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Asia

2011-10-15

ASIA/THAILAND - The future of the country between reconciliation and amnesty for Thaksin

Bangkok (Agenzia Fides) - As the North of the country and also the capital city have been hit by powerful floods, what is attracting the attention of the public is the tricky question of national reconciliation and a possible amnesty, which may also concern the Former Premier Tahksin Shinawatra.
The "Commission for Truth and Reconciliation", which aims to "heal the wounds of the past" and find a future of unity for the nation, is planning to convene a national conference of the six major parties in order to reach an agreement on controversial points. At this stage, an amnesty law makes its way, which members of both political groups would benefit from: the Democrats (with the supporters of the "yellow shirts") and "the Populars "(with the" red shirts ") who have dominated the scene in the last decade. "Forgiveness" would touch the general supporters of the coup in 2006 as well as military leaders and politicians involved in the riots in May 2010, which caused the death of 91 people, including protestors and soldiers, in Bangkok.
According to the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, elected Prime Minister last July, at the head of the "Pheu Thai" party, the amnesty, should serve to reconcile a nation hopelessly divided, between the bourgeoisie and urban and rural masses, between elites and broad bands of poor people.
But, among the beneficiaries of the law that government lawyers are developing, there is also former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the magnate who ruled Thailand between 2001 and 2006, accused of corruption, ousted in a coup state and fled abroad. Thaksin is a character, who is still much discussed today, according to analysts, since his sister is the Prime Minister, his return home is smoothed out . The measure would allow him to return to Bangkok without having to serve two years in prison for corruption, according to the ruling that forced him into exile in 2008.
Against this possibility, broad sectors of civil society, politics and the army are coalescing. Some commentators question whether the possible return of Thaksin could lead to another coup, or if, before such a sensational event, King Bhumibol, the traditional point of reference for the Thai people, may have the strength to resist.
A source of Fides in the Episcopal Conference of Thailand said: "It is very difficult to predict what will happen. The people are quite confused and the political scene remains very fluid. We do not know what really happens behind the scenes. And the public is not told the truth, therefore there is no real public awareness. The urgency now is transparency". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/10/2011)

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