Getting reconciliation wrong

16 07 2010

PPT has never really considered Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s so-called reconciliation plan or road map to be particularly about reconciliation (see here and here as examples).

The Washington Post has recently published an editorial that questions Abhisit’s actions. While it begins poorly by giving the yellow shirts and Democrat Party a way to counter-attack by calling it an “unelected government” instead of a government maneuvered into place by backroom deals amongst shady characters in politics, some business interests, palace and military, the editorial is worth reading and considering.

Noting Abhisit’s call for “national reconciliation” it observes that the “authorities have [since] arrested hundreds of opposition leaders; closed media; frozen the bank accounts of suspected supporters of the Bangkok demonstrations and brought terrorism charges against the movement’s exiled leader, Thaksin Shinawatra.”

It also notes the extension of emergency rule and states: “… Abhisit, a graduate of Eton and Oxford, must have taken a lesson in Orwellian language,” adding: “In fact Thailand’s government is carrying out something close to the opposite of a policy that might heal the country’s deep polarization.” PPT has added the emphasis.

The Post states that the “root cause of the troubles is the refusal of the traditional political class, the military and the royal court, which Mr. Abhisit’s government represents, to accept the results of democratic elections.” Exactly! It concludes: “End the state of emergency, release the red shirt leaders and negotiate leading to elections, with a commitment by all sides to allow the winners to rule within the boundaries of a reformed constitution.” Not a bad idea, but the “elite” are unlikely to listen to rational argument. The stakes, for them, are way too high.


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