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Sunday, May 02, 2010

The neighbourhood needs a big clean-up

Bangkok Post

The neighbourhood needs a big clean-up: ""

* Published: 2/05/2010 at 02:13 AM
* Online news: Opinion

Two incidents in Asia last week seem at first glance to be unrelated. In South Korea, investigators said it seems inescapable that a North Korean torpedo attack sank the navy ship Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. In Chiang Mai province, soldiers from the Pha Muang Task Force protecting the Thai border intercepted smugglers, who immediately pulled out weapons and opened fire. The troops killed three men, subsequently found to be Wa insurgents trying to smuggled methamphetamines into Thailand.

Such reports of violence have become almost commonplace. They are frequently relegated to the bottom area of the inside pages of this and other newspapers. The deadly border battle with the drug traffickers was the fourth story on the fourth page of last Friday's Bangkok Post. The horrific deaths of 46 men in an apparent ``perfect crime'' by the North Korean government never made the front page.

The reason for this is simply because this region has become used to such appalling news. The two nations at the southwest and northeast corners of East Asia constantly produce reports of hideous actions. The governments of Burma and North Korea are secretive, unaccountable and shadowy regimes. It is well known and documented that they abuse citizens, shackling and torturing anyone who dares to speak against them. Both countries sanction and support deplorable crimes against their neighbours.

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