Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha objects to Thai PBS's airing of a five-part discussion series which questioned whether the monarchy needs to be protected against defamation by the lese majeste law, saying that there are more pressing problems to be tackled other than the role of the monarchy.
I beg to differ. How can he say, for example, that preventing rival students from attacking each other is more important than us having a clear understanding of the role of the monarchy? He says that lessons on good morals are more important _ but surely we can study good role models and discuss the monarchy's role at the same time. Indeed, we can learn much from holding His Majesty up as a good role model, thereby accomplishing both goals at once. The general says we should not discuss the issue while political conflicts remain sharp; but, again, turning to His Majesty for guidance both enables us to lessen such divisions and analyse how an excellent monarch can calm stormy waters. So long as both sides are willing to reason things through and seek to understand other views, there is no time like the present to debate any issue _ especially while we have a king who welcomes other views, and hence is an excellent role model.
Loan plan short-sighted
How on earth will this or any other government be able to monitor corruption and spending on its 2-trillion-baht loan? It's easy to say ''borrow'', but not easy to establish checks and balances of corruption with such an amount. The politicians are going to really have a ball within the next 50 years, probably establishing generations of their kin with snouts in the public trough. All this to push populist policies. In the end, Thailand may wind up like Cyprus, bankrupting the government and the banks. Or, it might wind up a vassal state to those whom it borrowed from and could not repay. By that time, those who created the mess in the first place will be long dead and forgotten.
Throw book at publishers
Re: ''Thai scholar wins US book copyright row'' (BP, March 21). A round of applause and a standing ovation for Supap Kirtsaeng, who has won his case before the United States Supreme Court. His victory not only relieves him of a $600,000 ruling against him in a lower court, but he has also struck a blow on behalf of all undergraduate and graduate students in the United States forced into paying exorbitant prices for books they need by the vulture-like textbook publishing industry. Thank you, Khun Supap.
Govt at a loss to explain
Thailand keeps over 18 million tonnes of rice held in state reserves.
Thailand needs to export at least 7 million tonnes or more this year.
The Thai baht is now trading at 29 per US dollar, and the entire process of exporting rice is dealt with in US dollars.
I don't think it's so difficult to calculate an estimated monetary loss caused by the gap between market price and the actual cost of the rice being held in government reserves under the pledging scheme.
If the government insists on continuing with its pledging policy under these circumstances, it is necessary for them to at least explain what the estimated loss will be at the end of the year.
Healthy but not covered
Re: ''Join hands on insurance'' (PostBag, March 20).
A great idea if it could get off the ground, B Hisler. There would no doubt be many over-65s out there seeking insurance.
In my case I was quoted over 100,000 baht a year by a local company.
I am a non-smoker, exercise twice a day, am healthy and probably healthier than many of the younger people these companies accept without question.
I'd be happy to join if it were to become a reality free of the grasping hands of bureaucracy and greed.
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