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Thai-ed Too Fit?

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The writer can be contacted via email at mailto:writeaword@yahoo.com

Not to begin this article with "Anyone with half a brain..." as that would more or less describe the author rather than anyone I might be alluding to. But it is timely to note that an important conference is coming up on 13 May in D.C. addressing the prolonged political crisis in Thailand which is, by the way, the direct result of the country not ever doing what now everyone in the kingdom seems bent on talking about - reform.

Widely held to be THE best think tank going, the Center for Strategic and International Studies is finally getting around to discussing a country the State Department has called, in obviously gross error, a "vibrant democracy," Thailand. Ever since its historic 1932 so-called switch from absolute monarchy to so-called constitutional monarchy, the kingdom has fallen into the throes of acrimony, corruption, back-slapping friendlies with Uncle Sam about how mutually democratic the pair is…you get the idea.

7 May 2014 the Thai Constitutional Court is set to rule whether the current Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, her brother an avowed enemy of ultra-royalists and former premier who is wanted on corruption charges, will be forced out of office or not. The ultimate goal of her opponents, cultural and royalist conservatives who have robbed the country of elections by chaining off voting polls and blocking voters from entering polling stations, is to have the entire Thai government dismissed and banned from reentering politics for five years.

The main tool to accomplish justice in Thailand these days is being blasted through piercing whistles, symbols of the PDRC (People’s Democratic Reform Committee) and steady buzzing of its crowds still gathered in Bangkok (many of whom were imported from the Muslim southern region, which is definitely pro-reform, and given all Thai governments’ unjust treatment in the south, with good reason). But the main issue is whether or not Thailand will face a more positive future, or decidedly more negative one fraught with promises of violence and instability, once the court rules.

Thai courts are generally seen as independent, but their rulings have historically sided with conservative cultural and absolute royalist sentiments. Given this proclivity, fears for Yingluck’s incumbency are justified. If anyone is really interested in whether a key US ally in a vital region of SE Asia will keep parting ways with common sense or recover its senses (phrased as some see this potential tragedy), the Center for Strategic and International Studies will address these issues on 13 May 2014 here in Washington. Please contact the Center for registering. Please RSVP here before Monday, May 12, 2014. Please contact southeastasiaprogram@csis.org if you experience technical difficulties. Tuesday, May 13, 2014; 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; CSIS 2nd Floor Conference Room; 1616 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

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