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Thai restriction of speech “not helpful” : British MP

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A visiting British politician said yesterday the state of emergency maintained by the Thai government in many provinces would not be helpful to the process of reaching a political settlement in the country.

“There may be in any country an exceptional circumstance, but as a general rule restriction on freedom of expression is generally not helpful in creating an open civil society,” said Jeremy Brown, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Brown was in Thailand on Sunday and yesterday on a leg of his Asian tour taking him also to the Philippines, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

The British minister met on Sunday with Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya to discuss various issues, including the government’s unilateral offer of national reconciliation.

“I stressed with him the importance of reconciliation and the need for everyone in Thailand to feel the political process is able to reflect accurately the will of the people,” Brown told reporters.

People in Thailand and everywhere in the world want to live in a stable prosperous country where the rule of law is respected and their views about politics and about society can be given accurate expression, he said.

The Nation


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