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Table is set for a true democracy to sprout

Just now Thailand is as democratic as it ever has been, with honest - not self-serving or self-enriching - military leaders at the helm, preparing a platform for developing a true Thai democracy.

This is exactly what happened in western countries in the cradle stage of their democracies, when idealistic people with time and resources worked out the foundation for the coming democracy.

Thailand is now at a crossroad with huge possibilities. The future is bright if all factions in the Thai society who want a true democracy now pull together. Recent attempts to negotiate or talk with Pheu Thai about democracy, about fighting corruption and about needed reforms failed because Pheu Thai is not there to improve Thai democracy. They are there to bring back the fugitive ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra including his frozen ill-gotten money.

All talks with Pheu Thai about improving the Thai democratic system have been a pure waste of time and nothing else than pseudo talk. Same with the appeals addressed to Thaksin to put the nation first. All efforts were done in vain. It just looks unbelievably ridiculous and hopeless that a country can be trapped like this because of one man! If the discussions about democracy had been sincere the outcome could never have ended up like we are seeing now.

But better times are coming - good things have already started to happened. With a new police boss in charge violent red shirts or Thaksin associates stuffed with war weapons have for the first time since November been arrested. Could that mean that ordinary policemen aren’t as bad as presumed but the former police boss was the obstacle and we soon will see arrests of grenade-lobbers caught on tape?

There are factions of the red shirt movement who are there not for Thaksin and his money but for the interest of the poor people in the North and Northeast. Hopefully they can join ordinary anti-government demonstrators, those who are not part of the elite establishment but employed people living on wages, to work together for a true democracy and thereby improve living conditions for all.

Labour unions have supported the attempts to improve Thai democracy. Maybe they could be the link between the red shirt factions, whose agendas are not connected, that will result in Thaksin being brought back to Thailand. They could also be the link to anti-government demonstrators, and together they could start working for a new political party for the poor and people living on wages.

Labour unions should also contact other unions and labour parties positioned in the more fair part of the democratic world for support and to learn from their former experiences in building a democracy that is good for everybody. Because labour movements and unions are the powers which truly take care of the little man's interests, not charlatanic billionaires!

A Johnsen

Chon Buri


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