Wreck/Conciliation: Bridging Thailand's Political Divide?
Luncheon presentation by Duncan McCargo, Professor of Southeast Asian Politics, University of Leeds
Registration: 12:15 pm
Luncheon: 12:30 pm
Close: 2:00 pm
Since the bloody 'redshirt' protests of March-May 2010, Thailand has been polarized between two major competing power networks and their supporters. On the one hand are those aligned with the monarchy, the military and the Democrat Party; on the other hand are those sympathetic to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies. In the wake of the 2010 violence, the Abhisit Vejjajiva government set up the Truth for Reconciliation Commission (TRCT) to establish how more than 90 people were killed, and to propose ways forward for Thai society. The TRCT published its report in September 2012, but has been heavily criticized by other bodies, including the non-governmental People's Information Center (PIC), which has countered with its own rival 1400-page report on the 2010 bloodshed. "Reconciliation" has become a new front in Thailand's protracted political conflict, with no clear end in sight. Duncan McCargo will discuss possible ways forward from this impasse.
Duncan McCargo is Professor of Southeast Asian Politics at the University of Leeds and a prominent specialist on contemporary Thailand. He is a Visiting Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University and an Associate Fellow at Asia Society in New York. His 10 books include Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand, which won the Asia Society's inaugural 2009 Bernard Schwartz Book Award, and most recently Mapping National Anxieties: Thailand's Southern Conflict.