Amnesty bill faces uncertainty

Amnesty bill faces uncertainty
Amnesty bill faces uncertainty
As Thaksin Shinawatra enters the Pheu Thai office in March, supporters swarm him. ( Photo: VARUTH HIRUNYATHEB )

Social analysts believe that a new effort to push for an amnesty for those accused and prosecuted in political cases is unlikely to cause as much social unrest as it did with the earlier attempt in 2013.

A 35-member special House committee led by Pheu Thai MP Chusak Sirinil is looking into the proposed asylum. The committee was established in February at the ruling party’s suggestion.

The issue involves the duration and types of people who would be eligible for an asylum, specifically in terms of time and context.

As former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra faces an prosecution for allegedly violating the law, the problem has been brought into the public’s attention, and discussions have resurfaced about whether asylum policy may apply to crimes committed under Part 112 of the Criminal Code or the Lese Majeste Law.

The allegations against Thaksin, who is widely regarded as the ruling party’s de facto leader, relate to remarks he made in an interview with a North Korean paper on February 21, 2015 in Seoul. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 18 to initiate the indictment process.

Way to unity

The National Institute of Development Administration’s Phichai Ratnatilaka Na Bhuket, program director for politicians and development plan, said the time is ripe for an asylum to stop social divisions and bring about healing.

He emphasized that political crimes can be treated as parole and that there is currently compromise on the best way to punish crimes involving social activities.

Amnesty requests typically exclude serious crimes like fraud and the initiation of murder.

However, he said, efforts to push for an amnesty continue because there is n’t consensus on whether it should cover crimes committed under Section 112.

The analyst believes that the stability guess controversy involves two opposing viewpoints.

One contends that the crimes are socially motivated, while the other contends that they are crimes against regional security, adding that the key is how to define the distinction.

The Pheu Thai Party first appeared to be uninterested in the proposed asylum for der majoreste cases, according to Mr. Phichai, but after Thaksin himself was indicted on charges of breaking the law, the group’s voice changed.

It is possible that Lese Majeste will be on the list of crimes that would be pardoned under the social amnesty bill now that Thaksin is facing a trial, according to the scientist.

He said the criteria are expected to be created for use in the evaluation of der majeste cases, but he did not believe a cover pardon would be issued for stability majeste offenders.

” If Pheu Thai wants to push the bill], it will have to work it out with the coalition partners who are philosophically opposed to the idea.” Lese Majoreste’s isolation is doubtful to bring an end to the political conflict, he said.

Because of the social landscape’s shift over the past ten years, Mr. Phichai said, it’s doubtful that the latest effort to lobby for asylum will result in another wave of uprising.

He made reference to the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s 2013 attempt to pass a blanket amnesty laws.

The action led to extensive avenue demonstrations that culminated in the military coup in May 2014.

Phichai: Blanket reprimand is doubtful

” Helping the fresh”

The special House committee on social parole, which includes recommendations about how to deal with an asylum and whether the lese majoreste issue should be included, is currently being completed by Pheu Thai MP Cherdchai Tantisirin, who serves on the particular House committee on social amnesty.

Events can use the committee’s recommendations to read up or modify their own versions of an asylum costs, he said, if the document is approved by the House.

Dr. Cherdchai privately stated that he concurred that der majest offenders should receive amnesty, but that special committees may examine cases that are particularly sensitive.

” It’s not about Thaksin. The panel was formed to research before Thaksin]faced the indictment ]”, he said.

He added that the commission has also discussed whether or not young protesters who are facing criminal charges related to their social activities can be helped without waiting for an asylum.

The ruling group may decide later how to proceed with the asylum, adding that Part 112 may not be included in the bill’s proposal at all.

Cherdchai: Contain with instances

Pol Maj Gen Supisarn Bhakdinarinath, the committee’s deputy leader for the Move Forward Party ( MPF), claimed the committee had been skipping Section 112 in its study up until the Lee Majore case against Thaksin.

An MFP’s plan, however, is aimed at forging national cohesion and helping younger political activists because the der guess law has been exploited to strengthen the political issue, he said.

As long as they meet the requirements set forth in the parole plan, the party, according to Pol Maj Gen Supisarn, has no interest in determining who will receive the proposal, he added, and support from the coalition parties is encouraged.

He claimed that the 2013 effort to pass an asylum bill went wrong because it was carried out in a hush-hush fashion when asked if the new charge would spark a new issue.

As long as the invoice is explicitly discussed, it may bring criticism but will not instigate any panic, he noted.

The amnesty act proposed in 2103 was viewed by critics as a means of appointing an excuse for all legal offenses.

When proposed, it sought only to give an amnesty to the activists, but the revised edition expanded the scope to include all people involved in political upheaval, including soldiers, opposition leaders and authorities.

The House passed the bill at 4.25am on Nov 1, 2013, drawing harsh public criticism and prompting the today- former People’s Democrat Reform Committee’s demonstrations against the Yingluck government.

After the special House committee’s study is complete, Pol Maj Gen Supisarn said it is still to be seen what the ruling party’s next steps will be.

Supisarn: No chaos with disagreement

‘ Thaksin factor ‘

Former red-shirt movement leader Jatuporn Prompan backed an amnesty for all crimes motivated by politics in an effort to end the political unrest that erupted in 2005.

He suggested that additional requirements may be put in place, such as a requirement that those who receive the amnesty must refrain from recommitting the crimes or face prosecution.

Mr. Jatuporn claimed it would not be difficult to lobby coalition parties to support the amnesty plan for political offenders.

Finding a way to persuade them to accept the Lese Majority issue was the difficult part, he said.

Additionally, Mr. Jatuporn criticized the Pheu Thai Party for its flop in the proposed amnesty for lese majorities offenders, claiming any attempt would now be more challenging given Thaksin’s presence.

He said he did not believe the Pheu Thai-led government would fall if it decided to continue, and that the public’s opinion would determine whether or not an amnesty plan for lese majorities cases will be implemented.

Because the coalition partners disagree with it, Section 112’s amnesty is already contentious. Thaksin is set to be indicted, so it will be harder due to public resistance”, he said.

Jatuporn: Backing for political cases

Last week, the Bhumjaithai Party warned that the ruling party’s plan to include a blanket pardon for lese majorities offenders could cause the government’s early demise.

The party-sponsored national unity bill proposes a committee to review political cases that include lese majeste and corruption, according to Jua Ratchasi, a member of the coalition United Thai Nation Party.

He claimed that because the monarchy is not engaged in politics, the lese majeste crimes are not necessarily political crimes.

The offenders are only required to seek royal pardon and pay a penalty, he added.

Jua: Lese majeste is not a political charge