Reconciliation body wants terror laws scrapped-Nation
May 15, 2012
[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: The separation of powers is essential to a functioning democracy. When any branch assumes to act without the oversight of the other branches, the stage is set for corruption. Such executive orders without legislative or judicial review are a pitfall in the US, for example, and create an executive autocracy just as we experienced with our runaway PM. Even more unfortunately, the military coup d’etat sought to expand these unjust laws with the Internal Security Act. Repeal the terrorism provisions and the ISA.
Repeal the law on terror, says TRCT
Commission criticises Thaksin govt for issuing a law that flouted democratic and legal norms
The Nation: May 13, 2012
The Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand (TRCT) has proposed repealing the terrorism law to pave the way for reconciliation and peace in the country.
TRCT chairman Kanit na Nakorn has sent the panel’s latest report and proposal to the prime minister and the speakers of the Senate and House of Representatives. The TRCT argued that the law, issued during the tenure of Thaksin Shinawatra’s government as a decree, was not based on the principles of democracy and law, or the rule of law.
The panel called on the government, Parliament, and the Opposition to ensure that the law is repealed so that justice can be restored and possible violence prevented. It suggested that if necessary, a new law on terrorism could be issued in the future, in a more careful and proper way.
“The legislature and the parties involved [in issuing such a law] must be more careful. The mistake in the past should be treated as a lesson,” the TRCT said in its report, a copy of which was obtained by The Nation.
The panel said that the provision on terrorism was added to the Penal Code when Thaksin was prime minister. The legal amendment was done through an executive decree, and not through Parliament. The TRCT described that action as the Thaksin government’s lack of respect for the minority in Parliament.
It also noted that when it issued the decree about terrorism, the Thaksin government certainly did not expect a severe political conflict to happen in Thailand.
The panel said repeal of the terrorism law was needed to ensure “transitional justice” and “restorative justice” to pave the way for national reconciliation and peace.
“The TRCT would like to ask the government, Parliament, the Opposition, and all political groups in Parliament to show political courage by jointly proposing an amendment to the Penal Code so as to repeal the terrorism provision. The country will then return to a good beginning,” the report said.
It said that with the terrorism provision repealed, the charges against defendants in the terrorism-related cases would be dropped. People who allegedly committed criminal offences would be charged accordingly.
The report said in the many terrorism cases that were brought to court, blanket allegations were made with the relevant officials lacking a proper understanding of the terrorism offence.
Kanit’s panel encouraged the government to apologise to the public for the mistakes committed by the Thaksin government in issuing the law without sufficient study and without going through the proper parliamentary process.
It also called on the different political groups to join hands in showing to the public that they are sincere in solving the country’s problems with the national interest – and not personal benefit – as their ultimate goal.
“This is the way to overcome the conflict and lead the country towards peace,” it said.
The TRCT was set up by the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva following the political unrest and riots in 2010.
Kanit, a former attorney-general, was a co-founder of the Thai Rak Thai Party along with then businessman-turned-politician Thaksin. Kanit later left the party, which was disbanded after a court order for electoral fraud after the 2006 coup that overthrew the Thaksin government.