The honorable Thai police trampling on one of the protesters’ heads.
And what about the tear gas that the police used to disperse the mob the other day? The picture depicts clearly what the Thai police is normally like. Being paid by the people, they should handle the situation far better than this. Those who staged the protest are keen for the police to take a strong line in the hope that some of the protesters may be injured. That way they will acheive maximum publicity. In the end, they are just as bad as the government.
BangkokDan at Absolutelybangkok.com has posted a very interesting YouTube video. It is about a British woman who was sent to a Thai prison as a consequence of trying to smuggle drugs out of Thailand. Her name is Sandra Gregory who later wrote a book entitled “Forget you had a daughter” about her experiences of her time in the prison.
I came across this programme about her over a year ago on Channel 5 UK. What struck me about her was that, without being biased by her story, she seemed to be genuinely honest and regretful for what she did in Thailand. I felt really sorry for her, especially when she mentioned her parents. Nobody ever wants their child to be sent to jail, let alone in a foreign country like Thailand where the sentence for drugs related crime is very severe. I can imagine what her parents felt when they saw their daughter in a Thai jail. Their hands wanted to touch their daughter, but they were prevented by a ‘no man’s land’ gap and chicken wire.
Later on Sandra Gregory was granted a royal pardon by His Majesty the King. You can see the whole story about this on Youtube. Revisiting her story for the third time makes me realise that people can do wrong things and in some cases, like hers, they might not be immoral. But sometimes people can make very big mistakes. One particular bit of poor judgement could easily land someone in very big trouble and can change that person’s life forever.
To me, the fact that she can demonstrate to everybody that she is not such a bad person makes it a happy ending. I genuinely believe she is now even a better person after succeeding in her geography degree from Oxford university. It makes me think that some people deserve a second chance, but it also might depend on what type of crime they have committed. In Sandra’s case, I am pleased with the second-chance result.
What can foreign people, particularly young travellers, learn from this story? As a Thai person, I can advise that when you travel to Thailand, never get involved with any sort of drugs because when you get arrested, the punishment is always very harsh, in some cases you may be executed. Whenever you get into trouble, no money for example, you can still go to your country’s embassy where there will always be some help for you. I do not know about other foreign embassies, apart from British one which I visited twice to apply for a UK student visa; the officials there were very helpful and polite to me. If you are a British citizen, like Sandra Gregory, you should not hesitate to seek their help. I think this is a valuable lesson that everybody should learn. I hope people do.
“Parents who allow their children to consume alcohol in public could be prosecuted under new measures to target underage drinking in England.
The proposals also include handing the police tougher powers to disperse gangs of young people congregating outside.
A new offence would make it illegal for someone under 18 to be regularly caught in the possession of alcohol.” (BBC, 1 June 2008).
In an earlier post I commented about the lack of parental responsibility which, although not endemic in the UK, is certainly not uncommon. I am well aware that many others, sick to death of the nuisance caused by drunken yobs on the streets of Great Britain, share my view.
At last, it appears that the British government is considering doing something about it. If these proposals are implemented, parents will at last be held legally accountable for the excesses of their drunken offspring. Some parents will argue, no doubt, that they are powerless to influence the behaviour of their kids – that’s simply because they have never instilled in them a sense of discipline and civic responsibility. Bad parenting is not a reason for avoiding responsibility.
Some kids will complain that ‘there’s nothing to do’ except drink and find their amusement in taunting law-abiding citizens or mindlessly vandalising other people’s property. How sad that they are so feeble minded that they can’t find their own entertainment legally. The biggest losers, however, will be the majority of law abiding youngsters who, as a result of these proposals, will find their freedom curtailed. That’s a shame.