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Concerned for Pravit and his fellow detainees

I want to commend the new junta's public-relations efforts. It is encouraging to see that nice young Army officer on TV keeping us posted on what's going on. I don't understand his Thai, but my maid translates.

I'm especially grateful that the Army always picks the handsomest young officer it can find to be their spokesman. My husband grumbles that they need to pair him up with a beautiful young officerette. That will make everybody happy.

But I have a suggestion. I understand that the junta has detained a lot of people, although I'm not clear on the exact number. It's all very well to assure us they're not being tortured, but I'm sure the public would feel greatly reassured if the junta would give us frequent live televised tours of the detention facilities so that we'll know that the detainees aren't being mistreated. Interviews with prominent detainees would also be appreciated. I miss the insightful articles by Nation reporter Khun Pravit, and wonder if the junta can't be persuaded to let him file dispatches from his place of detention. (I don't want to use the word "cell", and hope it's more like a suite.)

Finally, would it be possible for the junta to release, on a daily basis, the menu of meals being served to the detainees? We need to know they're receiving proper nutrition. I don't expect them to be dining by candlelight on pheasant-under-glass and duck a l'orange every evening, with a choice of fine wines and chamber music playing in the background. But it would be reassuring to know that they're getting something better than plain rice with fish sauce. If they're eating the same food as the soldiers who are detaining them, that would be adequate.

Constance Beasley (Mrs)

Bangkok


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