05/21/2010, 00.00
Send to a friend

As Abhisit renews with peace roadmap, Thai democracy fails as a model

The prime minister says law and order have been restored in the capital, pledges the government would move forward in a transparent manner. Two months of unrest by red-shirt protesters have left 83 people dead and more than 1,900 injured. This political crisis undermines Thailand’s model of democracy in the eyes of South East Asian nations.
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The government has re-established law and order in Bangkok and other provinces and will continue to restore normal life throughout the country, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in a televised nationwide address on Friday. Saying that the country has huge challenges to meet and many difficulties to overcome, he renewed his commitment to the five-point roadmap to peace and democracy announced in early May. However, Thailand’s political crisis has weakened its democratic model in the eyes of Asian nations, especially in those like Myanmar that are under a dictatorship. Events in Thailand can justify repression in the name of social peace.

“You can be assured that this government has every intention of moving the country forward, restoring order, making sure that our recovery is well on track, and that we will do so in a transparent manner," Prime Minister Abhisit said. Hence, an independent investigation into the unrest will be held, he added.  

“We recognise that as we move ahead there are huge challenges,” especially, “overcoming the divisions that have arisen in this country,” he said. The roadmap for peace and reconciliation is part of this process. However, the promised November elections might not be possible Abhisit’s Secretary-General Korbsak Sabhavasu's announced because of the recent violence.

Two months of protests by sympathisers of ouster Prime Minister Thaksin, now living in exile, left 83 people dead and more than 1,900 injured.

A curfew imposed on the capital and 23 provinces will stay in place until Sunday.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij expressed confidence today that the economy would recover fairly quickly if the stability of the past 24 hours was maintained.

Speaking at a seminar in Tokyo, he acknowledged that the impact on the lucrative tourist sector this year will be disastrous.

Indeed, “the government should ensure that armed elements do not go underground and start a guerrilla war in Bangkok and around the country,” he said. This “would drive business away from Thailand.”

If the country’s economy does not recover, Thailand’s democratic model would lose much of its lustre as a model for South East Asia and the continent as a whole.

“What other countries take away from this crisis is that the Thai model is not one they'll try to replicate," said Nicholas Farrelly, associate lecturer with the Australian National University's Political and Social Change Department.

“Dictatorships in the region, the most extreme being the Burmese in Naypyidaw, will now be quite satisfied with themselves."

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Bangkok, leader of the anti-Thaksin “yellow shirts” attacked. State of emergency prolonged.
Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang rise as Cold War fears cast a shadow over Korea
12/02/2016 15:14
In Bangkok, government to cut supplies to red-shirts who vow to fight on
Thai PM proposes roadmap for reconciliation and new elections
Bangkok, government decrees end of emergency rule


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”