The following is a statement co-signed by the Thai Journalists Association (TJA), SEAPA’s founding member based in Bangkok, Thailand:
Political conflicts and violent incidents in the country during the past 5-6 years resulted in tremendous loss and damage to the nation and affected all Thai people in every sector in terms of loss of life, physical and mental injuries and loss of property. The economic and industrial sectors and investors’ confidence were also affected. If these conflicts and problems are not properly solved, the country will suffer more acute loss. The situation might reach the point where reconciliation would not be possible anymore.
On the eve of the general election, the signatories of this statement gathered information from different sources and found that there will likely be bigger political conflicts after the election. We, therefore, have a great concern over the situation.
Despite the fact that the political parties propose a campaign for political reconciliation, there is no single campaign which could guarantee solution to the conflict and put a stop to the violence happening in the country. This is because an impartial agency, not the parties in conflict, should be the one to manage the reconciliation process.
Accordingly, five business agencies and two professional media associations met together and came up with three proposals as follows:
1. Every political party must accept the result of the general election and avoid any action that would bring the country back to a violent situation.
2. Every party must demonstrate its political intention which recognizes the importance of the conflict-solving process that would pave the way for a unified country. This should be regarded as a social contract which needs immediate action.
3. The reconciliation must be done by an independent agency, not the parties in conflict, and it should be managed with appropriate and fair process.
The Thai Bankers Associations
Board of Trade of Thailand
The Federation of Thai Industries
Tourism Council of Thailand
Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations
Thai Journalists Association
Thai Broadcast Journalists Association