Blowin' In The Wind." Wasn't Neal one of the original sponsors of "Farm Aid" along with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp?
"The times I've been mistaken, it's impossible to say" - by the Moody Blues
I didn't mean to sound so callous. But that is how my post came out.
My post were my perceptions of:
1. Volunteers being harrassed.
2. Lots of money being stolen.
I stand by my statement. Thailand doesn't deserve volunteers.
Aid volunteers may be ‘security threat’
Published on March 03, 2005
For reasons of national security, legal action should be taken against foreign aid volunteers helping victims of December’s tsunami as they do not hold work permits, Labour Ministry permanent secretary Charupong Ruangsuwan said yesterday
He said the government had allowed aid volunteers to provide disaster relief services without work permits after the tsunami hit Thailand, but they continue to remain in the country although they are no longer needed.
“They have to understand that we have regulations and they have to comply with them,” Charupong said.
“We have to prevent national security problems. There could be ill-intentioned groups posing as volunteers and that would be hard to control. The Interior Ministry and we are concerned.’’
However, Chakarin Patdamrongchit, secretary to Labour Minister Uraiwan Thienthong, said the ministry had no policy of arresting foreign volunteers, adding that the government should be lenient with them.
He said Employment Department director-general Chuthathawat Intarasuksri had not arrested anyone and he believed officials would not do so without a clear policy from Uraiwan.
The issue prompted Thammasat University law lecturer Phunthip Kanchanachitra Saisoonthorn to call on the government yesterday to issue a Cabinet resolution to allow foreign relief volunteers to continue to help Thai tsunami victims without work permits.
She said the country needed the help of volunteers, but the government also needed coordinators between the state and aid groups.
Mirror Foundation director Sombat Bun-ngamaong, dismissed Charupong’s reasons of national security as unreasonable. He said state officials should single out those who pose a threat to national security.
“The government cannot take care of all the tsunami victims. We have to let these people continue their work here,’’ he said.
I overstayed a tourist visa (4 days) during a volunteer stint in Khao Rlak...I booked to Malay on realization and they waved it.
I think this new crap may have to do with non-aide, overstaying posers trying to make use of an opportunity(?)
I'd also add that any country with a catastrophe does deserve volunteers. The people in need don't necessarily constitute the govt. and all their backwardness.
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I don't think they really need any missionaries going there, and some of the volunteers are probably unskilled and beginning to get in the way, after maybe being of help to start with. I don't think there's anything wrong with the Thais clarifying people's status now that things are settling down and becoming more clear. I don't think they'll be getting rid of anyone working for the well known agencies but they might tell a few backpackers to renew their visas.
Sur votre bicyclette, mate.
What are the volunteers currently working on? What is left to be done?
Dispersing water and things like medical care.
Among other things....
I'd bet that the land grab by Thailand's wealthy is up and running and they don't need foreigners around to help protest it. Anyone agree?
I guess there may be kids without schools now that still need teaching.What are the volunteers currently working on? What is left to be done?
Or would you like to swing on a star?