Behind the Histrionics of Thepthai Senpong
Over the past few days the official spokesman of Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjivija’s, Thepthai Senpong, was quoted by various media outlets responding to our White Paper. We are grateful to Mr. Thepthai for taking the time to read our document. However, much like Mr. Thepthai’s own prime ministerial boss, who publicly clashed with him after he made several misguided and completely false allegations regarding Red Shirt “terrorist” training camps, we believe Mr Thepthai is struggling to act in an appropriate and reasonable fashion.
Responding, as Mr Thepthai did, to this detailed and factually argued document only with racial slurs and histrionic rhetoric disguised as spuriously grounded legal threats, is hardly the stuff of reasoned debate. What is very illuminating is that it is coming from the mouthpiece of Thailand’s well-educated and erudite Prime Minister. I’m sure that PM Abhisit understands full well that debate and dissent are both part of a healthy democracy. The idea that an analysis as comprehensive as the White Paper, with its detailed look at the requirements of international law, only provokes unreasoned utterances, suggests there is something far from healthy going on in Thailand’s governing class.
The White Paper raises serious questions whether Thailand’s democracy is fit for purpose. Can we please ask Mr. Thepthai and PM Abhisit to respond in an appropriate and fitting manner to these questions? Doesn’t Thailand deserve this? At the moment the slurs and the threats and the personal attacks seem to be the Thai government’s only comment. Should we then assume, as they offer no counter argument worthy of the name, that they accept the document in full? As I said before, I am ready at anytime and at any place to debate any of the issues raised in the White Paper. What is the government scared of?”