Govt urged to be more sincere in addressing grievances

national January 17, 2014 00:00

By Pravit Rojanaphruk
The Nation

Mutual political hatred might last an entire lifetime for those involved in the current political feud and could become one of the most troubling aspects of the ongoing crisis, Srisuwan Kuankachorn, chairperson of Thailand's largest NGO consortium, said.

Srisuwan, who chairs the NGOs Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-COD), which has 300 members who support both sides of the divide, said each side had valid grievances that need to be addressed. However, he pointed out that these problems could not be dealt with in the current zero-sum struggle that’s plunging Thailand into a deep political and economic crisis.
“[This hatred] might last an entire lifetime. It is severe and widespread. This is what we are most concerned with,” Srisuwan said, adding that both sides should try harder to hold a sincere dialogue and agree to a compromise before the Kingdom plunges into a bloodbath. 
“We want both sides to defuse the bomb. We support the Election Commission’s proposal to postpone the election. Perhaps the Constitutional Court should be consulted on the matter. It’s imperative to defer the election, because it should be one that defuses violence, not one that leads to more clashes,” he said.
Srisuwan also criticised the caretaker government for not being sincere enough to address the grievances brought up the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) regarding corruption and national reform. 
“The government cannot just bring out reform by themselves alone. Sincerity is needed,” he said.
He also said the Army should not even think about staging a coup, as that would most definitely lead to a civil war. 
Srisuwan, whose consortium is monitoring and analysing the situation every few hours, acknowledged that it would be difficult for this generation to erase this mutual hatred. Nevertheless, he said, those who can do something should try and create a climate of trust. 
He also urged politicians to be altruistic in a time of crisis and be more than just competitors for 

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