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Civic groups set up own reform body in Thailand

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Demonstrations in favor of reform in Thailand Bangkok, Sept.16.─ Officially called the People Assembly Reforming Thailand (Part), the body has been formed to push for a "just, secure and happy society".

Its formation is seen by observers as a snub to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's political reform initiative that kicked off in the absence of the opposition Democrat Party.

At the launch, a temporary 16-member committee was unveiled and the panel is expected to start its work next week.

It is headed by Banjerd Singkhaneti, dean of the Graduate School of Law at the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida); Khomsan Phokhong, a law lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University; Pichai Rattanadilok Na Phuket, of Nida; Suriyasai Katasila, co-ordinator of the Green Politics Group; and Somkiat Pongpaiboon, a former core member of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

The current political crisis has been caused by the monopolisation of power by a group of people who violated the rule of law in pursuit of personal gains, according to a statement read out by Mr Banjerd. He said this group of people lack ethics in national administration, engage in abuse of natural resources and policy-oriented corruption and weaken the justice system.

Mr Banjerd said the current political system is dominated by "a political party driven by capitalism". It has led to ultra-capitalist authoritarianism in the cloak of democracy ...

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