Thaksin pardon, not floods, dominate news
Published: 17/11/2011 at 10:20 AM
Online news: Learning From News
For the first time in many weeks, politics overtook the floods in front page interest as a rumoured royal pardon for former PM Thaksin Shinawatra provoked an angry reaction.
The government's proposed royal pardon for convicts has sparked an outcry from many quarters, with critics pouring scorn on the draf
t allegedly designed to prevent former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra from serving a jail term.
The anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy said it will meet soon to decide what action to take against the proposed pardon.
Speaking to supporters in the United States, the alliance co-leader Sondhi Limthongkul deplored the pardon plan which he said has piled pressure on the monarchy.
Mr Sondhi claimed the Pheu Thai Party was blatantly trying to destroy the rule of law by using the proposed pardon as a pretext. He said Pheu Thai and the coalition parties are teaming up to undo the wrongs of Thaksin.
"This is the most despicable act," he said.
Mr Sondhi said the PAD would "not sit idly by".
The PAD's statement came as nearly 20,000 (80,000 this morning) people signed up to a Facebook
account opened by well-known television news anchor Kanok Ratwongsakul yesterday to voice opposition to the decree.
Some of the opponents suggested in their online message that a mass rally be organised to oppose the draft.
Kaewsun Atibhodhi, a former investigator into corruption during the Thaksin government, and his Siam Samakkhi group also protested against the royal decree proposal.
The Supreme Court sentenced Thaksin to two years imprisonment for helping his wife purchase a plot of government land off Ratchadapisek Road in 2003.
Thaksin fled the country before the Supreme Court announced the jail sentence in 2008.
Thaksin has never served time in jail. Mr Kaewsun said the royal decree was unconstitutional because it ran counter to the court's ruling.
He said the royal decree was designed to benefit Thaksin because the ban on convicts found guilty of corruption was excluded. Earlier, convicts prosecuted for corruption were not eligible for a royal pardon.
"How dare you exercise the limited power of the executive to overpower the judiciary for the interest of one man," Mr Kaewsun said.
He said the tactic was worse than he could imagine because it dealt a blow to the power of the judiciary and intentionally violated the constitution.
Government sources have said the draft was expected to benefit some 26,000 jail convicts on the occasion of His Majesty the King's birthday on Dec 5. But critics claimed the decree was designed more to benefit Thaksin because it did not exclude persons convicted for corruption.
Mr Kaewsun called for the whole cabinet to be impeached, saying if it stayed, it would amend the constitution to free Thaksin from many other corruption cases. He also recommended Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra be impeached and said that as the prime minister, she could not deny responsibility for the planned decree.
Democrats argued the draft would undermine the justice system and divide society further.
Democrat chief and opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the planned royal decree would undermine the justice system as it would allow Thaksin to go free without serving his jail term.
By allowing people convicted of corruption to benefit, the government was sending a signal that corruption was acceptable, Mr Abhisit said.
pardon – an official decision to forgive someone for committing a crime and to free them from full or further punishment การอภัยโทษ
^การอ้างสื่อต่างชาติ ที่อ้างกฎหมายผิด เพื่อดิสเครดิตประเทศตัวเอง ถือเป็นเรื่องที่น่าอาย มัวแต่ดีอกดีใจ ที่สื่อต่างชาติมองว่าบ้านเมืองจะมีวิกฤติการเมืองอีกครั้ง จนลืมไปว่าเค้ารายงานผิด ใช้ศัพท์ผิด ไม่ใช่การออกเสียงเพี้ยน เหมือนที่พวกผู้ดีออกมาท้วงติง เพราะ Pardon และ Amnesty แม้จะมีความหมายใกล้เคียงกัน แต่มันคนละเรื่องเดียวกัน ขอบคุณ คุณอีแร้ง ที่เรียกหา ทำให้ผมต้องไปค้นหารายละเอียดในเรื่องนี้