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Thai Girl Tattle: This Is Thailand!

Rapes forcing some foreign entrepreneurs to move their production bases out of the country...the rescue of a rare black vulture...a 7.2 million baht trip to Europe...ITV becomes TITV...

Andrew Hicks considers life in Thailand as reflected in the Bangkok Post.

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The Bangkok Post has reported (Police to go after 1,000 rape suspects) an announcement by a police major-general that to mark Womens' Day the police are launching a first ever crack-down on a thousand rape suspects in nine provinces.

He is further reported as saying that more than 70% of the female population in these provinces work in factories and that rape causes psychological harm to female workers and affects businesses. 'Some foreign entrepreneurs had moved their production bases out of the country after their female employees were raped,' says the police major general. 'If rapes took place in provinces which housed a World Heritage site and historic places, such as Ayuttaya, this would drive tourists away and ruin the reputation of the country.'

The rapists in the remaining 67 provinces where there are fewer factories will presumably be dealt with next Womens' Day.

On the adjacent page of the same newspaper, it is reported (Black vulture to be freed in Mongolia), that a rare black cinereous vulture, one of the last of a world population of 200,000 had gone way off course while migrating and had been found falling off its perch in Chantaburi, Thailand. I guess people don't eat vultures as they are a sign of bad luck, so it ended up in a university's veterinarian department where the dedicated staff nursed it back to health.

The vulture will now be flown to Beijing on Thai Airways accompanied by five bird experts. From Beijing they will then drive it to a black vulture watch centre in Ulan Batur, Mongolia. There it wiil be released into the wild.

It strikes me that this a very lucky black vulture, as indeed are the five bird experts who are going along for the trip. It is good however that because of this expenditure of conservation resources, the world's population of black vultures has not yet fallen to 199,999.

Two days later, The Bangkok Post reported (Saprang's Euro jaunt worthy of suspicion) that a delegation of Airports of Thailand board members led by the Council for National Security's deputy secretary general had travelled to Europe to study airport security and had spent 7.2 million baht on the trip, including 1.2 million for entertainment. Some members of their families had accompanied them and 'a question mark is hanging over them' as to whether it is appropriate for their expenses to have been paid from the national budget. No doubt they too had an entertaining trip.

Sniffer dogs are sometimes used at airports and there could perhaps be a security role for black cinereous vultures too.

On the front page of the same issue reporting the eleventh hour reprieve for ITV which will not now cease broadcasting, it was also reported that the channel had at the stroke of midnight changed its name to TITV.

The new name has a certain cadence to it. As the recently resigning deputy prime minister said in his defense following the collapse of the stock market caused by his imposition of capital controls on inward investments, foreign investors should be reassured and must always understand, as he succinctly put it that, 'This is Thailand'.


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