Updated: Defending the TRC

30 09 2012

The Bangkok Post decides that the Truth for Reconciliation report on the Battle for Bangkok needs additional boosting. It shouts that the:

condemnations [of the report] bordered on the hysterical, with certain Pheu Thai Party MPs demanding another commission be set up under their rules and terms of reference.

Hysterical? PPT actually felt that the cheers for the report verged not on the hysterical, unless one was referring to them as hysterically silly to the point of bizarre. As one example, consider the account of it by Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Written within hours of the final report being released and with no evidence of having read any of it, the CSIS claims that it “seems to give a balanced treatment to both sides involved in the political violence two years ago…”. As well as being “balanced,” CSIS reckons it is “objective, comprehensive, and critical … groundbreaking [and displays] objectivity…”.

Hysterical support perhaps for a report that is assumed to be all kinds of appropriate things with not a shred of possible evidence.

The Post’s account claims that the “more critical recommendations touched upon the role of the military and the monarchy.”

The Post seems to laud the TRC for a recommendation that PPT has seen for several decades; that “the military must refrain from getting involved in politics and carrying out coups.” Hardly “groundbreaking.” And PPT has already commented on the deeply conservative suggestions on the monarchy.

The Post trumpets the TRC call for “more decentralisation as part of the key solutions to the current political problems as it sees centralisation as part of the root cause of inequality.” Royalist Prawase Wasi and every second public intellectual has been demanding decentralization. The idea that inequality is rooted in centralization is obscurantist nonsense with no basis in data or analysis.

What seems to bothering the Post and Kanit na Nakhon is that the TRC’s elite conservatism is vigorously criticized.

Update: Readers may find Asian Correspondent’s account of the TRC report and reaction to it of use.



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