Thitinan Pongsudhirak writes: ''Pitak Siam postmortem offers many lessons'', (Opinion, Nov 30). He then continues: ''What the Pitak Siam followers must now realise is that the best way forward for them is to find a way to win at the polls.'' With respect, that is exactly their intention. However, the writer does not suggest how that may be achieved.
Firstly, Pitak Siam is not a political organisation but a pro-democracy movement. While talk of overthrowing the government and involving the military showed a complete lack of a sound policy and wisdom on the part of the leadership, together with political naivety, the movement is intended to create awareness of the corrupt, undemocratic way in which this country is governed.
The history of coups and violence over the past eight decades is due to a lack of comprehensive education and a culture steeped in corruption and idolatry. Education cannot be achieved by academia alone, it requires general awareness and thinking to achieve enlightenment, as taught by Buddha. A mind so developed would not accept such infantile totalitarian governance. The current rote learning system would need to be relegated to history and red-shirt indoctrination schools banned before they take root, together with their TV channel. Therein lies the problem. Pheu Thai achieved governance and will retain it only with red-shirt support. Therefore, democracy will not be achieved in the foreseeable future because retaining power is paramount at all costs. An enlightened electorate would not have allowed the existence of either the UDD or Pheu Thai and would not have been ''bought'' so cheaply by Thaksin Shinawatra in the first place.
The writer says: ''It would be a mistake for the Yingluck administration and for Thaksin afar to feel vindicated and emboldened by Pitak Siam's failure.'' That's exactly what they do feel, as they displayed at the recent no-confidence debate, and why not with their stranglehold on power? Suggesting they must show ''public accountability'' and ''magnanimity'' is like expecting cows to fly, and as for ''continuing to reach out to the minority'', well they have never done that so how can they continue to do so?
Until the electorate becomes enlightened, there can be no change, and that could take many years, if ever. People are the guardians of democracy, not government, but they must first understand what democracy is.
J C WILCOX
Why quote Thaksin?
Why do you find it so important to continue to quote the opinions of this fugitive criminal Thaksin Shinawatra? He is a criminal on the run, after all.
Don't give a criminal any credit for his opinions. This low life has no right to any opinion, specifically in the nation he robbed during his corruptive self-serving term as prime minister.
He will always be the same, the only one he cared/cares about is Thaksin.
I wish him all the bad karma he deserves.
Guests must feel welcome
John Kane (Postbag, Nov 27) is completely right that all ''farang'' are guests in this beautiful country, but there are different ways to treat your guests.
You can charge the same price for all people.
You can make your guests feel welcome by not forcing them to go to immigration every three months. The 800,000 baht you need to have to stay for one year also doesn't really give you the feeling you are wanted.
Time for Tibet statehood
Interesting that one of today's main news items is Palestine getting statehood status, on a level with the Vatican. Not mentioned is a vastly larger area which has been denied recognition. I refer to Tibet, which at the moment has barely a hope of getting statehood as an independent nation. The reason: China covets Tibet. It is similar to the Taiwan situation, which is a large, economically viable, independent island nation which the UN won't recognise on any level. China really needs to get put in its place. That ''place''' is its landmass minus Tibet and Taiwan, and minus the little islands in the southern part of the South China Sea.
Tibet had been a sovereign state for hundreds of years before the Chinese took it over militarily in the 1950s. It had its own postage stamps and currency. Chinese emperors of old would sometimes make the long trek to Lhasa (or send emissaries) to pay respects to former Dalai Lamas, as they would to a foreign head of state.
Chinese propaganda campaigns of the past 50 years have done an excellent job of hoodwinking their populace (and others around the world) into believing that Tibet was and should now be a part of China. The truth is the truth and it will win out eventually. It will be painful, but China will lose its stranglehold on Tibet in my lifetime (I'm 60).
TIBET FOR THE TIBETANS
All in the family
Feminist Mango (''PM should take a stand'', Postbag, Nov 30) compares Yingluck Shinawatra unfavourably with Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto, claiming that the latter two were their own persons, while Yingluck merely represents her brother and lacks experience.
Neither Gandhi nor Bhutto were truly ''their own persons''. They represented family interests, they headed family parties and each passed on the party leaderships to their sons _ in Gandhi's case an airline pilot and in Bhutto's a 21-year-old university student.
It is true that on becoming PM they had more political experience than Yingluck but they would never have had the opportunity to gain that experience if it had not been for family connections.
Meet the real boss
All the suspicion, sniggers, innuendo, etc, have been finally laid to rest with the statements from Thaksin reported in the Bangkok Post on Nov 29. The speaker and deputy didn't do their jobs well enough, female MPs didn't support my sister and if you don't perform in your constituencies you will not be considered for further service in the Pheu Thai Party. Now if that is not telling everyone who the ruler of the current government is, I don't know what is.
Speak out, Madam PM
A letter writer expressed shock at an MP's sexist remarks during a debate in parliament. The first person who should have expressed shock and made her voice loud and clear over this should have been your prime minister. Amazing, isn't it? Not a word from the lady. Perhaps her brother hasn't yet given her permission to speak. To think, we used to tell blonde jokes about Marilyn Monroe. Madam Yingluck is locally referred to by the Thai community in California as ''Madam Dingaling'', and it appears aptly so.
Plus-sizes not misfits
Re: ''Queer Eye: Trashing the party,'' by Yanapon Musiket (Life, Nov 29). I am appalled that an article written about Trasher, Bangkok, a seemingly creative and fun group which celebrates 90s pop music, goes on to label its participants in such a prejudicial and negative way.
''In our videos, we have transsexuals and plus-sized women, and other misfits.'' That says a lot about the organisers. And perhaps more about Thai attitudes in general. Plus-sized women _ misfits?
I suggest all plus-size women _ which in this country seems to mean those bigger than a US size 4 _ should unite and trash Trasher for this.
Emirates outdoes THAI
In reply to Frequent Thai Flyer since 1973 (''THAI needs a real strategy'', Postbag, Nov 30), I wish to totally agree and add a small correction. I am also a frequent flyer to Thailand and agree that Thai Airways has consistently lost ground in many areas and must have one of the oldest fleets for a major airline. I am now a committed traveller on Emirates Airlines which has consistently upgraded its fleet and offers unbounded improvements in all areas.
Its A380s are a joy to travel on with so many plus-points too numerous to list here. Suffice to say, I cannot wait until A380s ply the Dubai-Bangkok route as frequently as they do the London-Dubai one.
My small correction is that Emirates already have 28 (not 23) A380s in their fleet, with obviously many more coming on stream.
Wake up, Thai Airways!
CHIANG MAI CHARLIES
I am constantly surprised at the frequency of TrueVisions' disruption of service (without compensation, I might add) during cloudy weather. I have lived in Scotland, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea _ all with more days of cloud, but virtually no interruption of service. I certainly know I am not alone in my irritation at this inconvenience.
A very proud farang
I was surprised to read your article by Songkran Grachangnetara (''How to tell whether you're still a farang'', Opinion, Nov 28).
l never expected l would ever read anything by a Thai who totally understands the enormous gulf in mindset between Thais and their culture, and the western world.
His description, in particular of how ''farang'' view Thai men was both highly perceptive and extremely accurate, and could only have been written by a Thai who has both lived abroad for some time, and as in his case been educated and graduated from the London School of Economics and Columbia University.
As to his evaluation of whether a farang could ever be properly assimilated into Thai society is clearly a non-starter and, yes, as an Englishman having lived in Thailand for over eight years, l'm still a farang, and proud of it.
Cut out the noise!
Ron Martin's letter, ''Hoping cooler heads prevail'' (Postbag, Nov 30), merits serious consideration.
It is well documented that excessive noise causes the types of irritation and tension that leads to violent actions. Even nice, quiet, rational, educated people are not immune.
There are times when I feel like running a songtaew rigged with loudspeakers off the road, and, I consider myself a quiet, rational person.
As Thailand prepares for the Asean Economic Community, and a place in a more modern world, eliminating excessive noise needs to be addressed. People are getting fed up.
In Toronto, Canada, if your car sound system can be heard on the sidewalks, this is considered noise pollution and is punishable with a fine. Horn blowing, whistle blowing, loud music and musical horns are not tolerated. It is high time Thailand enacted noise control laws to protect the sanity and mental health of its citizens _ if there are any left who are still sane and mentally together.
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