Amnesty bill proposed for Thaksin Shinawatra

2013-10-30 14:56
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (Philippe Lopez, AFP)

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (Philippe Lopez, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangkok - Thailand's opposition called on Wednesday for mass protests against a politically-charged amnesty bill that critics fear will clear the way for the return of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The controversial legislation, which is due to be debated in parliament on Thursday, would cover all crimes related to political unrest since 2004, apart from defaming the monarchy.

The ruling party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Thaksin's sister) has ordered all its lawmakers to vote in favour of the bill.

Supporters of the amnesty say it will give Thailand a fresh start after years of turmoil culminating in mass protests in 2010, that left dozens of civilians dead in a military crackdown.

But opponents fear it will perpetuate a culture of impunity and absolve Thaksin of his crimes.

"Prime Minister Yingluck's government insists on exploiting its parliamentary majority to pass an amnesty bill to whitewash Thaksin's corruption as well as the core terrorist protest leaders," the deputy leader of the opposition Democrat Party, Suthep Thaugsuban, told reporters.

The party (which was in power at the time of the 2010 crackdown) said more than 10 000 people were expected to protest against the bill at a railway station in Bangkok on Thursday evening.

Thailand has been rocked by a series of rival street protests since royalist generals ousted Thaksin in a bloodless coup in 2006.

The former telecoms tycoon is loved by many rural and poor Thais for his populist policies while in power, but his opponents accuse him of being corrupt, dictatorial and a threat to the monarchy.

Thaksin lives in self-imposed exile in Dubai to avoid prison for a corruption conviction, imposed in his absence in 2008 that he contends was politically motivated.


In 2010, mass rallies by Thaksin's "Red Shirt" supporters against the previous government descended into the kingdom's worst civil violence in decades, with more than 90 people were killed and nearly 1 900 wounded in street clashes and a military crackdown.

The opposition said it would intensify its planned rally until the amnesty bill is withdrawn. This is a demand rejected by Yingluck's administration which insists it is sponsored by a ruling-party MP rather than the government.

The opposition has denounced a decision by the attorney general to prosecute its leader, former Premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, and his one-time deputy Suthep on murder charges related to the 2010 crackdown as a ploy to pressure it to support the amnesty.

The Red Shirts also oppose the bill, demanding justice for the deaths of their supporters in 2010. When tens of thousands of people brought parts of central Bangkok to a standstill for weeks.

They were demanding elections to replace Abhisit's government, which they accused of taking office undemocratically in 2008 through a parliamentary vote after a court stripped Thaksin's allies of power.

Twenty-four Red Shirt leaders are currently on trial on terrorism charges related to the 2010 rallies

Read more on:    yingluck shinawatra  |  thaksin shinawatra  |  abhisit vejjajiva  |  thailand

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.