Re: "Thailand's internet freedom 'in decline'", and "Anti-coup elements in the crosshairs", (BP, Nov 16).
Two reports unhappily complement each other. In "Anti-coup elements in the crosshairs", Thai authorities boast "that many [with dissenting opinions] have already been detained", solidly confirming the Freedom House report that Thailand's internet freedom of speech has been downgraded to "not free".
The ruling politicians making up a rule of law to force their agenda on the nation plainly do not want and are not willing to allow Thai citizens to understand or even be aware of matters of great importance to the Thai nation, the sole reason for such censorship against free speech being to enforce ignorance on the censored topics so that lawful opinion is untested, unchecked, unsubstantiated, and hence worthless.
Bizarrely, this entails that foreigners and those outside of Thailand have a better chance of understanding what is going down inside Thailand than any captive domestic Thai citizen is lawfully allowed to have under current Thai rule of law. Reasonable, rational people must wonder: Why is this Thai government terrified of Thai citizens having informed opinions of worth?
A poor situation
I think there would be a lot fewer anti-coup elements if the military government were actually helping the poor in a meaningful way. For example, the last I read the average annual income of a Thai is around 15,000 baht a month, so to be doling out 300 or 400 baht a month is kind of a cruel joke. The government should be giving out 3,000 or 4,000 baht a month to be making a significant impact on poor people's lives.
Not a princely act
Re: "Prince's revolution the real Arab Spring," (BP, Nov 11).
The real Arab Spring was a revolt by ordinary people (bottom up, not top down) against oppressive rulers and the Saudis ensured it didn't happen in Bahrain, in a murderous put-down of a Shia majority uprising.
The Saudi prince's "revolution" is nothing but a palace coup and the writer's praise deliberately omits the prince's disastrous war in Yemen and his insensible spat with Qatar. All part of the ongoing efforts against the "apostate" Shia and Iran.
In fact, the prince doesn't face a threat from Iran, rather the other way around, with the Saudis virtually declaring war on Lebanon. Hariri didn't flee a threat of assassination (not even his closest followers claim that) but is a Saudi captive currently, not "hiding" in Saudi Arabia.
Then we have the praise of the Gemayel family of Lebanon with no mention of the Gemayel's Phalange slaughtering more than 1,000 Palestinians in Sabra and Chatila in 1982 while Israeli general Sharon made sure none could escape the carnage in the refugee camps.
Back to the crown prince. He has made all sorts of promises about a future Saudi, playing to the gallery of western media and some gullible politicians. Nothing, of course, to stop funding mosques and madrassas in various countries that spread the poisonous Wahhabi doctrine to prospective followers of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Putting so much power into the impetuous hands of one individual is highly dangerous and is more likely to end up in more warfare than any real effort to revamp the archaic Saudi political and social setup.
The wonderful front-page photograph in the Bangkok Post's Nov 16 edition showed a colourful procession which took place on the evening of the previous day as it made its way along Rama I Road via Ratchadamri Road to Lumpini Park to promote Amazing Thailand Tourism Year.
Wonderful, except for one thing: Traffic chaos! One would have thought the parade could have taken place on Saturday or Sunday instead of on a weekday along some of the city's busiest roads. Yes, Amazing Thailand is alive and well!
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