Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Nation: Nitya Says the Germans Buy into our BS about the Coup

Germany has better understanding toward Thailand: FM spokesman

Sopaporn Kurz

The Nation

Nuremberg - The German foreign minister had a "correct impression" of the political development in Thailand after the briefing by Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram in a bilateral meeting, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tharit Charungvat.

What does this mean?

The comment was the most positive response from the country, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union (EU), since the coup on Sept 19 last year, said Tharit.

Positive response?

Nitya is attending the 16th Asean-EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Nuremberg, Germany, where 37 ministers from EU and Asean attended. The meeting is from 14 - 15 March. He will also be delivering a speech in the plenary session on the political situation in Thailand.

The AEMM is the first opportunity for Thai Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram to explain directly, instead of going through the Thailand's European-based diplomats, to the EU about the real situation in Thailand before and after the military coup last year.

Right after the coup, the 27-nation union members, led by Finland then, issued two statements voicing their dissatisfaction over the political situation in Thailand and urged the military appointed government to lift martial law and hold a general election as soon as possible.

Nitya told his European counterparts not to forget that it was Thaksin who dissolved the parliament in February and the claimed free and fair democratic general election in April was later nullified by the administrative court, not to mention the two millions margin of votes between the Thai Rak Thai supporters and those who cast 'non-voting'.

"It was not a popularly elected government," said Nitya, adding that he saw the country was heavily polarized and the bloodless coup in September is rather as a benign intervention. "A country like that Thailand cannot stand still," Nitya told the press.

He also assured the European ministers that the current government do not intend to linger on to the power, and the constitution drafting process will be reaching the stage of public referendum in July.

Besides Germany, Nitya also had bilateral meetings with his counterpart from Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and European Commission on Foreign Affairs.

Denmark's Minister for Foreign Affairs Per Stig MÓ╣śller made inquiries on the ongoing violence in the three southernmost provinces and suggested that Thai government should use both carrot and stick measures to deal with the insurgency.

Nitya emphasized that the current government is using the peaceful measure and that there needed be a development element in the solution to the problem, particularly providing secular education to the religious students. Denmark counterpart later agreed to consider about possibilities in providing assistance in that regard.

Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt urged Thai government to stick to its own
time-line in drafting the constitution which will lead to the general election.

This year marks the 30th anniversary EU-Asean relationship. The group will later have the Asem Summit in Hamburg in May.

This piece is so riddled with grammatical mistakes that it is impossible to decipher correctly.

Where are the quotes that prove the basis of this article? How do we know what the Europeans think?

Time to do a little investigation and see what I can come up with.

1 comment:

anon said...

dpa has a full story. Nitya laid out a "roadmap to democracy" that sees a finished draft constitution by May and elections in December 2007. Slower than the original timeframe the junta promised back in the aftermath of the coup, but the German FM expressed what the agency called "broad approval" for the roadmap.