Academics call for “Dream Constitution” that truly reflects people’s aspirations

Speaking at a panel discussion on Constitution Day today, Mrs. Sunee Chairos, a former member of the National Human Rights Commission, and director of the Centre for the Promotion of Equality and Justice, said that a people’s constitution, which truly reflects the will of the people, would ease conflicts between them and the state because people will have free expression and the right to participate in decision making, from inception, of all state projects.

She pointed out that the 1977 so-called People’s Constitution contained several provisions which clearly spelled out the rights and liberties of the people and their right of participation, with the state, in the management of natural resources, the right of access to information and the rights of consumers to be protected by the state.

In the current constitution, she said that most of these basic rights have been removed, leaving only two sections about the rights of the people to propose laws to parliament.

She suggested that the current charter should be completely ditched and a new one written, without the participation of MPs or senators, especially regarding provisions concerned with the rights and liberties of the people.

Associate Professor Anusorn Unno, a lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology and Humanities at Thammasat University, said the rights and liberties provisions were deleted from the current charter and replaced by provisions with hidden agenda, to reflect the will of the charter drafters, which are used to perpetuate the power of the elite.

Another panellist, Yiamyod Srimanta, a member of the Committee Campaigning for Amending the Current Charter, said that a constitution should be the supreme model of the nation, from the people and for the people, and not a political tool that undermines the power of the people.


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