Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has given initial approval for a draft unity agreement which is expected to be put up for a public hearing early next month, according to the Defence Ministry.
Defence spokesman Maj Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said the three-page document was reviewed and initially endorsed by Gen Prawit, who has recommended some minor changes.
He said the document would not be unveiled until before the public hearing, but added the 10-point draft addresses the need to promote better understanding and contain political conflicts, including hate speech.
Maj Gen Kongcheep expressed confidence that the efforts to build national reconciliation will come to fruition as the unity agreement has been drawn up from public input and past lessons.
"It may only be a piece of paper, but it's the people's will. It is the people who have provided this framework for living in a peaceful society. I'm confident we will succeed this time because we have drawn on lessons from the past," he said.
He said the political situation is also more favourable now to pursue unity-building.
According to Maj Gen Kongcheep, the document will be put up for public hearings in late June and early July and public opinion will be considered in fine-tuning the draft.
The public hearings will be organised in Phitsanulok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Bangkok, and should be completed by July 7.
The final draft will be forwarded to the Committee for National Administration under the Framework of National Reform, Strategy and Reconciliation chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, he said.
It has not been decided who will officially unveil the unity agreement, he added.
The document, a social contract for national unity, was drafted by three panels established under the committee for national reconciliation headed by Gen Prawit, also the defence minister.
The first panel chaired by defence permanent secretary Chaichan Changmongkol was responsible for gathering opinions. It started its work in mid-February by inviting politicians, business persons and people's representatives to air their views on national reconciliation.
The second panel chaired by Supreme Commander Surapong Suwana-adth took over to process recommendations on reconciliation and submitted the findings to another panel chaired by army chief Chalermchai Sittisart responsible for drawing up the draft unity agreement.-BANGKOK POST
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