Amnesty for the people but not the leaders?
- Published: 19/07/2013 at 08:01 PM
- Online news:
Deliberation of bill should only take a day, grants amnesty to all except leaders on both sides.
Dems back relatives' amnesty bill
Don't include corruption, lese majeste Abhisit says
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has voiced the Democrat Party's support for the people's amnesty bill proposed by relatives of those killed in the 2010 political violence
However, he suggested the bill needed to make sure that those involved in corruption and offences against (the) monarchythe are not included under the amnesty
The relatives include Payao Akkahad, mother of Kamolkate Akkahad, the volunteer medic who was shot and killed at Wat Pathum Wanaram on May 19, 2010 during the military crackdown
Mr Abhisit said the people's amnesty bill set out clear conditions that only members of the public regardless of political allegiances and those who committed minor non-criminal offences would be granted an amnesty
But those who gave orders in violation of the Criminal Code inciting others to kill, set fire to public property and do harm to the public or soldiers would not be included.
However, Mr Abhisit said he wanted the people's bill to make it clear that anyone involved in corruption or offences against (the) monarchythe in violation of the Criminal Code' s Section 112 - known widely as the lese majeste law - should also be exempt from the amnesty
The other proposed amnesty bills some of which seek to grant a blanket amnesty regardless of offences committed, also fail to address the issues of corruption or crimes against (the) monarchythe he added.
If the government is serious about pursuing an amnesty the opposition would be happy to take part in negotiations to push the people's bill into law, Mr Abhisit said.
He said it was the first amnesty bill that had been proposed with a reasonable and reconciliatory tone
The party would cooperate fully if the government agreed to withdraw the other reconciliation and amnesty bills currently under deliberation Mr Abhisit said.
Several other bills have been proposed - by Pheu Thai Party MP for Samut Prakan Worachai Hema, Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, government whips and other groups.
Withdrawing those bills would leave only the people's amnesty bill for consideration in the House.
"It would be acceptable to the opposition if the government agrees to withdraw all the other bills and pushes only the people's amnesty bill for deliberation " Mr Abhisit said.
Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut Thursday dismissed criticism that the party has supported an amnesty aimed at exonerating those involved in instigating public disturbances during the 2010 political violence
Mr Chavanond stressed the people's bill clearly separates offences in violation of the emergency rule and minor offences during the 2010 unrest
Earlier Thursday, Senator Kamnoon Sitthisamarn posted a message on his Facebook page asking the Democrat Party to clarify its stance on the people's amnesty bill
He said the bill seeks to grant an amnesty to offenders who violated Section 112 and to those who set fire to government buildings.
The party will not support an amnesty for these violations Mr Chavanond responded.
Mr Kamnoon said the people's bill was modelled on an amnesty bill proposed by the Nitirat group.
However, the language of the people's bill has been adjusted to also give an amnesty to those who violated Section 112, he said.
Jatuporn Prompan, a co-leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, said the relatives of the victims killed in the 2010 political violence have the right to propose their own amnesty bill
But the UDD's stance has been to support the bill proposed by Mr Worachai because it seeks an amnesty for political offenders who have now been incarcerated for three years since the 2010 political violence
Mr Jatuporn said he will discuss the amnesty issue with Ms Payao to ensure they proceed in the same direction
Mr Worachai said Thursday that when parliament reconvenes on Aug 1, his amnesty bill should be moved to the top of the agenda for consideration instead of the 2014 Budget Bill because his bill is important to those who are still in prison.
He said deliberation of the bill should take only a day as its content is clear in granting amnesty to all groups of people, except protest leaders and those who gave orders to security forces to crack down on protesters
About the author
- Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Assistent Manager Educational services