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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs          5   July  2011

Private Thai business group warns of amnesty

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One of the country's leading financial and economic groups has warned the new government to avoid making the amnesty agenda one of its priority jobs until it can prove its ability to resolve the country's economic problems and increase the competitiveness of the private sector.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB), comprising the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Bankers' Association, issued its statement yesterday.

JSCCIB chairman Dusit Nontanakorn said the amnesty would put the country into deep conflict. It will jeopardise Thailand at a time when many economic problems have not been solved and the country needs its competitiveness strengthened.

"We hope that the new government will not create a new problem for the nation by proposing the amnesty agenda. It has a drawback. The government cannot create reconciliation if the conflict still exists, or is accelerated. So, Khun Yingluck would be wise not to do that," he said.

Dusit said he did not mean that the JSCCIB accepted the amnesty, but it had to forecast that such a move was possible during the Pheu Thai Party's administration. Instead, the government must focus on strengthening the economy, and this will need no less than one year, to prove that the Pheu Thai Party can do it.

He said the JSCCIB would like the new government to put more emphasis on eradicating corruption, reducing social divisions and formulating the policies it announced during the political campaign. The private sector is also looking forward to seeing the Pheu Thai Party's vision of making the country a success over the next five years, when the Asean Economic Community comes into existence in 2015.

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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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