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Group warns US against simplistic view of Thai conflict

A network of medical volunteers has cautioned the US ambassador to Bangkok against a simplistic portrayal of Thailand's ongoing political conflict as an ideological clash between pro-democracy and anti-democracy groups.

In its letter to the ambassador, the Network of Medical Volunteers for National Reform in Thailand dismissed any suggestion that protesters and protest leaders are trying to change the country's democratic system into a non-democratic one.

"They are calling for a strengthening of the democratic system, which, among other things, seeks to give tougher safeguards against corruption and abuse of power by elected officials," the group said in the letter.

The letter mentions the name of US Congressman Michael Turner, who recently urged US President Barack Obama to voice support for the democratic process in Thailand, which he insinuated was being threatened.

"We wish to caution you against Congressman Turner's simplistic portrayal of the political conflict in Thailand," the letter said.

The network has pointed its finger at the Yingluck Shinawatra-led caretaker government, saying her administration's attempt to whitewash past corruption-related crimes through the pushing of the anti-Amnesty Bill, and efforts to systematically weaken the checks-and-balances system among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, have dismayed the public.


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