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LETTERS

  HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 
 
USA blocking inexpensive AIDS medicine?

Clarifying “Copyright Violators Arrested”

Save the environment!

Seeking philatelic connection to Thailand

Beer and coffee

Thanks for the letter

Recommending an Internet café

USA blocking inexpensive AIDS medicine?

Dear Sir,

Since coming to Pattaya two years ago, I have regarded my weekly amusing, annoying, helpful, infuriating, instructional (alphabetical order) reading of the Mail as an obligation. And since I am writing my first letter to any publication, I thank you for your efforts.

My purpose is not to complain on behalf of any “farang” interest. Of course, I get (mildly) irritated about the “double” charging to which many refer: but I console myself that my pension is significantly larger than the wages some Thai citizens earn. Of course, I get (mildly) frustrated by the bureaucracy that does not always understand “simple” management procedures: but I ask myself, is my way always, or ever, the only way? I get (less than mildly) irritated by those who have chosen to seek residence in Thailand and then want the country to be like the one they have left, for whatever reason.

Last week, I heard the most appalling allegation from Medicins sans Frontieres: that the USA, using powerful trade blackmail, is preventing people in Thailand from benefiting from the generic drugs available in this country for the treatment of HIV and AIDS. Production is allegedly restricted so that the expensive “western” drugs may be imported. The generic drugs are 95% (sic) cheaper than patented drugs from the west.

I hope that the Thai Government and all its agencies will ensure that the cheaper treatments are available ONLY to Thai citizens, and not to any whose country is supportive of such an appalling practice.

Yours faithfully,
HAA

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Clarifying “Copyright Violators Arrested”

Dear Sirs:

I am writing in reference to an article which appeared under the title “Copyright Violators Arrested” in the October 1, 1999, edition of your newspaper. The article contained a number of factual errors which I would like to correct as follows:

1) My name is Russell Frank Lerner and I am the Managing Director of Pinkerton (Thailand) Ltd., the Bangkok branch of Pinkerton’s, Inc., of the USA. We are a multi-billion dollar company with over 300 offices worldwide.

2) Among the services we provide in Thailand is the investigation of, and coordination of enforcement action against, infringements of intellectual property rights belonging to our clients.

3) I hold power of attorney to represent many companies in this regard, including Levi Strauss & Co, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Reebok International, La Chemise Lacoste, and others.

4) The September 16 action you refer to in your article was carried out by one of our local staff, Miss Walailak Junlasap, on my instructions. Police support came from the Economic Crime Investigation Division (ECID) of the Thai police.

Yours sincerely,
Russell F. Lerner

Managing Director
Pinkerton (Thailand) Ltd.

Editor replies: Thanks for the clarifications.

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Save the environment!

Mailbag,

A few weeks ago a few friends and me booked a fishing trip with a local company, looking forward to a nice day on the sea with some fishing and swimming. Upon arriving at the pier there was nobody there to welcome us or give us any information about why the boat wasn’t leaving. We had been promised about 5-10 people on the boat, and as we were seven in total and there were a few other confused people standing, waiting on the pier, we assumed everybody was there.

How wrong of us. A big bus with some 20 other people turned up and entered the boat, and still nobody to tell us what to do. However, we jumped onboard and were now eager to cast off.

Sure enough, things started happening. The guide laid out the trolling lines - great, this is what gets me through the office hours in the weeks. Upon asking the guide how it worked and who would get to reel in the first fish, I got an answer in German. I don’t speak German at all but I guess it would work out alright when we started catching the first fish.

Srrrr- one of the reels started to scream. I was eager to get back to the stern to get the rod - so were many of the other paying customers (who didn’t speak German either), but to our big surprise the guide snatched the rod and screamed to everybody to stay clear and not disturb him. I like to watch fishing programs on TV, but if I’m on the boat I want to get a piece of the action, instead of watching the guide!

OK, I understand that I was very far from being alone. Actually, the boat was crowded with people who wanted to fish and I wouldn’t have minded sharing the fish with them at all - but with the guide, no, that wasn’t what I paid for!

After watching the guide get the hook stuck in a reef and tear off a big chunk of coral, my friends and I felt like taking a swim. When we asked when we could do that, we were told in about ten minutes, in Thai this time so we could understand.

After cruising over the reef for a while looking for a nice piece of coral to drop the anchor on we finally stopped for our swim. Excellent; cold fresh water around the body, the sun was shining and the kids were playing and giggling. Bump - what’s that? A plastic bottle this far away from land? That’s strange! Oops - a plastic bag and look over there - a beer can.

Looking up on the boat I saw people freely throwing absolutely everything overboard. Now I started getting angry. Why wasn’t the guide doing anything? “No problem” was the answer I got! “We’ll soon leave and won’t see it again.”

Hello! I live here and I’ll see it again! Now I’m getting cursed at in German and the dumping continued... more plastic bottles, beer cans and broken snorkeling fins.

Better up guides! It’s yours and the tour companies’ responsibility to brief people and help them understand the importance of keeping the sea and the rest of the environment clean. After all, we (farangs) are all guests in this beautiful country and should strive extra hard to take responsibility for nature and be good role models.

Peace on the reef,
Johan Ohlsson

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Seeking philatelic connection to Thailand

Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am looking for a serious collector of stamps to do a good & honest exchange of stamps between Austria & Thailand. As I have many contacts I have a huge range of material available. My major interests are animal stamps, especially fish, sea life, coral, shells... on registered covers and mint. My address is: Wolfgang Weitlaner, W. Exnergasse 2 - 13, A 1090 Wien, Austria. I am 35 yrs old and I am currently working for a press agency. My email is: [email protected]

Thank you. Sincerely,
Wolfgang

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Beer and coffee

Sir,

It appears that the ownership of bars and restaurants among farang retirees is a popular pursuit. I am curious to their management abilities inasmuch that coffee and beer are always served at the same temperature that is, ambient.

Whilst I have not visited every establishment in Pattaya, an even slight familiarity with sampling statistics has convinced me that the successful pursuit of HOT coffee and COLD beer is about as likely as ...(suitable simile to be provided by reader).

Regards,
Jon Angus, Jomtien

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Thanks for the letter

Dear Pattaya Mail,

Just a quick note of thanks to Peter Greene with reference to Lady Jane’s Pub in Phitsanuloke. It was Sod’s law that I was out of the country when the issue was published, as I normally peruse your web page on Saturday mornings.

After spending over two years in Pattaya, Phitsanuloke is quiet, but a lovely city with its Makro, Big C, Lotus etc. As Peter says, Lady Jane’s has live English Premiership football and an excellent menu. All are welcome. To anybody that knows us (and wants to!), you can contact Jane or myself at [email protected] or [email protected] Once again, thanks Peter and Pattaya Mail.

Chris & Jane,
Phitsanuloke

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Recommending an Internet café

Editor,

In using an Internet cafe for the last few months, I found myself burdened with an establishment that was not so much a business, as a party room.

In addition to the computers, they had a TV and stereo, which were always too loud; bar girls from up country sending email to casual acquaintances in other countries asking for money, sitting next to each other and shouting their conversations; friends of the employees stopping by to hang out and chatter, too loud; and smokers fouling the air for everyone.

I decided that being in Thailand, the Internet cafe was like everywhere else, and I would just have to accept it and go with the flow.

Recently, I discovered ‘Pattaya [email protected]’net’, on Soi Yamato near Beach Road. What a relief! No TV, no stereo, no loudmouths, no smoking.

Located on a quiet side Soi, spacious, cool, quiet and clean, Pattaya [email protected]’net is a peaceful oasis in a maelstrom of mindless noise. Anyone looking for an environment conducive to thinking and working should check it out.

Lawrence Neal, Pattaya

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Copyright 1999 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand 
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596; e-mail: [email protected]
Updated by Boonsiri Suansuk

Letters published in the Mailbag of Pattaya Mail will also be on our website.

It is noticed that the letters herein in no way reflect the opinions of the editor or writers for Pattaya Mail, but are unsolicited letters from our readers, expressing their own opinions. No anonymous letters or those without genuine addresses are printed, and, whilst we do not object to the use of a nom de plume, preference will be given to those signed.