The Royal Thai Government has appointed three commissions with the intention of overcoming the present crisis, politically, economically, and socially. The chair of each commission is a respectable man of good reputation for honesty and integrity, but we fear that their mission will not achieve real and fruitful solutions. Many people, especially in the North and Northeast do not trust any commission whatsoever.

One wonders whether reconciliation will at all be possible if we do not seriously confront the truth. The first of the Buddha’s four noble truths states that suffering is to be confronted. Then we must find out the causes of suffering (the second truth) before we can eliminate them (the third truth) by following the Noble Eightfold Path of Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration (the fourth truth).

In this country we have been taught to ignore the truth. We are only aware of half-truths, which are dangerous, For instance, we are told that Siam was the only country in Southeast Asia which was not colonized by the western powers. This is a half-truth. Politically we remained independent but we lost extra territorial rights to the imperial powers of the 19th century—including Japan. We did not become equal partners to all the western powers until after the Siamese revolution of 1932 which introduced democracy to Siam under the nonviolent leadership of Mr. Pridi Banomyong who was thrown out of the Kingdom in 1947 with the demise of Thai democracy. We have still not recovered our Constitutional Monarchy. Yet we claim to be democratic with the King as the head of state. The law of lese majeste demonstrates clearly that we are at best under a semi-absolute monarchy. Would any member of the three commissions be willing to discuss this issue?