Paritta Wangkiat is a Bangkok Post columnist.
The Covid-19 pandemic chaos has worsened in Bangkok and its vicinity in the past week. With the rise of cases, the arrival of new variants, dubious vaccine deliveries and a lack of hospital ICU beds, people are becoming more infuriated about how the government is handling the Covid situation.
Two months ago, the Public Health Ministry announced an ambitious plan to use "Mor Prom," a Line account and mobile application to manage Covid vaccine registrations. Mor Prom is not just another mobile app. The ministry is reported to have adopted artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assist in Covid vaccine registration, dubbed to be the largest mass vaccination in Thai history, to be smooth and seamless.
I have met political activist Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak twice in my career as a journalist. The first was five years ago when Parit was a precocious high school student at Triam Udom Suksa, a well-known high school in Bangkok. At that time, he had launched a campaign against the Thai education system that teaches students to be submissive.
After struggling for survival on an empty stomach for days, Karen villagers who fled the war atrocities in Myanmar, from an area under the control of the Karen National Union, took shelter along the Salween River. They received some food and medicine, supplied largely by non-profit organisations, temples, Thais, and fellow ethnic people.
Pictures of Karen people, including children and the elderly, crowded on the banks of Myanmar's Salween River while attempting to flee the country as their communities were targeted by air strikes launched by the Tatmadaw, and taking refuge on Thai soil triggered sympathy among many Thais. Criticism has also been deafening over allegations made by human rights groups that Thai authorities pushed back the Karen into the war zone.