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Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Chart Thai should stall charter bid
May 6, 2008
Â I am not an alarmist. But like you and me, I am very concerned that the ongoing self-serving attempt by the People Power party to amend the current Constitution may unnecessarily bring about undesirable consequences probably worse than those confronted by this country before the September 19 coup two years ago. Confrontation between the pro- and the anti-amendment forces or, to be exact, the pro- and anti-Thaksin forces looks inevitable as the two sides are not likely to sit down to settle their differences in a brotherly and peaceful manner.Â Like it or not, we are a divided nation - between pro- and anti-Thaksin factions.Â How sad!
Â The big question mark and probably the main concern is whether the confrontation will lead to violence of the proportion which necessitates the intervention of the police and, eventually, the military if the situation is beyond the control of the police. We can sit idly by and just watch from the sideline for our worst fear to materialise. But I don't think that is a morally legitimate judgement.
Â A group of retired and respectable doctors who today (May 6) turned out to make their voice heard serves a good example for us, Thai citizens, to do something and not just sit idly by.Â Â The good doctors urged the government (the PPP) to delay its attempt to change the charter and to concentrate on solving the country's pressing problems, i.e. the mouth-and-stomach problem as first priority. This is a praiseworthy act by our elderly people but whether their advice will be heeded or not depends on the conscience of the PPP, Mr Thaksin Shinawatra in particular.
Â For me, I think, the appeal for a rethink on constitutional amendments should be directed at the Chart Thai party, especially party leader Banharn Silpa-archa. The bid to amend the charter requires the support of the coalition parties, Chart Thai in particular, without which the attempt will not be successful.
Â Why don't we call upon Banharn to show his conscience and to, at least, delay the amendment bid until an appropriate time. And if the charter is to be amended at all, bring in the people and let them have a say in the rewriting process.
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