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General news >> Friday February 15, 2008

OAEP's negligence

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

The news about the cobalt-60 case at the Supreme Administrative Court should remind us all about the blatant negligence of the Office of Atomic Energy for Peace (OAEP), Thailand's strangely-named nuclear power regulator.

The fact that OAEP was not able to even implement regulations governing the disposal of an an x-ray machine with a small container of cobalt-60 should give everyone pause about the qualifications of these "regulators" to handle the full-scale nuclear power plant that former energy minister Piyasvasti Amranand proposed as one of his last acts before leaving office.

The new government of PM Samak should scrap Mr Piyasvasti's so-called "study" to build a nuclear power plant (for which a budget of over 1 billion baht has been proposed), and examine how that money could instead be used for improving energy efficiency and similar projects that will not put all our lives at risk in the future from the incompetence of OAEP's regulators.



Samak's denial

It is really unbelievable what kinds of people are able to become prime minister here. How is it possible that Mr Samak can deny what happened three decades ago and get away with it?

I am from the Netherlands, and for sure if our prime minister were ever to deny the Holocaust, his days ruling the country would be numbered.

I understand you cannot do with another coup, but Mr Samak's own government should take some action against this. Or are they all chicken?




A crook's assertion?

A Bangkok Post editorial states that Prime Minister Samak's assertion that only one person died on Oct 6, 1976 is shocking and shameful. I might add that someone who doesn't know what happened on that terrible day in 1976 is just thick-headed. But someone who does know and denies it, is a crook.



Shoe and the other foot

Former Bangkok senator Jon Ungpakorn and nine other activists have denied they had ill-intent when they stormed parliament on Dec 12 last year to demand the National Legislative Assembly stop passing laws.

The activists face charges of trespassing on parliament, colluding to force others into submission, and forcibly detaining others. But didn't the Sept 19 coup trespass on parliament, collude to force others into submission, and forcibly detain the entire nation?



Censoring 'Sweeney'

I have a serious question for the Thai film censor. Last evening, I watched and enjoyed the new Tim Burton film Sweeney Todd. It contained several important scenes wherein Mr Todd slits the throats of customers whilst he is carrying out his profession of barber in 19th century London.

The actual act of the knife cutting into flesh had been blotted out by the Thai censors, although the aftermath of gallons of blood spurting and oozing from the wounds was not expurgated in any way.

I consider that these acts of bowdlerisation only drew attention to the actions they were meant to blue-pencil. I think the same can also be said about censored cigarettes, etc, in television programmes.

My simple question is: What's the point of this type of censorship?



China model no good

I have just read the story on your website about the interior minister's thought of granting autonomy to the deep south of Thailand. In his remarks, he mentioned the autonomy given to Xinjiang by communist China. He stated that China allowed elections in that autonomy state. This is not true.

I just want to clarify that the autonomy given by communist China to the Uyghurs in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) is a fake autonomy, which is used by the Chinese government as a framework to justify its persecution.

As a result, there have been wide, gross and systematic human rights violations of the Uyghur people. Therefore, the autonomy system in China should not be a model for Thailand or any country in the world to imitate or copy. It is a failed system.


General Secretary, Uyghur

American Association

Washington DC


Rewriting history

Up until quite recently I, like many other Thais as you claimed, did not only "not know the full extent of what happened in October 1976", but even confused it with another event of Oct 14, 1973 which, in contrast, has been propelled earnestly and very proudly by those in authority.

One has to wonder what made these two events so different in terms of how the state reacts to them? Did Samak alone single-handedly and successfully rewrite the history?

I agree wholeheartedly with your statement that "It is time to stop the gross inaccuracies. Only with a full understanding of what occurred in the past can we build up a stronger democracy in the future."

As you must be aware of, 31 years after this brutal incident and in light of what happened on Sept 19, 2006, it now comes back to be a subject of interest again among many curious minds, albeit it can only be discussed in closed circles.

Will the Bangkok Post do us a service by bringing this to light? Just one editorial article definitely does not do this brutal incident a justice, given it has been systemically whitewashed, as you rightly claimed. I do look forward to a full-page coverage of this in the Bangkok Post.


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