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Luang Pu calls for new body to police MPs

Posted by pakin On November - 14 - 2014

Monk’s reform plans aim to protect morality

Activist monk Phra Buddha Isra, also known as Luang Pu, yesterday proposed the establishment of a national body to regulate the ethical conduct of politicians at all levels.

Speaking after a meeting with National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president Pornpetch Wichitcholachai, the monk said he had asked the assembly to draft a bill allowing for a new national institute to govern politicians.

He said he also asked the NLA to amend the law to drop the 20-year statute of limitations on all corruption cases and suggested that politicians accused of graft should be suspended.

Phra Buddha Isra is the abbot of Wat Or Noi in Nakhon Pathom. Aside from meeting the NLA, he was yesterday invited to give his recommendations on national reform to Thienchay Kiranandana, chairman of the National Reform Council (NRC) and his deputy Borwornsak Uwanno, who is also chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

The monk proposed the establishment of three further councils — a national morality council, a national farming council and a national energy council.

He also forwarded a 90-point proposal on energy reform to the NRC and CDC for consideration. The proposal was drawn up after public forums between civil society groups and the Energy Ministry.

Phra Buddha Isra meanwhile criticised any political party that refuses to take part in the charter drafting process and called for the lifting of martial law to allow those involved in politics to hold meetings discussing the charter. He also voiced support for a national referendum on the constitution.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday called on political parties to seek permission from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) if they want to hold meetings to debate reform proposals and the content of the new charter.

His remarks came after politicians called for the NCPO to ease its ban on public gatherings to allow political parties to debate ideas for the new constitution.

He said he believes the NCPO will ease the restrictions if parties inform the council of their plans to hold meetings.

Mr Wissanu also brushed aside concerns that the CDC might ignore the views of outsiders, denying accusations that the move to invite input from various political groups was a ploy to give the charter-drafting process legitimacy.

“The CDC has good intentions. It wants to hear views from political parties and other groups and believes that will be useful in drafting the charter,” he said. “I think political parties should participate. If they don’t want to meet the CDC, they can submit their opinions in writing. It would be a pity to let the opportunity slip.”

Meanwhile, NCPO spokesman Winthai Suwaree said political parties may ask for permission to conduct activities to brainstorm ideas for the new constitution.

He said the NCPO will consider requests on a case-by-case basis and will likely allow activities that have no hidden political agenda, do not breach national security guidelines and are deemed to be in the best interests of the nation.

Pheu Thai’s acting deputy leader Plodprasop Suraswadi yesterday said the party is currently unlikely to join activities relating to the coup-sponsored government.

He said its members would only offer broad suggestions or ideas if it chose to give input at all.

However, the party would have to hold a meeting to decide on the matter, which is currently impossible due to the NCPO’s ban, he said.

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