Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Case reveals how Thai police think


Case reveals how Thai police think

E-mail: postbag@bangkokpost.co.th / Snail mail: 136 Na Ranong Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

My own experiences with the police indicate they are an uneducated and dishonest collection of self-serving opportunists.

My latest interaction within the last few days was following a minor road accident. The usual extortion of monies was enacted, but I rebuffed it. There was a raft of lies put forward by police officers at the scene. In addition, a display of ignorance of the law was on show as was an attempt to have my wife visit an ATM to hand over money.

Therefore, when I read the account of "Cop killers found gunned down" (Bangkok Post, Jan 11) I have to sympathise with the victims' families who were denied justice.

It is blaringly obvious that the police murdered these men. The comments made by Pol Lt-Gen Rachata Yensuang are risible. If you wish to learn the truth from anyone with "Pol Gen" in their title simply reverse what they say.

Am I correct to assume "found gunned down" translates as "cold bloodedly murdered by arresting officers"? Hence the police found the men and executed them, leaving their families too terrified to even lodge a complaint.

As the police do this to Thai nationals when sober, we can begin to understand the senseless slayings of foreign tourists by drunken armed officers.



Law of the jungle

I understand the strong feelings policemen have against cop killers, but executing the killers shows complete disregard for religion which holds all life is sacred, education which holds we should act rationally and reflectively, and the judicial system which holds that everyone deserves a fair trial.

To read that 3,000 people rallied in support of the policemen who allegedly carried out these executions (Bangkok Post, Jan 12), shows me that in spite of the best efforts of our civilising institutions, when strong feelings are involved, the law of the jungle is still the only law that is respected by many people.



Time to pick up a book

The article "Screenwriters' winter of discontent" (Opinion & Analysis, Jan 12) itself reads like a soap opera as soapy screen and scriptwriters protest.

This is a perfect opportunity for Americans to improve their literacy skills, go to bookstores, join public libraries and put books in front of children instead of television sets.

This is a golden opportunity to resurrect reading as a prime-time time filler. Imagine, if only George W. Bush could learn to say something other than "duh", "yeah", "hum" and "uhhh".




Vote-buying fantasy

As a confirmed cynic I find myself highly amused by the current antics of the Election Commission.

Everybody knows that, if they disqualified every candidate that indulged in vote buying, they would wind up with not more than 10 or 15 elected MPs.

It's almost as funny as generals who take an oath of loyalty one day, and then turn around the next day and overthrow the elected government.


Udon Thani


Smelling a rat

I've noticed a number of letters in Postbag from foreigners advocating the immediate formation of a PPP-led government, despite strong evidence of election fraud and before due process has run its course.

This is strange. Generally, foreigners are quite vocal about issues of fraud and corruption.

Additionally, the comments come from people I've never seen writing to Postbag before and the letters seem to have something disingenuous or phony about them. They are similar in construction to unsolicited email.

I wonder if they're being sent by an individual or group with a vested interest.

Might I suggest Bangkok Post staff take a closer look?



Hospitals need to care more for patients

I share the sentiments of M.S. (Postbag, Jan l3) about the medical establishment, especially here in Pattaya.

Last year I was bit by a stray dog and the hospital here in Pattaya refused to give me a rabies shot because I didn't have enough money with me at the time. This despite the fact the doctor said I needed the shot "immediately".

I looked the hospital staff in the eye and said: "You monsters don't care if I die, as long as you get paid in advance."

Another hospital in Pattaya gives you antibiotics for viruses and painkillers when you're not in pain. They add them to your bill without telling you.

It doesn't surprise me that in America one of the major causes of death is the medicine you get from your doctor.

I don't know which scares me more: the prospect of getting a serious illness or the thought of putting my life in the hands of a doctor who couldn't care less about me as a human being.


Chon Buri


Bush enchanted by sound of music

I smiled when I read Ron Martin's letter on Bush's visit to Israel (Postbag, Jan 12). I had also seen on TV the young Israeli girls sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as Bush daydreamed.

I found it particularly interesting as the lyrics to this fine song were written by Yip Yarburg who was an activist for human dignity and a critic of US capitalism.

Yip Yarburg wrote "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", wrote music for the first all-black movie musical Cabin in the Sky and the first fully integrated Broadway play Finian's Rainbow.

Bush's Republican forebearers tried to stop publication of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" as anti-capitalist and attacked his song "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe" from Cabin in the Sky because in their twisted thinking they saw it as praising Joseph Stalin.

During the Republican dominated McCarthy era, Yip was blacklisted and could not work in the film, TV, or music businesses.

In 2005, a US commemorative stamp bearing Yip's portrait was issued.

So, to see Bush standing and listening to a song by Yip Yarburg to give courage to people, to overcome their differences and create a better world gave cause to smile. Yip may have smiled, too.


Chon Buri


Seeking peace amid din of construction

We live in a soi opposite Rajadamri BTS station. The area has numerous high-rise developments in progress. The noise is like a war zone. It continues well into the night, after 10pm on many occasions.

Despite numerous complaints to the BMA, the noise continues unabated. This seriously affects the quality of life of all nearby residents.

Homework, relaxed dinners, early nights and rest after returning home from work are all affected. We have had enough of the noise.

For the profits of wealthy builders and contractors using unreasonable hours, we all suffer.

What do your readers suggest?


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