RA’s Thailand News Blast – May 31, 2012
Panthep, the spokesperson for the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), says that if the reconciliation act is passed, PAD will demand that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra step down; there is also a suggestion that they may storm the parliament if demands are not met. PAD and its allies were planning to march to parliament this afternoon to demand that the reconciliation acts be dropped; members of the Multi-Colored Shirts were speaking against the acts outside the parliament building. Yingluck has called for peaceful protests. Somsak, the parliamentary speaker, has defended the proposal of the reconciliation act, as has Deputy PM Chalerm, who denies that the act would only benefit Thaksin Shinawatra, as many critics have suggested. The Anti-Corruption Commissioner, Vicha, says that the reconciliation act would allow the government to abuse its power by whitewashing Thaksin’s case. Democrat MP Kasit denies saying that he would protest with PAD if the reconciliation act is not dropped. Former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva says his party will oppose the reconciliation act, believing that, if passed, it will create chaos. 35 representatives of the parliamentary committee will review whether or not reconciliation acts can be tied to financial acts, as this will denote whether or not such an act would have to be signed by Yingluck.
Thaksin’s speech last week has received negative feedback online from those who perceive him to have abandoned the Red Shirts. Red Shirt leader Weang is urging members not to take Thaksin’s speech negatively; the Deputy Minister of Agriculture also defended Thaksin’s loyalty to his supporters. The 112 amendment campaign has submitted 27,000 signatures to the deputy parliament speaker – who says it could take months to check their authenticity. Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has rejected a call by the mother of a volunteer medic killed during the political violence in 2010 to apologize for her death. General Prem Tinsulanond has spoken out against corruption, calling it a social cancer and urging citizens to abandon corrupt practices.
MPs from the Pheu Thai party are threatening legal action against Democrats for unruly behaviour towards parliament speaker Somsak. The Prachatippataimai Party are also calling for an investigation into this issue; Democrat MP Satit plans to gather the signatures of those who want Somsak to be removed. Pheu Thai are also planning a legal investigation into accusations that the Democratic Party received illegal donations from private companies. The Department of Special Investigation says they will investigate these claims: some claim that the money was donated to a fund for flood victims.
PHOTO: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (L) shakes hands with Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before a gala-dinner as part of the World Economic Forum on East Asia at Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall in Bangkok May 31, 2012. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom