Bangkok, the 4th if May 2010 [PDN]: Regardless of the stance of the Red Shirts, which is reportedly going to be announced on Tuesday evening, the government has already set a date of May 20th to kick-off reconciliation by calling a People’s Assembly to address a comprehensive reform of the constitution to suit all parties.
The Prime Ministers announcement on Monday night, tentatively title the ‘road map’ called on all sectors of society to strive for the safeguarding of the monarchy, activating social reform to ensure justice, upholding press freedom in the constructive manner to prevent divisiveness, forming an independent panel to establish the truth related to violent incidents and activating the charter rewrite to revamp the political system acceptable to all sides.
Meanwhile, prior to the premiers public address, a meeting of the Senate revealed that the government was also split on various key issues involved with the current political crisis, including; the ‘muffling’ of pro-Red television, media and internet sites, reports of an anti-monarchist sentiment angled at various parties and lastly the use of force in dealing with the dispersal of Reds protesters from the capital, namely their Ratchaprasong rally site.
Various senators labelled the proposal for a stern crackdown on Red Shirt protesters as a sure way to incite a civil war, with the Deep Southern province of Pattani’s senator explaining “[the]use violence to defeat violence is no solution, as witnessed in the three southernmost provinces.”
In relation to the issue of a ban on anti-government television, internet and media groups, various senators warned that the actions of the government was tantamount to denying people the right to be informed also surmising that it was insult to the people’s ability to think for themselves. Addressing the subject and calling for equality in political broadcasting, Khon Kaen’s Senator Prasert Sakulsuksaphan stated “The Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation appears on television and speaks in order to cause more division. Those disagreeing with it should be allowed airtime, as well.”
Perhaps the most controversial and important issue discussed at Mondays Senate meeting was the accusations that an anti-monarchist sentiment had built-up amongst the Red Shirts. Once again the Upper House was divided with various senators believing that the reports were unfounded and as such bound to ‘backfire’ on the accusers, whilst others believed that swift action should be taken to investigate and stifle any attempts at destabilising the Monarchy’s position.