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ACT (The Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand) has sent a letter to Thailand’s US ambassador warning the blanket amnesty bill breaches the UN’s anti-graft convention.
Early on Friday morning the bill passed its second and third readings. ACT believe this legislation will damage the economy and hinder efforts to tackle corruption in Thai society.
Khun Ying Jada Wattanasiritham, the vice president of ACT, a private sector initiative launched in 2011, said the organization wants to keep the international community abreast of the issue because the amnesty bill would whitewash individuals implicated in corruption cases.
If the amended bill makes it into statue, she claimed that the government would be in breach of the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which came into force on December 4th 2005 and was ratified by Thailand on March 1st 2011.
She said ACT had submitted a letter to the US ambassador because America has a track record of supporting other countries to work against corruption.
Khunying Jada added that ACT’s opposition to the bill is solely related to its implications for tackling corruption.
If enforced, the bill would perpetuate corrupt practices and exonerate corrupt people, she said. ACT director Mana Nimitmongkol, said the organisation will submit a similar letter to the Swedish embassy, which also has a strong history of fighting corruption.
Following the passing of the amnesty bill in the second and third readings by the House of Representatives, Ms Yingluck insisted that she will not dissolve the House anytime soon since the much-debated bill still needs to be deliberated by the Senate and go through many processes.
The Prime Minister expressed her concerns over deeper rift in the nation over the blanket amnesty bill. She called on every group, either pro- or anti-government, to refrain from street confrontation and using violence.
She also asked security officers on duty in the rally areas to avoid any clashes with the protesters.
The premier assured that the government will closely monitor the rally and carefully deal with the situation.
She expressed her hope that the amnesty law would be able to help Thailand mend the differences that have caused violence and turmoil in the country over the past several years