History and Obituary Column
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History and Obituary Column

Former BOT Governor and Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula writes a weekly column for The Nation. One imagined at the time of his appointment he would be writing about economic and financial matters, but as he noted in February:

AT THE BEGINNING of January, I wrote about Field Marshal Sarit Dhanarajata and Professor Sanya Dharmasakti, whom I miss so much considering the ongoing political situation in Thailand. Later on, in February, Kasem Chatikavanij, whom I admire and hold in high regard, wrote more, in The Nation, on the working conduct of Field Marshal Sarit, Professor Sanya, Puey Ungphakorn and Boonma Wongswan.
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BP: He then wrote about Sarit in his February 23 op-ed. He followed up on March 2 to write about a museum owner in Chiang Rai. He then returned to economics/finance for his March 9 column although most of it was in praise of former Energy Minister. Now, today he writes about Siwawong Changkhasiri who recently passed away. To be honest this is odd, as The Nation reports:
MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, a former governor of the Bank of Thailand and then deputy PM and finance minister, recently formed the “Rak Muang Thai” (Love Thailand) group in a bid to help the country through the global economic crisis.
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Our group was born from concerns about the national problem,” said Pridiyathorn, who is the leader of the group. “We tried to think about a solution. We want to build unity and harmony in the country.”
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Rak Muang Thai called a brain-storming forum of neutral economists and politicians from all parties. The group met last week and is set to meet every Monday.
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Its members include: Teerana Bhongmakapat, Dean of Economics at Chulalongkorn University; Sombat Thamrong-thanyawong, an academic from the National Institute of Development Administration; Anek Laothamatas, former leader of the Mahachon Party; Pravit Rattanapien, former Science and Technology minister; Panpree Phahitanukorn, deputy Pheu Thai Party leader; Suvit Mesinsee, former Vice Commerce Minister; Kanok Wongtrangan, adviser to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva; Sompong Srakavee, former Songkhla senator; and Weerasak Kowsurat, former Minister of Tourism and Sports.
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BP: So he has formed this political group, which The Nation calls an “informal think-tank for the government”, but he is still writing history/obituary pieces. Why not about the economy? Or is his solution to the financial problems to dwell on the past and talk about great bureaucrats and how good they are?
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btw, surely given how many parties/political movements that Anek Laothamatas has joined over the years without success, is it the kiss of death he has joined this new group?….