Thongchai Thailand

The Brasilia model

Posted on: July 9, 2010

The extreme form of confrontational politics in Thailand formed of acrimony between the yellow shirted  rightists and the red shirted leftists has established a tit-for-tat pattern that ensures that there will continue to be cycles of protests with each cycle more vicious than the last with Bangkok, the seat of government, as the venue.

As Bangkok is also the commercial and transportation hub of the country and the primary  international air travel and tourism gateway, all of these facilities are vulnerable to protest mayhem as we have seen in recent months.

As a way of preparing the country to withstand these protests and of keeping their economic cost to the nation as low as possible, it may be advisable for Thailand to consider the Brasilia model. This model suggests that there is no good reason for the country’s seat of government to be located in its commercial center. In fact, in the case of Thailand there are probably good reasons for government and commerce to be geographically separated in this manner.

Perhaps the capital of Thailand could be moved north closer to the center of mass of the country not including the isthmus. This kind of separation will likely spare the country’s tourism and commercial hub from protests gone awry. As a secondary benefit, the construction of Thailand’s Brasilia might also serve as a public works project to stimulate the economy while at the same time distributing modern infrastructure to the hinterland.

Cha-am Jamal

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