Posted by: Patrick Mosolf | Wednesday, 17 December, 2008

Today’s thoughts: Change in Thailand, Human Need in CAR

A few comments on things happening today:

In Thailand a new Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, is sworn in after months of protests by groups in Bangkok opposed to rule by a party connected with, and probably controlled by, Thaksin Shinawatra.

This Prime Minsiter is a shift, as he is from the Opposition Party, and thus are replacing Shinawatra’s party, which was the target of the protests. So possibly this will lead to the end of the instability in Bangkok.

In the past few months, I’ve had the odd experience of people saying they are avoiding Bangkok, because of their knowledge of the events taking place there. It’s odd because it is usually a place where many people are going.

Although I’ve been following too distantly to understand these events enough to make a good comment, let’s hope this change will bring stability to Bangkok, but only if it is done in a way which preserves democracy. I say that because one of the more questionable propositions of the main group protesting in Thailand are those who would propose to reduce the number of directly elected members of Parliament.

BBC reports on a serious humanitarian situation in the little covered Central African Republic. (click here)

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes as a result of civil war, and the figures are stark: 200 out of 1,000 children die before the age of 5. Life expectancy is 42 years old. Health services are hindered by great distances to health care, and poor infrastructure makes this transport more difficult.

Although it is no doubt different, the description reminds me of my experence in Liberia, where the incredibly poor roads in some provinces, prevented people from accessing healthcare. In southeast Liberia, the neighboring provinces were hardly linked with Harper by road, making anyone who needed a higher level of healthcare in those provinces a day or more away from the hospital. Hopefully healthcare has improved in Liberia since then.

Although it’s remote for some readers, let’s try to keep those people in Central African Republic in our minds. And when there’s a spare moment, reflect on how this kind of problem can be solved. I would like to hear any comments or suggestions on how readers think this situation can be ameliorated.


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