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February 17, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-17

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Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Insurgents control rural Thailand

Tuesday, February 17, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Capital punishment absurd

emerged last weekend when
President Ford endorsed the death
penalty for federal cases involving
murder, treason, sabotage and espio-
nage. Ford's stance is very unfor-
tunate because it appears to ignore
weight of years upon years of de-
bate on capital punishment.-.
The much-touted "deterrent effect"
of the death penalty has never been
proven to the satisfaction of crimi-
nal law and penal experts. Death
penalty advocates who argue that
the sentence dissuades major crimes
really have no foundation to their
Another rationale for the death
penalty-one usually not articulated
but no doubt present In the minds
of many of its advocates-is an irra-
tional desire for vengeance. This po-
sition is so meaningless and Inhu-
mane that it hardly merits rebut-
tal. The objective of prisons and the
judicial system, all civil libertarians
agree, must be rehabilitation, not
A third point Ford failed to raise
in his speech is the shaky legal
standing of the death penalty. Con-
stitutional language is admittedly
vague, but it is difficult to imagine
a punishment more "cruel or unusu-
al" than execution. Moreover, it is
particularly inappropriate for Ford to
come out in favor of the death pen-
alty just as the Supreme Court is
weighing this very issue.
capital punishment focuses upon
its targets. Statistics show blacks
and poor persons are victims of the
death penalty far out of proportion

BANGKOK (PNS) - At night, travel-
ers in northeastern Thailand move by
permission of Communist insurgents.
While no one knows how many of
them are fighting the Thai government
-the government estimates 10,000-no
one disputes their domination of remote
areas in the last non-communist country
on the Southeast Asian peninsula.
About 350 miles northeast of Bangkok,
in the poorest region of Thailand, the
revolutionaries govern over 200 villages.
And their nighttime command of the
countryside extends much further.
BANGKOK WORRIES most about the
wave of young radicals, students, intel-
lectuals and workers - many of whom
led the overthrow of Thailand's military
dictatorship two and a half years ago -
who have now given up on the present
government and joined the insurgents.
The western press knows almost noth-
ing about the insurgency -'just as in
the Vietnam of 1960. To find out more,
this reporter journeyed into the rural
stronghold of what the insurgents call
their "liberation army."
My guide told me to wear a bright
shirt that could not be mistaken for a.
military uniform. He approved of my
longish hair.
"The people in the jungle think any-
body with a military haircut is a CIA
man," he explained.
ESCORTED by a tall man carrying
an M-16 rifle - now freely available in
Thailand for $25 to $30 each - I arrived
at a small food shop isolated in the dark-
Three men also carrying rifles emerg-
ed from the shadows to join us at the ta-
ble, while a woman placed glasses of hot
tea before us.
"Thailand does not need foreigners,"
the first man said. "They all must go.
We have our own army . . . our own
weanons. The Americans have been bad
for Thailand."

TiHE U. S. WILL officially ends its
combat presence in Thailand in
March, but 3,000 military advisers and
several communications facilities will re-
He said the government neglects peo-
ple in rural areas who need help.
"There are no roads, no doctors, no
schools, no medicines, no water and
sometimes'no food," he said. The rural,
jungle people are mostly minority tribes,
poor 'and traditionally discriminated
against by the Thai government. About
1.5 million of them live in Thailand-in-
cluding tribespeople and Muslims-and
most are hostile to the government.
But the tribal based insurgents have
developed a revolutionary ideology in-
tended to appeal to poor peasants of
any ethnic background..
THE REBEL accused police and sol-
diers of mistreating rural people, de-
manding food and women.
"If thieves steal a buffalo, the police
do nothing, but we get it back," he said.
"Some people here went to jail for
cutting down a tree," he went on, "but
a contractor cut down a forest and noth-
ing happened to him. Sometimes a po-'
licemen shoots somebody and says we
did it."
Although refusing to answer many of
my questions, when asked whether the
communists could defeat the army and
police, he immediately replied, "In three
THE INSURGENTS concentrate their
military actions on ambushing govern-
ment forces. In one or two ambushes a
day, they kill an average of one or two
policemen or soldiers, the insurgents
Strengthened by arms and probably
training from Vietnam, Laos and Cam-
bodia, the insurgents are now better or-
ganized and better equipped than at any
time in the past.
Over 40,000 government soldiers and*
nolice are fighting the rebels at a cost of
X150 million per year.

Until a year ago the government fre-
quently over-reacted to communist ac-
tivities, -killing innocent people and de-
stroying villages with indiscriminate and
heavy air strikes and gunship attacks.
NOW THE THAIS, convinced by the
failure of U. S. air power and other
tactics in Indochina, are fighting a limit-
ed, mobile war of ambush, night attacks
and never-ceasing patrols of enemy
The government has also decided it
can best defeat the guerrillas by putting
its best face forward in the countryside.
Rather than jailing captured insurg-
ents, the government sends them to an
amnesty center where they get job
training in minimum security conditions.
They are soon free to go where they
Although hardliners in the military dis-
approve of this approach, General Sai-
yud Kerdphol, who directs the program,
supports it enthusiastically. "We believe
these men should be forgiven," he says.
"Some inevitably rejoin the commun-
ists, but very few. We are convinced our
amnesty program is a success."
IN THE LAST year, the government
has also developed programs to improve
rural life. Most effective has been a
$250 million per year program of cash
aid to villages throughout Thailand for
local improvements - including roads,
bridges, water and electricity, drainage
-and irrigation systems, schools and
health centers.
Meanwhile, behind military lines, com-

munist political education teams travel
from village to village to explain their
own program, using generators, projec-
tors and propaganda materials reported-
ly from Hanoi. Thais also are reported
to go to Laos for political and military
To display their strength, the com-
munists take unusual care of govern-
ment troops, sometimes risking their own
safety to carry wounded men to places
where government units will find them
quickly. 'Then they tell the local peo-
ple, "The government doesn't even look
after its own wounded. We have to help
This argument has impressed many
villagers. And communist medical care
and campaigns against opium, gamb-
ling and crime have won followers.
GENERAL SAIYUD believes the com-
munists can only be defeated if the
position of the minorities is improved
and a voluntary rural militia is estab-
lished. Unless the tribals are given Thai
citizenship and the right to run their
own affairs, the insurgency will expand
constantly, he says.
Perhaps he is right. It remains to be
seen whether the Thai government can
win the race it has belatedly entered to
c-nfre the loyalty of minority peas-
Neil Kelly writes from Bangkok for
Pacific News as well as a number of
Australian ahters. The Observer in Lon-
doa and the Washington Post.

To display their strength, the communists take unusual
care of government troops, sometimes risking their own
safety to carry wounded men to places where government
units will find them quickly. Then they tell the local people,
"The government doesn't even look after its own wound-
.........." ' :f:....... nv:;................: : =....... .... ...}vmf4 ,h e Y{ :; .y''J > +.+ {"::.rx };7: w. . .'mrm. {a' { 9

Gerald Ford

Editorial Staff

with their offenses. The penalty is
far too often applied unfairly and
inequitably. .
A related point involves the indi-
viduals who commit the crimes
Ford singled out. Murder and ter-
rorism, of course, must not be tol-
erated in a society which strives to
protect it citizens. But murder is
quite frequently committed in a
brief state of uncontrolled passion,
when a gunholder has temporarily
lost his or her better judgment.
At other times, violent crime may
be committed by emotionally unbal-
anced or mentally ill persons. Cer-
tainly, not even Ford would advocate
execution of men and women for
acts they simply cannot control.
Even more frightening is the re-
mote yet very real possibility that an
executed person may prove to be in-
nocent in the light of new informa-
tion learned after the penalty is ap-
idea could have exactly the op-
posite effect he intends. His "eye for
an eye" mentality may sound good
to some, but jurists often report that
they must agonize for days before
senencing a criminal in an offense
involving the death penalty. More-
over, many legal experts suspect
juries may simply choose to find
defendant innocent, rather than pro-
nounce guilt and thereby subject him
or her to a potential execution. Guil-
ty parties could escape scot free.
Ford's stance, therefore, is based
on emotional, irrational and inhu-
mane feelings which are completely
out of place in any system of juris-
prudence which purports to be fair
and effective. His opponents in Cam-
paign '76 should respond with every
bit of attack and rebuttal which the,
position deserves.
News: Pauline Lubens, Rob Meachum,
Ken Parsigian, Jeff Ristine, Rick
Soble, Mike Norton
Editorial Page: Stephen Hersh, Karen
Schulkins, Tom Stevens
Arts Page: James Valk
Photo Technician: Ken Fink



JEFF RISTINE .............. Managing Editor
TIM SCHICK.. . .......... Executive Editor
sTEPHEN HERSH............Editorial Director
JEFF SORENSEN...................Arts Editor
CHERYL PILATE .. ...... Magazine Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Ades, Tom Allen, Glen
Allerhand, Marc Basson, Dana Bauman, David
Blomqluist, James Burns. Kevin Counihan,
Jodi Dimck, Mitch Dunitz, Elaine Fletcher.
Phil Foley. Mark Friedlander, David Garfinkel,
Tom Godell, Kurt Harju, Charlotte Heeg,
Richard James, Lois aosmovich, Tom Kettler.
Chris Kochmanski, Jay Levin, Andy Lilly, Ann
Marie Lipinski, George Lobsenz, Pauline Lu-
hens, Teri Maneau, Angelique Matney, Jim
Nicoll, Maureen Nolan, Mike Norton, Ken Par-
sigian-, Kim Potter, Cathy Reutter, Anne
Marie Schiavi, Karen Schulkins, Jeff Selbst,
Rick Sobel, Tom Stevens, Steve Stojic, Cathi
Suyak, Jim Tobin, Jim Valk. Margaret Yao,
Andrew Zerman, David Whiting.
Sports Staff
Sports Editor
MARCIA MERKER ......... .. Executive Editor
LEBA HERTZ . Managing Editor
JEFF SCHILLER.......... .... Associate Editor
Liebster, Ray O'Hara, Michael Wilson
NIGHT EDITORS: Rick Bonino, Tom Cameron,
Tom Duranceau, Andy Glazer, Kathy Henne-
ghan, Ed Lange, Rich Lerner, Scott Lewis, Bill
Marcia Katz, John Niemeyer, Dave Wihak
DESK ASSISTANTS: Paul Campbell. Marybeth
Dillon, Larry Engle, Aaron Gerstman, Jerome
Gilbert, Andy Lebet, Rick Maddock, Bob Miller,
Joyce Moy, Patrick Rode, Arthur Wightman

Rent strike stronger; Sunrise.

IS THE SUNRISE realty com-
pany falling apart? Its in-
vestors are not being paid. It is
defaulting cases in court. And
it is beginning to lose its
houses bought on land con-
Au owner of buildings man-
aged by Sunrise looked at his
house and agreed with the ten-
ants. When he managed the
houses himself, he claimed, it
was in pretty good shape. Now
it's rundown. "I wouldn't pay
rent myself," he said.
Meanwhile, the Sunrise rent
strike is growing, Ten more
tenants will join In March.
People who have signed leases
for September have expressed
interest in joining next year.
And the Tenants Union may
find Sunrise units in Ypsilanti
who have cause to withhold
At a Tenants Union meeting
last fall, Sunrise manager Dew-
ey Black argued that the poor
quality of the houses was Tro-
ny's fault, not his. That is
only part of the story.
According to a secretary who
used to work for the firm,
Black's incompetence has dam-
aged Sunrise more than the
strike. For instance, last Thurs-
day Black claimed he received
a temporary Certificate of Oc-
I cupancy for one of his houses.
However, the very next day,
a list of violations five pages
long was compiled by Don Tay-
lor, a city inspector. Of the

13 units in the house, Taylor
said, only one was legally liv-
When a tenant last fall asked
that maintenance be done on
her apartment, Black looked
her up and down. "One of my
maintenance men went, to your
place," he said, "and saw wo-
men running around in the
nude. As a matter of fact," he
continued, "the one he de-
scribed looked like you."
But Black has more prob-
lems than that. One counter-
claim against Black reads:
"Plaintiff threatened with ex-
tortion in that plaintiff threat-
ened to have 'friend' in the po-
lice department charge the de-
fendant with the sale of drugs
. . ." The tenant in that case
has filed for $50,000 in dam-
THE LONGER tenants live
in shoddy homes, the stiffer
their demands will be. Prob-
lems with heat and maintenance
continue. And each day the re-
solve of the tenants is
Striking members of the Ten-
ants Union (TU) have' already
been offered a one month rent
rebate as the bottom line, with
a mediator to decide who de-
serves more. Or in lieu of that
they can be absolved of the last
four months. of the lease. The
tenants want more, however,
because they deserve it.
The University must accept
its responsibility too for the

housing crisis in town. The Re-
gents seem unaware that a
crisis exists. They callously
raised dorm fees by nine, per
cent and were not even aware
of the number of students en-
rolled or of the effect of the
hike on the private market.
'Can University Hous-
ing Director Jo h n
Feldkamp be serious
when he says an in-
crease in dorm rates
has no affect on t h e
private market?
Where is his proof?
The TU has learned
that three landlords
have already raised
next year's rent t e n
per cent.'
DEAN ROACH HAD the nerve
to suggest enrollment had
increased by only one student
over the last year although it
has grown by 1,200. Enrollment
has increased by 4,000 since
1967 and there is not enough
Further indication of the hap-
hazard way in which the school

operates was given by Univer-
sity President Robben Fleming
when he admitted that decisions
concerning the number of stu-
dents admitted has no relation'
to the number of living units on
hand. Will students be living
in University offices before the
eyes of these bureaucrats are
opened? Students are already
thinking about sendng notes to
high schools across the country,
saying "You need not apply
here; the quality of education
has gone down and there, is no
place to live."
assed, the problem is real. The
vacancy rate of 0.46 per cent
tells part of the story. Tenants
are overcrowding their houses.
They live in attics and cellars
or kitchens converted to bed-
rooms. Some cannot afford any-
thing else.
Can University Housing Di-
rector John Feldkamp be seri-
ous when he says an increase
in dorm rates has no affect on
the private market? Where is
his proof? The TU has learned
that three landlords have al-
ready raised next years rent
ten per cent.
Students should write letters
to the Regents complaining
about their housing conditions.
It would not hurt either, if the'ir
parents and Congressmen wrote
letters too. We at the TU have
an address list in our office.
Tenants must organize and as-
sert their rights. If we sit back

we are helpless. The landlords
have money and have spent
nearly $90,000 to defeat legis-
lation favoring the tenant.
Landlords intimidate tenants
who do not know their rights
and threaten those who coi-
plain with eviction. Our strength
is in numbers.
LA N D L OQ R D S discrimi-
nate against women and
the poor. Wilson White will not
rent to people who receive Aid
to Dependent Children (ADC).
Women's:rights groups should
join with the TU to make this
illegal. At Woodland Hills, the
owners are trying to improve
their image after a fire killed
two people.
A widow was allowed to move
in only if she paid a year's
rent in advance. Another wo-
man defaulted on a court case
after the manager told her she
need not show up Another wo-
man has a daughter going in
for open heart surgery next
month and is being denied per-
mission to rerent since she re-
ceives ADC. There are leaks in
the buildings which are often
without heat. One woman
claims her two children caught
pneumonia because the place is
so cold.
We must act. Now is the
Robert Miller is a member of
the steering committee of the
Ann Arbor Tenants' Union.

i ;,,

To The Daily:
carried a rather silly letter to
the Editor from "Unity" Cau-
cus stalwart Judy Sisung. Si-
sung appears to object to the
fact that CDU supporters are
thinking human beings, capable
of analyzing the urgent tasks
facing Local 2001, working- out
proposals for action, and pre-
paring enough for union meet-
ings so that we won't flail
around and waste everybody's
time. In particular she objects
to CDU supporters - not just
Carolyn Weeks - working out
contingency plans to prevent
UAW bureaucrat Carolyn For-
rest from ignoring parliamen-
tary procedure and strongarm-
ing her way through our meet-
The objection is absurd. Si-
sung knows very well the his-
tory of Local 2001. Our first
meeting run by Robert's Rules
of n..n.. +nnlr nlaon Seri...

had feared, Fersort tried the
same game again at our Febru-
ary 4 meeting. She failed only
because she and "Unity" were
outnumbered nearly two to one
by an angry membership.
Forrest and the other UAW
bureaucrats are professionals
with years of training and ex-
perience in suppressing UAW
members. That is why so few
UAW locals. have escaped the
control of the Solidarity House
machine up to now. Anyone who
watched the UAW bureaucrats
quash any serious discussion
even of affirmative action at
the December 1975 Coalition of
Labor Union Women (CLUW)
Convention knows how effective
they are at shutting off micro-
phones, physically intimidating
delegates and playing parlia-
mentary games to prevent de-
bate and action. In order to de-
feat such enemies, our mem-
bership must be as well inform-
ed and organized as they are.
C'T T )TA A T AV nit for-


intelligent debate is advanced
and not retarded by thinking
ahead. Our Local does not need
the silly demagogy of a Judy
Sisung. We need open and in-
telligent debate. We need to
begin to defend our members
and to prepare for the contract
struggle ahead.
Lenore Goldman
Jacke O'Dowd
Feb. 16
wo men's sports
To The Daily:
the sports page Saturday, Feb-
ruary 8, and I was so disgusted
I had to write to you.
Why does your paper insist
on relegating your reporting of
the excellent achievements of
our women's sports teams, par-
ticularly the swim team, to the
bottom of the page, in the short-
est articles of the entire sports
page? Time and aigan this has
hannened to the swim tean a

The only way one would even
know we had a women's basket-
ball team at all is through the
scores printed at the bottom of
the page, which are also typical
of male chauvinist thought: the
men's basketball scores are
listed as "College Basketball"
scores, while the women's
scores are listed as "Women's
Basketball" scores. And if you
try to tell me that the "Col-
lege" above the men's scores is
meant to include the women's
scores, then I ask you, why are
the men's scores not designated
as such, but just assumed to be
so? "College Basketball" should
be the general heading with
sub-headings of "Women's" and
sports page, the articles on the

women's swim team and the
men's track team were the
only articles written about
teams that won, yet they were
also the two articles printed at
the bottom of the page. The top
of the page was filled with ev-
ery little detail imaginable
about the defeats of the men's
basketball, hockey, and wrest-
ling teams. Your paper is in
most respects a somewhat en-
lightened one, so why do you
continue to perpetrate such
chauvinist ideas and practices?
If you do nothing to correct the
chronic injustice done to wo-
men's sports teams in partic-
ular and women in general,
then who will?
Virginia R. Boynton
Feb. 9, 1976

The Daily

"":." I.sv;.S?.;.; s . .A S. ":. . ; . }.:;},:?W'"'? SF . v
Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip hart (Dem), 253 Russell Bldg., Capitol Hill,
Washingtan. U.C. 2015.

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