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Coup prevented 'failed state', junta economic adviser claims

Criticism from West understandable, though improvements so far 'tangible'

A MEMBER of the National Council for Peace and Order's economic advisory board said yesterday that Thailand had been on the verge of becoming a "failed state", but the domestic situation had been improved by the coup.

Somkid Jatusripitak, an economic adviser, told a seminar organised by the Thai Institute of Directors that improvement of the country's political and economic situations was tangible even though several developed countries disagree with the political developments here.

Time and history will tell whether the coup was right or wrong.

"There is no surprise that some developed countries in a democratic world are not pleased and have questions about the political development in Thailand," because they dislike seeing matters unfold in a way they believe is incompatible with a modern world.

"And the force of their reaction depends on which mask they put on, but there is no need for a feeling of resentment," he said.

Each country has specific beliefs

"A country has its own beliefs and benefits, and no one can truly understand that Thailand before May 22 was nearly on the verge of a civil war.

"People were about to kill one another," he said.

The results of the coup and the commitment to solve the country's problems will speak for themselves on the international stage, and if the promise of reform is met by the NCPO, the countries that have shunned Thailand will definitely change their tune.

"Bilateral relationships are very important in the Asia-Pacific region and especially in Asean, and since Thailand is situated in one of the most important tactical geographic position, there is no way that they can find a replacement for us," he said.

Now the country's situation will keep on improving throughout the rest of the year, and the economy will continue to improve even more so next year thanks to political certainty, stability, reduced violence and commitment to reform, he promised.

In the past decade, the country was not able to grow to its full potential and there is a need to reform the political structure along with economic and social structures to ensure sustainable development, Somkid claimed.

"Thailand has been living on past merit, and we have to improve ourselves through reform or we will be marginalised and even go backwards," he warned.


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