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We owe Myanmar

Re: "Give Asean seat to Myanmar opposition", (Opinion, Oct 22).

Thais owe the Myanmar people an enormous debt of gratitude for two reasons. Firstly, for their courage and bravery in showing us how to resist a coup d'etat. Secondly, for teaching Asean that the so-called principle of non-interference can no longer be allowed to stand against an overwhelming moral imperative.

By recognising two competing claimants for the Myanmar seat at the upcoming 38th and 39th Asean summits, and failing to reach the much vaunted consensus by selecting either the junta or the National Unity Government, Asean dealt a black eye to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Forceful words from Indonesia and Malaysia at the emergency foreign ministers' meeting on Oct 15, combined with strong anti-junta signals from Asean's major democratic partners, saw Thailand's defence of the Tatmadaw crumble, opening the way for a similar scenario of rejection the next time the Thai military stages a coup.

Given the intertwined history of our two countries across many centuries, much of it marked by distrust and war, perhaps now is the time our two people can learn from each other; how to consign our respective militaries to their rightful subservient roles in democratically elected civilian governments. As the most coup-prone country in the world we need help.

ASEAN INSIDER


Nothing funny here

Re: "Covid-19 roller coaster", (Opinion cartoon, Oct 22).

As a long time subscriber of the Bangkok Post, I have been growing uncomfortable with your daily cartoons depicting domestic issues.

Normally cartoons are to be humorous. It is fine to be a little sarcastic but it must be humorously sarcastic.

However, I find many of your cartoons unreasonably offensive without a sense of humour.

For example, the one of Oct 22 predicting a steep rise in Covid-19 infection rates in Thailand was neither humorous nor reasonable. It only reflects an unreasonably negative view, showing a non-fighting spirit.

THANIN BUMRUNGSAP


Buddhism confusion

Re: "Just think this through", (PostBag, Oct 24).

It seems that Darius Hober may have confused the type of conventional techniques (intention of attention) he teaches with the spiritual process which is a foundational aspect of the practice of Buddhism.

Like all of the world's religions, most followers of the Buddhist traditions are engaged in a nominal practice one may observe throughout the urban temples of Thailand.

This is essentially what I call the religion business, and Mr Hober suggests that because most monks are primarily engaged in a secular lifestyle anyway, they should be trained as accountants, teachers, engineers, architects, and IT professionals.

I don't think this is a good idea.

Meditation in the Buddhist tradition is a conscious spiritual process that is, in essence, self-forgetting and self-transcending, not self-glorifying and self-asserting.

Buddhism is not about knowledge acquired, but self lost, without self-reference or any thought whatsoever.

Such a state of enlightenment is rare in this world, it is the domain of the great realisers, and not capable of being self-taught.

It is only in such a circumstance that meditation may be rightly learned.

MICHAEL SETTER


We deserve a prize

Re: "Keeping it brief", (PostBag, Oct 17), and "Prizes for letter writers", (PostBag, Oct 17).

Good idea!

DAVID BROWN

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