Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Reference: Doing too much too soon may backfire, Bangkok Post, May 14, 2008

The junta had a 48-hour warning that Cyclone Nargis would hit Burma and they did not take any measure to shelter those at risk. It has now received a warning that yet another cyclone is forming in the the wake of Nargis and again it has chosen to suppress that information and do nothing to safeguard Burmese citizens in its path. Meanwhile the junta is preventing both international aid agencies and their own monasteries from providing direct assistance to the victims of Nargis. Clearly the issue is repressive control rather than sovereignty. The author of the article in the Bangkok Post (Doing too much too soon may backfire, May 14, 2008) refers to the junta as a "repressive regime" but concludes that Thailand's "warm relations" with it are more important than doing "too much" for the victims of cyclone Nargis because that may "create a bad impression". Would the author consider relief efforts "doing too much" if he or she were one of the hapless victims waiting for aid? It is time for Thailand to take stock of reality and to consider just what kind of people they are being so warm and friendly with. Bad impressions come in all flavors.

Cha-am Jamal

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