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William E Heinecke suggests the US, Australia and others should think again

Open Letter: The Coup That Nobody Wanted But Thailand Needed

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
PHUKET: Australia and the US are among the nations that have failed to understand why a coup was necessary in Thailand and how military intervention can be a force for good, as has been shown on Phuket over the past week.

An open letter to the ambassadors of nations represented in Thailand and the international media:

IN THE WAKE of recent political developments in Thailand, I feel compelled to write to address what I believe to be gross misinterpretations of the current situation in Thailand by certain Western nations and elements of the international media.

As a naturalised Thai citizen born in America - and who have lived in Thailand for over 51 years without forgetting my Western roots - I feel that I have a unique perspective on recent events and the reactions to them.

I am distressed by the interpretations made of both the coup that recently took place in Thailand and the situation that led to it. Put succinctly, many of the Western nations and international media have gotten it wrong.

From where we sit in Thailand today, it is not an issue of which political party was right and which was wrong. All Thais will pull together to work within a system that is acceptable and sustainable to the Thai majority. Vilifying one party or politician will not lead to constructive reconciliation moving forward.

A coup d' etat is not a positive event by any means. I do not believe that the Thai military considered it to be positive, but rather a necessary step that was taken reluctantly. I cannot think of one Western country that has in recent memory experienced the social and political gridlock that Thailand suffered through for the past six months, resulting in government and political paralysis against a background of increasing violence and needless loss of lives.

As the situation escalated, it became painfully clear that there would be no resolution as neither side of the political divide offered any reasonable compromise or demonstrated any inclination to compromise.

The military showed great restraint as it stood by watching the situation deteriorate, allowing ample time and opportunity for the politicians to resolve the crisis.

The price for that period was paid for by the Thai people, in blood, stress and economic sacrifice and only when it was clear that that there was no other reasonable solution did the Thai military step in.

It is easy for people far away to have characterised events in Thailand as a clash between ''pro'' and ''anti'' democracy protestors. This is not correct.

There are very few people on either side of the political debate who oppose the idea of a functional democratic system for Thailand. I believe the Thai military, the majority of political parties in Thailand and the Thai people all want democracy, and a stable and functioning democracy that represents the will of the Thai majority.

I believe the current environment provides the platform for an effective 'reboot' of Thai democracy that will meet the needs and aspirations of the Thai people.

Thailand is a relatively young democracy and as every Western democracy has gone through periods of great change and reform, this is precisely what Thailand is experiencing as part of the maturation of its political system.

Recent developments are an important step towards the establishment of a strong and stable political structure that will underpin Thailand's success going forward.

However, Thailand is not only facing political challenges, but also the compounding effects of exaggerated media reports which paint a distorted and unrealistic picture of the situation.

While such reporting may sell newspapers and draw TV audiences, it is fear-mongering which promotes a misunderstanding of the situation - this in turn influences government travel warnings worldwide and has a disastrous effect on tourism.

There are no concerns whatsoever for personal safety within Bangkok's large expatriate community or the millions of tourists still enjoying their holidays in Thailand, yet this is not mentioned in the international media reports or travel warnings.

Life goes on very much as usual in Thailand but this is far from the impression that one gets when watching the international news channels.

Hospitality has a huge impact on the Thai economy, generating millions of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue for a country that is known throughout the world for its charm, safety and hospitality. However, 62 countries have issued travel advisories for Thailand, 18 of which contain a red alert advising citizens to defer all travel to Thailand, according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

These travel warnings are baffling to those of us who understand Thailand and fly in the face of the fact that Thailand continues to peacefully welcome millions of travellers from all over the world. It is the responsibility of all parties, and the media in particular, to present the situation accurately and in proper context to promote understanding, rather than misunderstanding, of the situation.

All parties involved need to think hard about the detrimental effect that their words and actions are having on the people of Thailand.

Today's travellers are savvier than they have ever been and with many countries around the world facing economic challenges, political difficulties and natural disasters, our globetrotting community understands how to take these factors into account when making their travel plans.

Increasingly, travellers are relying on first-hand advice from people at ground zero who understand that this is simply part of the international travel landscape.

If the media continues to promote sensationalistic and simplistic viewpoints of the situation in Thailand, they not only do a disservice to the viewing public but also run a very real risk of making themselves irrelevant.

Thailand remains a peaceful and welcoming country, with unique natural and cultural attractions for travellers to experience and is very much open for business - this is the reality and this is the message that is NOT being sent by most major international media outlets and embassies.

Despite my deep concerns regarding the media's portrayal of the current situation in Thailand, I have great respect and appreciation for the positive role that the media can play in promoting understanding of countries and cultures.

I am hopeful that all parties concerned, the media and foreign missions to Thailand included, can pull together for the greater good of the Thailand that we know and love. I urge the media to exercise its persuasive power with principle and integrity, to promote an honest and clear understanding of the current situation.

I urge foreign governments to reassess the severity of their travel warnings and to revise and update prior statements to reflect the reality that Thailand is completely safe for travel.

I applaud those nations and media outlets already portraying news of the coup and the security situation in Thailand in a balanced manner - your integrity is appreciated.

We all agree that the tourism industry is critical to the growth of Thailand and its economy, and it should not become a casualty of misunderstanding, misrepresentation and hyperbole. Thailand very much remains open for business and is as safe, friendly and welcoming for tourists as it has always been.

I know that my letter is only one voice, but without voices there can be no conversation. I hope that my thoughts will at least cause some reflection, and generate informed dialogue, on the realities of Thailand today.

Your sincerely,
William E Heinecke
CEO and chairman
Minor International

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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No problems at all, the place is safer than its ever been.

Posted by Daniel Metcalf on June 11, 2014 20:19

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No conutry in the world needs a military dictatorship! And a paper who supports such a dictatorship is nothing else than a part of the regime's propaganda machine!

Posted by Volker on June 11, 2014 20:31

Editor Comment:

We're not a newspaper but we are part of democracy's propaganda machine, Volker. Your ideas are about two centuries out of date.

According to you:

Bad democracy = good.
Good coup = bad.

Yes, that's how simplistic everything was in the 19th century.

And one exclamation mark per comment is plenty, thank you.

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@Volker
You are obviously living on a very different planet or you have absolutely no clue about Thailand ... or you have/had certain benefits from a corrupt non-sustainable system benefiting just a few and not the masses.
Don't you hate a corrupt unethical system we had/have here where everything is out of control?
Don't you appreciate having in just 3 weeks more positive changes then we ever had?

Observe, talk and learn from people with an open mind who truly love this country. Think by yourself, and use your brain more effectively.
All this might help you to understand better.
I am not supporting a coup in normal circumstances, but in this case I say 'Thank you General Prayuth' for saving this country!

Posted by Mr. K on June 11, 2014 21:04

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" I know that my letter is only one voice, but without voices there can be no conversation "

Indeed Mr Heinecke and since the Junta has declared all criticism of the coup to be illegal and offenders destined to Military Court, your POV cannot be challenged or discussed.

A rather poorly timed attempt to highlight open discussion I'd say.

In addition you would do well do declare your business interests in the Tourism industry.

I see this as yet another attempt from Mr Heinecke to protect his own source of income.

Posted by ThaiMike on June 11, 2014 21:16

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As someone who has been here quite a while, all I can say is: "Best coup ever!"

Posted by Smithy on June 11, 2014 21:49

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A thoroughly well written article. I am Scottish, having lived in Thailand for near 20 years, am now back in Scotland for a lengthy Summer vacation.

I previously posted that the situation was being very badly & inaccurately portrayed by the British media. Nothing that has occurred in the past few weeks, both in Thailand & here in the UK, makes me change that opinion.

Everyone likes to pigeonhole events under comfortable titles. The media favors descriptions that dramatize & make us read, watch or listen.

I prefer to think that what is described as a 'military coup', was more like a very necessary intervention & mediation by an authority with no axe to grind & nothing to gain but the gratitude of the Thai people, for putting an end to the soap opera behavior of the red & yellow shirt leaders, who paid & misled their followers into real danger.

There is probably much less danger in Thailand now than over the previous 6 months prior to the military intervention.

It is time certain western & related countries realize that Thailand is a marvelous country which is as safe if not safer then their own.

The reporting by PW has been excellent & kept readers well & accurately informed as to progress. Progress is exactly what is taking place under the military intervention & time will hopefully prove that this is a correct analysis.

Posted by Logic on June 11, 2014 22:02

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(moderated)
You shouldn't call yourself a journalist, you are nothing else than a dictator's tool!

Posted by Volker on June 11, 2014 22:22

Editor Comment:

Far from it, Volker. We make decisions based on reality. Right now, the aim is harmony and reconciliation. We're pleased violence has been avoided and look forward to democracy's return.

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I would add my voice under this letter. I feel totally safe here and I believe Thailand goes correct way.

Posted by Andrey on June 11, 2014 22:24

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I agree with the comments made by Mr Heinecke, and also support the military's actions, however I think he should disclose his financial interest given that he is owner of a large hospitality company which is no doubt suffering financial losses from the travel warnings.

Posted by Danny on June 11, 2014 23:31

Editor Comment:

He does not seem to me to be attempting to avoid the issue, Danny, nor does having a financial interest diminish what he's saying. There are also 40,000 jobs.

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It is too early to judge the coup. But one thing is for sure, the generals did a lot of good steps to bring the rule of law for all back to mind. And that should have always been the living foundation of a democracy. Without it, it is just murky waters, nothing good will rise. Corruption, nepotism and the total lack of fear of the wrongdoers are in large parts responsible. The greater good ended at ones own pocket. Here a democracy is hitting a wall.

The hard part for the military will be a clean exit. Only if the generals while powerful in the coup will refrain from personal gains, it can be.

A healthy Thai democracy will have to put the military back in place where it belongs, a strong third pillar of society but commanded by voted politicians. So the task of the military will be to get the pillars politics and business strong, responsible and clean and then step down under the prime of the people. Hell of a job description.

Posted by Lena on June 12, 2014 00:02

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Let me first say I hope the coup achieve s what it set out to do. What I want to say is this, why bring Australia's and the US's stance into it, these two countries firmly believe in democracy therefore cannot support an anti democratic coup no matter how much it was needed.

Posted by Laurie Howells on June 12, 2014 11:56

Editor Comment:

The Chinese and Russians will offer Thailand their support, so no harm done.

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@ Laurie Howells, The US believes in democracy. Yes, and they also have Quantanamo were people are detained for years without a trail and help of a lawyer. Let them get their own things right before judging everyone else.

Posted by FS on June 12, 2014 13:25

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Splendid statement; the politicians and bureaucrats just couldn't do it right and well so the military is. This has happened before in Thailand: the good coup. See the history of what Sarit as PM and the country achieved. Yes, the man enjoyed himself too and left a bad succession plan. May that present many lessons.

Posted by ssresident on June 12, 2014 15:48

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@Mr K. and @ ed
I live long enough in Thaland and I am married to Thai wife for 12 years now to know good enough about the culture and the mentality of Thai people. I know enough to notice that the genius called "democracy" is out of the bottle and will never be forced in again.(moderated)

Posted by Volker on June 12, 2014 17:21

Editor Comment:

The difference between you and me Volker is that I don't make assumptions or sound off publicly about important issues on the basis of guesswork and second-hand information. The clampdown on the media in Thailand has been to cool things down to undergo a period of reconciliation. That makes sense to people on both sides, and to many observers, although nobody likes seeing freedom of speech temporarily repressed. Violence was highly likely when the generals stepped in and possibly saved Thailand from a bloodbath. Whatever the future holds is uncertain but it would be foolish to base any conclusions on guesswork and supposition, which is what you seem to do all the time. Doomsayers are never helpful. My advice would be to wait to see what happens and above all, to accept that change is possible, and that when it comes, the change could be for the better.

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Thank you for finally highlighting this! I have travelled in Thailand before and will be returning in the summer, which was initially going to be with a group of friends. Despite many Thai nationals informing me that it has been a necessary and progressive move for the country, some of my peers have cancelled their trips. Nearly every day people at work and at home are telling me that I'm crazy to still be going ahead with my trip. It is exhausting that so many people conceive every country outside of their own to be barbaric and lawless, an image compounded by Western media - one of my colleagues genuinely believes that the whole of the hospitality industry are conspiring to spread pro Thailand propaganda to keep their businesses going and I will be murdered out there. Yet when there were riots in London, when there were arsonists, shop theft, violence and murders in the streets, we didn't tell people to stop visiting! A great read, I will be sharing.

Posted by Naomi on June 12, 2014 18:12

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Well, I hope you're right and there will be a change to a better Thailand. I really hope so but I doubt it.

Posted by Volker on June 12, 2014 18:34

Editor Comment:

There you go, Volker, that's the Doomsayer's burden. And you bring it on yourself.

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You say this forum ( or website) is not a newspaper and it is of course viewed by relatively small amount of people. With that is mind your edotor's comment "The Chinese and Russians will offer Thailand their support, so no harm done" does not bother me much. But I must say is shows your lack on integrity. Both countries are far from democracratic. One just invaded Crimea and took over. The other is in the process of claiming the entire China sea as theirs. I would think they hardly the democratic support needed here. Unless of course you are talking about the massive influx of tourists from these 2 countries coming here 'as support"

Posted by capealava on June 12, 2014 18:38

Editor Comment:

I was speaking in the context of the negative reactions of Australia, the US and Europe to the coup while China and Russia at least had the courtesy to send their ambassadors to attend a conference with the general. Perhaps the so-called ''democracies'' have forgotten that the countries following their path always must be encouraged, never discouraged. The carrot works. The stick doesn't. The rest is just you, making assumptions.

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I have been married to a Thai wife for 25 years, and have lived here for almost all that time, and I agree with Mr. Heinecke, well said ! General Prayuth took a long time to do this, and from what I see, he is doing well for this country.

Posted by Guenter Bellach on June 12, 2014 19:07

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It's not doomsaying to assume that a tyranny is not turning anything into a better future. That's experience made in many other countries where military dictatorships suppressed the will of the majority.

Posted by Volker on June 12, 2014 19:16

Editor Comment:

All it proves, Volker, is that by repeatedly yelling ''The sky is falling'' without considering other outcomes, you are a fear-mongering Chicken Licken, not a Ducky Lucky or a Loosey Goosey. Please stop wasting my time.

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i would never visit thailand just on the fact of how they treat animals there. what exactly do they eat, I've heard all kinds of creatures, being an advocate for animals and all living things, i have no desire to go there!!!!

Posted by Deb on June 12, 2014 19:28

Editor Comment:

You have been misinformed. Most Thais have quite normal, tasty eating habits, Deb. A sizeable proportion are vegetarians and others don't eat pork or beef. Very few grow obese. Not much point in caring about animals if you develop a dislike for people based on lies. (Your point is a little off the topic).

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FS... you missed the point, if you support democracy then you cannot support a coup that overthrows a democratically elected government, no matter how piss poor it is, you would also find a communist government unable to support a coup that overthrows a communist government, I truly hope this clarifies my comment, or are you just argumentive?

Posted by Laurie Howells on June 13, 2014 07:32

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An excellent letter, inspired, thoughtful and accurate. Well Done.

Posted by Peter N in Phuket on June 13, 2014 08:03

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Well said Bill. General Prayuth has done more good for Phuket in 2 weeks than anyone or any group in the ten years I've been here. Democracy with a corrupt police force, big money politics and bent government officials have been dreadful for Phuket, and I imaging the rest of Thailand, and it has been to the detriment of the natural and built environment, as well as the quality of tourist that comes here. I was skeptical that this coup would be good, but not any longer.

Posted by Mike on June 13, 2014 10:45

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I applaud Mr Heinecke's letter, and must observe that, as Churchill put it, democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. The problem is that nowhere in the world is there anything very close to a true democracy, not because people who are said to live in democratic countries don't all have the right to vote, but because the people who are elected never truly have either the power to effect things, nor often the conviction to do so. Politicians and civil servants are lobbied, pressured, bribed and coerced all over the 'democratic' world by, ultimately, the big corporations and banks, and this renders any meaningful debate or comparisons between those countries and Thailand absolutely meaningless. The 'beacon of democracy', the USA, is fast becoming a tyranny where their own constitution and rule of law is being openly flaunted by those in power. The UK and other Western countries are no better in terms of citizens rights and the duty of care their governments are meant to abide by. To be frank I think I could happily stay in Thailand under a military dictatorship for a considerable time given the alternatives!

Posted by AWOL on June 13, 2014 12:09

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"All Thais will pull together to work within a system that is acceptable and sustainable to the Thai majority." The majority ? Uh-huh. A 'reboot' of Thai democracy" hmmm. "There are no concerns whatsoever for personal safety". You guarantee that ? "Life goes on very much as usual". True. Unless you don't comply. "deep concerns regarding the media's portrayal of ..." Oh, sorry. You mean foreign media. Cos Thai media outlets have soldiers 'guarding' them. "The Chinese and Russians will offer Thailand their support, so no harm done". Seriously come on now.

Of course in a dictatorship action, such as the big taxi clean up, can be accomplished much more easily. Because there is no opposition. (In this case, not a bad thing, but what about other issues ?) How PW can support a junta that is occupying media stations countrywide and arresting free-speaking people is very disappointing. I guess time will tell whether my deep concerns are warranted.

Posted by James on June 14, 2014 10:15

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Old Bill will say anything to keep his hotels full, his pizza sells, his coffee flows.

Posted by Somsak on June 14, 2014 10:28

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Minor Int'l has a significant investment in the hospitality sector, so I can certainly understand that it has a vested interest to promote an image of peace and calm. Historically, at least in the past 25 years, military coups have been good for those Thailand businesses who have relied upon cheap labour. Strikes and labour action have always been discouraged under a Thai military dictatorship etc. There's always some well connected person available to smooth things along when it comes to obtaining permits or the nod for new construction or new venture and it makes it easier for those who have the right connections to do business. However, I would remind Mr. Heinecke to heed the lessons of what happens to business who become too reliant on a ruling entity's protection and assistance: They eventually become uncompetitive. It would be interesting to hear from businesses who depend upon access to foreign markets, foreign capital and who invest in the intellectual capital which advances a country. I expect that they would have a different opinion.

Posted by Ryan on June 14, 2014 22:27

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Once again the assumptions being made by posters astounds. Laurie if there had been a freely and democratically elected government the military would not have gotten involved. If you can't see the positive effects or the need for the intervention then you aren't looking. A criminally run democracy is none.

Ryan do you know anything about Minor at all? Who the managers, the foreign suppliers? How much they have invested in this country and the people of this country? Over the 20 years I have known Bill he has never published anything close to this, he stayed silent for other coups, riots, tsunamis etc. Think for yourself people, do research and pray that you might be wrong. This country is at peace after years of turmoil and death, the economy is rebounding, let the Thais have a chance to fix their own country or go back to the one your ancestors ruined.

Posted by martin on June 15, 2014 14:28

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Martin... the previous government, no matter how dad it was, ws in fact elected borh democratically and freeky. I find it steange Ed continually questions my comments but allow comments like yours to be free of his "wise" comments. It seens comments opposing mine, or ridiculling me, are posted freely unlike any that may agree with me.

Posted by Laurie Howells on June 15, 2014 19:22

Editor Comment:

The only criteria is whether the comment adds value or not, Laurie. Responses like this one, even with the gratuitous insults removed, do not add value.

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Laurie i agree that the last government was "freeky elected" all one has to do is get past the department of misinformation in order to see it.

Warning this will require critical thinking, rational analysis and possibly shelving preconceived ideas.

Look at the voting patterns for Thaksin prior to his first election, who voted for him and who aligned with him. Look at the election he won and same. These patterns suggest that both voters and mp's rapidly changed voting patterns and alliances. Ask yourself what causes that?

Watch the numerous videos, read the posts, Facebook, tweets etc about rampant vote buying among the electorate and legislators and ask yourself are all these people lying, is this democracy?

Look at the drug killings, the south massacre, the scandals and think what would happen to that government in a true democracy and yet in this one there was not a voice of dissent raised. Why not? Is that democratic.

Look at the violation of free speech, the warring factions (paid by?) The fact that the country had ground to a halt and was at an impasse. Is that democracy?

There are literally hundreds more examples if you care to look. From my years in Thailand I have learned that things may not go the way I think is ideal but they do get there and usually work out well for the people. If you learn nothing else here you will learn patience because in the end what we think doesn't matter, it's their country and they will do it their own way.

Posted by martin on June 16, 2014 00:58

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@martin
The Yingluck government was elected in free and democratic elections. It was the clear will of a big majority of Thai people. The military stepped in because they support the opposition which is nog able to win any elections.
It's not the Thais having a "chance to fix their own country", it's only a small minority supported by a military dictatorship who want to restore the "old order".

Posted by Volker on June 16, 2014 02:48

Editor Comment:

Still locked in a pointless debate about the past, Volker? Why not accept that corruption and nepotism made your version of ''democracy'' unworkable? Move on, man. Meanwhile, others will save the country.

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@Volker let me offer you a quote from someone who is apparently supporting the new government.

"Democracy is just a tool, not our goal. The goal is to give people a good lifestyle, happiness and national progress."

Thaksin Shiniwatra 2005

If they "restore the "old order" by reducing corruption and eliminating the chances of civil war then I am not against it.

I appreciate your knowing how the majority of Thai people feel but I think you are incorrect. The evidence seems to show that they are sick of the corruption, the fighting, the scandals and the boondoggles. They seem willing to give this government a chance (as is their right). As a guest in their country why don't you? Isn't peace and prosperity worth the risk after years of graft, turmoil and Thai killing Thai?

Judge this government by what it does not by a label or by the box you want to put it in.

Posted by martin on June 16, 2014 13:46

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@martin (moderated)
@ed
(moderated)

Posted by Volker on June 16, 2014 18:28

Editor Comment:

Sorry Volker, it's plainly easier for you to spout nonsense about your version of democracy than it is to conduct a civil conversation. Your version, filled with corruption, nepotism and cronyism, is in the dustbin of history. Not much lost, and nothing in there worth preserving. Now all you have to do is remove your head from the bin.

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Poor Mr. ed, so completely out of arguments that you are not able to publish mine. But as a dictator's tool you are not allowed to publish the truth. What a shame you are for all honest journalists in the world.

Posted by Volker on June 16, 2014 19:06

Editor Comment:

You're locked in the past in Thailand, Volker - a past that lost all meaning on May 22. All you have to offer are mindless accusations and conflict. Nothing new, nothing enlightening, nothing but propaganda from the past. Sad, really.

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Martin, strange how you would reference part of a Thaksin Constitution Day press release out of context with the articles intention. The part referenced followed his comment in relation to Thailand moving forward with people being happy.
The whole article related to calls for the constitution to be amended to allow for better checks and balances because it was believed that power had become too centralised. While Thaksin did not agree nor disagree with this being required, he clearly stated that if it is to be done, it should be implemented with consideration rather than with haste, hence his comment similar to " you don't drive a Rolls Royce to a rural village, when a pick up truck will do".
If one was to summarise what he was saying it would probably be change will happen but is has to happen slowly and always move in a direction that benefits the country and it's people.
We also know that in all democracies, it is not unusual for one side to be in opposition for extended periods. This usually results in an over correction at some stage to the other side and eventually a situation where 45 % vote on each side and about 10% become swinging voters. These are the people who can be influenced by policy and government performance and determine an election outcome.
Thailand has never allowed this correction to occur and it won't occur until people are given the.choice to make it happen. A natural tendency to be denied a choice is to become more determined and take less notice of the other options available.

Posted by Manowar on June 16, 2014 20:21

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Um, it was meant ironically. But as you yourself point out MOW it was not out of context.

What he was saying at the time and you have quoted is that democracy in and for itself is not the ideal, the ideal is a better society (in summary) and sometimes (in that case suspending the rules of debate/constitution) democracy is not the best path.

The current government is saying we want a democracy but the goal is a peaceful happy society and in order to get there we need to suspend the rules for a bit (in this case limiting debate/constitution). They would essentially be the same idea stated differently.

As to your last 3 paragraphs nothing to disagree with but not sure how it relates to this topic or what you are suggesting?

No one wants, expects or believes that a ruling military government is a permanent solution for Thailand, the military has said as much and laid out a timetable for fixing and establishing a real democracy capable of freely and truly representing the will of the people. I agree that trusting that to happen is a risky endeavor but as this article points out the path Thailand was on had failed. I would also disagree that what has taken place for the past 20 years or so was democracy or representative of the people's will and my comments were aimed at pointing out why this is so.

Posted by martin on June 16, 2014 23:11

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Martin, let's not be so naive to consider that politicians enter such a role for the benefit of the country and people. They enter politics for reasons of power, control, fame, benefits and a belief that their opinion and ideas are superior tp the masses. To maintain this position, they determine the minimum benefits they need to provide to keep supporters happy and if required, attract more support.
It is a game, a natural transition from amateur debating and school chess team, sometime through the legal system and finally the arena of professional debating in Parliament. In debating, the topic was irrelevant, it was about winning, defeat of your opponent, humiliation if possible to the point of no longer willing to debate against you.
Progressing further, the lawyer representing a defendant, he does not care about the right or wrongs of his client, he cares about winning. Post celebration is not for the benefit of his client, is for his own benefit. Chalk up another win, that's 4-0 against John Smith now. Wipe John Smith off the floor he will never oppose me again. Let's have lunch with John Smith next week and gloat.
It is a game and it is about power, it is about winning and winners attract followers. Winners demand higher fees, winning creates an aurora or perception of power.
The thirst for power cannot be satisfied so a progression to politics. The natural, them and us and the desire to win, humiliate, defeat and destabilise the opposition by this stage occurs naturally. The outcome is not important, neither is the result or the pawns who may be affected. The game of strategy, out thinking your opponent and chalking up another win is the ultimate desire.
Just the professional form of chess and debating!

As for your third paragraph, I believe he was stating that while democracy is preferred, it is not always possible to achieve a consensus of opinion to achieve the result you want. In this case, it's up to someone to take control and make decisions on behalf of those who have inferior ability to him, the procrastinators.
My latter paragraph which you question relevance is probably the most important to understand that you cannot continually interrupt the politics of a country and expect democracy to naturally mature just as you don't teach a child to learn by halting his education for a year, sending him back to school and expect him to recommence as if the year gap never existed.
It also is the basis of the situation that exists in Thai politics today. If corruption is so rampant with this government, let them dig their on hole and fall in, suffer the humiliation and people will know the truth. Don't take the shovel from them, fill in the hole, remediate the land and provide a clean slate, never expose the deficiencies and allow a new contest under revised rules.
Let's face the truth. Thai people have very little say in how the country runs but they do have one vote. You cannot continually tell them their vote is invalid, you have to let them decide to make the change based on what they know, understand and see.

Posted by Manowar on June 17, 2014 05:14

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In principle, I don't agree with the coup but I can see benefits of a term of military rule. This, however, will only be of benefit if the foundation of democratic principles are restored and respected. The term may be 1 year or 10, the time is not important.
What will make it successful or not is how the military deals with freedom of expression, freedom of the press, a willingness to accept criticism if such situation arises, provide an open and accountable government and most important, reform of the legal system to provide equality to all, free from what appears to be inconsistent or unreasonable decisions.
A period of stability, consistency and fair policy may just remove the 'them and us' attitude that has been present for decades.

Posted by Manowar on June 17, 2014 06:36


Saturday November 17, 2018
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