May 10, 2014 00:00 By Pravit Rojanaphruk The Nation
Political hatred and vendettas have become a major problem in Thai society and are preventing a solution being found to the political crisis, a new network formed to prevent political violence has said.
Pratabjit Neelapaijit, a political scientist at Mahidol University and member of the Network for Re-imagining Conflicts, urged all sides to cease using weapons and make a joint pledge to do this.
She also called for designated safe zones to be established.
The network, which issued a statement on Thursday, also urged all sides to solve political conflicts without violence and denounce all forms of violence.
The group vowed to educate the public about how conflicts could be solved peacefully, and teach Thais to co-exist peacefully and foster its peace message in the media.
Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, a political scientist at Thammasat University and member of the network, said it was imperative that all citizens try to avoid physical violence. She said people would have to learn to accept that there were different versions of reality.
Surichai Wungaew, a retired professor of sociology at Chulalongkorn University, said people should break the false dichotomy that there are only two groups in society and that by destroying the other group there can be democracy.