It's welcome news that China has agreed to boost its annual purchase of Thai rice to 1 million tonnes a year, a five-fold rise from the previous deal. But hold the champagne!
Is the agreement merely a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which binds neither party but merely indicates intention _ or is it a binding contract? The difference between an MoU and a contract is enormous, for a contract includes the price.
Will the Chinese pay the world market price? If so, we'd be making a terrific loss, given that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra insisted on buying from farmers at 40% above world prices, knowing full well that you and I would have to make up the loss from our own pockets.
Or are the Chinese taxpayers being so generous that they're buying at higher than market? If so, then let's know the facts, so that we may thank them properly.
Come, madam prime minister, let's have the contracts posted on the internet.
Rally rules in order
Re: ''Neither rally nor response is reasonable'' (Opinion, Oct 15).
I agree with Atiya Achakulwisut that while the current anti-government rally is somewhat pointless, the democratic principle of public protest must be preserved; what is needed is an agreed set of rules for protests at Government House and parliament.
Other democracies have such rules: in the USA you have the right to rally outside government buildings provided you do not impede or obstruct the workings of the government; in the UK you can rally in the square outside parliament but you can't use loudspeakers, erect any shelters or sleep in the square.
Surely it must be possible to formulate a set of rules that allows people to stage a protest without impeding the work of the government or parliament and without blocking traffic.
Rein in the cowboys
Re: ''Thailand is more than Soi Cowboy'' (Sunday Forum, Oct 13).
Thai cowboys riding high on their colour-coated horses remain a big problem in politics. Cowboys like Sondhi [Limthongkul] and groups like Pefot are symptomatic of a sick society.
When will these people learn that it is okay to oppose government policies, but it takes them nowhere when they use personal vendettas as means for regime change?
Spreading hatred of the Shinawatra family or any other person is not going to spread far from Lumpini Park; asking for military intervention is not going to improve democracy in Thailand.
It is unfortunate that the desperate opposition has also resorted to cheap cowboy thrills of impeaching government officials at the drop of a hat.
As far as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is concerned, she is making best use of the opportunity provided to her. She is not a politician, and she may not have a clear vision, but she has successfully demonstrated her ability to learn on the job and be able to sort out priorities for the welfare of all segments of Thai society, especially the underprivileged. So far, on most counts, she is doing much better than the previous prime minister.
However, I do agree with the writer that people need to hold her feet to the fire regarding her performance on domestic issues.
Ask Thaksin instead
Re: ''PM must take lead on floods'' (Opinion, Oct 15).
The comments should be addressed directly to de facto prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, not his puppet sister. It has been obvious from the outset that she has no leadership qualities, nor sense of responsibility. Her main job is to function as a mouthpiece; to push for reform to bring her brother back to Thailand. Pheu Thai's populist policies will eventually bankrupt Thailand. The government will be forced into financial ruin, just like the United States.
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