Democracy in Asia? Beware of Thailand

Democracy in Asia? Beware of Thailand - Lastampa.it, June 28, 2008
...It is absolutely clear: The protesters represent a minority. As such, they should be allowed to voice their grievances but only as far as they do not interfere with the government functioning.
...This is not happening—the police seem powerless, the military refuses to intervene, and the demonstrations grow bolder by the day. The protesters insist on the same old thing: The prime minister must quit. Why should he quit? Because a mob said so. Then who should appoint the new government? Who knows. Or does somebody?...
What's at stake? The power to change Thailand’s old ways. A group of entrenched interests opposes the radical reforms brought by Thaksin. He wants to foster new entrepreneurs, create new small and medium enterprises, give credit to new companies, and let old inefficient ones go bust. But those old companies hate to lose their privileges to newcomers and are trying to cling to their monopolies by any means. Three elections prove that the majority of Thailand is with Thaksin...
If Thailand's democracy fails again, Burma, with its military regime, will be lost forever. What's more, the militaries that just went back to their barracks in the Philippines and Indonesia may be tempted to come out of them and seize power. The effort to push reforms and disarmament in North Korea would lose steam.
Western drive for democracy and human rights in China would lose credibility if America’s firm ally in the region were to slip back to chaos or military rule. Who could believe the West wants really democracy in China when it allows democratic Thai government to be toppled by a raging mob? In sum, the whole Asian political balance would be at stake...

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