As­terix for pres­i­dent!

Bangkok Post - - OPINION -

Nowa­days, many Western coun­tries face the dilemma of sup­port­ing se­ces­sion de­mands by sep­a­ratist groups un­der the so-called demo­cratic process or con­demn­ing it as an act of trea­son.

A few decades ago, sep­a­ratists were branded as ter­ror­ists as they had to pick up weapons to fight. But these days sep­a­ratists can call for a ref­er­en­dum un­der the um­brella of democ­racy and the ban­ner of hu­man rights to achieve their goal.

A Western friend told me that he would have sup­ported the Span­ish gov­ern­ment had they not tried to break up the Cat­alo­nia ref­er­en­dum vi­o­lently. I stopped short of ask­ing him how the Span­ish po­lice should have acted in­stead to block peo­ple from vot­ing?

If Cat­alo­nia is suc­cess­ful in gain­ing in­de­pen­dence, it will trig­ger a lists of other sep­a­ratist move­ments that are wait­ing on the side­lines. It could be Venice and Lom­bardy in Italy, or Flan­ders and Wal­lo­nia in Bel­gium. The UK, the fore­most ad­vo­cate of democ­racy and hu­man rights, may have to eat her own fruit. The Union Jack in front of West­min­ster may one day be re­placed by the cross of St Ge­orge. How­ever, the British may not find the fruit bit­ter, as ev­ery­thing is bright and beau­ti­ful un­der democ­racy.

If fan­tasy turns to re­al­ity, the Gauls may form a na­tion in Western Europe with As­terix as pres­i­dent. YINGWAI SUCHAOVANICH

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