Blind in own cause

Bangkok Post - - OPINION -

Re: “Un­demo­cratic merit”, (PostBag, Sept 16).

Clara Holzer cites two re­cent court cases to im­ply that mil­i­tary rule works bet­ter for Thai­land than West­ern-style democ­racy. How­ever, such an as­ser­tion con­tro­ver­sially links the gov­ern­ment to the out­come of these cases, surely some­thing the mil­i­tary junta would re­ject, based on their oft-re­peated claims that they nei­ther in­ter­fere with nor seek to in­flu­ence the ju­di­cial process.

Fur­ther­more, court ver­dicts are but the fi­nal act in what is of­ten a long process in­volv­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the bring­ing of charges and a trial. Ms Holzer should read the Sept 16 ed­i­to­rial con­cern­ing the lack of any ac­tion so far fol­low­ing the death of a young Lahu man at a mil­i­tary check­point six months ago.

She might also want to re­flect upon the case of a well-con­nected army gen­eral ac­cused of nepo­tism in­volv­ing his sons, against whom no ac­tion has been taken.

Fi­nally, Ms Holzer quite rightly doesn’t want to see a re­turn of “the old crooks whose only busi­ness in pol­i­tics was to en­rich them­selves” but chooses to ig­nore the de­ploy­ment of many gen­er­als (how can the army con­tinue to func­tion with­out them?) into lu­cra­tive em­ploy­ment in the ad­min­is­tra­tion and in al­most all state agen­cies.

Ul­ti­mately, the de­ci­sion as to what sort of gov­ern­ment bests suits Thai­land should be left to the Thai peo­ple, and I just hope that one day they will have the op­por­tu­nity to make that de­ci­sion on a free and fair ba­sis.

ROBIN GRANT

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