I wish to thank the 12 diplomats and their respective democratic countries for finally supporting the Thai people. Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai's comment, "It's an intervention in our justice system" is a joke. Without a truly democratically elected government there is no justice.
The Future Forward Party should not be attacked by the junta because it is demanding what the Thai people deserve -- true democracy. In a true democracy junta leaders would be tried for treason.
Expel US ambassador
Re: "Grave diplomacy", (PostBag, April 11).
The Foreign Affairs Ministry should expel the ambassador of the United States over the diplomatic saga at Pathumwan police station where 12 diplomats from the EU, UN and Western embassies were present to observe the sedition proceedings against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Future Forward Party leader.
Re: "Pot arrest 'linked with Big Pharma'", (BP, April 10).
That Daycha Siripatra is a humanitarian is unquestionable. In not only ignoring his record of service to those most in need but to the nation as well, the regime has convicted itself yet again of crimes against humanity. No court is necessary because the people are acutely aware of it.
This is surely a new low for a group of well-known bottom dwellers.
Silly double standards
Two articles from Bangkok Post's April 11 edition demonstrate why Thailand is getting nowhere with corruption. One article, "Cops to crack down on lurid videos, pics", concerns people posting lewd pictures and videos of Songkran festival revellers. Consequences of such actions include up to five years in jail, a fine of up to 100,000 baht or both.
The other article, "BMA finally signs deal for demolition of Aetas hotel", concerns the illegal and almost certainly corrupt erection of a building in clear violation of the building regulations. The consequence is a 30,000-baht fine.
The self-righteous arbiters of our lives clearly see that showing a bit of flesh, though inappropriate, is worse than corruption on a grand scale. And it is worse than that, because they are clearly sticking their heads in the sand. Just google "Thai bar girls" and see what you get. These ridiculous double standards only help to make Thai laws laughable.
In Wasant Techawongtham's April 6 column, "Old guard cannot halt the turning tide", a mid-paragraph sentence reads, "When the Future Forward Party (FFP) was being formed, people looked at them condescendingly. After all, they were just a bunch of new and inexperienced faces attempting to play in the big league."
Just because the FFP won electoral seats, it does not, by any measure, classify them as professionals. They are still a bunch of amateur kids playing without a meaningful agenda. The proof is in the pudding, as the old expression goes, and FFP's pudding is a lot of watered-down rhetoric, like diarrhoea. I wouldn't entrust the future of the country to amateurs. A country is not for experimentation. Look at the mess Trump made of the United States.
Make Thailand Great Again
Pork curbs surprise
I booked a ticket online via Traveloka to Malaysia, and noticed that there are restrictions on carrying pork-based products into the country. The penalty is very high, with a fine of 100,000 ringgit, six years' imprisonment or both. It is shocking to see this.
I wonder when this restriction was imposed. Can Malaysia Airlines clarify?
End electoral college
In a recent letter, A Johnsen suggests many Americans oppose the electoral college because it benefited a candidate we didn't like.
As an American, I have always opposed it because it means a candidate could win tens of millions of more votes than his or her opponent and still lose the election. That's outrageous!
When I was growing up, every presidential candidate who won the popular vote also won the electoral college vote. But times have changed.
Two of the last three presidents -- one a war monger, the other a sociopath, were elected when their opponents got more votes than they did.
Thus, ending the electoral college is the real national emergency that the American people now face.
Assault on morals
Re: "Stop creep of 'full Sharia'", (Opinion, April 11).
Brunei's religiously inspired legal assault on good morals is a timely reminder of two important truths: 1) Religion fails to guarantee good morals, and 2) being in accord with the law is equally irrelevant to moral good, with the rule of law too often being used by bad people to commit great evil.
A recent report in the Bangkok Post which said most private hospitals overcharged for services and medications comes as no surprise. Private institutions everywhere do the same thing.
One particular private hospital in San Francisco even demands payment up front before treatment as a patient lies on a stretcher with his guts hanging out.
When in Bangkok I used to go to a well-known hospital on Silom Road to get my teeth scaled. The cost was 1,200 baht. I learned that the military hospital in Bangkok does the same job for about 280 baht. The savings are quite substantial for anyone.
David James Wong
I'm happy that the Department of Land Transport has advised motorists to turn on their headlights while driving this Songkran. I like the newer vehicles with those "fantasy" lights built around their headlights -- daylight running lights for lack of better name.
In Canada, headlights go on automatically when one turns the ignition key. They remain on as long as the vehicle is in motion. The headlights cannot be turned off while driving (there is no on/off switch), and any attempt to tamper with the system results in fines and jail.
The headlights on all the time concept I believe originated in Sweden, and it reduced road disasters a great deal. The problems in Thailand are the drunks and speeders, who, regardless of daylight headlights, are responsible for most casualties. Drivers seem to do as they want, regardless of whatever new government rules are set in place.
I so often read criticisms of Thai immigration offices in the letters section, I thought it only right to extend some praise where it is deserved. The new Chiang Mai immigration office is brilliant. It is working like a well oiled machine.
The revised office system is working efficiently, the staff seem exceptionally cheerful, and overall the setup is a 100% improvement on the past. If other regional offices want to see how it should be done, they should visit Chiang Mai.
Fireman Sam in his April 7 letter, "Something rotten", doubts the veracity of my claim that an army general refused an order from Thaksin's minister of defence not to attack the Krue Se Mosque.
A committee of inquiry was set up after the incident to ascertain the facts. A censored copy of the committee's report was made public, but Human Rights Watch obtained an unabridged copy, in which it was stated that the general in charge of the operation ignored a directive from the minister of defence not to mount an assault.
My original letter was written as a response to an incorrect claim about this incident, it was not concerned with Thaksin Shinawatra's "war on drugs", which was an appalling business, although it had support in some very elevated circles.
Taxi drivers in Bangkok seldom put on the meter when picking up passengers, and this is particularly common on Sukhumvit and Silom.
I have seen this time and time again and tourists like myself are particularly vulnerable to being asked to pay extortionate fares.
Similarly, it is now quite common when you stop a taxi on the main road or in a soi, that the taxi driver will ask you where you are going and then quote you a ridiculous price to go a short distance. This is very common in Bangkok and tarnishes the image of all honest taxi drivers (a very small percentage).
This "rip you off" attitude does not augur well for anyone and only creates a very bad impression, more so for tourists.
I am surprised that the authorities do not do anything about this. The longer this unacceptable behaviour persists, the more it will damage the reputation of Bangkok.
I have been passing my used books on to a local Catholic mission where the priests, as I understand, regularly go to visit foreign detainees in the local remand prison.
I have been told that the prison will no longer accept a package of books addressed simply as "for foreign prisoners" and each book must be addressed to a particular prisoner.
These are all good books, including classics and new titles, and they are in quite good condition. I was happy with the thought that some depressed detainees might find some solace in reading them. (I am pretty confident that they would not be very useful to patrons of Thai libraries.)
Are there any organisations out there who might already have the necessary access and who know the names of some people in the prison who would benefit from such a supply of books? Or can you advise me on how to complete the transaction myself, as I know no one in the prison to whom I might personally address a book?
I thought the prison might have a library, but I guess that only happens in Shawshank Redemption.
CONTACT: BANGKOK POST BUILDING
136 Na Ranong Road Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Fax: +02 6164000 email: email@example.com
All letter writers must provide full name and address.
All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretion.
All letter writers must provide a full name and address. All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretionSEND