Re: ''Korkaew comes under fire'' (BP, July 13).
Red-shirt leader and Pheu Thai MP Korkaew Pikulthong claims that his remarks were not intended to intimidate anyone or instigate unrest.
If calling for the arrest of judges and predicting civil strife does not constitute a call to arms, what parallel world is he living in? I would suggest that it is high time these people were silenced by their Pheu Thai Party leaders before they cause any further harm.
EDWARD B DUHIGG
Asean faces acid test
Re: ''Clinton urges Asean unity over islands'' (BP, July 13).
The legitimacy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is on the line. The South China Sea issue is ultimately a test of whether our 10 nations can come together in moments of need.
Security has and always will trump economic issues. Even with economic integration in 2015, our 10 nations must be able to comprehensively tackle common security challenges, otherwise Asean will lose its inner trust and alliance and it will fail.
US should help Laos
I can only provide a simple nod in recognition of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Vientiane on Wednesday. It's a decades-long delay in recognising the injustice done to the small nation.
It has been more than 50 years since any high-ranking US political figure has visited Laos. What took the US government so long to officially recognise the tonnes of unexploded munitions dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War? The US military provided a tragic legacy for generations and generations of Lao people.
On her return to Washington, Mrs Clinton should immediately talk to the nation's top generals and strongly urge them to send dozens of teams of munitions-clearing experts to help the Lao government keep its citizens safe. President Barack Obama should then order those teams to leave immediately for Laos.
I encourage the Lao government to accept the much-needed help of the US military. The tonnes of unexploded ordnance continue to take a deadly toll on the Lao people.
I am an American now living in Bangkok. As a former member of the US military from 1965 to 1968 who served in Vietnam, I feel personally responsible for and regret the deadly legacy thrust on the Lao people between 1964 and 1973.
H EDWARD SEISER
Too good to be true
It seems some online coupon sites are less than honest. They offer deals with apparently amazing discounts such as 50%. But when you actually go to use the coupons, you find sometimes that the price offered by the merchant is exactly the same as the supposed discount price.
When I spoke with one site on this issue, they admitted they don't know what the real price is. They just take whatever face-value price the merchant gives.
So be careful. Perhaps old-fashioned shopping and bargaining works better, so avoid online coupon sellers who don't even check the deals they are offering.
Queen sets fine example
On Aug 12, Her Majesty the Queen will turn 80 years old. Thailand will celebrate her birthday with the usual fireworks and government-sponsored celebrations. The nation will celebrate, not because it is customary but because most of the people of Thailand genuinely wish to honour their King and Queen for what they have done for the people and the nation for more than 60 years.
Their Majesties the King and Queen have earned the honour and love of the people through hard work and dedication to the welfare of the Thai people from all walks of life and in every corner of the nation, even the remote border areas.
Most Westerners have the idea that kings and queens spend their time on thrones surrounded by adoring sycophants who immediately fulfil their every wish; or they have the impression that royals jet-set here and there to play at Monte Carlo or other exotic and exclusive resorts.
For the King and Queen of Thailand, nothing could be further from the truth. The Queen has lived a life of dedication to the social and cultural development of her people. Both have spent many days in remote mountain and border provinces where the poorest of the poor scratch out a living from the forests and upland rice and garden plots.
I personally have been with both the King and Queen while they were visiting their development projects in mountain villages. I have sat on a bamboo floor and watched the Queen, also seated on the bamboo floor, spend hours without a break, speaking to women about their problems and hopes and dreams, while inspecting their needlework or hand-made and hand-dyed traditional silks produced under the sponsorship of her Royal Support Foundation. I have walked with the King, visibly worn out from visiting a remote village to talk to village elders.
One time the King encouraged a group of us to learn to pace ourselves. He said: ''Remember, the mountain will always be there.'' For the King and Queen, the mountain of their responsibility has always been there _ and continues to be there. They have only been successful in continuing to combat poverty and ignorance because they have learned to pace themselves.
Last week the King and Queen took a boat trip up the Chao Phraya River to inspect flood damage and the problems of the people at the grassroots level and find solutions. The Queen is always at his side and uses these visits to discover more about the problems facing the wives, mothers and children of the disaster-struck areas. It is teamwork at its best. And they have been doing this together for over 60 years.
It is abundantly clear that they care for their people more than they care for themselves. When other monarchs might have retired to rest themselves in old age, the King and Queen continue to serve the people as long as they have the strength to do so.
So, next month Queen Sirikit turns 80 and I don't think she is considering retirement. How can she when the mountain is still there? She may be slowing down, but she never stops chipping away at the mountain. We can all learn from her example.
President of Legacy Foundation
True ready for Olympics
Re: ''Olympic fiasco on way?'' (Postbag, July 7).
In response to Boston Burglar's letter, stating that True Visions has its own licence to broadcast the Olympics through our nine channels, we would like to clarify that we will broadcast the Olympics through nine channels, of which five are standard-definition (SD) channels and four are high-definition (HD) channels.
In Thailand, TV Pool is the official licensee of the Olympics and the games could be viewed on free-TV channels that we have passed through for our subscribers.
However, as a pay-TV operator, True Visions always strives to provide the best programmes for our subscribers, so we bought the rights to the Olympics and will broadcast on nine channels to cover most of the games, or about 2,000 hours of all sports competitions, from the international licence holders ESPN and Star Sports. We will enhance the viewing experience by broadcasting the Olympics through four HD channels.
To ensure that subscribers on our packages will be able to watch the Olympics, nine channels will be available for Platinum subscribers, eight channels will be available for Gold subscribers and four channels will be available for Gold Lite and Silver subscribers, while Knowledge subscribers will be able to watch one SD channel without any additional charge.
Senior Manager, Sports Programmes, True Visions
Why are we waiting?
During last year's devastating floods, we were forced to evacuate our home in Khlong Sam Wa for more than two months, so it was a relief to read in the Bangkok Post back in February that the government had a plan to dredge canals in eastern Bangkok, including Khlong Song Tawan Tok, a small canal that ''flows'' past our home.
However, here we are in July with the rains falling as regular as clockwork, the water hyacinths as thick as ever, and still no sign of any dredgers. Each and every day that passes, we lose faith in our local leaders, the government, and Water and Flood Management Committee chairman Plodprasop Suraswadi, as it becomes apparent that our fate is being left to chance yet again.
Please, hurry up and clean our khlong before it is too late.
Mafia drove me away
Re: ''Wrong tack on Suvarnabhumi'' (Postbag, July 12).
The letter reinforces my policy of never flying to Bangkok. I use Changi airport in Singapore and travel to Phuket by train and bus through Malaysia.
Disenchanted by rip-offs and constant battles with Phuket's tuk-tuk mafia, this year I determined to spread my wings and spend my usual six months in Southeast Asia, visiting Thailand's other less avaricious (hopefully) neighbours, namely Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Thailand is still No.1
Re: ''Land of Stopovers'' (Postbag, July 12).
As a long-term expatriate resident of Thailand for 31 years, I have the opposite view to the letter writer regarding the quality of life in this country.
Having travelled a lot in the area, I agree that the other Southeast Asian countries the writer mentions do have their individual charm, but Thailand for me is still No.1. Yes, the system here is more expensive than it was in 1980 when I arrived, but I still think it is good value. Actually, Myanmar is the place in our region where sky-rocketing prices are now the norm.
I consider myself fortunate that Thailand accepted me as a permanent resident.
No laughing matter
I have just witnessed the most ridiculous and downright dangerous stunt on the Hay Ha TV channel. One comedian allowed another comedian to wrap his head in bubble wrap and sticky tape. I imagine a small hole was left at one of the nostrils, but to the viewer his mouth and nose were completely covered.
At 7.50pm, I am assuming there must have been children watching. Let us hope and pray that this idiotic stunt is not copied by any child or adult or there could be tragic consequences. That was not comedy.
Perfect chaos on Soi 11
Who is the person who causes the regular night-time traffic havoc on Sukhumvit Soi 11? There must be someone making a fortune from allowing all the vendors, on-the-fly beer bars and others to operate in the soi.
Nobody minds if a part of the footpath is used for small-scale vendors with carts. But the open-air bars are extending onto a full lane of the road. Why does Bangkok need remodelled minivans to take up road space to sell their alcohol at exorbitant prices? Do they even have a licence to sell alcohol? Or the open-air restaurants taking up all the space of the footpath and also one lane of the road?
As a result, people walking along Soi 11 have to use the road to get past, so any traffic can only proceed at walking speed. Add to that the taxis prowling along looking for customers and the chaos is perfect, every single day. This mess also extends out to Sukhumvit Road, where cars can't enter Soi 11 and create a traffic jam on the main road.
So I really would like to know which person in uniform is making a profit from creating all this trouble. And how much is he earning each week by giving us such a hard time? And how do you spell greed?
TOT service let us down
In our village with 18 houses, we were advised to buy a system called Wi-Net, which was supposed to be faster and more reliable then the regular internet service. Several of us needed the internet for work, so we decided to follow the advice of the TOT Plc staff. The cost for this service is 1,273 baht per month and the initial set-up cost was 2,880 baht.
Unfortunately, the internet service went down. We complained to the TOT office in Klaeng district. Several calls to TOT's call centre were not answered. We even tried to call TOT's head office. The phone rang but nobody picked it up. Finally, technicians came to fix the problem days later.
Probably the fact that TOT has a monopoly position is the reason that it is not interested in clients and does not care if customers move away from the company.
As 3G is not available here in Mae Phim, we are forced to accept this attitude. But as soon as there is a provider who can give us a better service, all of us will cancel our agreements.
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