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Thailand: Public Opinions on National Reform
Source: thailand.prd.go.th
Source Date: Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Focus: Training Institutions
Country: Thailand
Created: Jul 12, 2010

A great number of people have expressed their opinions on national reform through telephone calls in the call-in program “Six Day, 63 Million Ideas: Joining Hands in Moving Thailand Forward.”

The program, which will end on July 6, was launched by the Government on July 1, with 300 telephone lines receiving calls at Government House in Bangkok. While a large number of people offered suggestions on how to reform Thailand, many callers made complaints on various issues.

According to Advisor to the Prime Minister Apirak Kosayodhin, the economic problem involving non-conventional debts comes first among the complaints. In order to tackle the non-conventional loan issue, the Government has been urged to extend low-interest loans as financial sources that will help low-income earners to make a living. The Ministry of Finance has also opened a hotline to accept these complaints. Other issues people want the Government to address include the provision of better social welfare and the ensuring of social and economic equality.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that all calls were considered the representations of 63 million Thais. The Government expects public opinions through other channels, as well, such as postcards sent to P.O. Box 9999 at Government House and the Prime Minister’s website,

He said that the call-in program for “donations of ideas” was an initiative aimed at raising public awareness of participation in the reform process and promoting the sense of belonging to the country. In order to go through the present critical period in modern Thai history, people need to discuss and exchange views to seek the best solution for the country. He believes that if all sectors of society place importance to the efforts to move Thailand forward, a better environment will take place, thus paving the way to national reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Ms. Vimon Kidchob, Director-General of the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the US House of Representatives on July 1 approved a draft resolution supporting Thailand’s reconciliation plan. The resolution on the political situation in Thailand was proposed by Mr. Eni Faleomavaega, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment.

The resolution, among others, urges all parties involved in the political crisis to renounce the use of violence and to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue. It also supports the goals of the five-point roadmap of the Government of Thailand for national reconciliation. During the deliberation of the draft resolution, US House members had voiced their support for the Thai government’s effort in addressing the demands of the protesters. They expressed confidence in the effort in implementing the Prime Minister’s reconciliation plan, and were of the view that, as Thailand is a close friend, the United States should lend support to reconciliation in Thailand.

Commenting on this issue, Prime Minister Abhisit said that the US support for the plan was an affirmation that foreign governments and international organizations understand the situation in Thailand and that the Thai government is on the right track in dealing with political conflicts.

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