Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bangkok Post: Dishonestly Linking Thaksin to US Action Over IP

Thaksin linked to US action

Govt suspicious after country put on list

Bangkok Post


The government is checking whether the recent movements of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra are linked to the decision of the US Trade Representative (USTR) to downgrade Thailand to a country deemed to have poor intellectual property protection. Government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalap revealed the government's response action when asked to comment on speculation to this effect.

Six days ago, The Washington Times published an article critical of the coup, the government's economic policies and its decision to adopt compulsory licensing. The article was penned by Ken Adelman, who is a senior counsellor of a public relations company which has Mr Thaksin among its clients and also an executive director of USA for Innovation.

This really proves how truly worthless Thai journalists are. They either are stupid or being dishonest on purpose. The Bangkok Post won't make the distinction that Ken Adelman was acting in his capacity as head of USA for Innovation and not acting as senior counsellor for Edelmen. Not only that, these reporters refused to contact Ken Adelman or Edelman for comment. Also, they didn't contact Thaksin for his comment also. Now, any real newspaper with journalistic ethics and with a competent editorial staff would actually contact the other side before going to print. But, in this case, the Bangkok Post chose its own political interests over what it is professionally right.

The USTR on Monday placed Thailand and 11 other countries on a ''priority watch list'' to monitor them for their handling of intellectual property rights.

Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said he wanted to know why the US took this step and admitted he was concerned about the possible economic impact.

People living with HIV/Aids and health activists yesterday announced plans to rally at the US embassy today to protest against the USTR's decision.

''We have to let them know that this US attempt to protect its trade benefits is unacceptable. Millions of poor patients, not only in Thailand but in other developing countries, who depend on costly drugs will die because of such selfish action,'' said Virat Poorahong of the Thai Network Living with HIV/Aids.

Here is another unchallenged lie, which the Bangkok Post doesn't refute. The US is not protecting any trade benefits. The fact is that the US has been giving unreciprocated trade benefits to Thailand. Here is a link(KRC Predicts IP trade problems) to another story in the Bangkok Post that refutes this quote.

Further, the United States is not responsible for giving free Aids medication to Thais, who contracted HIV in Thailand through their own risky behaviors. HIV/Aids is preventable. If Thailand is worried about the spread of Aids maybe it should shut down it multibillion dollar sex industry.

Mr Virat and 30 HIV-positive people met Public Health Minister Mongkol na Songkhla to show their support for compulsory licensing of generic versions of the Aids and heart drugs Efavirenz, Kaletra and Plavix. They were concerned that the government would retreat from the move under pressure from the USTR.

Dr Mongkol said he was worried about the impact on trade but insisted that poor people should have access to cheap drugs.

''We can't let our poor patients die without dignity,'' he added.

There are millions of Thais dying of diseases unrelated to Aids every year. Their dignity has never been a priority of the Thai government . It seems that only when foreigners and their money and technology is involved does the dignity of Thais get top priority.

Washington should respect Thailand's decision, which he stressed was in line with the World Trade Organisation's Trade-Related Aspects on Intellectual Property Rights (Trips) rules.

''They should avoid putting pressure on us as long as what we're trying to do is legitimate,'' he said. Dr Mongkol will visit Washington on May 21-22 to explain the government's decision, in a trip planned long before the USTR announcement.

What the Thai government is doing is illegitimate and it hasn't been enforcing intellectual property laws across the board.

Here is another story on the Aids topic:

Aids activists lash out at US

Bangkok (TNA, dpa)

Activists of the Thai Network of People Living with HIV/Aids have called for retaliation against the United States, and for the US to be placed on a "watch list" for violating international sovereignty and patients' rights worldwide.The puckish yet angry suggestion came after the US Trade Representative placed Thailand on a 12-nation "Priority Watch List" for intellectual property piracy.

Dozens of network members, with representatives of the Aids Access Foundation, on Thursday gathered at the US Embassy and denounced Washington's move as an action taken for commercial purposes only, disregarding morality and human lives.

They said the US accusation of Thailand's failure to sufficiently protect American producers from widespread piracy lacked factual information.

"Evil USA stop threatening access to treatment in Thailand," said one of the banners.

Love their mentality. They engage in risky behavior. They want others to pay for the risky behavior that puts their health at risk. And then they blame the country with the drugs for their inability to pay for their health problems. How about paying the 50 baht for a pack of condoms? How about engaging a profession that doesn't put your health at risk?

In other words, these activists want free handouts from another country's industry because they are incapable of taking care of the sexual health.

If these activists are so concerned about Aids in Thailand, you would think they would be on the front lines of ending prostitution in Thailand. But, guess what, they aren't.

And what about sex education? Is that a priority? Nope. There only priority seems to blame Americans for their problems.

Also, if these activists are really concerned about this problem, why don't they demand that the Thai government invest is own money in research and development in its own pharmaceutical industry?

If the government can't afford the medicines, why doesn't the government advocate raising taxes?

Here is a list of things that can be taxed.

Tourism, health tourism, sin products like the lottery, alcohol, and cigarettes, massage parlours, brothels, and go go bars.

Why not have a lottery to raise money for medicines?

The fact is that the Thai government is trying to pull a fast one and wants to get something for free.

Also, I think it is interesting that Bill Gates and Bill Clinton can raise hundreds of millions of dollars in private funds to help in the fight against Aids.

I have to wonder, however, how many Thai billionaires have put up their own millions to defeat Aids or provide treatment for their own people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A lot of Bangkok people still believe that Thaksin Shinawatra, after his ouster, either out of malice or to spite the Thais, was responsible for:

(a) the New Year's eve Bangkok bombings;

(b) the school burnings at the Northeast

So many believe Thaksin would hire the very same lobbyist Adelman to malign the Kingdom of Thailand at every opportunity.