Tony Blair Supports Gov’t Reconciliation Process In Thailand

Visiting former British prime minister Tony Blair says that he is ready to fully support attempts to bring about national reconciliation in Thailand through shared experiences.

Government Spokesman Thirat Rattanasewi told journalists that Blair expressed his intention during his private discussions with Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra here on Monday morning, before they attended a one-day forum entitled “Uniting for the Future:Learning from Each Other’s Experiences‘. The forum was jointly organised by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bangkok-based Chulalongkorn University.

Martti Athisari, Yingluck Shinawatra and Tony Blair

Martti Athisari, Yingluck Shinawatra and Tony Blair

According to the spokesman, Yingluck told Blair that her government has tried to build reconciliation in Thailand over the past two years, and that Thailand is now at a significant transition and her elected-government wants to revise some regulations in order to lead to the genuine democratic system in the country, including its ongoing move to amend the 2010 Constitution.

Yingluck also informed Blair that her two-year administration has set up a political reform assembly in which all concerned sectors, except the major opposition Democrat Party, have joined and her government is now compiling political studies prepared by several agencies in a bid to make a conclusion leading to national reconciliation.

Blair suggested that the Thai government reduce strife by implementing policies beneficial to every party, in parallel with developing national education systems in the long run to enable people to better understand their rights and responsibilities under the democratic system.

A social divisiveness has been prevailing in Thailand, following a coup d’etat on September 19, 2006 which toppled the six-year elected Government of ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s elder brother.

The Thai Prime Minister officially opened the forum and delivered a special lecture, in which she mentioned about plans on developing the democratic system in Thailand and national reconciliation process.

Blair and several other well-known foreign personalities, including ex-Finnish president Marti Ahtisaari, also attended the forum, delivered their speeches and shared their experiences on democracy.

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