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Thailand should emulate S Africa’s successful reconciliation process

Feb 18. 2017
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Before passing any law that will benefit past political protesters, the National Legislative Assembly should differentiate between common protesters and political hardliners whose actions bordered on causing violence and seditious actions in this country.

In the case of severe political offenders, the government should emulate what the revered Reverend Desmond Tutu of South Africa has done for his country’s reconciliation.

After the abolition of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, Archbishop Tutu was chosen to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.

Here in Thailand, political leaders who were accused of inciting arson and other seditious acts should be called out to admit their crimes publicly and ask for forgiveness – before being given amnesty.

Vint Chavala

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