The prime minister risks a fight with coalition partner in rejectng an amnesty for protesters.
Think for a moment why the Bhumjaithai party is making the proposal described below. Might there be a political reason as well? What part of the country is it depending on for support in the next election? Would the proposal be popular there? (Maybe, maybe not – think about it)
PM vetoes pardon for protesters
Bhumjaithai’s plan may foment conflict, he says
Specially trained crowd control police practise non-lethal riot control tactics during a demonstration yesterday observed by new national police chief Wichean Potephosree at the Royal Thai Police Office. The unit will be deployed to keep the peace during the planned red shirt rally this weekend. SOMCHAI POOMLARD
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has vetoed an attempt by the coalition Bhumjaithai Party to pardon political protesters.
Mr Abhisit warned yesterday the idea could foment immediate further conflict in society.
Key figures in the Bhumjaithai Party are pushing for the parliament to issue an amnesty law.
Mr Abhisit said his government did not need to proceed with any amnesty attempt. It was not part of its policy.
The prime minister also dismissed the possibility that Bhumjaithai might withdraw from the government coalition and join forces with the opposition Puea Thai Party.
He said he thought Bhumjaithai would make the unity of the government its priority so as not to confuse people.
It also would have to think carefully if an amnesty would benefit anyone or support national reconciliation.
Bhumjaithai spokesman Supachai Jaisamut said yesterday his party’s MPs and planned candidates in the next election would gather at least 50,000 signatures from the public to propose another bill with the same content to parliament as a back-up measure should the first amnesty action fail to receive support from other parties.
The bill would grant amnesty to general protesters but not the leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). Amnesty also would be given to members of the government forces involved in the dispersal of protests and to police and army personnel of all ranks, including police chiefs and the army’s top commanders, Mr Supachai said.
He said innocent protesters should be pardoned to stop disunity in society.
Bhumjaithai de facto leader Newin Chidchob, who engineered and is pushing the amnesty bill, rejected the idea that such bills encouraged bad habits. He said it represented a Thai way to reconcile.
Those arrested where there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or for acts of lese majeste need to go through the legal process, he said.
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veto – to officially refuse to approve or allow something ยับยั้ง, ปฏิเสธ, ไม่ยอมรับ, ไม่เห็นด้วย
pardon – an official decision to forgive someone for committing a crime and to free them from punishment การอภัยโทษ การนิรโทษกรรม
protester – someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
coalition – a temporary union of different political parties that agree to form a government together พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
figure – someone who is important in some way บุคคลสำคัญ
issue – to produce or provide something official; to announce something, or to give something to people officially ออก (กฎหมาย, คำสั่ง, พระราชกฤษฎีกา, etc)
amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
dismiss – to refuse to accept that something might be true or important ไม่สนใจ,แย้งกลับ
withdraw – to stop taking part in something ถอนตัว
opposition – of a political party that is not part of the government or a group which is against the government ฝ่ายค้าน ผู้ต่อต้าน
unity – a situation in which people, groups, or countries join together or agree about something ความเป็นเอกภาพ, ความเป็นอันหนึ่งอันเดียวกัน
priority – something important that must be done first or needs more attention than anything else การให้ลำดับความสำคัญ
benefit – to give an advantage to someone มีประโยชน์ต่อ
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with (verb form is reconcile) การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก, การสมานฉันท์
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
signature –a person name written in a special way by the person ลายมือชื่อ
bill – a proposal for a law ร่างกฎหมาย
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
People’s Alliance for Democracy – the union of several groups protesting against the past governments and which staged large protests against the Thaksin government as well พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
dispersal – (of a crowd of people) the process of causing to separate and leave in different directions การสลายฝูงชน
rank – someone’s official position in the armed forces, police, fire services, etc. ยศ, ตำแหน่ง
commander – the head of an army or army unit or a high-ranking police officer ผู้บังคับบัญชา
innocent – not having done anything wrong บริสุทธิ์
disunity – a situation in which people are not in agreement or are not working together to achieve an aim การขาดความสามัคคี,การแตกแยก
de facto – in reality; in fact อย่างแท้จริง, อันที่จริง, ตามความจริง
encourage – to cause someone to want to do something กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน
evidence – facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime หลักฐาน
arrest – (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime จับกุม
lese majeste – the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
legal process – the system of using the court to determine if someone has done something against the law or caused damage กระบวนกการยุติธรรม