11 July 2024

Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has proposed that the government allow exiled Thais living abroad to return home with guarantees that the charges against them will be treated as political cases.

Piyabutr made the proposal during a debate in parliament on Thursday on the government’s policy for national reconciliation.

He cited late Prime Minister Prem Tinsulanonda’s Order 66/23, which was issued to encourage ‘misguided’ student activists and communists to leave their jungle hideouts and to return home with a promise that they will not be tried for anti-government political activities.

The Future Forward MP said that Order 66/23 led to national reconciliation.

Many red-shirt members and anti-junta activists, facing lèse majesté charges in Thailand, have fled overseas.

Taking the floor to criticize the government’s policy statement, Piyabutr said that the party respects the Monarchy, but its expressions of respect for the revered institution may be different from those of others.

He insisted that the party does not harbor any ill intention towards the Monarchy or embraces violence, but the party wants democracy and the rule of law to be restored to the country.

“We are not an enemy of the military, but we do not support a coup by the army. We don’t want a civilian government to come under the control of the military. We want a professional army and equal justice for all,” said Piyabutr.