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Casino curbs

Re: “Gambling with Thailand’s future,” (Business, Aug 13) and “After cannabis, govt takes step towards allowing casinos to operate,” (BP, July 27).

Having served on the trustee boards of casinos when they were first introduced in Australia and Singapore, I would suggest that a clear plan be decided first.

If there is concern about locals at the initial openings, the casinos could charge an entry fee for locals at first to deter those without the means to gamble. The entry fee can be scrapped once the authorities are happy with casino operations and their impact on society.

The real attraction is to boost tourist arrivals. Hence casinos must be limited in number and in major tourist hubs, near airports and not out in the middle of nowhere.

Refusing to allow casinos means either gamblers will travel elsewhere or they will gamble in the grey and black markets. Being Buddhist does not stop people from gambling. Better to have some control than none. The middle path should be observed.

John Law


Battlefield decider

Re: “Is anyone going to win the Russian embargo game?” (Opinion, Aug 13).

Paul Krugman provides ample reasons why sanctions and embargoes do not work. The last sentence of his article that war in Ukraine will be decided on the battlefield is a bit scary.

As we all know, both the Soviet Union and the USA took turns waging their wars in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, the USA supported the mujahideen and provided them funding and arms to fight the Soviets. Both countries had to leave Afghanistan exhausted and defeated.

Yes Paul, the same thing will happen in Ukraine. This time it is the EU plus USA against Russia.

Just like Afghanistan, Ukraine is the only party that will be hurt in every possible way. Russians are paying the price of an unjust war.

Luckily, the Ukrainian people have good options to emigrate and flood Europe and the USA. Afghans are back to the future, so to speak.

Kuldeep Nagi


An invitation to war

Re: “Pelosi visit ups ante in Taiwan chess match,” (Opinion, Aug 13).

One thing about great power politics is that the playbook is usually published way in advance of the actual events. Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925. WW2 started in 1941.

In 1992 the Russian foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, warned that if the West kept pushing Nato eastward, there would be a dangerous backlash one day. Today, we have the Ukraine conflict.

In 2016 the Rand Corporation, a USA military think-tank, published a US government-sponsored report entitled “Exploring the Course and Consequences of a Sino-US War”.

The paper pointed out that the economic consequences of a limited war in the South China Seas would be much more damaging to China than to the USA. It was suggested that this could be one way to slow down or even derail the rise of China as an economic power.

Despite being portrayed as unplanned, the recent trip by Nancy Pelosi simply follows this playbook written six years ago.

But the difference between past eras and today is the speed at which information spreads via the internet. Hopefully, everybody has read the Rand playbook, but who can stop it from being implemented if not the USA?

M L Saksiri Kridakorn


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