Thai Crisis: Top Thai “Reform Body” desperately in need to “Reform Themselves” first!

The following are two articles, one from the Bangkok Post and another from Travel daily News, on a group of Thais calling for A Reform Dialog. Everyone agrees, Thailand needs reform, with many pointing to the fact, that first and foremost, is that the Thai people need some reform. Take this group of leading Thais, who are pushing for a dialog on reform, they said just about everything that needed to be said, except, that, quote: “Yingluck has called on Fascist Suthep to enter into a dialog” with her 10s of times already and that Yingluck had also set up a “Reform Council” calling for participation from all, including fascist Suthep, who again, like refusing to enter a dialog with her, also refused to enter into a dialog on reforming Thailand.

The fact is, given the 10s of times Yingluck had called for a dialog from all stake-holders, for this group of reformer thinking Thais, to “Censor” out that call by Yingluck, and “Not Noting” how often Fascist Suthep says he will not talk with anyone and will not compromise, all of that, “Censorship and Not Noting” points to this reform minded Thais “Desperate Need to Reform Themselves.”

What this group of reform minded Thais should do is simple, quote: “Call on Suthep to enter talks.”

Bangkok Post Reports:

A network of 60 organisations representing professional groups has called for all sides in the ongoing political conflict to hold talks to explore ways of solving the country’s problems. The Network for Reform comprises organisations representing professionals in the public and private sectors. Members of the network include the Council of University Presidents of Thailand, the Thailand Development and Research Institute (TDRI), Human Rights Watch, FTA Watch, the Board of Trade, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Thai Bankers Association, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The network argued that all sides of the political divide must stop the violence, provocation, confrontation and hate campaigns against those who hold different opinions.

It said warring factions must hold talks as a matter of urgency, reasoning that no conflict can be solved without the participation of all groups of people concerned, regardless of whether there is an election or not. The network is offering to establish a central forum for all sides to meet and exchange opinions, with the aim of finding a solution acceptable to all. The Reform Now Network held its first press conference on Thursday, assembling Thai from all horizons, from business leaders to academics, from tourism people to farmers associations and civil right defenders. They agree that Thailand must change but that changes must go without violence for the sake of the nation and its people. A difficult task as Thailand experiences its own sort of revolution…

Travel Daily News Report:

It is a crucial time for Thailand and many observers believe that the Kingdom is closing a chapter in its tumultuous history. But as Bangkok has been marred in sporadic violence since anti-government protesters took to the street, 60 organisations from all professional and civil sectors of the Thai society joint forces together to promote dialogue, reform and above all stop ongoing violence under ‘Reform Now Network’. “Stop violence, provocation and incitement of hatred among people who have different political opinions; start dialogue; and more immediately reform the country”. This is the injunction launched on Thursday by the coalition of 60 groups from various horizons led by prominent personalities of the Thai society.

It is an unusual step for Thais to recognize that the situation is getting serious. “I work for the Tourism Council of Thailand and look at growing tourism. But today, I come above all as a Thai woman as I feel sorry to see the division of our country. Tourism is of utmost importance for many as it helps them to make a living. Banning violence and speaking together to move forward will benefit to all and bring back our so  much well-known smile to all of us”, told Piyaman Tejapaibul, President of the TCT.

All people present at the press conference insisted that violence should be banned and reform rapidly engaged. “We have people from different horizons with different ideas. We do not want to tell that a group or another are wrong. Everyone has a right to agree or disagree with the government, to want reform before or after this coming Sunday election. We must however find the right mechanism to curb and hinder violence and give the right to anyone to exert his citizen duty of voting. Even if this is to say NO by nullifying his vote”, explained Chachanat Thebtaranonth, Senior Advisor Research at the Thailand Research Fund.

The cause of Thailand social malaise are numerous. “It does not just come from the tentative amnesty bill that the government tried to pass last year and which provoked a general outcry within the civil society. It goes far deeper than that. Nepotism, corruption, money over the law, the inequality of treatment of Thai citizens, the failure of education system: there is a lot to be blamed. It all comes from the way we have been in the past. Before the democracy, we used to have an absolute monarchy where power was only in the hands of a small group of the aristocracy. And despite of our transition to democracy, the old way of managing the country survived until today”, regretted Rajata Rajatanavin, Professor of Medicine and President of Mahidol University.

Reform Now Network shows that the civil society is getting really concerned about the current evolution of Thailand and the lack of tolerance towards each other. Although they all acknowledge the necessity to reform, they are exhorting people to exert restraint with the coming election this Sunday. Embassies warned already their fellow citizens and travellers to avoid travelling around Bangkok on Sunday as violence could easily flare. All participants at the press conference hope that elections will go as peaceful as possible as Thailand’s reputation is also at stake. What will then happen in the near future? “Dialogue and reform” is the utmost wish.

And mostly hope some charismatic new figure will emerge as most of the Reform Now Network participants contest the character of the current anti-protester leader, Suthep Thaugsuban- considered as a typical “product” of this old corrupted world that Thai are now fighting against. “Mr. Thaugsuban is however the only one for now to move the country forward. But if he decides after to keep the power, we will certainly have another revolution”, says a young journalist. Thailand is likely to experience more turbulent times in the near future. Thus always go revolutions!


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