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Landed interest

Re: "Dems swoop on Pareena's House seat," (BP, May 23).

Congratulations to the Democrats, who gained the seat vacated by Pareena Kraikupt of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, banned for life for using a whopping 665 rai of forest reserve as a poultry farm.

I fully back Pareena in pushing the NACC to investigate another 60 MPs and two senators for the same offence as hers. She rightfully says, "The NACC has already spent about a year on [probing the 62 other cases] and has still not finished. Usually, a probe takes no more than 180 days. The NACC should take action without discrimination."

I also note that although Pareena has returned the ill-gotten land, she's evidently been allowed to keep the illegally-gained profits from the encroached-upon land and hasn't been fined. Neither has she been sentenced to jail.

Compare her kid glove treatment with the 30-year jail term without suspension that an impoverished couple, Udom and Daeng Sirisorn, were initially given for allegedly digging for mushrooms for their own consumption in a forest reserve in 2010; that was after they'd confessed to illegal logging to get reduced sentences. This evidently was their first offence.

I call on the media and courts to support Pareena's call for non-discrimination and apply the same standards to all. In particular, show the elite that they, too, can be jailed.

Burin Kantabutra


Separate and fair

Re: "Covid apartheid," (PostBag, May 27).

Your correspondent misses the point as to why Thais are now exempt from the anti-Covid insurance to enter the country. Nothing to do with racism, but with the fact that infected Thais are entitled to free treatment in public sector hospitals. Foreigners with work or labour permits are in the same category as Thai nationals.

Barry Kenyon


Steering column

Re: "Chadchart's effect on Thai politics," (Opinion, May 27).

Thitinan Pongsudhirak talks of "the incompetence of the powers-that-be in steering the country backwards".

On the contrary, I find that this government is extremely competent in steering the country backwards. Just about the only thing they're good at.

Alec Bamford


Another humble servant

Re: "Thamanat says he's ready to lead," (BP, May 26).

Always a modest man, not boastful of his extensive hands-on research in the field of criminology during a four-year sabbatical as an honoured guest of the Australian government, Capt Thamanat Prompow possesses unquestionable talent in public administration and the promotion of agricultural products.

These qualities ensured that he should come to the notice of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who saw a kindred spirit equally opposed to corruption and devoted to selfless public service.

Naturally, the prime minister appointed the most illustrious captain to high office as a shining example to the Thai nation.

Could there be anyone better suited to selflessly serve the nation in humble leadership at the highest level?

With such models of excellence to hand, why notice Thailand's globally honoured human rights patriots?

Felix Qui


Hollowing the science

Re: "Plastic lungs," (PostBag, May 27).

Michael Setter assures us that "scientific literature proves" and "the latest paper shows" that masks don't stop the spread of viruses and are actually harmful to our health.

Well, that's it then. There's no arguing with such rigorous scholarship!

The reality is that neither claim is valid. If Mr Setter did not have such a visceral antipathy to Google he could have quickly checked as I did that the scientific literature overwhelmingly confirms that masks are effective in preventing both the exhalation and inhalation of virus-carrying droplets.

As for the claim that masks release micro and nano particles of plastic, Mr Setter has either been duped by his fellow anti-maskers or chooses to misrepresent the facts to suit his own prejudices.

Masks can and do, to varying degrees, release micro and nano plastics but extensive and highly controlled studies show that the air virtually anywhere on the planet is already so polluted with these pesky contaminants that a mask of almost any kind actually decreases the wearer's intake.

That is not to diminish the longer-term health concern that such levels of pollution present, but currently the major problem created by masks is the environmental impact of their disposal.

As I've said before, Mr Setter should examine if it is he who is in thrall to his disinformation networks, rather than worry about the rest of us having been shorn of our freedom to think clearly.

Ray Ban


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