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Group criticised for ignoring education, energy at discussion

The People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has been criticised for not covering the areas of energy and education when it kicked off the first of six forums in Bangkok's Lumpini Park yesterday.

Over the next two weeks the forums - held near the PDRC's protest site - are scheduled to cover eradication of poverty and inequality, tackling corruption, decentralisation, restructuring the police and the judiciary as well as election, political party and civil service reforms.

Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University academic Sunee Poosrimuang said the anti-government PDRC should add energy to the remaining forums due to its importance for the country and the level of political corruption in the sector.

She said she was interested in the forums because they were a first for the PDRC and they would spread knowledge.

Sunee is involved in an academic team at Sukhothai Thammathirat that is looking at reform in Thailand and she is also coordinator of the academic team based at the Chaeng Wattana rally site lead by Phra Buddha Issara.

"The seminar is a good way to give knowledge to people - better than speeches that attacks the other side with hate speech," she said.

Sunee believes the forums should also tackle education. "If the next government does not use this blueprint, I'll blow a whistle at them," she said.

Another Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University academic, Boontip Sirirangsri, believes the PDRC is using the forums to gather information to write a blueprint for change but that the information is not coming from the areas of concern.

She said that if the PDRC wanted a blueprint to solve problems, it should gather data from sample people in the problem areas.

Siripimon Anchalisankasa, from Public Health governor's office, liked the forum and believes the PDRC chose to stage it in office hours because it wants to gather ideas from real people to bring about reform.

Somchai Limwattanachai, from Nong Kai, believes people will benefit from the forums because of its extensive discussion range but they should include education and energy.


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