The Forestry Department just announced that Palang Pracharath MP Pareena Kraikupt's poultry farm does, indeed, intrude on protected forest and government land plots reserved for landless farmers -- but when the coalition MP protested innocence, the department promptly said that it would remeasure the plots.
The department would surely have checked and double-checked its measurements which, if correct, would cause significant financial loss to a powerful government MP, and open her up to criminal charges. On the other hand, the department is not infallible.
What is crucial is that justice not only be done, but be seen to be done. I propose the opposition be invited to appoint an expert to monitor this case, joining the measurement team until the case has run its course, through the courts if need be, with the right to file a minority report if he sees fit. Thus, the public can be assured that Lady Justice is, in this instance, blind.
Not a simple issue
Re: "Ban needs backbone", (Editorial, Nov 28).
The debate over banning the three farm chemicals is not as simple as stating that they are a health risk. When used properly, glyphosate, in particular, has proven to be one of the most effective and safest herbicides ever developed -- a fact that has led it to become the most commonly used herbicide in the world, and leading to huge increases in agricultural yields.
It would be fabulous if farmers worldwide could produce all the food needed by humanity without the use of chemicals. The debate is still ongoing as to whether this is practically feasible, but certainly any serious steps in this direction would require massive retraining of farmers in ecological farming practices, a huge increase in the number of farmers willing to engage in labour-intensive organic agriculture compared to the current highly mechanised farming, and a willingness of consumers to pay far more for their food -- something consumers have resisted as evidenced by the riots that frequently break out whenever the price of rice or bread rises.
The statement that the reversal of policy regarding the chemical ban "speaks volumes about the ignorance on the part of our farmers, who choose to put money before their health and the environment", is condescending and insulting. Farmers are forced to make difficult and shrewd decisions every day in balancing risks and gains, hedging against bad weather and pests, feeding their families (as well as the urban masses), and eking out a meagre income. No farmers anywhere in the world will knowingly taint the food they produce or willingly destroy the environment to boost profits.
We need to give our hard-working farmers the respect they deserve and if we truly want them to produce food without chemicals, we need to put up the money to support the research, extension and the higher prices necessary to make it happen.
It didn't take long for the agriculture minister to show the world that what is rotten to the core, will remain rotten! Self-interest comes first. I also wonder if the domestic animal-feed giant, which is lobbying for the ban to be lifted, is the same one that has been yelling about its good corporate governance? Perhaps it's time to change the moniker of agriculture minister to paraquat minster. Equally distasteful!
Taming the Thais?
Re: "China's Uighur lesson", (PostBag, Nov 30).
Reading Prasan Stianrapapong's letter alarmed me to the bone. He says "again, the Western media continue to accuse China of harassing the Uighur in Xinjiang", and recommends the Chinese way of "taming" Muslims as "has been very effective in limiting damage".
Prasan is clearly blind to the damage being done to not only Uighur culture and dignity, but the repression of countless human rights defenders and the destruction of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism.
In fact, this blindness extends so far that Thailand warmly welcomes Pope Francis but doesn't dare issue a visa to the Dalai Lama for fear of Chinese retaliation.
Should we be grateful to Beijing for taming the Thais?
Hans van Willenswaard
Global action required
Yes indeed, Khun Prasan, let's all learn from China in its handling of the Uighur "problem", which is the result of a paranoid, insecure government.
Muslims worldwide should direct their wrath against China by keeping out Chinese tourists, Chinese products, Alibaba and even the Chinese language.
Might does not make right.
Bullies everywhere eventually always get their due and just desserts.
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