Change in Thailand :

I am writing this letter to update the Nepalis on the current political situation in Thailand. While the military intervention which occurred on September 19 may be perceived as a setback for democracy in Thailand, I wish to point out that early indications seem to suggest that Thailand needed to take this step to propel our democracy forward. Indeed, indications are that public support for the intervention has been overwhelming. For example, according to polls conducted on September 20 by a respectable local independent polling agency, Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, 84 per cent of 2,019 people who took part in the survey support the political change. Another 75 per cent believe that it will improve our political situation. Besides, the situation in Thailand has remained calm and peaceful throughout. Our capital, Bangkok, remains as safe a place to be as ever.

Such public support should not, however, be interpreted to mean that our people are against democracy. The reality is quite the opposite.

Conscious of this public sentiment, ever since the political change in Thailand, the Council of Democratic Reform (CDR) has clearly stated that it would return power to the Thai people at the earliest opportunity.

Concrete actions with the participation from various sectors are being taken to accelerate democratic reform process that, unfortunately, could not take place properly under the previous caretaker government. The CDR has firmly stated that with the completion of the ongoing process of drafting a provisional constitution, a national legislative assembly will be formed, which will in turn ask a constitution drafting body to come up with a new constitution.

With the transfer of the Council’s administrative power to a respectable civilian PM, the government, with the Thai people, can set about overseeing the drafting of a new constitution. We expect that free and fair general elections based on the new constitution will be held in one year, if nor earlier. To this end, the Election Commission which was appointed by the former Senate has already made concrete preparation.

Despite the recent intervention, our friends will see that the respect for human rights and the rule of law, together with a profound belief in principles of democracy, remain very close to our hearts. We firmly adhere to the UN Charter and obligations under international treaties and agreements, on the basis of equality of states, as always.

Mrs Vanvisa Thamrongnavasawat,

Thai ambassador to Nepal

Literary beat :

I admire the variety of THT’s content. It would be even better if it could include more write-ups on literature. It might not be a bad idea to introduce a weekly literary column. Or, you could publish a literary supplement solely devoted to literary themes.

Bikash Rimal, Danda, Nawalparasi

Bad show :

The government representatives are embroiled in dirty power politics, demonstrating little interest in solving the country’s pressing problems. How can they expect Nepalis to trust them? Their gross neglect of the Jana Andolan II’s mandate is disappointing. The leaders seem preoccupied with consolidating their power and furthering their own narrow interests.

Bibidh Pokharel, Dhapasi