11/13/2010, 00.00
THAILAND
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Bangkok, National Anti-Corruption Conference

by Weena Kowitwanij
Political and religious leaders come together to talk about how to combat corruption. According to international studies, the country is not free from this problem.

On 10 November the Prime Minister Abhisit (pictured) said that "every nation faces the threat of corruption. [Respect for] the law is not enough, morality should be used to support anti-corruption feeling. Today people and the young accept the existence of corruption if it helps economic development, which is against the traditional belief that corruption leads to economic decline. "

"The greatest threat of corruption is collaboration with those who are corrupt. Government and individuals should have the same position on corruption. We must build a culture of zero tolerance against corruption and apply it in practice. The role of the media is important in this matter. As well as the participation of high level officials in [the anti-corruption initiatives]. "

"Fortunately - said the prime minister - the philosophy of King Bhumibol on a Sufficiency Economy indicates a viable way of life for all citizens. It should teach young people that the great division and corruption causes damage to the country. "

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij proposed “a collaboration between government and private citizens to reject the competition that supports corruption. Moral measures should be introduced to reduce injustices. Transparency [in the economic sectors] must be shown since the capital [ism] at the end targets the poor. "

The well-known Buddhist monk Phra Mahawuthichai Wajiramaethee recalled what "our Buddha said about his honesty: 'I do not need my disciple to protect me and I do not protect myself as I am what you have seen. This means that he was an honest person. "

"In Buddhist culture - he continued - at the end of our Lenten period every monk must attend a meeting in which the other monks give advice to those who have done something wrong during Lent. Furthermore, the second commandment of all Buddhists is: do not steal. Corruption is a culture that reduces awareness in the population and weakens independent organization. It is everyone’s duty to oppose corruption. "

The President of the Asian Development Bank Haruhiko Kuroda said that "a strong government and constant vigilance against corruption are essential if the Asia and Pacific region wants to reap the benefits of their economic growth."

According to the report "Corruption Perceptions Index 2010, published in late October, which studies corruption levels in all countries, Thailand is 78th in the world, the 9th among the 23 Asian countries considered. The group Transparency Thailand has noted that even if the data is better than in 2009, is still alarming, indicating that corruption is still widespread in the country.
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