2 Years Ago: The astonishing scope of Thaksin’s amnesty

If there were any doubts about Thaksin’s intentions after the release of an audio clip where he boasted he trusted the army chief (the purposely leaked audio clip here and here), they were put to rest by the early morning passage (4:25am) of the Pheu Thai’s amnesty bill.

2013: Thaksin foes converge on city
…She distanced the government from the amnesty and said the government’s job was to encourage dialogue and prevent any violence.Ms Yingluck said the bill’s passage would be decided by the legislative branch and there was nothing the government nor the protesters could do about it…

Especially shocking was the extension of the time period for amnesty back to 2004 when Thaksin was prime minister. Other amnesty plans specified 2006 as the start of amnesty to cover the post-2006 coup period and the dissolution of political parties.

This new amnesty would cover Thaksin’s actions when he was prime minister including the Tak Bai incident, the Krue Se massacre, and the extra judicial purge of drug suspects.

The amnesty finally brought the Pheu Thai’s untenable populist initiatives, such as the rice pledging scheme, into focus. Its populist programs seemed only designed to funnel money to supporters to ensure government stability until such time as some sort of amnesty was obtained for Thaksin.

More: Thaksin amnesty and the beginning of the end of the Yingluck government

More: Battle lines drawn over Thaksin amnesty

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