Define 'referendum'

Define 'referendum'

Re: "State spies out on prowl for referendum mischief", (BP, April 11).

I'm afraid I was taken aback when I read in the Post that the national security chief has warned anyone intent on airing their opinions about the draft charter.

The article also pointed out the concern that Songkran festivities might be an occasion when people exchange political views among family members.

I agree with all efforts to ensure peace and security in Thailand, but I am mystified with the above comments given they seem so much at odds with the Cambridge English Dictionary which defines a referendum as a vote in which the people in a country are asked to give their opinion.

It seems, however, that this might be contrary to the draft charter referendum law, or have I misunderstood?

Martin R


Lead by example

Re: ''PM hits out at politicians critical of charter draft'', (BP, April 12).

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he did not care if politicians who oppose the draft constitution boycott the next general election. He said there are many more people who want to enter the poll.

Be that as it may, if our prime minister wants a constitution that leads to full democracy in the future, he should take the lead and practice it -- starting from now.

First, a forum should be opened for everyone to voice their opinions. People have every right to say anything so long as they don't break any libel law.

Second, people must be allowed to vote freely and without influence -- especially from the authorities.

Lastly, since the 2014 coup was staged to put a stop to the ongoing political deadlock, after an appropriate length of time the military should return democracy back to the country. There should not be any unwarranted delay.

This is the only way if we want peace and prosperity to happen in our country.

Vint Chavala


Singing in harmony

Visa harmony, please!

Warmth, friendliness, beauty in many forms, exquisite cuisine -- and the ever-present sanook. That, for me, sums up Thailand.

If I may update Dr Johnson's famous comment about being tired of London, the quote for today's world should read: "He who is tired of Thailand is tired of life."

So last week came as a shock. After visiting Thailand for almost 20 years, I was told that a written visa entitlement, granted and paid for in Britain, was being over-ruled by the Koh Samui immigration office.

The entitlement evidence, in document form from the Thai consul in Liverpool, clearly set out that an O status 90-day visa entitled the bearer to a 30-day extension.

No ifs, no buts, and it was on that basis that my wife and I booked our annual 3-4 month stay in Samui.

However, Samui's immigration office said only a seven-day visa extension could be granted.

Questions why, by me in English and by the owner of our host resort in Thai, failed to change the situation, even when that 30-day extension document was presented.

Those were the immigration office rules, and that was that, I was told. I should add that I found both the Thai consul in Liverpool and Samui Immigration officials patient, respectful and courteous.

As a journalist and author, I do not write to newspapers on a whim, and take words seriously.

So I submit this letter reluctantly, more in sorrow than anger.

My "sorrow" reflects concern that anything should undermine my overall positive feelings for Thailand. Simply put, I'm baffled that contradictory information can be given out by responsible Thai authorities.

I, and all people of goodwill towards Thailand, want to see the country progress and continue on an upward path in the years ahead -- hopefully realising its immense potential.

May I respectfully suggest an important step on that path would be to ensure Thai diplomatic offices abroad and immigration offices at home improve co-ordination and sing from the same song sheet.

Maurice Jones

 


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