Families may get Bt5m each

national January 07, 2012 00:00


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A government committee on national reconciliation yesterday suggested that compensation of Bt3 million to Bt5 million each be paid to the families of those killed in political unrest between 2005 and 2010.

The government’s coordination and follow-up committee on recommendations from the Truth for National Reconciliation Commission yesterday resolved to seek Cabinet endorsement next week of the remedy plan, the panel’s deputy spokesman, Anek Wongpermseni, said.

He said the preliminary estimate showed that about Bt2 billion would be required initially.
Two subcommittees would be set up for civil and criminal rehabilitation, with the former being chaired by Prasit Kowilaikul, a former PM’s Office minister in the post-coup government of General Surayud Chulanont, and the latter by former attorney-general Chaikasem Nirisiri, according to the spokesman.
Anek said the exact amount of the payment and how it would be paid are some of the details that will be discussed later. 
“We initially came up with a broad framework for compensation, with the calculation based on the national GDP. According to this, each person killed in a political conflict is entitled to Bt3 million to Bt5 million,” Anek said.
Yesterday’s panel meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit, who is also leader of the ruling Pheu Thai Party.
The meeting found that the previous Democrat-led government had allocated Bt11.4 billion to compensate victims of political unrest, and that more than Bt8.3 billion had already been spent, he said. 
“The Budget Bureau was assigned to find out if that budget is still left unspent. We will only need Bt2 billion. There’s no need to seek additional funding,” the spokesman said.
As for those who have already been compensated, they can seek additional help under this new scheme, he said. 
The spokesman said the compensation would be based on the original rules set by the previous government, in addition to new rules that are in line with international standards and based on similar cases from other countries, such as Argentina and Peru.
He said the goal was to overcome the conflict and achieve reconciliation while preventing political violence. 
“I believe this measure will help us achieve reconciliation and prevent conflicts from recurring,” Anek said, adding that he did not think people would be tempted to join protests just so they can get government compensation. 
Panel chairman Yongyuth had given Anek the job of calling the conference because the former was scheduled to have lunch with Matubhum Party leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin. Also present at the luncheon were Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, Chart Thai Pattana’s Chumpol Silapa-archa, Bhum Jai Thai’s Chaovarat Chanweerakul, Rak Santi’s Purachai Piumsombun, Rak Prathet Thai’s Chuwit Kamolvisit and Mahachon’s Apirat Sirinawin.
Sonthi asked leaders of parties that won House seats in the July 3 elections to join the lunch. 
As lunch was being served, Sonthi voiced optimism that the gathering of party leaders would bode well for bringing about reconciliation.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra declined the invitation because she said she was not a party leader, though she was willing to join the reconciliation process at a later date.

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