Spooner and Suranand

18 11 2013

Readers will no doubt find Andrew Spooner’s interview with Suranand Vejjajiva of some interest. Suranand is Secretary General to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. PPT will highlight a couple of points while urging readers to consult the whole interview.

The first interesting point for us is on the amnesty:

Was it a mistake to attempt a blanket amnesty?

The intention of the blanket amnesty bill is based on to forgive (but not forget). Many countries with violent political conflicts eventually end up with amnesties as a mechanism to set the country back on track. It is not a mistake but maybe a little too naive and “off” in terms of timing and communicating to the general public.

SuranandThis is surprising. Suranand usually has a good feel for the political pulse. This response might be spin, but if it is in any way real it suggests that the Puea Thai government is out of touch with its support base. If that were the case, it would be very dangerous for the party and government. It is important that Puea Thai not take the red shirts or the voters for granted. They are comrades and supporters who expect to be heard.

Critics claim the govt let down their supporters by not reforming laws like lese majeste or not doing enough to free the Red Shirt prisoners – what would you say to them?

The government has been trying to work to free the Red Shirt political prisoners as hard as possible. Some has been released but many remained, stuck in the judicial maze. The work will need to continue. As for lese majeste, the law remains a sensitive issue in Thailand.

Excellent question and a tired and rather pathetic answer. Wouldn’t it be remarkable to hear some one in (any) government actually explain the real reasons for sensitivity on the now completely bonkers lese majeste law.