Thailand must lift emergency rule, hold polls: think-tank

Thailand must lift emergency rule, hold polls: think-tank - AFP, July 6, 2010

[The recommendation of this think tank shows a complete lack of awareness of what the recent and current unrest is related to. It is incredible that the International Crisis Group could issue such a high-handed recommendation without commenting that they realize they are asking the government to completely accede to Thaksin's goals of elections so budgets and military appointments can be influenced.

Even though their recommendations might be perceived as fair, it seems ridiculous to make this sort of call knowing the government would never give into the Red Shirt's key demands--especially after the recent turmoil that threatened the authority of the state itself. Any call for elections before November would not "bridge Thailand's divide" as International Crisis Group suggests, but undoubtedly result in a new coup.

Nearly every part of their report has assumptions from a Westernized perspective with very little Thai historical perspective. For instance: "The ruling royalist establishment cannot unilaterally push forward its "road map" to national reconciliation while simultaneously suppressing the Red Shirts' dissenting voices."

In fact, this is exactly the two-pronged approach the Thai establishment has historically used after bloody political upheavals of the past. Rightly or wrongly, the establishment will be believing that this approach would be the appropriate and customary one for Thai society.

It is usually thought that "think tanks" are commissioned to validate partisan political opinions and stances. However, it is just as likely that the International Crisis Group has no understanding of the background of present Thai events and are simply drawing conclusions based on Western notions of common sense.]

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