Cross purposes

Re: "LGBT want to donate blood", (BP, Oct 1).

It's hard to understand the Thai Red Cross' policy on blood donations. Since the scandal of haemophiliacs and other patients contracting HIV from contaminated blood transfusions, all blood donations should be screened against pathogenic micro-organisms to be fit for purpose. The worrying implication of the Thai Red Cross' stance is that they don't do this but rather rely on information given by donors.

It could be that they are somehow stuck on the dangerous disinformation propagated by right-wing media that HIV is only transmitted in sex between homosexuals. This is incorrect. HIV can be transmitted during unprotected heterosexual vaginal intercourse like other Sexually Transmitted Infections.

The Thai Red Cross' stance isn't credible.

Ships of fools

Re: "Ministry touts benefits of national shipping line", (BP, Sept 28).

Is there anyone outside of government bureaucracies and potential board members who honestly think it would be a good idea for Thailand to establish a government-run shipping line? If ever there was a sector best left to the private sector, it is the shipping industry, which is highly competitive and long dominated by private investors. I predict if this venture moves forward, it will quickly rival the money-losing records of Thailand's failed government attempts at entrepreneurship in the airline and railway sectors. And, once again, Thai taxpayers will be left holding the empty money bag.

Flooding deja vu

Once again parts of the Isan are under water! I have lived in Thailand for 25 years, a dozen of them in the Isan north of Korat, so I vividly remember the 2010 flooding when our 5-rai compound beside the Mittraphap was under a metre of water for 10 days. It is now the same.

The problem then and now was not the amount of rain in the area, but the run-off from the dams and reservoirs as the flood gates were opened simultaneously. Flood water pours slowly but relentlessly across the low-lying plain, inundating villages, destroying rice fields and creating untold hardship and cost for hundreds of thousands of people. Electricity is cut off, septic tanks are under water so there are no toilets, water pumps are useless and food from freezers and fridges rots.

This flood water encounters roads like the Mittraphap, built 2-3 metres high with very few drains underneath, a dam by another name, so the water simply continues to back up in the direction it comes from until it can breach the road.

It seems that the Royal Irrigation Department holds to the theory that if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, it will eventually work. Alas, it does not.

Unless some well thought out water management plans are made by competent experts and -- more importantly -- actually put into practice, the same disaster will happen again in a few years time -- and I shall be writing the same letter to the Bangkok Post.

Eleven years ago I recall that I was so impressed both by the help the villagers gave each other and by the royally sponsored assistance. Then as now Isan folk rally round to help in whatever ways they can. To a foreigner this is khwam ob-un at its best, something many of our countries have lost. But the real tragedy is that this is an avoidable disaster!

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04 Oct 2021 04 Oct 2021
06 Oct 2021 06 Oct 2021


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