I have interviewed many of these young people. No second chances were given; no rehabilitation, no hope. On the other hand, a convicted criminal is allowed to leave the country and put his finger up at our justice system in an incredible and flagrant abuse of power. Another "connected" criminal escapes to Malaysia and returns to a monastery and is then reinstated in his former position because of powerful political connections. And it goes on and on.
Why are we not taking the often shocking backgrounds of these young people languishing within our prison system into consideration? Why is our system of justice so unbalanced and unfair? Is this part of our culture?
It fills me with sadness to see so many young people not given a second chance after committing minor offences due to their circumstances. I have seen many young people in prison who deserve a second chance. One only has to look at the causes of the offences committed to realise this. We must do the right thing and work towards a balanced system of justice, the same justice for all.
A supposed leader who has no leadership qualities
Re: "Amnesty law would cause further divide", Editorial, February 18.
The current situation where Thaksin Shinawatra's supporters are trying every way to bring him back to power does not bode well for the man himself. How can Thaksin gain respect without himself showing respect for the country's rule of law: by coming back to fight his cases in court, or serving his jail term as every convicted Thai is obliged to do? How can he lead the country in future by hiding behind his supporters? A leader must take the lead no matter what.
By comparing himself with Nelson Mandela, but refusing to respect the rule of law, as Mandela did, Thaksin is shooting blank cartridges. Only by stepping forward and showing respect to the country's law, can Thaksin gain respect for himself. CHAVALIT VAN
October 7 inquiry results must be made public
Deputy government spokesman Buddhipongse Punnakanta said that the Cabinet couldn't disclose the results of its investigation into the October 7 clash between police and PAD protestors, as the report was "confidential". This is most ironic from a government headed by the Democrats. If the government keeps information from the people, how can we have communication and a vigorous democracy? If there is a reason for the non-release (e.g., to ensure that those responsible did not escape scrutiny), tell us that and let us know when the completed report will be released.
Otherwise, rights groups should follow Khun Buddhipongse's advice and sue under the Official Information Act.
Is a military coup better than judicial interference?
Re: "Amnesty law proposal Rejected", News February 12.
The rationale given by Professor Saneh Chamarik, chair of the National Human Rights Commission, that "using a law that interferes with the justice system is worse than a military coup" reflects how the NHRC is becoming irrelevant in addressing political development and its relationship to rights violations. Prof Saneh did not condemn the 2006 coup but gave remarks that, in a way, legitimised it. He said, "I do not think [the coup] is about progression or regression [of democracy] but about problem solving".
A coup is worse than judicial interference, as the latter will definitely happen with the former. It would also take democratisation and human rights development backwards, as the government and judicial system would not be accountable.
Bloody drinking session spoils readers' breakfasts
Re: "Taste of endurance", News, February 17.
The macabre image of snake's blood being dripped into the mouth of a US serviceman did little to help my breakfast go down. Before reading the caption, I took what was described as "survival skills training" to be psychological warfare, or worse.
Obviously, the joint military exercises are not called Cobra Gold for nothing.