BANGKOK – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Thursday announced the withdrawal of the Amnesty Bill and appealed for an end to the street protests as investors have expressed concerns about the impact of the disruptions and instability caused by the protests, on the country’s economy.
“This government is an elected government, so we respect the people’s voice.
We confirm that we will not bring the Amnesty Bill for consideration again,” she said, here.
She stressed that the Amnesty Bill was introduced with good intentions and to move the country forward together after a bitter and violent political conflict in the past.
The Amnesty Bill was designed to absolve the victims of the power seizure and not to whitewash corruption, she said.
She believed the opposition also wanted to see the country move forward, and stressed that the government was not asking them (opposition) to do it (end protests) for the government, but for the country.
A major point of argument that united the opposition against the bill was that it was aimed at allowing the return of Yingluck’s brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, from self-imposed exile without having to serve jail time for the corruption conviction several years ago – charges which Thaksin said were politically motivated.
The Amnesty Bill would absolve all leaders and protesters involved in political unrests in Thailand since 2004 of any wrongdoing.
Yingluck also expressed her concern about the adverse impact the political conflict on the economy, investors’ confidence and the tourism industry as thousands have joined the street demonstrations and the number was set to increase.
According to a survey by University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), if the conflict turned more serious and caused major disruption to the economy, the country would face a prospect of growth at only 3-3.2 per cent and losses equivalent to 30 billion baht to 60 billion baht to the economy,
Several countries have also issued travel warnings.
Meanwhile, the People’s Army Against Thaksin’s Regime this morning shifted their rally point from the Urupong intersection protest site to the Makkawarnrangsan intersection which is closer to the Government House.
It was a move to increase pressure on the government and to challenge the Internal Security Act (ISA) which is currently imposed in some parts of the districts of Dusit, Pomprabsattrupai and Pranakorn until Nov 30, to deal with the protests which have been going for over a month.
The areas where the ISA is imposed are near to the Government House and Parliament.
All roads near the Government House and Parliament are blocked by concrete barriers and secured by the police.
Yingluck emphasised that only the police were deployed to take care of the situation and stated that the government had never authorised the military to assist in security matters as rumoured.