Illustrative image (Source: Getty Images)
Hanoi (VNA) - Thailand's military government on February 14 held the first session of its reconciliation forum to hear ideas and suggestions from political groups and parties on how to heal rifts and strengthen national unity.

Chaired by Defence Ministry's Permanent Secretary Chaicharn Changmongkol, the forum saw the attendance of representatives of three small political parties, namely the New Aspiration Party, the Farmers Network of Thailand Party and Commoners Party, none of which have seats in the House of Representatives.

Speaking to reporters after the four-hour meeting, the Defence Ministry's spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanich said the discussions were conducted "with transparency and sincerity," and the three parties contributed important ideas.

Dozens of political groups have been invited to participate in future sessions of the forum, including major political parties like the Pheu Thai Party and the Democrat Party.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had  earlier said that certain political topics which might still be heatedly debatable and unconcluded will not be raised during the planned meetings between the invited politicians and the opinion-gathering subcommittee.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said it will take three months for the subcommittee to hear and gather views of the politicians from an estimated 70 existing parties. None of the parties, he said, had turned down the invitation to join in the national reconciliation effort.-VNA