Strange intro

Strange intro - April 4, 2005
Peter was the first of several people to point out this incredibly bizarre and rambling intro to a Q&A column on autos: Shedding light on flashing lights (The Nation, March 31, 2005). Beyond demonstrating that Nation editors are not paying attention to what goes into their newspaper, it is nonetheless an interesting insight to how many young Thais views foreigners living in the country.

Many Americans and Europeans choose to spend their retirements in Thailand. Thais are generally very nice to foreigners, and we sometimes tend to honour them more than fellow Thais. The majority of foreigners who come to Thailand are good people and don’t cause problems. But some capitalise on our generosity and use Thailand as a hiding place to get away from crimes they have committed back home. Some even go further and start committing new crimes in this country.
Today there are certain foreigners who rely on being “farang”, and trick Thai women from the provinces into marrying them. In return they give the women a small amount of money every month in exchange for being able to live in the Kingdom permanently. In the process they also get a partner in bed.
Some of these farangs take advantage of legal loopholes by setting up independent organisations and find ways to publicise themselves. They go to the provinces, donated a petty sum to schools, or take photos at restaurants and small factories in the villages, all so they can send the pictures abroad and claim they are doing charity work. They are angling for support money from international organisations. They lie to people and say that they work for an NGO, even though their work does not benefit the public and is merely a commercial enterprise.
These foreigners, who generally are not well off, usually live in small provinces, like in the Northeast. Sometimes these farangs even trick fellow farangs. As far as I know, the Thai authorities are carefully watching these people and waiting to get their hands on evidence to go after them. Without evidence the police could be accused of violating the bad farangs’ rights.
But today, I have some questions from a good farang concerning the use of indicator lights in Thailand...


More on the 'Strange intro' - April 5, 2005
Concerning the 'Strange intro' from yesterday, we commented "Beyond demonstrating that Nation editors are not paying attention to what goes into their newspaper..."
Today a sub-editor at The Nation wrote to clarify: Not true. It was let through basically unchanged by the sub-editors' desk in the hope it would stir some controversy via letters to the editor and thereby force something to be done about these mad uninformed ramblings that appear from time to time. The responsibility of what goes into each section of the paper is the responsibility of that section's editor. The section editor in this case, being who he is, probably saw nothing wrong with the story...
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