Time For Change: Moving focus from political to economic crisis

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Time For Change: Moving focus from political to economic crisis
Image by Lorenzo Cafaro from Pixabay

Time For Change: Moving focus from political to economic crisis

Written By - Patra Manas. 14-11-2020.

We have a dual crisis running in Thailand at the moment.

One is a political crisis, brought about by student protests demanding for the resignation of PM Prayuth, rewriting of the constitution and reformation of the monarchy.

The other is an economic crises, brought about by a global Covid pandemic that threatens to send Thai economy into a free fall.

The political crisis is in a stalemate where both sides are facing off with a show of strength in numbers.

This could be a long haul for student protesters if the military-government decides to do nothing except make the right noises.

The reconciliation committee proposed by the government to address the political crisis was initially intended to include representatives from all sides of the conflict and ex-prime ministers of the country but has since then been rejected by student’s movement as a path to reconciliation.

Anti-government protesters have firmly refused to take part in the parliament’s proposed committee believing it is just a way to keep Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-0-Cha in power, calling it a ploy to buy time.

The government’s stance on insisting on proceeding with the reconciliation committee which was meant to reconcile conflicting parties is baffling.

How can reconciliation happen if the main opposing side is not part of the talks?

Who is the government going to reconcile with?

It only acts to reconfirm the belief that the reconciliation committee is not meant to be a platform to seriously consider or listen to the grievances of the student protesters and it is a ploy for the military-backed government to continue to rule.

If the government is sincere, PM Prayuth could just go ahead and give a clear signal  over charter amendments as was called for by former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. “Frankly speaking, the charter amendment issue will go through parliament if the prime minister gives it a push and sends a clear signal” Mr Abhisit said.

The reconciliation committee is a waste of taxpayers money and country’s resources  at a time when the economy can ill afford it. Continue Reading Below...

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Instead, the government should redirect the country’s financial and human resources towards creating a “economic crises committee” to tackle the economic crisis that is looming large.

The pandemic has played havoc with the Thai economy and there are three critical areas to look at:

-The immediate impact of the pandemic on the economy and how to help the unemployed and businesses survive and thrive moving forward. 

-The rethinking of the old pillars of growth and it’s future contributions to economic growth

-A clear path ahead that would plug Thailand neatly into the New World Economic Order post pandemic.

If the government pours it’s resources into the health of the economy and not the health, sustenance and continuity of it’s own political existence, it will solve at least one major crises facing the country. The economic effects and benefits of a country going somewhere economically may even serve to de-escalate political tensions in the long run.