We have made many friends among the Thai people and this has contributed to making our life here more pleasant and fulfilling. Italians and Thais share many similarities and one is certainly the importance we both attach to friendship and human relations.
In this spirit we owe our sincere gratitude to many people we have met over the past four years, in the streets, in the markets, in the parks, in Bangkok and in the countryside. Since we cannot do this personally, we would like express it through this newspaper. We don't know their names, but most of them are ordinary people who are not rich and have to fight every day against many difficulties. Their smiles, their kindness, their positive approach to life will remain for us among the most beautiful memories of our time in Thailand. The unique character of the Thai people will certainly represent for us an additional reason to come back to Thailand in the future, at least as tourists.
IGNAZIO DI PACE,
ITALIAN AMBASSADOR TO THAILAND
Asean human rights body is a fraud
I have to say that I cannot agree that the Regional Human Rights Commission set up under the aegis of Asean is a toothless tiger, as your headline of July 21 suggests. Having been introduced to a fully grown tiger, I am painfully aware that, even were it to be without its teeth, a tiger is an extremely impressive creature with a powerful and menacing presence. So, to my mind, the Regional Human Rights Commission can in no way be likened to this majestic creature.
Moreover, any organisation charged with the upholding of human rights, given the blessing of the murderous regime currently in power in Burma, must sadly be considered worthless. Indeed, what is the point of an organisation that cannot conduct country visits, receive complaints, initiate investigations and conduct reviews on the human rights situation in member states? What will it do therefore? No amount of éclat can hide this as being nothing more than a pointless sham.
Indeed, it is the most obscene piece of dishonest window dressing I have seen in quite some time, and rather than enhancing the reputation of Asean it reveals yet again what a fraud the organisation actually is.
This affront was further added to by Foreign Minister Kasit's grotesquely insensitive comments saying Asean did not believe in punishment but that he was confident that Asean members would behave accordingly. He should express that sentiment personally to the Burmese people in general, and Suu Kyi in particular.
Whilst it may have been initiated with the best of intentions, to allow the charade to continue is utterly deceitful. Moreover, I seriously doubt that any person of moral gravitas would commit professional suicide by acquiescing to serve on it.
Damage control is needed at the airport
PM Abhisit must do something about the King Power/police scam at Suvarnabhumi Airport. The minister in charge is not capable of handling this situation. The world knows the bad reputation of the Thai police, and King Power has even sold fake brands.
The damage is beyond repair. Drastic action must be taken immediately.
Scholarships would amount to receiving stolen goods
I'm tempted to say chai yo to Thaksin for giving 6,000 scholarships to Thai children to mark his 60th birthday. But then I recall that he is a convicted felon. That being the case, is Thaksin making merit with stolen goods? Worse, is he knowingly subjecting innocent students to the possibility of arrest for receiving stolen property? Thaksin is right that PM Abhisit would never think of doing such a thing as he (Thaksin) is doing. PM Abhisit - to his credit - hasn't got the gall.