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All Thais have the chance to improve their lot

Re: "Underprivileged wish there were more to life", Letters, July 31

Another astonishing letter from John Arnone. He is a master of baseless allegations, trying to draw attention away from the essential points in my letter by introducing false accusations.

Arnone writes that I lack understanding of the human condition. Since I don't know him personally, I wonder what he bases his opinion on? But isn't Arnone himself failing to understand the human condition, since history proves that humankind always tries to improve and parents want their children to have better lives than they had?

Reading is an art that Arnone evidently hasn't mastered. Nowhere did I write that the "poor" are lazy, as he alleges, and nor do I believe that. I only pointed out that there are more worthwhile activities for the "poor" than smoking, drinking and singing. It's Arnone who seems to hold this opinion because he limits the "poor" to these activities. I consider this an insult to the "poor", and certainly they wouldn't be happy to hear it. Living in "dark" Isaan, I see many examples of the "not well-to-do" parents (I prefer this expression to "poor" because it's not derogatory) improving their lot and making incredible sacrifices to send their children to universities with help from the government.

Arnone writes that the aspirations of the underprivileged are beyond their reach. Is this written in law? I don't think so, and many are the examples of these people reaching their goals in life!

Thailand has changed a lot in recent decades and, for all Thais, it is now possible to improve. Thailand isn't in the Stone Age anymore! Alleging that I help create the dynamics that feed poverty is too much of an honour: I have no influence on Thai politics. I can't even vote.

I wonder who the dunce is in denying the results of inhaling second-hand smoke. I didn't connect air pollution with cigarette smoke. I only noted the bad relation between health and inhaling second-hand smoke. Arnone still believes farang caused the introduction of a law banning smoking in air-conditioned public places, etc?

I consider your letter condescending, insulting and lacking in insight.

EL Wout

Bangkok


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