thailand

How Rice is Causing a Crisis in Thailand

As the elected senator of northeastern Nakhom Phanom province, Dr. Vitthaya Inala is in a difficult position.

The majority of his roughly 750,000 constituents, many of them poor paddy farmers, are in full support of a year-old government scheme that promises them 15,000 baht ($488) per ton of white rice, he says, far more than they earned in the past.

“If this is a success, and poor farmers get the benefits, it will be very good for the Thai people,” says Dr. Vitthaya. Except the government’s rice-pledging policy is already proving to be a monumental failure, he adds.

read more: http://thediplomat.com/2012/11/10/rice-piles-how-thailand-lost-its-spot-as-worlds-top-rice-exporter/

Impunity for the rich and famous leaves Thais outraged

A dented silver Ferrari, a dead Thai policeman whose body was dragged for 200 meters under its wheels, a family driver ready to take the fall for the wealthy 27-year-old heir to the world-famous Red Bull energy drink empire.

This was the story splashed across the front pages in Thailand on Tuesday and a hot topic on web boards, where the common assumption was that a culture of impunity for the wealthy business and political elite would once again prevail.

Vorayuth Yoovidhya, a grandson of the late founder of Red Bull, billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya, had initially fled the scene but later confessed to hitting the policeman, police said. He was released hours later on 500,000 baht ($16,000) bail.

Though Vorayuth has yet to appear in court, there seemed little faith among the public that justice would be served.

"Jail is only for the poor. The rich never get punished. Find a scapegoat," said one of a stream of comments posted on the popular Thai website, Panthip.com.

Another on news site Manager.co.th read: "He'll probably just get a suspended sentence. What's the cost of a life?"

read full story:  Reuters