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Black hole of justice

During a recent conversation as to why Myanmar people are so much more active in their protests against military rule than the Thais, I was forced to think harder about the apathy shown here in Thailand by the average citizen.

What I finally decided was Myanmar people were only opposing and critical of their army but in Thailand the whole system appears to be in collusion to keep people suppressed and silent.

This results in what I can only describe as a black hole which ultimately pulls everything in and destroys it, rendering a feeling of complete hopelessness.

Recently, a full and proper investigation was made into the Red Bull affair and it resulted in some painful revelations about the working of the whole "injustice" system.

But then what?

It's gone, disappeared into the black hole, never made public, no longer an issue. In the same way we have had a lawyer disappear off the streets of Bangkok, a protester taken captive in Phnom Penh, a Lahu shot at a military roadblock, bodies stuffed with concrete washed up on a Mekong bank -- and they have all resulted in the same inactive hopelessness.

Worse still the institutions involved are so assumptive of their innocence that the people suspected of criminal behaviour get promoted and even officers temporarily made inactive finally get reinstated.

Stories of police involvement in gambling, drugs or assassinations just evaporate. National park officials who oversee the burning of a village are not even questioned let alone punished.

The prime minister recently suggested that discussions about a scandal in police promotions should quite simply not take place and the police, prosecutors, judges, the press and all institutions involved will breathe a sigh of relief and duly ignore their responsibilities.

Even with a civilian government it was the same.

Protesters were arrested and died in transit, suspected drug dealers met extra-judicial deaths, a nurse was killed in a temple compound and within months the black hole had sucked it up and smoothed it over.

Recent street protests see numbers down and the very few zealots who resist this system face long incarceration for their belief that it shouldn't be like this.

But it is.


Hawkers a menace

Re: "Pavements still a problem", (Editorial, Feb 24).

I agree that Bangkok pavements are shabby and have many obstacles. I also agree that the BMA prioritises the task of pavement improvements for the sake of pedestrians. It should be noted that one important obstacle on Bangkok pavements is hawkers. The BMA has the authority and responsibility to remove all obstacles on the pavement -- including hawkers.

With the BMA governor election coming up, anyone who dares to announce the removal of all hawkers from the pavement will get my vote, I promise.

James Debentures

Puppets on the way

If China gets its way and the Myanmar generals hop into bed with them in exchange for power and riches, Thailand will be surrounded by Chinese puppet states.

Those wheels are in motion at this very moment.


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