Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Thai Prime Minister, should follow the best example of Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s former prime minister. Hatoyama held office for only around eight months, but bowed to public pressure and responsibly resigned over his inability to handle the issue of the US’s military facilities on Okinawa. Because of this, he is really a brave man – a civilised leader never inflicts hostility and violence against his own people and monks.
Monks can play a role for social stability and a road map for the peace of a nation. If monks have to march in the street with civil society, this means that the country is not being governed in the right way, and that the top political leader should not be so stubborn as to continue ruling.
By doing so, he risks devastating the country, breaking the people’s will and devastating livelihoods. He should choose the way of peace by resigning.
The most respected person is not a person who holds only power. Let’s see another example: Nelson Mandela was jailed for 27 years. He held official office for only one term, yet his reputation has spread across the world. He is, arguably, one of the world’s most respected people.
In the case of [US Secretary of State] Hillary Rodham Clinton, she challenged now-President Barack Obama for her party’s candidacy, creating a divide between party supporters. Finally, she gave up her fight for the presidency rather than to do any more damage to reach her goal and fulfill her ambitions.
In another case, Ségolène Royal was very strong competitor against French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Her campaign for the presidency was fought tooth and nail. But if she continued to encourage her supporters, violence may have broken out, turning the France of then into the Thailand of today. But she didn’t choose the violent path. May all political leaders in Asia choose the path of peace rather commit than hostile and violent acts.
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