Shielding the junta

Re: "New world order starting in SE Asia", (Opinion, Nov 29).

While Kavi Chongkittavorn is right to call on Asean "to better manage internal conflicts, especially in Myanmar", if it wants to reaffirm its place at the table with the world's great powers, he might also have a quiet word in the ear of our distinguished minister of foreign affairs.

Having been roundly criticised for appointing a Myanmar junta apologist as his special envoy to Myanmar, the minister might find it instructive to peruse the recent final report of the "International Parliamentary Inquiry (IPI) into the global response to the crisis in Myanmar".

Chaired by Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament, the IPI report roundly criticises Thailand, which "has been a prominent force on shielding the junta from scrutiny and accountability".

Partially driven by a historical affinity between the Myanmar and Thai armies, both heavily involved in the political lives of their countries, Bangkok's gamble appears to be similar to Beijing's -- that dealing with the junta and supporting its consolidation of control is in line with Thai interests.

But as a researcher at Chiang Mai University, Ashley South, recently told the IPI, that the State Administration Council (SAC -- the junta) is "not a reliable partner for Thailand", and the Thai government's association with the junta is "serving to undermine Thailand's credibility".

When the people of Myanmar triumph in their long struggle against the Tatmadaw, as triumph they surely will, Russia and China, the junta's most ardent supporters, will find that their political and economic interests will be erased.

Will Thailand share the same fate?

Sad Optimist

Stock market capers

Re: "Call to solve free for all", (Business, Nov 28).

"Reg T" is the mighty important fundamental rule on a stock exchange, where usually the Central Bank or a high-level regulator sets clear percentage limits on all margin trading, not brokers. Further, it is the understanding by long-term participants in the Thai stocks/market that all customer shares are held by the TSD (Thai Deposit Center), not the brokers.

How can either of these mandates mentioned be allegedly violated without some very serious disciplinary consequences?

A year ago or so, the Thai SEC chairwoman was in the news stating she would at last reform the long weakness of regulatory enforcement, whereas for too long, most only Thai police can investigate/bring charges on insider trading violations.

What happened to this promised, very long overdue reform?

Paul A Renaud

Masks do work

Re: "What the HEPA?", (PostBag, Nov 27).

Michael Setter (PostBag, Nov 27) is still posting the same old nonsense from the internet when he says "virions" can pass through masks.

Masks stop droplets and aerosols.

The pesky virus doesn't float around on its own; it is attached to droplets or aerosols.

This is why masks are effective at reducing the spread of respiratory viruses.

If Mr Setter really doesn't understand the science that well, he should refrain from cutting and pasting any old nonsense off the internet just because it feeds his paranoia.

Tarquin Chufflebottom
29 Nov 2022 29 Nov 2022
01 Dec 2022 01 Dec 2022


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