What about us?

Re: "Govt working on visa-free travel deal", (BP, Feb 13).

It's promising that the government is working on extending visa-free travel to members of the EU but again in your reporting on the front page today, Ireland is not included even though it is one of the oldest members of the EU. Why is it excluded? Not the first time. I come to your country every year for a few months and spend to help the economy.

Aileen Roantree

Airport letdown

Re: "PM orders shakeup at airport", (BP, Feb 6).

The desire to attract more "high quality" tourists to Thailand has been a recurring theme from the government. For most tourists their first experience will be Suvarnabhumi airport, so the recent criticism by the transport minister of THAI's ground-handling operations needs to be taken seriously if the government's desire is to be achieved.

My family's experience at Suvarnabhumi airport last year was less than optimum, with facilities such as toilets in the arrivals baggage area being noticeably rundown and neglected. This is, presumably, AOT's responsibility and needs to be addressed too.

John Straughan

Royal wisdom

Re: "PM says royal safety is a priority," (BP, Feb 13) & "Amnesty suffers setback", (BP, Feb 12).

We don't really understand what we mean by "protecting our monarchy", and S112 has often been used to silence critics of those in power. We should study our national father's sage advice on this vital subject, as televised nationwide. As Nicholas Grossman & Dominic Faulder put it in the book King Bhumibol Adulyadej: A Life's Work, "Thailand's law of lese-majeste has one very prominent critic -- HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great.

In 2005 King Bhumibol used his televised birthday address to convey three concerns: (a) "The king," he said, "is a human being and as such should be subject to criticism. (b) Charges against those accused of lese-majeste should be dropped, and those held in jail for lese-majeste should be released, and (c) The use of the lese-majeste law ultimately damages the monarchy.'"

To be clear, I have no objection about protecting the physical safety of the monarchy. But as HM Rama IX noted, our use of lese-majeste "ultimately damages the monarchy" (emphasis mine). We must stop damaging our revered monarchy by reckless usage of S112 to protect vested interests. For example, should historian Sulak Sivaraksa have been charged with this for questioning the historical accuracy of a 16th-century elephant battle between King Naresuan and the Burmese royalty? Should Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit -- former leader of the now-disbanded Future Forward Party -- have been charged when he criticised the government's Covid-19 vaccine procurement with a firm linked with the palace?

Burin Kantabutra

Lambs to the...

Re: "Rafah civilians face IDF incursion", (World, Feb 12).

At least 126 journalists in Gaza have been slaughtered by Israel since Oct 7. International journalists are not allowed in because Israel knows if only Palestinian journalists are being killed, the rest of the world doesn't care. Ironically, one of the most frequent arguments for supporting Israel is that it's a "democracy"!

Eric Bahrt
14 Feb 2024 14 Feb 2024
16 Feb 2024 16 Feb 2024


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