Monday, January 07, 2008

Case against PPP unfit for democracy


Case against PPP unfit for democracy

E-mail: / Snail mail: 136 Na Ranong Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

In a true democracy all institutions and politicians themselves, winners and losers, must respect the outcome of an election. It is not relevant to claim that some people voted out of ignorance or with their stomach. The result counts; it's finished. Without siding with anybody in any way, it is therefore alarming that the Supreme Court, now, after the election, is accepting a petition from a Democrat party candidate that the PPP is a nominee of the former Thai Rak Thai party and therefore illegal.

If the party was suspected of being illegal, it should of course have been brought to court before the election; the party was the same then.

To do it now shows disdain for the electorate and is against all principles. By the fact that the court has accepted the case its eventual ruling will be regarded as a retroactive act, which is not accepted in democratic states. The reaction from abroad will be interesting to follow.




Music conservatory a fitting tribute

The loss of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana is a great heartbreak for Thailand and for the performing arts.

Her generosity in supporting the arts and culture, her philanthropic gifts and helpful projects will be sorely missed.

The nation's grief justly mourns her passing, a grief shared by Thais and foreigners alike who greatly admired her.

The projected classical music conservatory to be built in her name is fitting for her dear memory and will be a lasting, living and vital monument to her spirit.

Untold generations of promising musical students will enjoy the benefits that the conservatory will offer. What a grand tribute to Thailand and the Princess' remembrance.


Chon Buri


Paedophilia not Western invention

The story about a Cambodian monk who molested a Western child ("Monk molests girl, 8", Bangkok Post, Jan 1) illustrates that paedophilia is not a social evil that was imposed on innocent Cambodians by Western debauchery.

There are plenty of Cambodian paedophiles. The child prostitution industry in Cambodia is an internal social problem with the supply side controlled entirely by Cambodians, including parents who sell their daughters, poverty-stricken jobless girls trying to make a living and the powerful moneyed elite who control the lucrative trade.

The demand side is more than 90% Cambodian and the rest consists mostly of fellow Asians who share a natural affinity for misogyny and prostitution as social institutions.

There is also a superstitious mystique in Asia with respect to the health and spiritual value of having sex with a virgin, the younger the better, and it is this Asian weirdness that is responsible for market demand for child prostitutes.

Poverty provides a ready supply. Western paedophiles did not invent the Cambodian child sex industry. They choose to go to Cambodia precisely because the industry already exists there. Yet international organisations, Cambodian NGOs, and the Western media continue to misrepresent this phenomenon as a social evil imposed on Cambodia by the debauched West.

The targeting of Western paedophiles, particularly in high-profile cases, offers the illusion that something is being done and it brings in a lot of funding from Western donors to the concerned NGOs in Cambodia. It also provides leverage to a corrupt criminal justice system to extort money from rich Westerners.

In a comical and ironical twist, parents who sold their daughter to Western paedophiles often demand and receive compensation in this extortive process.

However, the targeting of Western paedophiles does nothing to solve the underlying problem of poverty, child prostitution, and the market for virgins in Cambodia. In fact it makes things worse for Cambodian children because the real underlying social problems are not addressed and because children at risk can now be used to entrap Westerners for the purpose of extortion.




Other airports also charge taxi fee

Kenny Kroot's letter (Postbag, Jan 5) regarding taxis at Suvarnabhumi airport is a little behind the times.

First he states that in six years he has never had a problem with taxis. Perhaps he has not read previous letters here or listened to the news. There have been a number of cases of people being attacked and robbed in taxis from the airport.

Though I agree it is unusual.

Secondly many airports in the region also charge a taxi fee - Manila and Kuala Lumpur just to name two and, yes, recording the number can help if you leave something like a mobile phone in the cab. Many an unlucky traveller has been able to trace the vehicle and recover lost property.

I agree that being told you have to use one of the old, decrepit taxis is a nuisance and it is about time the airport did more to keep them out.

Overall, I think the taxis from the airport do a good job, but please just get rid of the limo touts who can be rude and objectionable.




Road victims deserve own day of mourning

It is a disgrace that 401 people were killed in road accidents over the New Year period (Bangkok Post, Jan 5).

Eighty-nine people died in last year's plane crash in Phuket and it was broadcast all over the world.

For so many people to die on the roads there should be a national day of mourning.

Are we all pleased that there were 48 fewer deaths than in 2006?

I'd like to suggest that huge fines be introduced for all traffic offences, that people be given much harder tests before being issued a licence and that the parents who allow their children to take their motorbikes have their photos put in the papers along with the heading "UNFIT PARENTS".

Maybe loss of face will help.


No comments: