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Army should curb the sale of white spirit liquor

Re: "Alcohol increase the risk of rape", Letters, July 19.

Alcohol also increases the risk of homicide and worst of all the domestic violence that has been a common feature in the families of Thai labourers.

The culprit is the cheap white spirit, which plays a big part in causing our social ills while enriching a few families because of cheap taxes. In The Nation of June 19, the article, "WHO report reveals Thailand is reeling under a liquor tsunami", specially contributed by David Swartzentruber (a US specialist on issues of alcoholism), Thailand was named by WHO as fourth highest consumer of alcohol in the world.

The shocking part is 70 per cent of us are abstainers and 30 per cent are drinkers of mainly white spirit, drinking on behalf of the whole nation. The global average is 6 litres per capita while Thai men average is 30 litres of pure alcohol. The significant type of alcohol consumption in Thailand is 73 per cent spirit while less developed Myanmar is only 12 per cent spirit and 82 per cent beer, a ratio that is more civilised and similar to the West.

Stopping drinking on trains is pathetic when the whole country is "reeling under a liquor tsunami". This general air of malaise has dragged us down too long. For the start, rooting out white spirit should be a great beginning. Years of warnings from many Thais yield no result. Perhaps this American expert could make a difference. This would be a feat most fitting for our current beloved Army to deal with and set a new standard of social justice.

Yours sincerely,

Songdej Praditsmanont

Sathorn, Bangkok


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