Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs normally sees itself as working in the realm of “foreign” matters that require special knowledge, skills, and training. The Ministry has a high number of well-educated officials compared to other ministries as it generally recruits high calibre graduates from Thailand’s top tier universities. The MFA enjoys a professionalism that cannot be easily replicated by other state organs especially in dealing with foreign countries.

Recently, the Thai foreign ministry has released a statement responding to foreign criticism on Thai legal process regarding lese majeste law including Akong and Joe Gordon cases. The full statement is available here.

New Mandala has heard through the grapevine that MFA’s position is well supported by many officials in the ministry. Some took the liberty to exercise freedom of speech to defend their country’s position by commenting on this statement. One comment is striking suggesting that those criticising the Thai legal system on free speech and lese majeste law should also do the same to Western diplomats condemning a group of Thai students of the Sacred Heart College in Chiangmai, who exercised their freedom of expression by dressing like Nazi members in their school’s parade.

Are these diplomatic skills, knowledge and professionalism the Thai MFA officials have cultivated to help lift Thailand’s international image and its neighbourliness within the international community?