Thai-born US congresswoman urges Thais to overcome differences for national interest


BANGKOK, Aug 30 – Thai-born Democrat US member of Congress from Illinois, Ladda Tammy Duckworth, yesterday called on Thai politicians to work together for the national interest.

Talking to the media yesterday after visiting Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House, she said one of the issues in their discussion was the small proportion of female representatives in the Thai and American legislative bodies, at less than 20 per cent.

A larger number of woman lawmakers would contribute to the diversity of opinion and that they should be taught about politics and conducting political campaigns so that they have more involvement in politics, said Lt Col Duckworth.

While she hardly followed Thai political developments, Col Duckworth said she found similarities between Thai and American politics regarding various factions or political parties in Parliament and Congress, and differences of opinion among representatives.

“This is our country. Thai people, whether from the South or the North, have to cooperate in solving problems,” she said. This was her first visit to her native land in five years.

“The differences remind us that we have freedom in our country. Without freedom, we can’t talk or express our personal opinions,” Col Duckworth said. “There are many countries where people do not have the freedom of expression like us.”

She said she could not give advice to Thai MPs as she has been in Congress for only seven months.