PM has done absolutely nothing to bolster human rights

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Published on September 2, 2009

Re: "Abhisit surrounded by treachery and cronyism", Letters, September 1.
In the past I had the same expectations about PM Abhisit as CM Philips has. I also had some expectations about his sensibilities on human rights issues, but that has turned out to be a big disappointment to me.

His evasive remarks about the junta in Burma, his cover-up of the plight of the Rohingya boat people, his refusal to investigate crimes committed in the South by the security forces, his lack of involvement in the Hmong refugee issue, the execution of the death penalty after a moratorium of six years, the creation of a powerless [Asean] human rights commission and so on; none of these show any "Western sensibilities" to me, in spite of his Oxford education.

Up until now, what has he achieved except the removal of Thaksin as PM - a great achievement thanks to the yellow PAD movement.

Is he merely a puppet of the snakes and traitors?


Recovery will not be sudden or soon

A "V-shaped" economic recovery has now been quoted so often as to convince our population that when recovery comes, it will be sudden and swift. This idea is popularised by our PM and is now used freely by many financial executives.

I can assure your readers that, outside Thailand, no respectable economist or financial regulator ever dares to refer to the coming recovery as a V-shape. The shape that has been often referred to is a U-shape or, if one is pessimistic, a W-shape.

I guess those V-shape believers must have in mind a V by distorting the way one draws out a diagram with the horizontal line showing a short space for time span so that the recovery in 2010 or 2011 will appear as a sudden jump. (That is why statisticians are sometimes blamed for lying). But if one draws a diagram fairly with a reasonable space for time span, a recovery in 2010 would end up as a U-shape and, if it dips and rises again, then a W-shape. Hope of a jump within the next few months is far-fetched.

The current recession started in December 2007. Historically, recovery to a previous level takes at least three years. For the Great Depression after the stock crash of 1929, recovery took a period of twenty years. Does anyone think that Thailand is now in a peak situation to warrant a jump in economic recovery? Come on, wise guys, stop misleading the public!

Songdej Praditsmanont

Security procedures serve a practical purpose

I fail to understand the commotion about taking off one's belt going through the scanners at the airport. A few months ago there were complaints about lack of security, and now they're whinging about the opposite.

I would have thought it fairly obvious that the reason we are being asked to do this is that security personnel are trying to get people through the scanner without it setting off the alarm - to minimise the time taken. I'd guess that a minimum of 70 per cent of trouser belts cause the scanners to go off.

If every twit who lines up in the queue for the scanner can see this and prepare themselves to have everything "beep-able" in the basket beforehand, then we will all get through without a beep and the lines will flow more easily without the manual scan having to be performed at the other end.

The problems arise when you have the mentally-challenged going through the scanners with phones in pockets and so much bling on their bodies, and yet they still fail to understand why they are being stopped and asked to remove the property and go through again.

Try travelling through Dubai airport where, depending on which connection you have to make, you can go through up to three scanners before getting to your plane.


Signs of goodwill from North Korea?

North Korea sent a delegation to attend the funeral of South Korea's former president, Kim Dae-jung. As South Korea mourns the death of this democracy campaigner and Nobel Prize winner, North Korea's decision was spot-on and could be one of the preliminary steps in the reconciliation efforts. Following months of conflict and negotiation, this move seems to have, more or less, eased tensions along the border and showed signs of a brighter future.

By also freeing a detained South Korean engineer and releasing two American journalists earlier this month, North Korea has displayed some friendly and welcoming signals. With this, hope of a possible resolution has stepped up to a new high and is a sign of a peaceful outcome, rarely seen in today's world of conflicts.

Sirinthra Malhotra


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