Martin J. Young, writing in Asia Times Online, recently had some stern words for the application of Thai government policy to the Hua Hin Jazz Festival:
“Sufficiency economy” seems to be the political buzzword of 2007 in Thailand. In essence, it is a system promoted by the royal family for the kingdom to become less dependent on foreign investment, technology and industry and more dependent on the Thai people themselves. It is a notion based on the Buddhist concept of doing everything in moderation. Evidence of it is starting to filter through with what we witnessed over the jazz-festival weekend; as well, in recent weeks and months there has been a series of further clampdowns on visas for foreigners wishing to visit, work and live in Thailand.
It seems that this great event may suffer as a consequence…
…those of us who love music and Hua Hin itself only hope that the town’s largest annual event becomes less “self-sufficient” and is allowed to grow into a music festival of the international status it truly deserves.