By Thai Newsroom Reporters
LEGISLATION TO GRANT amnesty for all defendants who may have encountered charges due to political conflict was today (Oct.5) submitted by the Move Forward at parliament.
In pursuit of amnesty for those who may have been earlier arrested and detained for varied charges in relation to political conflict since 2006, the Move Forward bill is primarily designed to promote justice and sustainable reconciliation among opposing sectors of society, such as Yellow Shirt, Red Shirt and “multi-coloured” activists, who had developed critical conflict with one another over the last 17 years, according Move Forward leader Chaithawat Tulathon.
The Yellow Shirt protests on Bangkok streets in 2006 which finally led to a coup to depose former prime minister/de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra and the Yellow Shirt and Red Shirt street protests in 2014 which culminated in another coup to oust former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra had resulted in massive arrests and detentions of street demonstrators faced with multiple sedition and national security-related charges.
The comprehensive amnesty legislation primarily aims at putting an end to “legal battles” earlier waged between those opposing sides with thousands of politically-motivated activists having been arrested and detained in multiple cases, including allegations purportedly pertaining to national security reasons, Chaithawat said.
The legislation is designed to promote lasting harmony among all members of society though they may spontaneously continue to have conflict of opinion with one another, he said.
Nevertheless, the Move Forward bill will by no means provide amnesty for defendants, particularly armed government personnel, who may have quelled peaceful street protesters in extreme and violent fashion leading to fatalities and injuries. Under no circumstances will the bill seek to pardon those who may have perpetrated crimes during any political rallies, either.
House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha received the amnesty bill which is yet to be debated and approved by lawmakers in the House and Senate in foreseeable future.
Top and Front Page: Move Forward leader Chaithawat Tulathon, right, after handing over the amnesty bill to House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, centre. Both photos: Naewna