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Thailand: Formation of Two National Reform Committees
Source: prd.go.th
Source Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Thailand
Created: Jun 28, 2010

Continued progress has been made on efforts to reform Thailand. Former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun and prominent social critic Professor Dr. Prawase Wasi have accepted to chair two national reform committees, which will be formed by the end of June.

They were named by civil society to lead the reform efforts, and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invited them to head the two committees, as suggested by civil society.

The first committee, led by Mr. Anand, will focus on strategies and priorities for reform to be proposed to the Government. It will also look at short-term policies and measures that can be implemented immediately and long-term policies that require approval from Parliament. The first set of proposals could be made within six months.

The second committee, led by Professor Dr. Prawase, will work on a national reform assembly, which will serve as a channel for all sectors of society to put forward their views and proposals, and synthesize these with academic works in order to formulate proposals for the Government.

Mr. Anand said that new mechanisms to be set up as part of the reform process must be independent and free from government control and interference. He said that the missions of the two committees are not involved with reconciliation.

Professor Dr. Prawase said that the two committees are not the matter of the Government but that of society, the people, and the academic sector. He stressed the importance of social and wisdom power to push for reforming Thailand, which is a matter of the future. This means that people of all groups come together to introduce new things for a better future. He said that reconciliation involves the past, but the reform process is a matter of the future. If the reform efforts are successful in ensuring social justice, people will turn toward one another to unite, and social disparity in various areas will decline.

Prime Minister Abhisit said that the two respected persons were aware of the necessity to participate in solving the country’s problems, so they had agreed to work on the panels. As many groups as possible will be encouraged to join the process, which should be able to continue beyond the term of this administration.

The Prime Minister also heard the results of a brainstorming session, held on June 17 and attended by 500 participants from civil society organizations, the private sector, local administrative bodies, educational institutions, and government agencies. Their discussions included many issues, such as economic, social, and educational disparities, national resources management, corruption, and public participation in political reform, as well as media reform.

According to the Prime Minister, the views gathered during this public forum reflect visions for both the Thai people and society and were in line with those of the Government. These would, among others, enable the Thai people to enjoy a better quality of life and human dignity, to live a secure life amidst changes and volatility of globalization with basic rights provided, to have opportunities for advancement in terms of livelihood, work and education, and to ensure that Thailand is a democratic and just society with rules whereby people can live together in harmony and respect differences and diversities.
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