Debating is key
Re: "Charter group defies regime", (BP, April 26).
I agree with the academics, civic organisations and the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties which called for open and inclusive debates to allow supporters and opponents of the draft charter to air their views.
Although Gen Prawit Wongsuwon rightly said that there might be conflicts between opposing sides if they were allowed to freely express their views, we must communicate with each other in good faith so we can probe all sides of the question.
Debates, with a forceful, mutually-accepted moderator to keep discussion on-topic, peaceful and constructive, are the most effective way to bring out key points and fight propagandising. This is because each side, unlike in the past, will have the opportunity to immediately point out the other's misleading statements.
In addition, considering views other than ours and seeking to shed light on the topic will teach us tolerance. Let's have a well-informed electorate for the referendum.
Abbot out of time
Re: "Police seek arrest warrant for abbot", (BP, April 26).
This would have been interesting had the court not scrapped the plan. I imagine a large police force would need to get past thousands of devotees at his palatial temple, and his detention would have caused an uproar among influential Thais.
One only has to note the 300-plus lengthy comments on the Bangkok Post's Facebook page criticising the move, mostly written in English by Thais in an obviously orchestrated campaign. What it reaffirms is this double standard justice, a belief that someone with enough support and power can arrogantly refuse to report to a summons.
Notwithstanding the political undertones of all this, we have a cult-like figure who needs to be hauled in, if anything to assert the integrity of the law. This monk has been living on borrowed time for more than a decade and ought to finally be brought before a proper tribunal. He and his entourage epitomise the urgent need to reform the clergy.
Re: "3 major rail projects put on stand-by", (Business, April 26).
Why is this so hard to figure out? Thailand needs one new national rail system. It needs to be a wider gauge than the current one which is too narrow for faster trains. It doesn't need to be high speed because few people will be able to afford to ride it. It needs to carry freight and passengers all over Thailand. It needs to be affordable and we need to build it and run it as a alternative to driving cars. We now hold the world record for the most dangerous roads. India has had its own reliable rail system for decades.
Dirty black tide
Overnight high-tide has dumped a ribbon of black tar pellets from one end of Mae Rampueng beach to the other, a distance of about 5km.
That is bad, but what is worse is that down here in Rayong nobody cares and nobody will do anything about it, least of all the officials of the Khao Laem Ya-Mu Koh Samet National Park, of which the beach is part.
David Brown, Rayong
To the scrapheap
I fully agree with Vint Chavala in his April 27 letter, "Safer roads a priority".
In the past I've advocated several times, and so have others, that the key to punishing inebriated drivers lies in confiscation of vehicles, not impounding vehicles to be returned at a later date. Revocation of driver's licences for life should indeed be mandatory too, with no appeal. If a livelihood depends on driving, well, that driver should have thought about it before hitting the bottle.
Better yet, a recent letter writer reported that in England a confiscated vehicle is not sold at public auction but crushed for scrap metal. I attended a vehicle auction once where drivers talked among themselves and agreed not to bid on vehicles other than their own.
The big problem with road safety is that most policies here appear to be lip service with little will for serious enforcement or prevention.
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