• Short Summary

    Thai Prime Minister, Kukrit Pramoj defended his country's democratic system and independence in a speech to foreign correspondents in Bangkok on Friday ( 3 october).

  • Description

    GV Shots of Thai PM and newsmen (SILENT)

    SCU Thai PM speaking and shots of newsmen listening

    "There are some people in Thailand today who say that what is being done by the Government is physically insufficient to help the masses. There are still people who wish to see a total institutional change, and say that the people should have more power in determining their own lives. I also fully endorse this view. I would suggest, nevertheless, that while these views are all correct, I would perhaps bring about more human suffering to Thai society than by my not achieving these ideals. Before that, however, I would like to state several propositions. The first proposition is that Thailand wishes to continue on a democratic system, which means not accepting a military dominated government, but having a civilian one, not an authoritarian government. The second proposition is that any political system in Thailand should not bring about too much human suffering to Thai society in the bringing about of that change, or that we would not have to imprison or decapitate one class of society in favour of another.

    I believe that tout Thai Buddhist tradition would demand this. My third proposition is that there be a rapid change in equalising wealth, and on the development of rural areas vis-a-vis the urban areas. My fourth proposition is that Thailand remains to be a truly independent state, and not a " client" state of any of the major power.

    Initials CL/0328 2115/0330

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Thai Prime Minister, Kukrit Pramoj defended his country's democratic system and independence in a speech to foreign correspondents in Bangkok on Friday ( 3 october). He also spoke out against political change by violent means and called for a programme to equalise the nation's wealth.

    Mr. Kukrit whose government recently established diplomatic relations with peking, told the journalists there were some critics of the Government who said it wasn't doing enough to help the masses.

    And he added that there were people - who he did not identify -- that wanted to see a total change in the nation's political system.

    However, Mr. Kukrit cautioned that Thailand wished to cautioned on a democratic system -- which , he said , did not mean a military dominated government , but a civilian one and not a dictatorship.

    Mr. Kukrit also warmed against any political change that would be advantageous to one class at the expense of another. And he reminded his audience this view was in line with the Thai Buddhist tradition.

    The Prime Minister then called for a rapid change in equalising wealth and a programme of development for a rural and urban areas. Finally he said that Thailand must remain a truly independent state- and not a " client" state of any major power.

    This film is serviced with a speech in English by the Thai Prime Minister, Kukrit Pramoj, a transcript of which appears below:

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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