Published on January 20, 2008
How "Thai" it was that the panel investigating the drug-related killings led by former attorney-general Khanit na Nakhon is said to have opted not to name at least three political office-holders involved in administering Thaksin Shinawatra's policy that resulted in the murders of 2,819 people!
Most revealing is that 571 people with names were killed "for no apparent reason". It's okay to rub out lowly commoners by the hundreds, evidently, but heaven forbid that the reputations of a half dozen or so names associated with this gross rudeness be tainted in any way by being publicised!
What hope is there for a society in Thailand to evolve beyond neo-feudalism to a more stable plurality in which more may fairly share?
Dreams of responsible MPs may remain just that
I had a dream. In recent weeks, before December 23, I received many brochures and leaflets introducing election candidates in my constituency. They showed enticing, colour photographs of the candidates. By contrast the leaflet in my dreams was a drab black-and-white printout, but the message it carried was the stuff of dreams:
Dear Voter,I am an elected representative in your area. If you voted for me with confidence based on the policies I offered and represented, you have my sincere thanks. If you did not vote for me, I also thank you for participating in the democratic process, which gives credibility to my representation. In either case I dedicate myself fully to representing your interests. Below you will find my postal and e-mail addresses.
My greatest honour is to be your representative in governing this country and to serve you as the representative of government in your area. I will be grateful to have your point of view on issues to be debated in our Parliament and any suggestions you may have, relevant experiences to call upon, queries for clarification, complaints regarding current policy. I assure you that your communications are highly valued and will inform my interventions in Parliament.
On the other hand, I welcome communications from you on difficulties you may experience which result from deficiencies in government service in your area which affect you and your family. Please do not hesitate to contact me on such shortcomings. I promise you my personal dedication to your service and to making the process of government effective in procuring the welfare of all our citizens.
Your humble servant,
Xxyy, Member of Parliament for Zzz
On waking up, I scanned the latest news of the government. Oh well!
Abhisit and party must now build ties with poor
Re: "Democrat threatens to sue EC for inaction", News, January 18.
Does Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat Party leader, know or is he aware that his deputy secretary-general Thaworn Senniam is threatening to sue the Election Commission for dropping complaints against certain People Power Party MPs elect? Does he approve of the threat? Certainly, the country does not want to hear, after the fact, the same thing that had happened to Chaiwat Sinsuwong, a former party member. That would be embarrassing!
Abhisit should accept the will of the majority of Thais and act as the sole opposition party as he stated. This is your chance to shine and show the Thais that you are a worthy opponent. At the same time and looking toward the long term, set up party offices in the North and Northeast to help the poor. There are many issues concerning them. Explore ideas and issues and give them long-term solutions. Take it from one who was poor and from a small town in Thailand.
Democracy remains a vague and elusive concept
Re: "Democracy can start again", Editorial, January 19
If, in your editorial, by "democracy" you meant that people paid the six-party axis to be elected to pass rules that benefit the six-party axis, then yes, the "new democratically elected" government is fully entitled to undo the enervating rule of the past 16 months and pass new rules to get most of its cash and status back.
But to a bewildered public and an international audience, the horse-trading between the politicians, the EC, the "elite" and the Thaksin clan is positively Carrollesque.
To quote a Carrollian phrase, or to paraphrase a Carrollian quote: "Reasoning is impossible" does not apply to people because we humans operate with the need for rules as we are informal systems. Thus rules can't get off the ground unless we have meta-rules telling us when to apply the rules and meta-meta-rules telling us how to apply the meta-rules and so on until we reach the conclusion that the ability to reason and hence invoke the notion of "democracy" is the reason to reason metaphorically.
Bright hopes soured for the future of Thai politics
Re: "Court clears way for Samak", News, January 19
If now we, as decent people, face any problems or see things go wrong in our lives and our country, who and where shall we turn to? The answer: nobody and nowhere.
After the political mess over these past few years, I had a great hope that laws and rules would provide the solution. I was too naive or too silly to have a belief in these systems. Thailand is doomed.
Endangered species pass easily through airport
Vietnamese authorities again found hundreds of illegally smuggled snakes on a flight from Bangkok. This incident makes it the fifth time in the last 12 months that a Thai Airways plane has been found to have a huge quantity of protected wildlife on board. We all have been told many times that our capital Bangkok is the city that houses the head office of the Asean Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN) that was set up three years ago to stop the illegal wildlife trade. Now three years later you can order as much illegal wildlife as you wish at the Chatuchak weekend market and get it shipped by plane to any international location of your choice; it will leave Suvarnabhumi Airport undetected. Let's just face it: we can keep the name "Asean-WEN", but until we finally see some action we will just call it the Asean Wildlife Export Network.
Director and Founder
Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
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