Sunday, April 11, 2010
Thailand Unrest: An Expatriate's Point of View
Thailand has been my home for almost four years now. Needless to say, this has been my first destination outside my home country and I would always be thankful for it is in this country where I found a home away from home.
I first arrived in this country last September 2006. It was the very time when the military called for a coup which ousted the now-convicted Thaksin Shinawatra. Military government ruled the country for almost or more than one year until a coalition was formed by the People Power Party (PPP) which was said to be an ally of the former premier Shinawatra.
Months after the ruling coalition took its seat in the parliament; the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) started a huge demonstration which led to the dissolution of the parliament and other parties which then paved way to the placement of the current ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the government. However, instead of solving the problem, the situation came to worse when as soon as the new coalition ran the government, supporters of the ousted premier Thaksin formed another rally to defunct the seated parliament. Call for democracy has become endless since then and the political situation of Thailand has become unstable.
Lately, people try to put the blame to some other people (the leaders) for starting this misery. However,I personally believe that it’s neither Thaksin nor Abhisit who started this odd situation in Thailand – it’s the people’s reaction to what has happened that stirred the peace and order situation of the country. Thaksin Shinawatra has been proven guilty of possessing multi-million assets which have been earned by advancing his personal interests during his incumbency as the prime minister of Thailand and he must pay the price of such criminal offense. In all fairness, he (Thaksin) has done a lot of developments for the country but it doesn’t mean that his huge offense could be nullified through the advancements he made during his term. The means do not justify the end in such a way that the end does not justify the means. A criminal should be abducted according to the proceedings of the law. Meanwhile, people should not have called for a snap election just because they believe that Thaksin’s allies were to rule the land. They all have to respect the law which placed the government officials in their seats.
If you would look at the current condition of the country, you would notice how lawless the people had become. Disrespect to public figures and establishments were prevalent in the preceding and the current demonstrations. Public places were seized which caused inconvenience to the entire public and weapons were used to agitate both parties. The people need to realize that in order for democracy to properly work, everybody has to respect both individual and public rights. Democracy is sweet. Democracy is good. However, democracy could also be the worst nightmare a society could ever have if the people would not learn to cooperate.
This time, people call for democracy which they believe has been robbed from them. If democracy has been robbed from people, no one has to be blamed because these very people who yearn for democracy are the very people who bypass the law which is the very important aspect of a democratic society. The law is the defining thread of every democratic nation and anyone who breaks the law should not be allowed to enjoy democracy. I don't think democracy has been too elusive for Thai people. In fact, the government has been too soft in implementing force and the law in punishing those individuals who violated the law for they are still after of benignly resolving the country's crisis.