The 24th of June 2007 will mark the 75th anniversary of Thai democracy. Unfortunately, the country has been ruled more under dictatorship despite being called a democracy. The last coup on 19th September 2006 should be a clear sign of backwardness, despite the fact that it got rid of the worst Prime Minister ever in the last 74 years. Let us hope that by the time our democracy reaches its centenary in 25 years, we may really be democratic in essence as well as in form. (see p.43)

Dr. Pimro Ambedkar was in fact the first to state that the Buddhist Sangha was the first democracy established in the world over 2500 years ago. Dr. Ambedkar was also mainly responsible for the drafting of the Indian Constitution since its independence in 1948 and India remains the oldest democratic country in Asia, despite some dictatorial interruption by Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

10 If we Thais learn from our Asian neighbours more than blindly following the western model, we may even see that in India, the Tibetan Government-in-exile is also experimenting with a kind of Buddhist democracy, while the Kingdom of Bhutan is leading the way on Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product.

Vol.23-No.1-Jan.-Apr.-2550-2007_compressed