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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   18 February 2012

Annan, Ahtisaari advices Thailand on reconciliation

BANGKOK, Feb 18, 2012
 Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari met with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House on Friday to discuss Thailand's reconciliation process.

Mr Annan and Mr Ahtisaari are visiting Thailand until Sunday at the invitation of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (TRCT) to give advice to the committee and to those involved in promoting and building reconciliation in the country.

Chairman of the TRCT Kanit Na Nakhon led Mr Annan and Mr Ahtisaari, both Nobel Peace Prize laureates, to meet Ms Yingluck.

The three exchanged ideas on reconciliation.

Ms Yingluck said that the government has placed highest priority to the reconciliation plan and her government would carry out the process transparently and adhere with rule of law, democracy and human rights principles.

She said the government has provided compensation packages to victims or their families who were affected by violence or political conflicts.

The compensation was extended to all affected victims impartially, she said, adding that this also showed the government's responsibility and to express sorrow for violent incidents.

The government was pleased to listen to comments from all parties as she believed that progressive reconciliation would be a major factor to helping Thailand move forward.

Mr Annan and Mr Ahtisaari agreed with Ms Yingluck that the TRCT was playing an important role in building reconciliation and praised the Thai government's support for its process.

They said the achievement of reconciliation was dependent on cooperation from all parties and increased public awareness.

Ms Yingluck said the exchange of idea with Mr Annan and Mr Ahtisaari, who are well known for helping reconciliation efforts in many countries, would benefit the reconciliation process in Thailand.

The premier said she wanted to see the process accepted within the country and would be in accordance with international standards

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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