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Police fire teargas and water cannon at anti-government protesters at a police compound housing a government security group in the north of Bangkok May 9, 2014.
Police fire teargas and water cannon at anti-government protesters at a police compound housing a government security group in the north of Bangkok May 9, 2014.
(KEREK WONGSA/REUTERS)

NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE

Will Thailand forever be synonymous with ‘mess’?

If you’re looking for a brief diversion, try an Internet search for “Thailand” and “mess.” You will find that particular descriptor lobbed at Thailand by investment banking types, a teenager blogger, someone on a reality TV show, The Economist (“A right royal mess” in January 2013, followed by “Another fine mess” in December) and, most famously, by the king of Thailand himself. In 2006, monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej called the country a “mess” and warned that if its power structures – at that point, the courts – couldn’t get along, “the country would collapse.”