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Fast approval of text rapped

Bangkok Post | 22 February 2007


Fast approval of text rapped


The National Human Rights Commission and FTA Watch yesterday rebuked the government for endorsing the text of the Japan-Thailand free trade agreement without revising the 940-page deal thoroughly. The two agencies also condemned the negotiators and members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) who endorsed the text of the agreement.

Of the 242 NLA members, only a few dozen, such as the chairmen of subcommittees and the NLA chairman, received the text in full from the Foreign Ministry, said Surichai Wung’aeo, an NLA member and a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University.

The rest only got a pocket book-sized text published by the ministry, he said.

Saneh Chamarik, the NHRC chairman, said Tuesday’s cabinet resolution would lead to haste in signing the agreement despite Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont’s promise that a comprehensive study with public participation would be conducted three months before the signing.

Witoon Lianchamroon of FTA Watch said the agency would consult with other NGOs opposing the agreement to stage a major rally against the interim government if it rushed into signing the deal without thoroughly revising the text.

 source: Bangkok Post