The junta has revealed its blueprint for national reconciliation, combining the late King’s philosophy with the junta’s 20-year national strategy.
On 17 July 2017, Lt Gen Kukiat Srinaka of Army Region 1 presided over a public forum on the ‘social contract for unity and reconciliation’, the blueprint for the junta’s national reconciliation plan.
The social contract was drafted by a subcommittee under the junta-appointed Committee on National Reform, National Strategy, and Reconciliation, most of whose members are military officers.
The contract is in three parts: the introduction, a 10 point agreement, and 15 remarks from Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister.
The 15 remarks have not been made public at press time. But it is known that one of the remarks is that politicians should not use power and implement policies only to win votes.
Towards the end of the forum, Waranchai Chokchana, an independent political activist, asked the military-dominated reconciliation subcommittee whether politicians will be prosecuted if they implement policies that depart from the junta’s 20-year national strategy.
He then asked, “The introduction says that [people] should have knowledge and understanding about the true democratic system. I think people have satisfactory knowledge and understanding about democracy. They have a lot. But I want to know is how much knowledge and understanding you have about democracy. Will you give us back democracy? And when will that be?”
The 10 points of the contract are:
- All Thai people should cooperate to build an atmosphere of harmony and reconciliation, so that Thailand can unite under a democratic system of governance with the monarch as Head of State, and have a true knowledge and understanding of the democratic system, use rights and freedoms correctly and appropriately within the framework of the law, participate in popular politics, accept differences in ideas, and promote political institutions so that they are strong, in order to lead to elections that are transparent, clean, fair and whose results are accepted as the consensus of the Thai people throughout the country, hand in hand with checks and balances on state power and the solution of problems through parliamentary mechanisms.
- All Thai people should adapt the [late] King’s philosophy for use in everyday life, comprising honest work, self-reliance, virtue, morality, mutual goodwill and cooperation in strengthening local livelihoods and the basic economy, which is connected to a free economy, and promote basic public utilities everywhere while emphasizing self-development of the ability to make a living and of their professional competence to raise their level of income and generate opportunities to compete economically.
- All Thai people should adhere to virtuous, ethical and moral principles in living their lives honestly without participating in or supporting corruption or wrongdoing in all forms, check without corruption that there is no dishonesty at all levels.
- All Thai people should cooperate to support the conservation of natural resources and the environment and utilize natural resources with recognition of their value, and accept and have confidence in the procedure for allocating resources which is trustworthy and fair, in which Thai people should participate in managing the natural resources in their locality on the basis of the common interest of the country.
- All Thai people should support the promotion and preservation of quality of life, public health, and quality education for all equally, to enable them to live in society happily.
- All Thai people should respect, trust, and act in accordance with the law and support and promote the judicial system for order in society.
- All Thai people should use caution in consuming news from different sources and cooperate in being vigilant that there is no distortion or dissemination of false news which could cause conflict in society.
- All Thai people should be aware of promoting society to meet international standards in accordance to international laws to which Thailand is a party.
- All Thai people should support and promote national reform in all fields and in a coordinated manner by allowing all sides to take part in every step of the operations.
- All Thai people should learn to cooperate and support the movement of the country to follow the direction of the national strategy.
Waranchai Chokchana questioning military officers at the public forum on the junta's social contract for unity and reconciliation on 17 July 2017