There is a great number of Thais that are in jail or will be in jail in the future, for political activities since the 2006 Coup. Traditionally in Thailand, things comes and goes in cycle, and Thailand had gone through something like the 2006 coup before. In all of the past dictatorship vs democracy torrents of cycle, those involved have mostly been granted amnesty, it is only the question of proper time. The Yingluck government has proposed an Amnesty Bill, and at Parliament, it went into the various vetting and reading and voting, as a watered down version of amnesty, involving just the people involved, not the top people that are involved. Somehow, at Parliament a “Entire Top to Bottom” Amnesty was considered in one of the steps, that will go to the final voting by Parliament. That has stirred a hornet’s nest of hate Thaksin and hate Yingluck people, but of course, these are mostly the old gangs and old people.
The following is a Fact Sheet:
Fact 1) Thailand is ranked 4th globally for coups and after every dictatorship vs democracy torrent cycle, eventually there is an amnesty, that have even also included lifting and return of assets seized by the coup makers from politicians, that the coup makers went after for corruption. Thaksin, with his assets seized is both unique and not unique. He is not unique, in that people in his place have been granted amnesty before and assets returned, but he is unique, in that the elite establishment is using hate Thaksin, to keep alive their philosophy in Thailand. Meaning in other upheaval in Thailand, events return to normal, but with Thaksin, the elite establishment will not accept and allow normalcy.
Fact 2) In past upheaval in Thailand, like the Red Shirts who were killed by the Abhisit‘s government, Thai citizens were also killed before. However, those who did the killing in the past, like military generals, have escaped all prosecution and the killing is much forgotten by the Thai people, and the generals who is responsible for the killing, went on living normal lives. However, with the Abhisit government killing, the victim, being the Red Shirts is a powerful grassroots movement with millions of membership and followers and they refuse to forget and let-go, but want those responsible for the killing to be punished.
Fact 3) There is great speculation on what happened and who ordered, for the current “Tamed” amnesty bill, to be tentatively transform into a “Broad Top Down” amnesty bill, that could see Thaksin also being granted amnesty, along with Abhisit and the military, for the killings. At this point no one can confirm what occurred, except that on the committee vetting the amnesty bill, sits large numbers of Yingluck Pheu Thai Party members. Abhisit could benefit from the top-down amnesty bill, as he is getting closer and closer to being charged with murder and cases in court so far has went mostly against him. However, Thaksin Twittered that Abhisit is not afraid of the courts, because the Thai courts, part of the elite establishment, will likely protect Abhisit, in the final analysis and judgement.
Fact 4) Most in jail right now for political activity associated with the pro-longed Thai political crisis, are the Red Shirts and supporter of Thaksin. Others, such as the Yellow Shirts and their leaders, have mostly been granted bail. The Red Shirts wants their rank and files out of jail and supports the water-down amnesty bill that would grant amnesty to the ranks and files, but oppose the “Wide Top Down” amnesty bill. Abhisit oppose all amnesty bill, citing that the Red Shirts are terrorists who broke the law, went killing themselves and burned down Bangkok. This message is important for Abhisit to keep alive as it helps the party gain votes with the hate Thaksin, hate Yingluck and hate red Shirts crowd in Thailand. He of course, going crazy just from hearing about a “Wide Top Down” amnesty that could see Thaksin walking free in Thailand.
Fact 5) Thaksin have said he is not in a hurry to return to Thailand and had offered to stop his involvement in Thai politics, if his opponents did the same. In response to that offer, Abhisit’s Dems, went crazy, and attacked Thaksin, in its regular meet their voter base, about 100 times more fiercely. And Thaksin continued his involvement in Thai politics. Yingluck says Thaksin is her advisor but she makes the final decision. There are lots of mostly propaganda that this is not true, that Yingluck is a Thaksin Pupet or Clone, but Thai press is filled with news, hinting that there are much disagreement between Thaksin and Yingluck, and at times they compromise, at times Yingluck gets her way and at times, Thaksin gets his way. Yingluck, of course, wants to help her brother Thaksin, but is also faced with the reality that Thaksin is the most effective tool, being used by the elite establishment, to cling to their philosophy and as a tool to topple her from power. So, overall, Yingluck, perhaps, favor the water-down amnesty bill.
Fact 6) Concerning how the Thai people feel as a whole, there have been many polls, but most of the polls point to a fear that the amnesty bill issue will get out of hand, and cause re-newed political crisis in Thailand.
Fact 7) Globally, amnesty and reconciliation are concepts that have worked together hand in hand, however, it works under the condition that the society at large is ready to both remember the past and forgive what occurred in the past, and move forward with a shared vision. The problem for Thailand, is that the elite establishment are no willing to do that as it will mean, accepting democracy, liberty and justice and leave their Bangkok Liberal Philosophy behind. That Bangkok Liberal philosophy namely says democracy must be tamed and control, to give the so called “Good People” meaning the elite establishment, the ability to counter-balance, the so called “Bad People” being all things Thaksin and the Red Shirts. Most neutral observer says all of that is a propaganda lie adults tells the young kids, as all it is about is that the elite establishment does not want to loose its special status and power, over Thailand.
Fact 8) Thailand is a country that have been hit with “Judicialization” by an elite leaning activist court and the courts, such as the Constitutional Court, may take action that supports the elite establishment such as killing the amnesty bill, in any shape of form.
Fact 9) Abhisit’s Dems representing the elite establishment have lost every general election in about 20 years, signaling deep rootes re-jection of the elite establishment by the majority of the Thais. Also, in polls after polls, about 70% to 80% of the Thais want democracy and about 20% to 30% wants some form of dictatorship, meaning the elite establishment to be in power.
Fact 10) Emotions is running wild on all sides, on the amnesty bill, but Yingluck’s Pheu Thai Party is assessing the situation and taking a wait and see attitude. It is yet to be seen if the issue will settle down or will it gyrate out of control, as the elite establishment is depending on, hoping for the issue to help generate people to its various protest to topple Yingluck and it is busy and tying to fan it into a “Wild-Fire” issue.
Fact 11) Just to mention briefly, because of lese majeste, but Thailand is a Constitutional Menarche, and what that means in itself and to Thailand is a subject that impacts Thai politics, and both directly and in-directly, impacts Thailand as it is and what it will become, and thus, impacts both amnesty and reconciliation in Thailand. Thai Intel can not provide more on this publicly because of lese majeste.
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