Thai police urged to help heal divide

Thai police urged to help heal divide

THAILAND - Lt-General Kampanart Ruddit, director of the Reconciliation for Reform Centre, urged police to talk to the public so they understand the national reconciliation process.

In a meeting with 1,400 police officers yesterday, Kampanart said the success or failure of the process hinged on people properly understanding why the coup took place.

He said coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha would reach mandatory in five months, so police nationwide should help foster a climate of love and empathy and help create a democracy that was suited for Thailand.

Kampanart said his centre was listening to people's views and this was considered the first step towards reconciliation. "Some have asked if the setting up of the Reconciliation for Reform Centre can solve a decade-old feud or not. I cannot answer, as it depends on the cooperation of the people who own this country," he said.

Prayuth said during his weekly TV show on Friday that in the first phase of reconciliation, all groups - including rival groups - would be invited to meet to create an atmosphere of talking and listening. Legal action would be used only if necessary. He said the transfer of government officials would be done only when necessary so that the right people were in the right jobs and the atmosphere was good. The annual reshuffle would be for the next government to decide.

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