Truth for Reconciliation Commission’s third report

4 04 2012

The TRC logo

The full third report by the Truth for Reconciliation Commission is made available by The Nation as a large PDF. This third report covers the period from July 2011 to March 2012. Background is available at this useful web site.

Some of the comments worth noting in a report that is more than 70 pages in Thai and English:

2.2.1 TRCT was established by the previous government (that of Abhisit Vejjajiva) which was one of parties in the conflict. This has limited and obstructed TRCT in carrying out its duties but, be that as it may, TRCT carried on adhering closely to the principle of public accountability until gained trust from every party. The most recent election resulted in a
new government headed by Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra as Prime Minister. TRCT is pleased that the new government has established a policy of urgently building reconciliation and harmony among the people as well as the restoration of democracy during its first year of office….

2.2.3 Since the beginning of the [recent period of] political conflict …, offences against Article 112 … have often been claimed. One side has used this offence as a tool for their own political ends by claiming that they are protecting the monarchy and by calling for strict enforcement of this law, and the other side seeing this as an issue of political freedom according to the Constitution. This side feels that if all actions relating to this matter are a criminal offence then this is a breach of the individual’s right to freedom of expression which is enshrined in the Constitution. They therefore believe that this law should be modified or abolished. These arguments have resulted in an even further deepening of the conflict between them. TRCT has therefore presented a recommendation to the Prime Minister and all parties in the political dispute explaining that removing this offence from the Criminal Code is not appropriate within the context of current Thai society. However, at the same time, keeping it in its present form is an obstruction to reconciliation. TRCT therefore deem it appropriate to modify the offence to be one “requiring authorization” before commencing criminal proceedings and to be punishable by a prison sentence not exceeding seven years or a fine not exceeding 14,000 baht, or both fine and imprisonment as it used to be before the amendment upon the coup of the National Administrative Reform Council in B.E.2519.

2.7.1 According to our records, a total of 93 people were killed during the period of unrest. Of these, 89 have been classified as special cases by the Department of Special Investigation….

The report notes that there were “a total of 261 criminal proceedings against demonstrators,” of which 130 remain under investigation. The cases involve 650 persons.

The TRC continues to make slow but steady progress, and this third report rewards those who read it.



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