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Regarding the article “Chomsky’s take on the state of Thai democracy” by Pavin Chachavalpongpan in the Oct. 8 edition, the author fails to address the root causes of the political crisis in Thailand that brought the current administration to power. Thailand was heading toward more political instability and conflict. Our democracy was at risk of unraveling.

I wish to assure you that Thailand is committed to democracy. There is no way that any country can go against the tide of democratization and the aspirations of its peoples. But in order to return to the path of democracy, Thailand needs stability. We need time and space to bring about political reforms and reconciliation. And Thailand is determined to work toward an election by mid-2017.

With regard to freedom of expression, it is indeed the bedrock of any democratic society. However, freedom of expression comes with responsibilities and should not be a blank check for those whose manifest intent is to sow the seeds of discord and divisiveness.

On the institution of the monarchy, those who are familiar with the history of the Thai nation can vouch for the fact that the monarchy has provided the pillar of stability and unity that has helped the country overcome difficult times of crisis and challenges in the past. It is therefore unfortunate that there are those who have sought to portray the monarchy in such a way that conforms to their political agenda.

As for the economy, admittedly our economic growth suffered from the protracted political unrest. Contrary to what was asserted in the article, Thailand is returning to the path of economic stability and we are confident that the current government’s economic stimulus policies will soon bear fruit.

Indeed, Thailand still faces many challenges to our democracy. But the only way forward is for all sides to overcome the political divide for the sake of Thailand’s democracy, and the nation as a whole.

SIHASAK PHUANGKETKEOW
AMBASSADOR OF THAILAND

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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