Thursday, January 2, 2014

Why Thailand is crucial to democracy in Asia

Thailand’s long zig-zag struggle for democracy is threatening to become a farce with dire implications for all Southeast Asia

As the only Southeast Asian country never colonized by a Western power, Thailand is proud of its independence before and since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932. But Thais never learned from farangs (foreigners) how to make democracy work. Instead they have endured a long series of military coups, corrupt politicians and, at especially critical times, pro-democracy intervention by the revered constitutional monarch Bhumiphol Adulyadej.

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