BANGKOK, April 30 – Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra insisted today that her speech on democracy, made at an international forum in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, was aimed at preventing a future coup in Thailand, and not to clear her brother of offences as she has been widely accused.
She said the objective of her statement at the Conference on the Community of Democracies in Ulan Bator yesterday was to enhance confidence, especially among investors, and to ensure equality for Thai people from all walks of life.
“It was an international forum on democracy. I only raised a precedent as I want the country to move forward,” she said.
Asked why she chose to raise Thailand’s negative aspects on an international stage, Ms Yingluck said it was a forum on democracy and she intended to call on every country to join hands in strengthening the democratic system.
“I meant to say that Thailand is sincere in our cooperation for the democratic system. It’s the path several countries have chosen. I won’t make such a speech [again] on another stage,” she explained.
In response to criticism that she was reopening the wounds of Thailand’s internal conflicts, the premier said her speech should be carefully listened to and defended herself she merely raised some precedents.
“It was a forum on democracy. We can’t make such a speech elsewhere, and it’s a guideline for many other countries,” she said. “I wasn’t trying to clear my brother of charges against him.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Ms Yingluck’s brother, was ousted from his post in a military coup in 2006 and has lived overseas in self-exile.
“You have to read the entire speech, not only certain parts,” she said, defending her position firmly.
Asked if she would make a similar speech if such a conference was held in Thailand, Ms Yingluck said it would depend on the circumstances, timing and appropriateness.
“There are several issues that we can raise as precedents,” she added. “I want to support (democracy) as it is one of the government’s policies. We want all processes to be carried out under the democratic system.”
She emphasised that she did not mean to stir conflict among Thai people and her statement was based on her experiences without pinpointing an individual.
The premier said she has been trying to build confidence towards Thailand in the international community and democracy is one of the elements of confidence.
“We have experienced many countries’ refusal to cooperate with Thailand [after] the coup and [in the] absence of elections,” she said. (MCOT online news)