Democrat, Pheu Thai shun national forum
By KASAMAKORN CHANWANPEN
People from various sectors attend a public forum for the national reconciliation plan at the First Army Area headquarters.
BANGKOK: -- MOST KEY politicians shunned yesterday’s final public symposium on national reconciliation, where the so-called social contract draft was revealed for the first time.
Jatuporn Promphan, a red-shirt leader and Pheu Thai Party politician, was the only well-known political figure present at the event held at the First Army Area command in Bangkok.
President of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Jatuporn yesterday expressed support for the scheme and promised not to stand in the way of the reconciliation-building effort.
Politicians from the country’s largest political parties – Pheu Thai and Democrat – did not show up. As well, no representatives from the political-turned-charity group People’s Democratic Reform Foundation (PDRF) participated in the symposium.
The reconciliation scheme and the harmony pact are among this year’s top political agendas presented by the junta-backed national strategy, reform and reconciliation preparation committee, also known by its Thai abbreviation of Por Yor Por.
While many people have doubts, Jatuporn yesterday said he believed the latest reconciliation attempt was different.
He said that he believed the scheme would come to fruition. He noted that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had twice cited His Majesty the King, who had said he wished the country be filled with love, happiness, and safety – and the PM called on the people to harmonise.
As a leader of a key opposition group, Jatuporn said that he would give it his full cooperation, but the task of carrying out the reconciliation scheme was the responsibility of the prime minister. “If national harmony is not achieved, we will have to come back to this point again,” the UDD president said. He extended moral support to the government, wishing them success in bringing about national reconciliation.
The symposium yesterday was joined by more than 300 people from the central region. Among them were politicians, political activists and workers from non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Representing the opinion-processing committee, Pol General Apisak Sombat Charoennont presented the draft of the so-called social contract, with 10 points encouraging all Thais to comply.
The points were answers to the 11 questions posed in the reconciliation that concerned conflicts of the past and the future steps to bringing national unity.
The pact called on all Thais to respect the results of a fair election, to exercise rights and freedoms with responsibility, to be vigilant of frauds, and to support the reform and national strategy.
Similar sessions will be held in other regions until Thursday at the regional Army commands, to introduce the draft of the harmony pact and gather final opinions before submitting it to the Por Yor Por.
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