NCPO holds reconciliation activities


BANGKOK, July 22 — The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has organized activities to promote national reconciliation and invited opposing political groups including red shirt leaders to participate.

What the NCPO is calling “The Reconciliation for People’s Happiness Festival” opened today and will continue through Sunday.

This morning’s event began with an alms-giving ceremony for 99 Buddhist monks at the Phramaine Ground at Sanam Luang in Bangkok.

Somdet Phra Maha Rachamangalajan, the acting supreme patriarch, and Gen Surasak Kanchanarat, permanent secretary for defence, co-chaired the ceremony.

Among participants were representatives of ministries, 11 political parties including the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties, and red shirt leaders Veerakan Musikapong and Suporn Atthawong.

The acting supreme patriarch instructed participants to follow the five basic Buddhist prescripts to ensure national reconciliation.

This evening, there will be a light and sound show, stage performances and outdoors movie screenings at Sanam Luang.

During the festival, there was also a trade fair including discounted products for the public.

Such activities have also been organised in 76 other provinces as the NCPO wanted to return happiness to the Thai people and encourage conflicting political groups to meet, share activities and be reconciled.

Lt Gen Kampanart Ruddit, director of the Reconciliation for Reform Center, said the festivals were organized to show that all parties were ready to join together for the sake of national progress.

He also said that information from people showed that most of them wanted solutions to economic problems, followed by justice.

Gen Kampanart said reconciliation attempts were proceeding well and conflicting parties would discuss problems and solutions in the national reform council.