Ban strong arm tactics
I am outraged to read in your newspaper about Chiang Mai’s treatment of gay
people, as evidenced by the violent actions at the Gay Pride Parade on
February 21, 2009, leading to its cancellation. The Chiang Mai police
apparently did nothing to protect the human rights of gay people to use
public space and also ignored harassment and outright violence on that day.
This situation is unacceptable and tarnishes Chiang Mai’s reputation as a
safe travel destination. Thai people have become known worldwide for their
tolerance and kindness. Can we allow those Nazi tactics of red-shirt
political hooligans to exploit any such opportunity for their political
gains in peaceful Chiang Mai?
The Chiang Mai government should issue a formal apology to the Sao-Sao-et
network for the government’s neglect of their duties and to publicly commit
to ensuring the safety and human rights of gay and all other people within
Visual pollution appearing
on Chiang Mai streets
I like to read the occasional poster stuck on a telephone pole, but they
seem to be being replaced by “saturation” advertising ...hundreds of the
same posters along a street ...five of the same stuck on the telephone box,
three on the next power pole, two on the next pole, three on the red post
box, and so on along the street. Some stick on lettering (feeding someone’s
ego), others traditional posters.
After seeing that someone had written a large “tag”, with a black marker on
a white Wat/Temple wall, copying one of the prevalent ‘stick-on lettering’
seen around town, I decided I’d had enough. I bought some white paint, and
painted over the black lettering on the Wat’s wall. Then I decided to clean
up the street I walk up and down each day, and over-sprayed the posters
(which can’t be easily taken off).
These are our streets, I ask everyone to take pride in them. Stop the
increasing pollution by taking positive action …take them down as you see
them. Clean the streets of this visually polluting trend, that way out, the
whole town will be nicer again.
Quick, persistent removal is a tested remedy. Perhaps we can set aside
special places where posters can be stuck up, and viewed by people who, like
me, don’t mind reading the occasional few.