What Else? No. 1 – Zero Rupees Note Edition

“What Else?” is a regular look at all the other things that happened in Thailand, Germany, on the web and in between.

After a very long court verdict, let’s look what’s left of this week.

An Indian NGO called the “5th Pillar” have the high aim of fighting corruption (sounds familiar, eh?). They hope achieve this with these zero rupee bank notes (pictured above) in case some higher authority wants to make some extra money on your expense. Is this a good way to fight corruption? Is this an example applicable to Thailand? And would you get away fast enough when the cops realize the round zero(s) on the note?

Absolutely Bangkok, a Thai blog with a very distinct voice on current affairs, recently found his own site being blocked by a Thai ISP. Thankfully, it is already unblocked and he has the full story how it happened. The gist is, that nearly everyone can report to a service called Thaihotline.org, set up by the Thai ISPs, anything that could be illegal. Unfortunately, what is illegal though is in many cases not clearly defined.

American journalist Patrick Winn has written a very interesting geopolitical story about Thailand’s joint military exercises with both the US and China.

Remember when the PAD (also known as the yellow shirts) have seized the two airports in Bangkok and have sieged the Government’s House back in 2008? And have you also wondered if anybody has been prosecuted by now? Well, so far nothing has happened! In fact, the prosecution has postponed the indictment of the nine PAD leader for the 8th (!) time since November 2008. Why? Well, read here…

And now to our “WTF?! of the Week” where I ‘honor’ stories, persons or anything that makes us initially shout those three letters of confusion. This week it’s about Khunying Dr. Pornthip Rojanasunand, Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice and probably the most famous forensic pathologist even before CSI. She is an advocate for forensic evidence, especially when the police haven’t done their work again or are trying to cover their own wrongdoings. So, a recent survey by Reader’s Digest Thailand has decided today that – drum roll, please – Dr. Pornthip is the most trustworthy person in Thailand! So far, so unsurprising given her good public image (and her flamboyant hair). But it is astonishing that a scientific, who believes in scientific evidence, is defending the use of the GT200, the ‘bomb detector’ which is now scientifically proven to be nothing but a bogus dowsing rod! To be fair though, the survey was done in October last year – way before the GT200 was on anybody’s mind. But I doubt she’d be that popular if the survey would be held now. Nevertheless, the headline was worthy enough for the first ever “WTF?! of the Week“!

Finally, a brilliant piece yet again by Not The Nation, the Thai counterpart to The Onion. This article on Thai journalism bears more truth than some could handle – especially for a certain editor at The Nation: “Thai Media Warns Of Thaksin-Less Doomsday For Journalism”

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On this occasion, I’d like to thank all readers of this blog for your feedback, your comments and your retweets. It’s been a great start for this blog and I hope this will only get better – there won’t be a short supply of stories after all! Cheers, everybody!

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