The US government, in rejecting General Prayuth Chan-ocha's plan to delay a new election in Thailand for a year, has misread the intentions of its long-standing friend in this part of the world.
Thaksin Shinawatra and his third political party, Pheu Thai (the previous two having been dissolved by the courts for offences against democracy), do not personify a democratic Thailand.
Even though Pheu Thai won 16 million votes in 2011, that number only represents a fraction of Thailand’s total population.
The rest of us do not agree with Pheu Thai’s undemocratic and dictatorial conduct.
During its rule, the Pheu Thai government, under Thaksin’s unethical control from afar, ruined Thailand’s status as the world’s No 1 rice exporter through its highly controversial populist schemes. Corruption was rampant and chronic. The government’s conduct was inequitable and divisive.
In the light of these facts, the US government should reconsider its rejection of Thailand’s plan for reform.
This is not a coup in the sense that dictatorship is taking the place of democracy. This is Thailand taking a step back in order to move forward democratically in a more confident manner.
Therefore the US should think again before destroying a long and fruitful friendship with a knee-jerk reaction.