Declaration of Support for Freedom in Thailand

[17.09.2007, Admin, NEWS]

Since the military coup in September 2006, the government of Thailand has been suppressing democracy, free speech and economic freedom.

Thailand used to be among the most democratic nations in South East Asia. In 2005, Thailand was classified as “free” by Freedom House as one of the only countries in the region. Today, Freedom House ranks Thailand as “not free.” The reasons for this failing grade are clear: The military government is suppressing free speech, the main opposition party has been banned, and supporters of the opposition have been subjected to harassment.

Likewise, Thailand used to have a relatively free economy and was considered one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world. Recently, however, Fitch ratings classified Thailand as one of “the most vulnerable countries in Asia” economically. Again, the policies of the military government are to blame. The government is violating private property rights and harassing foreign investors with compulsory licenses and other instruments of economic nationalism.

The people of Thailand deserve better than oppression and economic misery.

We, the undersigned, believe in the power of political freedom to create stable, mature societies. We believe in the unmatched power of free trade and enterprise to create economic prosperity. Finally, we believe in the sanctity of private property rights as the basis for both political and economic freedom.

We therefore call on the government of Thailand to restore democracy and economic freedom as soon as possible. The government must proceed with free and fair elections, restore freedom of speech and protect private property rights.

Bucharest, September 15, 2007

Signed by:

The Honorable Daniele Capezzone, MP, President of the Productivity Committee, Italian Chamber of Deputies

The Honorable Benedetto Della Vedova, MP, Italian Chamber of Deputies

The Honorable Richard Ashworth, MEP, United Kingdom

The Honorable Martin Callanan, MEP, United Kingdom

The Honorable Charles Tannock, MEP, United Kingdom

The Honorable Chris Heaton-Harris, MEP, United Kingdom

The Honorable Roger Helmer, MEP, United Kingdom

The Honorable Syed Kamall, MEP, United Kingdom

The Honorable Veaceslav Untila
Member of Parliament, Moldova

Emil Kirjas
Secretary General, Liberal International

Carlos Gebauer
TV host and writer, Germany

Maurits van der Hoofd
International Officer
Movimento Liberal Social, Portugal

Miguel Duarte
Movimento Liberal Social, Portugal

Kelsey Zahourek
Executive Director
Property Rights Alliance

Tabriz Jabbarov
Vice Director
Free Minds Association, Azerbaijan

Ramin Isayev
Free Minds Association, Azerbaijan

Guy Plunier
Institute Economique Molinari, Belgium

Dag Ekelberg
Civita, Norway

Pierre Garello
Institute for Economic Studies, France

Amanda Hydro
Reason Foundation, USA

Kristian Norheim
Progress Party, Norway

Roberta Bonazzi
European Foundation for Democracy, Belgium

Robert Nef
Liberal Institute, Switzerland

Peter Gonda
Conservative Institute of M. R. Stefanik, Slovakia

Krassen Stanchev
Institute for Market Economics, Bulgaria

Brinduja Binhata
CADI, Romania