Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has every right to feel peeved.
Even if the ''men in black'' were in fact drawn from the army, the police force, the rangers or any other regular unit, they were still clearly and effectively positioned to fire their weapons at the government forces whose responsibility it was to keep law and order at Ratchaprasong. In any culture that is called mutiny, the crime treason, and the penalty the most severe on the books.
Likewise, there is no society in the world in which the commanders, military or civilian, of those government forces would be condemned for having returned fire directed at them, whatever the source.
The case against the Ratchaprasong mutineers, if so they were, is simple. They fired their weapons in the direction of the designated civil authorities in the middle of a busy city community inhabited by commuters, shop owners, parents, children, nurses, teachers, old people, students, street cleaners, taxi drivers and repair men.
Red-shirt demonstrators were conveniently placed by someone in the cross-fire. All were citizens who had a right to civil protection provided by the government at the time, including the army.
Any argument to the contrary is pure spin, and serves the interests of only a traitor.
If you want to hear that spin at its most servile and most cynical, listen to Robert Amsterdam's highly paid drivel.
LUNG KIPChiang Mai30-baht scheme a bust
Re: ''Govt scrapes in on health performance'' (BP, Aug 20).
I am quoted in your story on Monday saying that I'm concerned about the cutting of the universal healthcare scheme budget by the government because the budget given to public hospitals has been inadequate for the past 10 years.
I've reviewed many articles showing that public hospitals have gone bankrupt because of inadequate budget allocations from the National Health Security Office (NHSO) while the agency's treatment coverage has increased every year.
The Senate's Public Health Commission reported on Sept 30, 2011 that there was a very serious problem with the inadequate budget from the NHSO that made hospitals switch the budget from the Civil Servant Healthcare scheme to cover the expenses of the 30-baht healthcare scheme. Many hospitals had no money to pay for medicines, electricity and water supply.
According to the commission, the permanent secretary for public health reported that after 10 years of the 30-baht healthcare scheme, state hospitals had a budget deficit of 7 billion baht.
Dr Jade Sirataranond, a member of parliament, pointed out that the NHSO did not reimburse the hospitals according to the timetable. Many hospitals suffered debt and lacked the budget to deliver good-quality healthcare to patients. He pointed out that there were 191 hospitals in debt, 77 of which were in serious debt and lacked liquidity.
The National Health Insurance Board began to require hospitals to limit medicines for the patients and limit methods of treatment for them in the 30-baht healthcare scheme, a policy that lasted many years.
The result of these limitations meant patients were unable to receive a ''gold standard of healthcare''.
Poor patients have no choice.
But patients who can afford to pay for their healthcare services choose to receive healthcare from private hospitals. That's why private hospitals have outstanding profit growth every year on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
In conclusion, I'd like people to understand the true situation about the management of the budget in the 30-baht healthcare scheme.The current situation in hospitals serving patients under this scheme is inadequate
The inadequate budget has led to substandard treatment and poor-quality treatment and outcomes.
One example of the outcome of poor treatment is an increasing death rate.
Policy makers and the 30-baht healthcare scheme should improve the quality of public health care immediately for the sake of patients' quality of life.
DR CHURDCHOO ARIYASRIWATANAPresident of the Healthcare Workforce of Thailand
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