Foreign business leaders have praised the government’s efforts to achieve national reconciliation but pointed out that investors' confidence will not be regained overnight after months of political stalemate. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva should be applauded for showing leadership in proposing a national reconciliation agenda, said the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (JCC).
“It is a positive attitude of the premier and government to come up with such a decision and take action towards reconciliation,” said Fukujiro Yamabe, a vice-president of JCC Bangkok.
“The road map is a good basis for both sides to discuss and hopefully reach agreement and we expect good results. I think business leaders are now more optimistic about the way forward.”
Nandor von der Luehe, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (JFCCT), said the proposed reconciliation plan is a positive development for easing political instability in Thailand. “Overall, we are seeing positive signs,” he said.
Thailand’s red-shirted anti-government protesters expressed willingness Tuesday to join a national reconciliation plan announced by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva a day earlier, raising hopes the current political turmoil may be settled peacefully, but analysts say it will not come soon and question whether it will last.
Addressing the nation in a live television program Monday night, Abhisit put forward a five-point national reconciliation plan meant to end the chaos and bring about political and social normalcy.
The plan includes a Thai government commitment to hold a general election on Nov. 14 if conditions are met, three months ahead of an earlier offer.
Given the red-shirt camp’s stubborn stance toward the Abhisit government and the complexity of the Thai political landscape, observers say it is not easy to find a solution to settle the five-year political turbulence.
“The reason is that the root of the long crisis is unlikely to be eradicated, that is the conflict of interest will not disappear in a short time between the low class on one side, and middle and upper classes on the other,” Bao Erwen, a senior Chinese political observer, said.