Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amnesty Bill and its hidden agenda

Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva says he hasn't read the draft of the amnesty bill proposed by his coalition partner, Bhumjaithai Party, to offer clemency to both the red and yellow shirts involved in cases under various stages of prosecution.

Deputy Interior Minister Boonjong Wongtrairat, Newin Chidchob's right-hand man, has spearheaded the move, contending that a general pardon for all concerned should reduce the country's divisiveness.

But the yellow shirts have come out to oppose the bill, arguing that the "hidden agenda" for the move is to absolve retiring police chief Police Gen Patcharawat Wongsuwan from any guilt related to the Oct 7 violence. The PAD has also come out to throw doubts on whether the real motive of the bill is to free all officials, police, military and civil servants from legal responsibilities in their "illegal" actions.

The haste with which the bill was submitted yesterday to the House Speaker and slated to be debated almost immediately in the House has raised questions from critics.

Abhisit's Democrat Party will be placed in a dilemma once again, caught between its coalition partners and the yellow shirts.

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