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NRSA’s Seri counters criticism that reform assembly merely a political pawn

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Seri Suwanpanont, a prominent figure in the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), on Monday refuted criticism that the body was merely a political pawn, and called for everyone to look at the process that aimed to unravel political issues that had accumulated in the past 10 years.

Seri, chairman of the NRSA’s political reform committee, was responding to criticism made during Sunday’s public seminar addressing the assembly’s work in the past two years.
The forum heard criticism that the NRSA was only a buffer for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and that when any reform agenda came under censure, the NCPO could easily evade and drop the NRSA’s proposals.
Seri, however, argued that this was not necessarily true.
The public must look at the work it had done, he said, adding that the assembly had been appointed to serve the national interest.
The reformer hence called for people not to take its work “only as proposals”, and pointed out that reform had not been achieved by any government despite several attempts.
“Please don’t look at it that way. The NRSA has only been trying to clear up all the long-standing problems,” Seri said. 
“All members are experts in different fields. And in the past 10 years, there has been the problem with corrupt politicians – and the NRSA has tried to resolve it,” he explained. 
The NRSA, which was set up in 2015 to work on reform matters, is set to be dissolved soon once the recently passed national strategy law comes into effect. 
However, questions have been raised about how much the assembly accomplished given that reform has been a major agenda item since the 2014 coup.

Published : July 24, 2017

By : The Nation