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Richer for debate

Re: "Protesters must show more maturity" (Opinion, Sept 14).

Veera Prateepchaikul is certainly right to say of the students that "what they are demanding, such as the 10-point manifesto for the reform of the monarchy, is considered provocative by hard-core royalists". Unhappily, what is right is often considered provocative by those who reject progress. Even basic scientific facts, such as that our planet earth along with other lumps of matter orbiting the sun, is but a common star among billions on the edge of one of billions of ordinary galaxies in the known universe where we are an insignificant speck, greatly upset the Christian popes. They opposed the spread of such knowledge not with reason but with the usual violence that characterises the ideologically committed. Similarly, Darwin's discovery of the fact we are but one transient species built by mindless nature like every other, all of which we are related, from roses, to rabbits, to Covid-19, still provokes many who hate such facts that contradict their self-adulating stories of unfounded superiority. Naturally, many such opponents of reason and truth resort to unjust law to suppress knowledge of the reality that so upsets their fake myths.

Veera is also certainly right that the students must consider opposing views. That would be sensible: the reason, the justice, the facts, the moral right are solidly on the side of the students, so by engaging in it, constructive discussion with opposing arguments will further show the absolute intellectual and moral poverty of those opposing views.

As every poll done, however flawed they likely are, suggests, most Thais already know or suspect that there are no sound opposing arguments to anything the students have said. Confirming those public suspicions of the Thai nation in peaceful, public discussion would be a wise move on the part of the students. The students should continue to invite the prime minister and those who oppose their voices as rational, informed Thai citizens to debate the issues on TV. Schools should encourage and facilitate students on both sides to formally debate the issues in accord with the primary rule of a formal debate that the opposing side must be listened to and responded to with reason and facts.

I am confident the protesting students would eagerly take up such opportunities to helpfully spread reason, truth and facts. Veera himself has been unable to give any cogent counter-argument to anything that the students have said or demanded on any point or in any manifesto.

Felix Qui

A bridge too far

Re: Given that our economy is apparently in such dire straits that our government can't find anyone who wants to be finance minister, I find it more than a little puzzling that the government would be wasting time thinking about megaprojects like a southern land bridge (Editorial, Sept 14).

I realise the government doesn't have anywhere near the funds to bail out all the tourism-related industries that are crying out for rescue, but it does seem to me that there must be more things they could do to help mitigate at least some of the worst effects of this recession on the people affected.

Maybe talk of megaprojects is supposed to take our minds off this economic disaster, but it makes me wonder if they grasp the gravity of the situation for the many people (at least 10% of the population) who depended wholly or partly on tourism to make a living.

A Reader

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