The military crackdown in Egypt against a religious movement could be a preview of civil strife here if its political leaderships do not pull back from intransigent confrontations.
The prime minister's proposed reform forum, therefore, is a timely and possible constructive step toward a sustainable Thailand if it can turn the country away from bitter factionalism in the continuing struggle to control the government, its budget, regulatory powers, police and army.
The issue before Thailand is, sadly, not reconciliation but compromise on constitutionalism and the rule of law. The conditions for reconciliation are not yet present as they were 20 years ago in South Africa once the Afrikaaners accommodated themselves to majority rule. In Thailand today, ambitions still run strong while acceptance of the need for checks and balances is not yet the cultural norm.