Swedish Ambassador Comments on the Crisis in Thailand

Lennart Liner, Ambassador of Sweden to Thailand, “stuck his neck out” as he called it himself and commented on the ongoing crisi in Thailand on 22 April 2010. Lennart Linner was one of the speakers in a panel discussion at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.

Incidentally, while the Ambassador was speaking, four grenades detonated at a skytrain station in Bangkok, killing at least one and wounding over twenty innocent commuters at the BTS Station Saladaeng.

“We are witnessing something extraordinarily serious,” the ambassador stated.

According to Lennart Linner, the incident has been grossly underestimated from the beginning. It was “supposed” to last for a few days and it has so far lasted six weeks. Even the tragic and dramatic events on April 10 did not lead the parties to enter negotiations – it only hardened the stand of both sides.

“The emerging civil groups who take their own actions is a hint of worse things to come,” he added.

The ambassador also pointed to the grave miscalculations on both sides of what the other side would or could do, like the statements “They will never dare to shoot” and “They will never dare to come and throw us out of this area”. Both sides should realize that so far they have been wrong about how far their opponent is willing to go.

“I think it is still an option to pull back from the brink but the window is narrowing,” the ambassador said adding that the gap currently seemed to be only widening, broadening and deepening.

“It is like two trains rushing towards each other on the same track in a dark tunnel – and the only light is that of the approaching train,” he said, summing up his gloomy description of the situation.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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