In response to your article in October 16 AWSJ (Asian Wall Street Journal ) which was brought to my attention recently, I would like to clarify a few points and explain to you some facts pertinent to the present Thai political turmoil.
31 October 2008
In response to your article in October 16 AWSJ (Asian Wall Street Journal ) which was brought to my attention recently, I would like to clarify a few points and explain to you some facts pertinent to the present Thai political turmoil. I am a 70 year old doctor with no political connections or positions but with an absolute loyalty to the King. Proper understanding and support from friends abroad will help Thailand through these difficult times. Your opinion and assessment reflected in that article deserve to be modified in the lights of the following information I am privileged to share with you. I have always held your publication in high regards and hope this information will help the AWSJ maintain its unbiased position.
1. The King is indeed revered by Thai people. He has now recovered from his illness and regained his former health. The photograph in your article was taken the day he left hospital over a year ago and I regret that it may be mislead! Nag. He has appeared in public on numerous occasions since then…
For a more recent photograph; you may consider accessing the archives of many local newspapers including the Bangkok Post. I am sure that will better reflect his t rue state of health.
2. The law against offending the monarchy has been in our constitution for over 75 years since the era of constitutional monarchy began. Our King rules or exercises his power through parliament, government, and the courts of law. These three institutions have provided check and balance necessary to run the country for ‘the benefits of all Thai people’ as proclaimed by the King on his coronation over 60 years ago that ‘ I shall rule with righteousness for the benefit of Thai people! ‘.
3. In all these years, there was hardly any incidence of lese majeste. Those found guilty had received royal pardons, some after a short time in jail. One of those is now a prominent member of the now; dissolved party headed by a former prime minister, Dr.Thaksin Shinawatra Banned from being involved in any political activities, this man still runs a nightly television program on a government channel attacking political opponents and organizing political rallies that might escalate into widespread unrest in many parts of the country.
4. Since Dr. Thaksin first became prime minister over 6 years ago, there have been noticeably more cases of lese majeste.
Most recent ones were quoted in your article & nbsp; involving a former minister in a Thaksin cabinet who took an oath of allegiance to the King before taking office.
Another one> was a female political activist who committed the offence during a rally organized by Dr.Thaksin’s supporters.
The last one was a man who refused to stand up while the Royal Anthem was being played in a cinema, claiming human rights. All three are being investigated before prosecution.
5. You will agree that we all have our rights but those rights must be exercised within the boundaries of the laws. Foreign visitors have always respected our laws as I expect you will do should you visit our country. We Thais respect the laws of the countries we visit without any exception or pay the price of not doing so.
6. For your information on, Thailand’s parliamentary democracy is only 76 years of age and a lot of people do not understand its true meaning nor do they understand their rights and responsibility according to the constitution. A deliberate misunderstanding seems to prevail among most politicians that being elected means a privilege to positions of power and financial gains through corrupt practices.
7. Mr. Thaksin’s rise to power opened up an era of corruption the magnitude of which has never been seen before. Populist policies, conflict of interests in businesses, tax evasion, undisclosed share holdings, money laundering and sacrificing national interests for> business gain! s have all destroyed Thai society’s moral values.
8. This slippery slope towards “absolute oligarchy” was slowed down in & nbsp; September 2006 when Dr. Thaksin was ousted from power before he could continue to undermine the monarchy by parliamentary dictatorship.
9. Throughout all this, Thailand’s fragile democracy (according to you) has been held together by the King’s infinite tolerance, wisdom, and forgiveness. The cash rich populists you mentioned has seized the present turmoil to completely polarize Thai society, destabilize our> economy, and undermine the monarchy.
Your article may have misled a lot of people both at home and abroad. Genuine concerns may lead to violent confrontations and anarchy. Then will be the time that the so called cash rich populists will claim legitimacy in taking over the country for their own gains. Those promises to our honest, peaceable and hard working farmers and industrial workers will soon be forgotten. Financial credibility, business sector’s integrity and the professionalism of our civil servants will rapidly decline. All because of the complete disregard for moral values and responsibility of most politicians presently in power and backed by money from abroad.
I hope my opinion as outlined above will receive due attention and passed on to the public in a responsible way that is expected of a respectable publication such as AWSJ. I look forward to receiving your early response.
Prasit Futrakul (อ. ประสิทธิ์ ฟูตระกูล)
Reference: from fwd mail