Editorial 29 October 2013 : Truth and Amnesty

The stream against the Draft ‘Amnesty-for-all’ bill seems to have become stronger and
stronger, not only among Thai people, but also foreigners, as the situation during the 2010 Black
May resulted in the death of foreigners, too. 

The draft bill, which allows Amnesty to any party involving in the
military crackdown, including the ones who made decision that had caused the death to the victims,
raises questions whether how Thailand will answer to the global community.

So far, only Ms. Elisabetta Polengi, a
sister of the Italian photographer who died during the clash, has submitted an open letter against
the draft amnesty bill. 

Mr. Polenghi, though only represent one life, still holds special
meanings. Moreover, his death should also represents some particularly importance for the Global
Community to see how Thailand assesses the circumstances. 

One case study, which could be a good
example for the case is a peace and reconciliation process adopted by Rwanda after the Rwanda
Genocide, which resulted in a massacre of 1994 national ethnic
conflicts. 

The peace process,
then, did not run in a way which every party were given amnesty, but rather relied heavily on the
ruling of the Court of Justice, both domestically and internationally, to judge the wrongdoing of
the commanders. 

The
process in Rwanda is partly the same as how the new generation Germans learn that the massacre under
the ruling of Fuhre Adolf Hitler should never occur again.

The process is not
aimed to be achieved in order to make avenge, but to create universal understanding in the
society. 

Thai
people are known to easily forget and forgive once they confront with issues. However, such phrase
should be outdated, as the country is trying to adopt the universal rule of
law. 

And
universality, here, means we must respect human rights and equality.
 
When basic right is violated, the society
should learn, together, not to make the same mistake again. 

Forgiving, in religious terms, is a way to
release sorrow from one’s mind. 

Meanwhile, amnesty, as it is internationally understood, is a way to avoid extreme penalty
or punishment.

And both ideas are different, in terms of helping the society to find the
truth. 

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