Worry that the government is insolvent

From the Thai-language press: Thairath editorial: Worry that the government is insolvent - November 3, 2005

An ABAC poll surveyed peoples' opinions in 20 provinces and 74.8% said they had less trust in the government than three month ago because of problems of unrest in the three southern border provinces and 66.4% cited economic problems, high gasoline costs, and the high cost of living.

This was a survey of 20 provinces around the country that asked 4,256 people so the answers reflect some peoples’ view. Most people think that the big problem faced the government and all Thai people at present is unrest in the South followed by the high cost of gasoline, the high cost of goods and corruption.

About the southern problem, the draft report that the National Conciliation Commission (NCC) prepares to send to the government is divided into eight parts. Some parts are worrying, especially the part that explains about the violent events including the protesters who vanished at Takbai making Thai-Muslims in the southern border area not trust the government. This is a dangerous signal showing things are moving to the circumstance of insolvability.

A symptom of this is that the government cannot guarantee safety and give public service for people. It seems there are more places that the government cannot access. More dangerous is the trend of weak insolvent communities such as the case of Tanyonlimore village where community cannot protect its people.

In the political science philosophy of "society contract" that PM usually cites, people consent to make a contract with the “state” by sacrificing some rights and freedom to the state. The important duty of the state is protecting safety of life and assets of people. If the government cannot do that, it can termed in the circumstance of "insolvent."

The worrying thing is the draft of NCC report shows that areas where the government cannot access is increasing. The insurgents' statements in the past said they can spread the “liberated area” continuously although the government has many military, police, administrative people and volunteers including the full of power of an urgent decree.

The more worrying thing is that there is no confidence in who is responsible for the unrest in the south--neither by the persons who set policy or the those who implement it. Neither can clearly “understand and access” problems in the three provinces although the PM always declared to “go to the right way” and quickly "close the game,” but it seems that it is still lost.

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