Still on Schedule Despite the Floods: Amnesty Decree Passes Cabinet

Amnesty decree passes cabinet – Bangkok Post, November 16, 2011
[This tells us several things: The “Black Swan” event of the floods is not going to deter the government priority of gaining amnesty for Thaksin. It probably also indicates that Thaksin feels he has very little leeway in terms of time. This already seemed to be the case as the government moved quickly on Thaksin’s behalf after the election win. Now, after the flooding opened more opportunities for political opportunism, it is even more critical to maintain the original timeline.]
…Government House sources said the decree was raised as an unscheduled item during the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was not present at the meeting and all officials were asked to leave the room when the issue was deliberated, the sources said.
Relevant documents were also removed from Government House’s press release, the sources said…

Thaksin Amnesty Plan: Shock Report Shakes Thai Social Media – phuketwan.com, November 15, 2011
…If there is truth in the reports, the plan would undermine or contradict virtually every public comment Khun Yingluck has made about her brother and his status as a fugitive since she became Prime Minister…

Govt refuses comment on “Thaksin amnesty” – The Nation, November 16, 2011
…However, it remains to be seen if the media reports are true, and whether the proclaimed changes to the annual amnesty would include another key point that would fully benefit Thaksin. The fact that Thaksin has yet to serve a day in prison has prompted question how he would be “released”. If this year’s conditions benefit fugitives, it will be a considerable change from Thai legal and royal traditions.

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