I am deeply dismayed by your April 15 editorial, “Humiliation in Thailand.” Apart from giving, through its one-sided account, no justice and fairness to the Royal Thai government under Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, this editorial contains many inaccurate statements that reflect a lack of real understanding about Thailand. It disappointingly jumps to conclusion by putting the blame on the current Thai government without at the very least trying to look at the root cause of the issue.
I wish to take this opportunity to share with you and The Japan Times’ readers what Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told foreign ambassadors based in Bangkok on April 16 regarding the situation in Thailand.
First, on how to deal with the political problems, the prime minister said he had tried to talk to the opposition even before the series of events happened, but could not reach an agreement. In addition, some people asked to be absolved from all the crimes they had committed in the past. The prime minister would not yield to this, but he said he would be open for discussion on any matters based on the rule of law.
Second, regarding protesters’ demand for a change of government, the prime minister said he accepts the various opinions and viewpoints, but such differences do not justify resorting to violence to topple the government. Worst of all, there are people who just want to protect the interests of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which according to the prime minister’s view, has nothing to do with democracy, law and order, and is not in the interest of the country.
As far as your presupposition on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is concerned, I believe the April 14 statement by the secretary general of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, could provide you with a clearer picture of ASEAN. The secretary general mentioned in his statement that “. . . The cancellation in Pattaya was a serious setback to ASEAN, an irrevocable loss of great opportunity. But it will not weaken ASEAN. Neither will it discourage ASEAN. . . . The centrality of ASEAN has not been questioned. In fact, many ASEAN leaders and their dialogue partners have expressed support for ASEAN to re-schedule the ‘Related Summits’ as soon as possible.”
I hope this information will provide The Japan Times’ readers with a better understanding of the situation in Thailand.
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