Sunday, September 22, 2019

Thailand needs a Desmond Tutu to lead reconciliation

Apr 23. 2019
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Re: “The challenging problem of how to identify ‘good people’”, Have Your Say, yesterday.

Lungstib accuses me of siding with the Thai military. Please point out where and when I have said and done so.

True, recently I wrote that most Thais believe the military is more patriotic than Thai politicians. But I said this as a reflection of the facts and feelings expressed by Thais. I never said that I support coups or the military junta.

It is undeniable that coups are a frequent and often unnecessary occurrence in Thailand. But politicians also played a key role in provoking and causing them to happen.

In last month’s election, I did not vote for the party that supports the military, but nor did I place my tick against the name of the parties that claim to be on the side of “democracy” either.

My wish is that Thailand had someone like Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who in the 1990s helped end the apartheid system in that country through a reconciliation process that featured a series of negotiations and voluntary confessions of past illegalities by all sides. That resulted in forgiveness for all involved and led to a peaceful transition from institutionalised segregation to full-fledged democracy.

I hope my dream comes true one day.

Meanwhile, Lungstib is of course free to throw tantrums over nothing.

Vint Chavala

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