Thailand’s Reconciliation Forum: How To Do It Better

Thailand’s Reconciliation Forum: How To Do It Better – Analysis –, September 20, 2013
[Thanks to Tom for pointing this out.]
…Firstly, they should insist that the host of the forum be a neutral international entity, such as the Geneva-based Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. The HD Centre has ample experience in conflict resolution in the ASEAN region as it was instrumental in mediating in Aceh in Indonesia and Mindanao in Philippines. Southeast Asia’s own Bali Democracy Forum could also serve as a platform for the reconciliation dialogue. If the parties involved insist on the forum being held in Thailand it would be more important that the neutral organiser be respected and accepted by all sides to the conflict.
Secondly, the funding for the forum and, most importantly, the honorarium for these international mediators, should not be from the current government’s coffer, or Mr Thaksin’s pocket. Many private companies and trade associations in Thailand should be ready to fund this forum if approached.
Thirdly, invited international figures must advise the current government to halt any effort that would further widen the rift in Thai society. For the 2 September event, the major sticking point was the Amnesty Bill that is being rushed through the parliament. The Bill, according to the government, aims to bring about reconciliation by providing a blanket amnesty to all those convicted or are to be convicted on politically – related charges…

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