After a series of bloody protests, elections and changes in the ruling administration following the 2006 coup d’état, Thailand finds itself nowhere near a resolution. For observers around the world, the current political violence – aside from the unprecedented degree of bloodshed – feels like the same script, with different perpetrators and defenders.
Many have attributed these waves of continued turbulence to the unresolved class conflict, manifested by the widening income gap and considerable political differences. However, with the end nowhere near in sight, principal focuses must be placed on i) ceasing current protests to halt deaths and victims; and ii) bringing the relevant stakeholders together to bring the country back to peace and prosperity. Prime Minister Abhisit, who is known to be backed by the powerful Royal Thai Army, must be sincere in reaching out to the National United Front Of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) for a peace dividend. At this stage, only compromise would prove to be viable. While the ousted Thaksin remains a variable factor, a kingly mediation is largely imperative. Cognisant of the high reverence in the country for the monarchy, he would be the best individual to harmonise relations and balance the demands from the different sides.
If Thailand continues to trap itself in this vicious cycle; sadly, the Thai people would ultimately and perpetually be at the losing end.
A version of this article was published in the International Herald Tribune, the Global Edition of The New York Times.