martial law begins to bite

October 19, 2006

Our undemocratic, unelected leaders are beginning to show their teeth. Without any warning, the advertising of alcohol has been banned, as has its sale to those under 25. My first reaction was one of relief that they had not banned the sale of fine wines to the over 65’s but  I realised that thought was unworthy of someone with a solid atheistic, humanist upbringing. So my heart goes out to all the pimply youths who are prevented from getting smashed on a Saturday night and to Mr Heinecken whose revenues will no doubt plummet. To a certain extent. Predictably, howls of outrage have been somewhat muted, the only stir being caused by a couple of expats who wrote to the Bangkok Post. One suggested that under 25’s shold be banned from riding motorcycles, eating fast food, watching tv, karaoke, playing computer games or marrying, all good sound suggestions it seems to me. The other thinks this would be treating teenagers like dummies and asks ‘What other laws will be made before the citizens of Thailand can participate freely in their government through fair elections?’. Unfortunately, I don’t see our military-backed government having the courage to implement many of these excellent measures. In the meantime I fail to see how the new laws will significantly harm the planet, increase the risk of terror, destabilise Asia, encourage the North Koreans to test another bomb, jeopardise the chances of Paul Macartney and his ex sorting their differences out, or adversely affect any of the other newsworthy situations that shape our lives.

2 Responses to “martial law begins to bite”

  1. SilverTiger Says:

    What justification did they give for this ban? One can understand that a military cabal, intending to “save the country” from political chaos, might enact bans and curbs of a political nature but a ban on alcohol goes beyond that. It would appear to be driven by moral, if not puritanical, motives and thus to exceed their self-assumed mandate.

  2. tomeemayeepa Says:

    A spokesman for the cabal said ‘We don’t do justification’. However, the press have reported that it came from the Health Ministry who were concerned about the number of youngsters involved in road accidents while the worse for wear. The Ministry had presumably rejected the idea that teaching under 25’s to pray would help matters. Anyway, the cabal have now done a U-turn (cynics say the fact that several of them have substantial interests in the liquor business may not be unconnected). Everyone I spoke to (over 25) thought it was a jolly good idea. The other angle is that Thais when sober are unlikely to create political chaos. With a bottle of the local whisky inside them, however, it is a different matter and the most easily led (perhaps by Thaksin supporters) would be the under 25’s. The U-turn means that the new regime feels more secure.


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