Launching Programs as Part of National Reconciliation Efforts (05/06/2014)
In response to the roadmap of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) regarding national reconciliation, various relevant agencies are starting to launch programs and activities, as part of the national reconciliation efforts.

In its roadmap, NCPO wants to achieve national reconciliation as soon as possible, at least within two to three months.

The Internal Security Operations Command is setting up Centers of Reconciliation for Reform in both central and regional areas of the country. A working group has also been formed to set guidelines for the operations of the centers. The reconciliation process will begin from family units to villages, subdistricts, districts, and provinces.

NCPO has assigned the Internal Security Operations Command to be responsible for organizing dialogues between all sides in order to achieve social harmonization. At the same time, activities and programs to restore happiness to the people have been held by several agencies.

For instance, concerts have been performed by soldiers, policemen, and civilians at various areas, such as the Victory Monument in Bangkok. Apart from concerts, medical check-ups have also been offered free of charge. The objective is to “return happiness to the people” after lengthy political tensions.

The Government Public Relations Department (PRD) is scheduled to organize a program, “Music in the Park,” starting from 5 June 2014. The program takes place at the park within the grounds of the PRD Headquarters in Bangkok every Thursday evening.

PRD will establish reconciliation centers in Bangkok and the provinces to provide channels to create better understanding between the people and NPCO. It will produce spots, programs, and features to be disseminated through PRD’s radio and television networks, as well as websites.

The Ministry of Culture is adjusting its cultural activities to promote national reconciliation. For example, cultural tours and mobile cultural events to be arranged will also include content on reconciliation and unity. Emphasis is placed on creating awareness and unity among the people. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is preparing activities to rehabilitate society, reduce conflicts, and bring about peace and happiness.

The Ministry of Interior has instructed all provinces to set up reconciliation centers to help create the atmosphere of social harmonization and encourage local people to accept different views.

The reason NCPO has taken control of the national administration was because of the prolonged political deadlock and protests. There were also various violent situations, many involving the use of warfare weapons, and what is more, corruption and widespread illegal activities were affecting the well-being and livelihood of all people. The caretaker government was unable to perform its duties effectively. Both the disbursement of national budget for fiscal year 2014 and the budgetary process for fiscal year 2015 had been severely delayed. If these problems were to persist, Thailand’s economy would have been adversely affected, as well as the interests of those countries that have economic ties and long-term commitments with Thailand.

NCPO has stated that if the situation returns to normal, and a successful reform and national reconciliation and social harmony have been achieved, Thai people will move to the next phase, which involves a general election.

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