Gen Sonthi to 'tell all' on Tuesday
- Published: 28/05/2012 at 04:47 PM
- Online news:
Matubhum Party leader and former coup leader Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin said he will on Tuesday explain why he has proposed the controversial reconciliation bill.
Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Gen Sonthi said on Monday the proposal for the bill came from a committee. It was not solely his idea.
His comment came after Kittisak Prokati, a law lecturer at Thammasat University, said the reconciliation bill is full of legal ambiguities and risks which violate the constitution.
Gen Sonthi said the bill was only a road map leading to reconciliation, which is the target, and not a complete formula for reconciliation because there were still many other steps to be taken to reach the goal.
On the suggestion that the bill was more like a design for amnesty than reconciliation, he said said forgiving must come first. He cited Order No 66/23 issued by then prime minister Prem Tinsulanonda, saying it emphasised forgiveness. That order stressed the "politics-before-military" principle to win over communism.
Forgiving was the principle of the bill, Gen Sonthi said. Whether it would materialise rested with parliament.
Asked whether it was true that he went to see former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra before formally proposing the bill, Gen Sonthi, who led the Sept 19, 2006 coup which ousted the Thaksin administration, said a person could not do anything without information.
Before carrying out any task, the information on hand and intentions must be clear, he said, adding that he would explain this matter again on Tuesday.
Asked whether he had taken an assignment from Thaksin, Gen Sonthi said, "It is not necessary for me to do that."
Responding to the suggestion that it was quite ironic that the general who headed the Council for National Security (CNS) that toppled the Thaksin government should have proposed the reconciliation bill, Gen Sonthi said the country was in crisis in 2006.
"Today, there must be someone who dares to act to bring about reconciliation," the former national army chief said.
Plodprasop Surasawadi (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Surasawadi said he personally supports the reconciliation bill proposed by Gen Sonthi because it denies use of military power to topple a government and is democracy-oriented.
Mr Plodprasop, a Pheu Thai deputy leader, said he believed the party would also support the bill, which would help prevent any future coup, even though party members still held differing opinions about it.
Pheu Thai was due to meet on Monday afternoon to decide its position on the bill.
Mr Plodprasop declined to comment on a suggestion that former premier Thaksin stands to benefit from the bill. He said only that all of those who conspired in the last coup should jointly be held responsible for the consequent damage to the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa said all concerned should take a step backward to create a friendly atmosphere and talk together to see who would benefit from this legislation.
Gen Yutthasak said he was certain the People's Alliance for Democracy's (PAD) opposition to the bill would not lead to another coup, judging from the fact that he had worked closely with the armed forces.
The yellow-shirt PAD plans to rally against the bill outside parliament on May 30.
Metropolitan Police deputy chief Methi Kusolsarng said four companies of police will be deployed to maintain law and order on Wednesday when yellow-shirt supporters rally at the Royal Plaza and then march to parliament to protest against the reconciliation bill.
Pol Maj-Gen Methi said if the red-shirts also showed up at parliament to support the bill, they would have to gather in front of gate No 1.
PAD protesters, expected to number around 3,000, would be gathering in front of gate No 2, he said.
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