2010 Thaksin's Terrorism
Return of PAD
PM Abhisit's Magic Tricks or Traps
( Last edit 2000-05-15 )
PM proposes five-point roadmap for reconciliation towards elections by year-end
Articles from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On 3 May 2010 at 21.15 hrs., Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva gave a live televised address to propose a five-point reconciliation roadmap for resolving the current political situation.
Recalling his two-pronged approach of addressing both the security and political situation, the Prime Minister noted that progress has been made on the security side, including on-going investigations into cases related to terrorist acts and the seizure of war weapons, and that efforts in this regard as well as work on the legal side in pursuing criminal charges against perpetrators must continue. As for the political side, he felt that the timing was now conducive for him to inform the public of how the Government intends to proceed in resolving the political conflict.
The Prime Minister noted that the reasons for the on-going political situation are manifold, with problems of political, economic, social, legal and other aspects accumulating over the years, leading to divisions and escalating tensions. To address these issues, he proposed a process of national reconciliation. Based on the views and grievances from all groups of people, be they the protesters, academics, civil society organizations or ordinary people, the proposed process comprises five key points or elements, which, with public cooperation, would enable peace and normalcy to be restored to Thai society.
First, to uphold the monarchy.
While Thailand is fortunate to have the monarchical institution as a unifying force among the people, the Prime Minister said that in recent years, certain individuals have drawn the monarchy into the political conflict. In this regard, for Thai society to return to normalcy, every Thai has the duty to protect the monarchy from being drawn into the present conflict, and to work together to uphold and promote a correct understanding about the institution, given the contributions which His Majesty the King and other members of the Royal Family have made to the nation. He also called on the public to help prevent any media from violating the revered institution.
Second, to resolve fundamental problems of social injustice.
The Prime Minister highlighted the need for reform at the national level. Although the current conflict may be regarded as a political one, it is in fact based on injustices that exist in society and its economic system. There are grievances of different degrees among those joining the demonstrations, as well as among those not protesting, who may feel that they have been unjustly done by, marginalised, lacked opportunities or even harassed by those in positions of authority. These, he noted, are major problems which – if left unattended – could lead to broader conflict, politically and socially. In this regard, Prime Minister Abhisit called on the public not to allow these problems to be addressed in the same manner as in the past whereby each government would pursued its own policies aimed at resolving outstanding problems in an ad-hoc manner, which could not lead to justice systematically and structurally.
It is high time that all Thai people are taken care of through a reasonable welfare system, with equal opportunities with regard to education, health care and employment, and with income security. Those with particular grievances, such as those without land to make a living, overwhelmed by debt or facing serious difficulties in one way or another, should receive systematic care. In this connection, the process of reconciliation or national reform would draw all sectors of society together to help resolve these problems by coming up with concrete and synchronised measures and clear and assessable targets of raising income levels and creating opportunities for the people. This process, Prime Minister Abhisit emphasised, is what all governments must undertake.
Third, to enable the media to operate constructively.
The Prime Minister noted that in today’s information society, the right to freedom of expression and information must be respected. Nevertheless, with technological advances, the media – be they the internet, satellite television, cable television or community radios – have at times been used as political tools by exploiting legal loopholes. Even state television channels have been criticised as playing a part in the conflict. In this connection, Prime Minister Abhisit proposed that in the reconciliation process, the media must have freedom, but that such freedoms should be regulated by an independent mechanism in order to ensure that they are not misused to create conflict and hatred, thereby leading to violence. He believed that if the media could operate in a constructive manner, then Thai society would be able to overcome conflict and return swiftly to normalcy and harmony.
Fourth, to establish facts about violent incidents.
The Prime Minister noted that since the demonstrations began in March, a number of incidents have occurred, causing losses and suspicions which could deepen the division and hatred. He stressed that every incident which has caused apprehension among the public must be investigated in order to establish the facts surrounding them. In this regard, the Prime Minister proposed that an independent fact-finding committee be set up to ensure justice for all concerned in these incidents and to seek out the truth for society. For peace to prevail, the society must live together on the basis of the truth.
Fifth, to establish mutually acceptable political rules.
The Prime Minister noted that in a democratic system, politicians must represent the people. The political conflict over the past 4-5 years has created the feeling of injustice in many aspects, including the rules, such as the Constitution, certain laws and the deprivation of certain rights of politicians. It is therefore high time to put all these issues on the table and set up a mechanism to solicit views from all sides to bring about justice for those involved in the political conflict, so that they would no longer lead to rejection of the political process and conflict in the future.
With everyone working together on the afore-mentioned five elements, and with the Government, Parliament and civil society able to perform their duties unimpeded, without anyone attempting to create division or disturbances or violence, Prime Minister Abhisit expressed his confidence that in no time, Thai society would be able to restore harmony and normalcy. In such a case, the Government would be ready to hold fresh elections so that the Thai people can make their political decision once again. He believed that if the reconciliation process begins and peace is restored from today onwards, elections could be held on 14 November 2010. This is the target that the Government is ready to work on. However, should the disturbances persist, the Government would still be committed to his five-point roadmap, although the process could be delayed and a clear election timeframe not able to be determined.
Before closing, Prime Minister Abhisit addressed the demonstrators and those who oppose them.
To demonstrators of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), he affirmed that their demands have been fully taken into account although he would not be able to accommodate their call for dissolution of the House of Representatives, either immediately, within 15 days or within 30 days. More important to demonstrators with genuine grievances, he believed, his proposal would address their problems in a systematic and sustainable way, and although it may not fully satisfy them, it would be the beginning leading to the eventual resolution of their grievances.
To those against the protests and supporting the Government, the Prime Minister said that although they may not agree with the dissolution of the House or the shortening of the Government’s tenure by about one year, his proposal was based on the principle of the rule of law, aimed at preserving the democratic system with a constitutional monarchy, which he believed would provide a lasting political solution.
Noting that, as is its nature, such a proposal for reconciliation may not fully satisfy anybody and that it required flexibility and sacrifice from all sides, Prime Minister Abhisit expressed his sincere belief that – based upon his consultations with various group – this was the best solution for the country. In this regard, he hoped that his proposed roadmap would be accepted by all sides.
Thai Government make reconciliation process its priority agenda
On 4 May 2010, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva spoke to the press after the weekly cabinet meeting, answering questions regarding his proposed five-point roadmap for political solution and reconciliation, unveiled on 3 May 2010.
The Prime Minister recalled that on 3 May, he had spoken clearly of his intention to proceed with the proposed reconciliation roadmap from this moment on. He has informed the Cabinet that the Government must invite all sectors in society to join and make this process its priority agenda, as it is crucial to heal the divisions among the people. He reiterated that if the protesters end their rallies, normalcy returns, and everyone is able to do their duties and work together to ensure no further divisions, then the Government should be able to hold general elections on 14 November 2010.
However, if the protesters do not agree to join, the Government will still proceed with the five-point roadmap but there could be some obstacles and when the environment would be conducive for elections would be unclear. The Prime Minister confirmed the Government’s determination to move along this path, noting that it is up to the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) to make its decision. When asked whether he is confident that the UDD would have a unified position, he said that the decision must be made by the demonstrators, as they have their own system, into which he would not intrude.
Rejecting the notion that in making the proposal he has given in to threat and intimidation, Prime Minister Abhisit said that his stance has been consistent, and that his decision is based on what he feels is best for the country. Since last year, he has been saying that dissolution of the House of Representatives should take place at an appropriate time when three conditions are met.
The first is the economy, meaning that the budgetary process is able to proceed normally. With this and also with peace restored, he is confident that – despite the impact which will be felt from the situation during April and May – economic recovery will be achieved.
The second is the rules, regarding which there have been differences of views. This issue is one of the five points in the roadmap, aiming to establish a process that is clear on how to proceed. He believed that agreement in this matter can be reached within the next six months.
The third is about peace. The Prime Minister believed that if during the next six month, there is no protest or movement to impede different sides from carrying out their duties, as opposed to the situation over the last year or so, then the atmosphere will be conducive to holding elections.
Asked why he decided to shorten the proposed period for holding elections from nine to six months,
Prime Minister Abhisit noted that his proposal is based on assessments of the situation and of what needs to be done. Then, asked if the six-month period is the final answer, Prime Minister Abhisit believed that his proposal is complete in itself and should be accepted or not accepted as is, saying he has nothing to bargain further. His proposal is based on views solicited from all sides, and even those involved with the protesters also agree that it is in line with how to resolve the overall problems.
Asked whether there is any guarantee that there would be no violent acts or that the Prime Minister himself and others would be able to campaign freely,
Prime Minister Abhisit stated that the authorities would have to monitor the situation very closely, and that they should be able to do their job with greater efficiency as procedures on major cases have already begun, with some arrests made, war weapons found and the identities of those linked with various networks clearer. Then, in six months, the situation can be reviewed whether any terrorist elements or acts of sabotage persist. He also affirmed that all criminal cases would proceed as normal, including those under the Department of Special Investigation, noting that the proposed roadmap does not include the issue of amnesty for anyone committing crimes, except for ordinary people who joined the protests while the Emergency Decree remains in effect. As for the protest leaders, against whom arrest warrants have been issued, they should undergo the justice process and they would be accorded all legal rights and due process.
Asked whether any of the five points could be achieved in six months,
Prime Minister Abhisit believed that for the investigations or fact finding, this could be finalized within six months, while for establishing political rules, work could be done on more urgent issues first, while those less so could be dealt with later after the elections. The issues relating to the media and the monarchy, meanwhile, must be addressed continuously, and it is not enough for anyone to simply deny having knowledge or involvement, as everyone must work together to resolve the problems.
As for resolving structural problems, this would obviously need more time. What can be done, the Prime Minister said, is to set up mechanisms and processes to carry on the work. In this regard, a committee on promoting community strength is scheduled to meet on 12 and 13 May 2010, and coordination has been made for civil society representatives to work on recommendations on the national reform process. This could lead to the convening of an assembly on 20 May. These recommendations should lead to concrete action in various areas such as problems relating to land, debts, lack of opportunity, and poverty.
Commenting on the fifth point of the roadmap, which is more about the interests of politicians than the people, Prime Minister Abhisit said that, while the first four points address people’s demands, it must also be accepted that part of the conflict relates to problems among politicians. On how to proceed, he has, more or less, two options in mind and will decide on what mechanism to employ. Nevertheless, he stressed that the solution on this matter, while having to do with politicians, must also answer the public’s wishes.
Prime Minister Abhisit said that whenever the protests end, the Emergency Decree would have to remain in effect for a while, as officers still need the authority to manage the situation and ensure safety and security of the people and places. In the meantime, an independent mechanism must be set up and work, as proposed, to ensure that the media is not again used to incite or provoke people. As for the UDD’s proposal to allow People Channel, internet sites and community radio stations to resume their operation, the Prime Minister said that this could be done after the independent regulatory mechanism is in place according to the third of his five points under the roadmap.
The Prime Minister also added that if the protests will be terminated, he has assigned Mr. Korbsak Sabhavasu, Secretary-General to the Prime Minister, on the political side, and General Anupong Paochinda, Army Commander-in-Chief, in his capacity as Chief Official in dealing with the emergency situation, to be coordinators in managing the process. This includes, for example, facilitating the orderly and safe exit of demonstrators from the protest area, and bringing in those with arrest warrants, which he said must be done in accordance with normal procedures.
PAD Condemn the Prime Minister's Reconciliation with "The Terrorists of The New Thai State"
Ronayos's comments: Concerns for the PM's 5 proposals are that :
1. Yielding to the brutal terrorism, without evidently immediate harsh actions, would lead to recurrence.
2. Abhisit's government has been in power for 1.5 years but has not actually embarked upon reforming the country in what the PM realizes the major problems. He is now promising six-month long projects or even much longer beyond the general election. All are highly likely to be failing if Abhisit is not returning to the PM seat again.
3. The poverty gap still remains. PM Abhisit's government has not efficiently or sufficiently reformed and used the media to educate people in the rural areas to refrain from vote buying. The democratic civil communities are not strong enough to resist local corrupt politicians.
3. Knowing that the democrat party is facing an indictment in the Constitution Court with a charge of donation abuse, plus PM Abhisit's promise to leave within six months, the bureaucrats including the police and the army would not seriously follow the current government's orders and policies. Law enforcement against politically organized criminals would be ignored. The general election cannot be fair and transparent because of vote buying, bribery and intimidation.
4. Even April 2009's havocs still leave the violent UDD leaders free because of clumsy justice system in Thailand. Networks of anti-Royalist red, Thaksin's cronies, UDD and Newin's terrorists, saboteurs, assasins plus extensively available military weapons are still walking free.
5. It is highly likely that corrupt politicians either in Pua-Thai and Newin's Poom Jai Thai parties would win the house after the vicious cycle of massive vote buying and corruption coming back. The corrupt House would amend the laws for amnesty of terrorists and Thaksin. Civilian dictatorship plus police state and political assasination may soon take over Thailand.