An article assessing the first six months in power of the new Thai Prime Minister, Samak Sundaravej, The Nation included these worrying paragraphs:
Samak loves to include his own interpretations of situations, which often brings undesirable consequences. During his first visit to Burma in March, he returned with much praise for the Burmese junta leader, General Than Shwe, saying he is a Buddhist who practises mediation and that Burma at least has peace and order.
Bangkok-based diplomats are often perplexed by his comments on Burma. But he is not disturbed as he often confides to his aides that he speaks the truth. At a recent meeting with the UN special envoy for Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, Samak lashed out at the West for supporting the detained Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Without her, Samak ventured to say, the political situation in Burma would be far better. Such comments are often made easily without Samak pondering the deeper meanings and the impact on the country’s diplomatic standing, particularly in sensitive negotiations.
We should pray that the leaders of all Burma’s neighbours, particularly the big three China, Thailand and India might develop a good understanding of the situation and a compassion for the people of Burma. This means praying that their advisors be both dilligent and honest.