The opposition to amnesty

7 03 2013

As we noted in a recent post, an amnesty bill is crawling towards parliament at snail’s pace. An article at The Nation reminds us that there are:

three proposals for an amnesty law had been floated, by the 29 January United Front, the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship (DAAD) and the Independent National Rule of Law Commission. The proposed drafts were sent to the Council of State for consideration…. So far, the Council of State, which is the government’s legal advisory body, has not come up with any suggestions. Suggestions are expected soon, presuming Pheu Thai is not just seeking to buy time.

So the proposed bill from MPs is presumably a fourth approach. The Bangkok Post says there are eight amnesty drafts doing the rounds.

The Nation report says that Deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomol has invited more discussions with interested parties on “reconciliation,” but the Democrat Party and the People’s Alliance for Democracy have refused further discussions. Why?

The Democrat Party as usual, doesn’t want any amnesty for “those in violation of the penal code and the lese majeste law and those who were guilty of corruption…”. The latter means Thaksin Shinawatra and the stand on lese majeste is the usual royalist nonsense that goes back to the very foundations of the party.

According to the report, the Democrat Party also fears “being deceived into supporting an amnesty bill that could be amended during vetting to absolve red-shirt leaders as well.” Together, as allies in royal yellow, the party and the PAD “believe they have done nothing wrong and would thus be able to defend themselves in court without the need of an amnesty law.” They trust the royalist courts to side with them.

And, the royalist side (including The Nation’s author) believes that red shirt leaders fear that as the “cases against them have progressed significantly and, if the court finds them guilty, they will be sent to jail,” that they want an amnesty bill that includes the leadership as a second bill proposed by Charoen”would seek to end political conflicts by absolving leaders of the 2010 protests.” The problem with this logic is that the official UDD has proposed a decree that specifically excludes the leadership of the movements. The MPs bill does the same.

Despite this, the royalist side charges that the red shirts will seek amnesty for their leadership. The royalists appear to be especially agitated as The Nation devotes two stories to the same topic, with the second story here. PAD’s position is explained in the Post story, and their position is that it:

wants the process also to include Nicha Hirunburana Thuwatham, the widow of Gen Romklao Thuwatham _ an army officer killed during the 2010 unrest; families of state officials who lost their loved ones in the violence; owners of businesses damaged by the street protests and ensuing riots; and members of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission.

As usual, it states that “key principles as agreed during the sounding-out process are distorted during scrutiny of any amnesty measure proposed to parliament, the PAD will protest by holding a street rally…”.


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6 responses

8 03 2013
Pavlovian response and amnesty | Political Prisoners in Thailand

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8 03 2013
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11 03 2013
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[…] is also why her opposition is still seeking to destabilize the government. Fitch says it “has revised its assessment of the risks to policy […]

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[…] is also why her opposition is still seeking to destabilize the government. Fitch says it “has revised its assessment of the risks to policy predictability […]

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[…] PPT has pointed out previously, the royalist right has decided that the next battle with Thaksin Shinawatra and against the […]

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[…] PPT has pointed out previously, the royalist right has decided that the next battle with Thaksin Shinawatra and against the […]




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