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Appalling absence

Re: "Stop this fake news", (PostBag, Nov 15).

"A Reader" chastises this newspaper for saying that the Chinese and Russian governments did not send delegates to recent the COP26 Climate Summit meeting in Glasgow.

Russia and China were about the only two major countries whose leaders did not attend the summit. Mr Biden, Mr Johnson and other world leaders were there. So why was not Mr Xi or Mr Putin?

Considering this was basically the "meeting of the century", as important as any in our lives, it says a lot that the leaders of these two countries, who are at the top of the world polluting totem pole, did not attend the summit.

The headline might have been misleading, but the fact remains that the leaders of China and Russia should have attended the summit. Its just as well that both countries sent no delegates to the COP26 meetings, considering that almost every other major country, including Thailand, did.


Threat to local voices

Re: "Less local control a threat to Thai democracy", (Opinion, Nov 19).

The assault on the Thais' democratic aspirations continues. Thanks to Peerasit Kamnuansilpa's excellent article, we learn that the most silent of the "Three Generals", who controls the kingdom's most important ministry, has been systematically dismantling the powers of elected local representatives since 2014, determined to negate the decentralisation which marked the 1997 People's Constitution.

In the meantime, it will be important to monitor the performance of the Progressive Movement in the TAO elections on Nov 28. Khun Thanathorn recognises the foundation of Thai democracy begin with local self-government. He is also aware that elections at the PAO and TAO levels are the most difficult to penetrate, given the dominance of local politics.


Reckless suggestion

Re: "Unbridled 'freedom' not on", (PostBag, Nov 21); "Dialogue needed on monarchy reform", (Opinion, Nov 15).

Vint Chavala's letter highlights weaknesses in Veera Prateepchaikul's piece. But first, his exaggeration must be corrected. No one has ever called for "unbridled freedom" of speech. To suggest that they have is as reckless as insisting that if someone wants to discuss how a democracy should be reformed, they are radical anarchists or communists calling for its overthrow.

In the case of Thailand, it must be asked why legally censored topics are so vital that the usual democratic principle of free speech must be restricted. This is the truly important question to which Vint Chavala, like Veera, must answer.

Without free speech, there can be no critical thinking of worth on any topic. Neither can there be informed opinion of worth on a censored topic.


The freedom haters

Re: "Unbridled 'freedom' not on", (PostBag, Nov 21).

Good to see Vint Chavala is back on form and giving his support to Veera Prateepchaikul in the resistance to "unbridled freedom". He warns us to "disregard notions put forward by some crazed armchair rabble-rousers with Western-oriented tunnel vision".

Yours sincerely, crazed armchair rabble-rouser.


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All letter writers must provide a full name and address. All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretion