Prachatai.com on Sunday reported that Chaiyapoom Pasae, a 17-year-old Lahu activist, was summarily killed by soldiers who claim he was a drug suspect and that he resisted arrest in Chiang Mai's Chiang Dao District.

The killing of Chaiyapoom raises many questions as he was a youth activist who promoted the rights of ethnic minorities in northern Thailand, says the report.

This story makes us feel that things could have turned dangerous for everyone. Tourists may not want to come here. The regime seems to be getting as bad as a Central American junta. When an American junta doesn't like someone's politics, they falsely accuse the person of a crime and execute them.

Has Thailand truly sunk into a fourth world -- into brute savagery?

Michael Weldon

Money better spent

Re: "Petty drug users should not be pariahs", (Opinion, March 17).

Fashion model Yuyee lost her court battle and will spend the next 15 years in prison because she was caught smuggling 251 milligrammes, (one fourth of a gramme), of cocaine into the country. She will spend her time with thousands of others in cramped prison conditions.

What is cramped? In Chiang Rai, 90 women share one room of about 50 square metres. It is so crowded that they have to rotate sleeping hours.

Is this cruel punishment under law? Imagine being trapped on a crowded BTS car for 15 years instead of 15 minutes. And we taxpayers are paying the prison to house and feed her. Have a heart.

Rather than jailing people for possessing drugs, the law should be revised to impose a fee on minor drug offences. The collected fees can help the government pay for drug abuse counselling. Yuyee never hurt me.

Vincent Gilles

The veggies don't mind

Re: "OAG probes political link to wind projects", (BP, March 20).

Your article fails to mention some relevant points. Farmers can continue to cultivate land being used for wind farming in just the same way as before, as the vegetables in the ground don't mind wind blades circling 100 metres above them. Farmers in fact can get indirect cash and non-cash benefits from wind farm operators. Why is this information (always) left out?

Paul A Renaud

Ear muffs anyone?

Re: "A fair hearing", (PostBag, March 20).

Khun Sordomundo raises many noise-related facts that seem to be unknown here, or, that no one really cares about.

People who live in large, noisy cities or within noisy environments, suffer a 10 to 15 decibel hearing loss across the board by the time they are between 18 to 21 years old. Noise damages the cilia, those specialised hair structures in the cochlea in the inner ear. While this hearing loss is probably negligible to most, it is a loss nevertheless.

Thais spend a lot of their hours living with noise and creating more noise. Kids glued to mobiles, loud disco music, sound trucks, whistles, shouting, construction jackhammers, pile drivers, etc, all impair hearing. Thais seem to have a preoccupation with loud noise, from blasting concert speakers in temples to noisy school assemblies. A public place without a loudspeaker or public address system is unheard of.

I've always questioned those loud "coyote" dancing events at weddings, ordination (buat) celebrations and others.

I've measured decibel levels on a portable decibel meter I keep in my truck, and found, without exception, levels exceeding 140 decibels, which is legally defined as the threshold of pain. How anyone can sit through hours of this "entertainment", at times drunk as a lord, shouting and laughing, defies belief.

However, a lot of early exposure and cilia damage account for this ability, as the listeners develop a higher threshold. This also accounts for louder speaking, as a speaker monitors one's own speaking level by the way one hears one's voice.

Khun Sordomundo should be happy he still hears a school assembly, even in his car. Many Thais are probably oblivious to the sounds, having long ago lost the ability to hear much of it.


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