Having it both ways
The Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday that monks demonstrating at Phutthamonthon have made two demands: Firstly, that Buddhism be declared the official state religion in the new constitution, and, secondly, that the prime minister should stop government agencies from interfering in matters relating to the monastic community.
Even to an outsider, it is clear that these two demands contradict one another.
Two sides to the story
Re: "An Israeli calls for an end to the vicious cycle of tit-for-tat deaths", (BP, Feb 15). This article reminded me of the time I drove into a West Jerusalem neighbourhood and a group of young kids threw broken bottles and rocks at my car while the adults encouraged them. My crime? I was not to drive into that neighbourhood during Shabbat.
I would like to challenge the writer Roei Kashi to now write an article that looks into the actions of Israel (backed by powerful people and nations) and the impact the occupation has had on Palestinians.
The Nok Air saga will probably leave many readers feeling that Thais are resistant to change and will sabotage any attempt to modernise. From my 20 years of corporate life, this is not the case.
The overwhelming majority want change. The pilots are a fraction of all pilots (apparently these pilots are at the bottom of the ranking). People at the bottom will always resist change that will call them out.
Re: "Brackish water intruding up Chao Phraya", (BP, Feb 16).
Given the impending signs of a difficult drought over the next few months, might it be prudent of the government and provincial officials to start a campaign to limit the amount of water that often goes to waste over the Songkran holidays?
Compared with the sacrifices many farmers are being asked to make, I think this would be a respectful gesture.
Graft never ends
Now well into its second year, I think ordinary Thai citizens are well aware of something the NCPO has yet to admit. Elected politicians may well have been a massive disappointment and acted dishonesty, but corruption is deeply rooted in government institutions with many permanently appointed officials still enjoying the fruits of their illegal behaviour.
The elected politicians were but the tip of the iceberg and the robbery that went on under their rule continues today to the same extent. Manual workers know that someone above them has diminished the allotted road or dam budget, desk staff see officials with cars and houses of a price their salary could not afford and the street policeman knows of high-ranking officers who enjoy the lifestyles of millionaires.
Thousands of citizens are every day paying extra for services that should be free and no-one is discussing changing this deep-set mentality in everyday life. Considering the publicity of the present government's problems with purchases of video equipment, the construction of a memorial park and the price of flower decorations for a meeting, I think the generals are finally having to admit that elected politicians are only part of a far bigger problem. Corruption. Has anyone got the will to tackle it?
Taxi crash nightmare
A few days ago, two happy French tourists asked a taxi to take them to Suvarnabhumi airport. After two weeks of wonderful holidays, it was time to go back home. Alas! On the way they were involved in a bad traffic accident. They were sent to a nearby hospital for first aid.
When contacted, the taxi insurance confirmed that they would cover, as per the basic and compulsory contract, a maximum amount of medical expenses of 30,000 baht. That's all.
Of course the total of the hospital invoices plus the cost of repatriation to their country was far higher. Fortunately, they had travel insurance which covered the balance of the expenses incurred.
At a time when authorities are checking the reliability of the airline companies and the security they offer to their passengers, it would be important to know about the protection benefits for passengers of our coloured taxi meters? Only 30,000 baht? Think about it on your next trip.
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