First political violence victims to be compensated Thursday

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BANGKOK, May 22 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is set to hand over compensation payments for the first batch of political violence victims on Thursday, as earlier recommended by Thailand’s Truth for Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

PM’s Office Permanent Secretary Thongthong Chandrangsu as chairman of the TRC subcommittee on deciding remedies for political protest victims announced that 522 victims will be compensated Thursday.

Mr Thongthong said the premier will open the ceremony at Government House Thursday afternoon and that those eligible to be compensated can check their names at the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

The subcommittee is now examining evidence on the other victims before approving further compensation to them, Mr Thongthong said, adding that the sub-committee was unworried about opposition to granting restitution as their work is within the law.

He said that the ministry will also host a forum to gather recommendations on national reconciliation from local communities in 77 provinces nationwide, after which the data will be compiled before proposing further implementation to the prime minister in June and July.

In March the Cabinet approved regulations guiding compensation to victims of political violence during political gatherings as proposed by the country’s Truth for Reconciliation Commission

Mr Thongthong earlier said compensation would focus on the public, government officials or media members who died, were disabled or otherwise injured during the political incidents between late 2005 and May 2005 and May 2010.

He said those who were killed or disabled in a string of violent protests would receive Bt3 million each which would be given to their surviving spouses or parents.

As for the other humanitarian compensation to almost 2,000 victims–including about 100 persons killed–who were entitled to receive, the Cabinet approved a budget of Bt2 billion for the payments overall with each recipient receiving Bt4.5 million.