South talks must go on

Re: "Keeping talking will stop the bullets in South" (Opinion, July 20). I couldn't agree more with Kong Rithdee that in order for the government to end the southern strife, continuation of dialogue with the separatists is the only way to go.

It is impossible to expect a war, once it has happened, to end as easily as we wish.

The government's prerequisite should be a dogged determination to bring peace to the region - even one step at a time.

Last, the government should stop sending politicians who are unsuitable as well as unskilled to supervise its southern peace mission. These politicians will only add more to the problem.


What about Thaksin?

I praise PM Yingluck for her government going after the defrocked monk Wiraphon Sukphol, aka Luang Pu Nen Kham, both in line with rule of law and in timely fashion, including confiscating his assets, cancelling his passport and asking the US to cancel his visa, to force the fugitive to return to Thailand and be held accountable for his alleged crimes.

But when it comes to a convict who's fleeing a jail sentence for corruption - which is, in reality, stealing from all taxpayers, including the red shirts - PM Yingluck turns a blind eye and ear. Indeed, one of her first acts in office was to return the convict's passport, and she's not asked, say, Dubai to cancel the visa issued to the alleged crook.

PM Yingluck should realise that she must treat all Thais equally under law. She must not substitute what she wants for the law, for ''Lawless are they that make their wills the law'' (Shakespeare).


A bus dilemma

I hope the excellent arrangement for members of the ministries to travel by bus has not got lost in the cabinet reshuffle. May I invite them to join me in Rai Khing and wait for a 556 bus.

This morning I arrived at the terminus shortly after 8am. To my surprise, there is a timetable there advising that buses leave on the hour and the half hour. I waited, as I often do, for a long time. Many number 84 buses came and went, but no 556, until twenty-five to ten!

This bus took 15 minutes to turn around, eventually leaving at ten to ten.

Now, was this the scheduled 9.30am bus, leaving 20 minutes late, or was it the scheduled 10am bus leaving 10 minutes early? Neither is satisfactory.

And what happened to all the other buses from 8am onwards?

To have to wait an hour and three quarters is intolerable. Perhaps the BMA can take an interest.


Examine our beliefs

The drama of defrocked Luang Pu Nen Kham reflects the growing misunderstanding of Buddhism by many people in Thailand.

Instead of just blaming those criminals secreted in the Buddhist flock, we should also examine our belief in treating monks, alive or deceased, as a kind of deity or holding special powers.

There is an increasing trend for followers to worship in the hope of receiving in return a blessing that can solve their immediate problems, endow them with protection or to enhance their prosperity.

When there is such inclination or demand, clever and business-minded people, or simply crooks as in this current case, will take the opportunity to build huge statues and market a variety of their amulets to lure more visitors and donations.

The simple fact is: There are wise and knowledgeable monks whose teaching and guidance can help us to attain Nirvana, but they are human like us and do not have supernatural powers.



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