Here is a pre-edit (left) and post-edit (right) of the Post's article on the joint Thaksin/Anand address Thursday night. As usual, the article is complimentary to the Prime Minister, but the pre-edit is even more so, calling the PM 'a real class act.'
Untitled - Bangkok Post, July
|PM, Anand agree to disagree
-Thaksin to keep all options open - Bangkok Post,
July 29, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra last night pledged never to put aside peaceful means and the principle of reconciliation in favour of the use of state power and force to end the violence in the far South.
Mr Thaksin dominated last night's live television appearance with Anand Panyarachun, chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), to calm a storm of controversy over the enforcement of the emergency decree in the region.
Mr Thaksin lifted the cloud of suspicion over whether his government had abandoned peaceful means, saying the decree was a security necessity but the government would exercise self-restraint and ensure a balance between human rights, civil liberties and national security.
He said the government could not afford to condone mistreatment of innocent people in Muslim-dominated Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat by state authorities now local cooperation in giving information that could lead to the arrest of trouble-makers was what it needed most...
Mr Anand, a former prime minister, argued, that he did not think the three provinces wanted a split from Thailand. He held official failure to recognise cultural and religious differences responsible...
At the end, Mr Anand said he could not tell when the violence would be brought to an end but believed the situation would get better if the government avoided using violence itself.
Mr Thaksin pledged to pursue peace through respect of human rights and education development and pleaded for people's cooperation in restoring peace.
Compare the Post article above that mentions Thaksin lifted the cloud of suspicion and dominated last night's live television appearance with Anand with The Nation article below. The Nation article certainly does not imply the PM dominated the talk and adds many of the most pointed comments from Anand that the Post omitted. As expected, The Nation gives Anand the last word while the Post leaves the last word for the PM.
SOUTHERN CONFLICT: Irreconcilable? - The Nation, July 29, 2005
..."The local community sees this decree as a licence to kill," said Anand, which drew a quick interruption from Thaksin to insist that the highly disputed decree was not as bad as it seemed.
...He also blamed the underground world with interests in drugs, smuggling and illegal activities, saying they were part of what he called a volcano that blew up during his term in office.
Anand, on the other hand, made no mention of historical distortion and instead blamed state mechanisms for creating the conditions that led to violence in the region.
In one of his most subtle and probably strongest messages to the government, Anand pointed out that a relatively high 74 per cent of eligible voters in the South had turned out in the last general election because they still had faith in the country's system of governance. Yet not one of the 14 candidates from the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party was elected.
Thaksin defended the decree on the grounds that law and order must be upheld, and blasted its critics.
"Many people have been too quick to make a judgement without first reading the decree," the prime minister said.
...The former prime minister pointed to the abduction of suspects by government officials, the disappearance of hundreds of people from the region and the slow workings of the legal system as the causes for the mistrust among the local community.
...Anand suggested that "Thai" was a loaded word and pointed out that Kingdom is ethnically diverse and consists of Mon like himself and Chinese like the prime minister, as well as Malays in the deep South...
'A tale of two newspapers' archives
TNA is even more one-sided than the Post in its reporting of the joint Anand/Thaksin talk. It is basically all the PM's reassuring statements including the theories that the Southern unrest is caused by drug traffickers and influential figures and reassurances that the government would "stick to its policy on using peaceful tactics."
Reconciliation in deep South is govt ultimate goal - TNA, July 29, 2005
The government will remain its peaceful approaches in tackling the insurgency problems in Thailand's southern border region to achieve reconciliation, which is its ultimate goal eventually.
...The southern insurgency had also been caused by drug trafficking gangs and influential figures in the region, he noted.
The government would, however, stick to its policy on using peaceful tactics as its main approach to ease tension and address the problems in the region eventually...