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Thaksin Skypes an amnesty order

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Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ordered Pheu Thai to make a strong push for an amnesty law to prevent the red shirts abandoning their support of the ruling party. 

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Deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomol, left, holds talks on amnesty proposals. The Monday meeting was attended by the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the Pheu Thai Party, the military, business operators in Ratchaprasong, and a faction of the Bhumjaithai Party. APICHART JINAKUL

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Thaksin Skypes an amnesty push

Ousted premier aims to keep red shirts on side

Aekarach Sattaburuth 
Pradit Ruangdit

Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has ordered Pheu Thai to make a strong push for an amnesty law to prevent the red shirts abandoning their support of the ruling party.

According to Pheu Thai Party sources, Thaksin issued the order through Skype to the party's coordinating committee Monday.

The meeting of the working group included Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Vejjayachai; Pheu Thai deputy director Saroj Hongchuvej; Thaksin's legal adviser Noppadol Pattama; and Pheu Thai's legal adviser Chusak Sirinil.

Thaksin is on the run from a two-year jail term over an abuse of authority conviction during his time as premier.

According to the sources, Thaksin said the government and Pheu Thai had made too many compromises with their opponents, including the military and ammart (elites), who refused to reconcile with the ruling party.

The situation has led to a rift between the party and some factions of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the sources said.

As a result, Thaksin ordered the Pheu Thai Party to push hard for an amnesty law to prove to red-shirt demonstrators affected by past political events that the party is not ignoring them and to maintain their support.

Still, Thaksin instructed Pheu Thai to be careful in moving toward an amnesty to prevent any perception emerging that the push is aimed at helping him and UDD protest leaders.

"Don't be worried about whether I can return home. If our MPs want to push for amnesty, just do it. What I want to know is how united we are," Thaksin was quoted as telling the coordinating committee.

Meanwhile, Deputy House Speaker Charoen Chankomol Monday insisted he will keep trying to convince opponents to discuss amnesty bills in the forum he recently initiated.

The first round of Mr Charoen's forum took place Monday with only five of the 11 parties he invited turning up.

They were representatives of Pheu Thai, the UDD, the military, entrepreneurs from Ratchaprasong intersection that was the site of the lengthy red-shirt demonstrations in 2010, and the Matchima faction of the Bhumjaithai Party.

Those failing to attend the discussion were representatives of the opposition Democrat Party, the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the Pitak Siam Group, the Multi-Coloured Group, the defunct Truth for Reconciliation Commission, and government officials affected by political unrest.

The discussion lasted more than two hours and was held behind closed doors.

Afterwards Mr Charoen told reporters he would try to convince Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to participate and would reinvite the other groups, including the PAD, later.

amnesty – a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime การนิรโทษกรรม
push – a determined effort to achieve something การกดดัน
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
aim – to have as your purpose or goal   มีเป้าหมาย  มีจุดมุ่งหมาย      
deposed – forced out of a position of power ที่ถูกขับออกจากตำแหน่ง   
abandon – to stop doing an activity before you have finished it เลิก
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
coordinate – to organise the different parts of a job or plan so that the people involved work together effectively ประสานงานกัน
committee – a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject คณะกรรมการ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
legal – relating to the law or lawyers เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
adviser – a person who gives advice, especially somebody who knows a lot about a particular subject ที่ปรึกษา
jail term – the length of time a person is required to spend in jail
abuse of authority – the use of power in a bad, dishonest or unlawful way การใช้อำนาจในทางที่ผิด
conviction – when someone is officially found to be guilty of a particular crime การพิสูจน์ว่ากระทำผิด
compromise – a way of solving a problem or ending an argument in which both people or groups accept that they cannot have everything they want ประนีประนอม
opponent – someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you  ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ,  ฝ่ายตรงข้าม
elite – the richest, most powerful, best educated or most highly trained group in a society คนที่มีอภิสิทธิ์ที่สุด
reconcile – to become friendly again or to have a new relationship after a disagreement (ทำให้)คืนดี
rift – a serious disagreement between two people or groups ความแตกร้าว
faction – a small group within a larger group กลุ่มย่อยๆ
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 led the fight against the Abhisit government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
demonstrators – people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
ignore – to fail to pay attention to เพิกเฉย
maintain – to keep รักษา
perception – a particular way of understanding or thinking about something ความเข้าใจ
emerge – to start to exist; to appear เกิดขึ้น
united – in agreement and working together      
มีเอกภาพ, รวมกัน, สามัคคี
quote – to repeat the words that someone else has said or written ยกคำพูดมา
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
convince – to make somebody/yourself believe that something is true; to persuade somebody to do something ทำให้เชื่อ, ทำให้แน่ใจ, ชักจูง
bill – a proposal for a law ร่างกฎหมาย
forum – a place where people can express their ideas and opinions การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น
initiate – to make something start ริเริ่ม
party – one of the people or groups of people involved in an official argument, arrangement or similar situation คู่กรณี
turn up – to come somewhere มาถึง
representative – someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them ผู้แทน
entrepreneur – someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves risks นักลงทุนทางการเงิน
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
site – a place where something is located  สถานที่
People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) – the union of several groups protesting against the Samak, Somchai and Abhisit and now Yingluck governments and which staged large protests against the Thaksin government as well พันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย  
defunct – no longer existing, operating or being used ถูกยุบ, หยุดทำงาน
commission – a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
unrest – angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
participate – to take part in something เข้าร่วม

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