Re: "FAO warning shows folly of rice pledging", (Opinion, BP, Feb 11).
It seems the Yingluck Shinawatra government's rice pledging scheme has made dunces of all Thais.
The price of Thai rice is now 40% higher than the global market price. Rice exports last year plunged 37%. The outlook for Thai rice is bleak, to say the least. We are at a giddy precipice.
Hence, the Pheu Thai Party motto should be changed to: "Thaksin thinks, Pheu Thai acts, Thailand goes bust".
Time to walk the talk
Re: ''Candidates talk traffic'', (BP, Feb 14).
It's fine talking about improvement of public transport, but I wonder how many of the governor election candidates attending the debate at Chulalongkorn University arrived at the venue by public transport.
Do any of them ever walk the pavements of Bangkok?
In this city, pedestrians are the lowest on the food chain, having to share the pavement with motorcyclists and cyclists, food vendors, advertising billboards, real estate banners and the would-be governor's campaign posters.
Time to start walking the talk gentlemen.
Jumping through hoops
This is an open letter to the Immigration Department and the Ministry of Education.
I applied for permission through the Ministry of Education to participate in a one-year course of study at a local language school in the Nonthaburi area.
The course itself is quite expensive and requires, amongst other things, that I report every 90 days to the Immigration Department in Nonthaburi to have my initial three-month visa extended every three months for the duration of my course.
In addition to getting our visa extended every three months, we must also go to the main Immigration Office in Chaeng Watthana every 90 days to meet our 90-day reporting requirement. This is something the Immigration Department in Nonthaburi says we cannot do there, despite having our visas processed by them.
Now it seems that an immigration officer at Nonthaburi has started asking everyone who renews their education visa there for up-to-date police clearance certificates from Thailand. This is not a legal requirement listed among the Immigration Department's rules and regulations for the issuance of the education visa, nor is it required by the Ministry of Education.
I already know of people who have had their visas cancelled by this officer for not meeting this requirement.
If this is now a legal requirement, people should be told about it by the usual forums so that they do not simply get their visa rejected when they show up to have it renewed.
If it is NOT a legal requirement then I would be most obliged if the relevant authorities could point this out to the immigration office in Nonthaburi.
This is a very time consuming process and costs quite a bit of money in taxi fares each time it comes to having our visas extended.
Plus, the whole process takes four days. One day to go to the police headquarters in Siam Square, one day to collect the certificate, one day for the visa extension in Nonthaburi and another day for the 90-day reporting requirement at Chaeng Watthana. Surely there must be an easier way of doing things?
Just give some 'tae-ear'
Ideal tourist Peter (Postbag, BP, Feb 13) hires a car and drives off with family to see the beautiful outlying regions of Thailand, but is faced with an unjust ''request'' by police for 500 baht.
He has surely never been blackmailed by police in his own country and knows that to offer cash there might lead to a court appearance. The opposite applies here.
Peter was unaware however that, according to deputy premier Chalerm Yubamrung, such requests are a part of the cultural tradition of tae-ear, meant as a Chinese New Year gift.
Mr Chalerm has an advantage over his policemen as he regularly visits a friend in Hong Kong and so knows the Chinese well.
So Peter! Jai yen yen, the poor cop mistook you for a Chinese person and is totally innocent.
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