Drug vows are hot air

Re: "PM declares new war on drugs", (BP, Sept 18).

Thailand's beloved prime minister is going to end the drug trade in four years. Don't make me laugh! Where have I heard that one before?

Even many conservatives have admitted that the war on drugs is a colossal failure, and it will always be. So, instead of getting the reform that most of the Thai people voted for, they're going to get the same hack politicians with the same worn-out promises and with the same pathetic results.

Incidentally, how much money is going to be wasted on this ridiculous drug war?

Eric Bahrt

Fathoming low births

Re: "Fertility needs urgent steps", (Editorial, Sept 18).

Having "rightly", as the Bangkok Post puts it, "identified the country's low fertility rate issue as a pressing concern", Public Health Minister Dr Cholnan Srikaew should perhaps consider that people who choose not to have children are responding responsibly to the reality embodied in the government that Dr Cholnan serves.

When people cannot even vote in the government they want, that helplessness before blatant injustice protected by law is hardly a world into which to bring innocent children. No more was the Thailand forged by the previous government, itself now part of Dr Cholnan's unwanted coalition, when the birthrate plummeted.

Whilst mentioning the need for a nation "where children can live and prosper," the Post's focus on the monetary value of children itself reveals a reason to think twice before producing children.

Why would good people create children merely to serve the economic interests represented by ruling Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and former prime ministers Prayut Chan-o-cha and Thaksin Shinawatra, whose factories and power bases demand fresh fodder?

Felix Qui

Help farmers go clean

Re: "Govt urged to ban stubble burning", (BP, Sept 17).

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: banning farm stubble burning is a great idea, provided farmers have alternative measures to deal with farm waste. Listed briefly are environmentally friendly alternative processes. First is ploughing in the straw. The problem is there is a lot of it, so it doesn't rot that quickly, and it needs ploughing in twice. The second is baling it. This method is fine if farmers have access to a baler and you or someone else needs the bales -- not always possible on both counts. Finally, when the rice is harvested, use a chipper instead of a baler, which cuts the straw into tiny pieces and blows it around the field. Easy to plough in and rots much faster. Problem: I have yet to see a straw chipper in Thailand.

They are, however, widely available. If the government purchased straw chippers or helped farmers acquire alternative machines and distributed these machines countrywide, that would certainly make the ban on farm waste burning more efficient and welcomed by farmers. The budget would be put to better use than it is on buying a submarine.

Johnny Thoyts (Korat)
CONTACT: BANGKOK POST BUILDING 136 Na Ranong Road Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110 Fax: +02 6164000 email: postbag@bangkokpost.co.th
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