Ji Ungpakorn has circulated his take on the ICC visit to Bangkok. We reproduce it as received from a reader:
Don’t hold your breath that the Pua Thai Government will accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Millions of Red Shirts would like to see the military generals and Democrat Party politicians brought to court for ordering the shooting of un-armed pro-democracy demonstrators in 2010. But this government is unlikely to pass a simple cabinet resolution to accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court on this matter. This would allow the prosecution of those who committed such state crimes. The reason why it is unlikely to happen is because:
1. The Government and Taksin have made an agreement with the military from when Pua Thai won a landslide victory in the July 2011 elections. Previous to this, General Prayut, head of the army, had been extremely hostile to Pau Thai. This explains why today Pua Thai and the UDD Red Shirt leaders never again mention the role of the military in killing demonstrators. They just talk about Democrat politicians like former Prime Minister Abhisit. This fits with what Taksin has stated. He claims that the political crisis was only a confrontation between him and the Democrat Party.
2. If the Government accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court on the issue of state killings in 2010, the military would be investigated. Importantly, it would also open the door to future investigations by the ICC into Taksin’s role in state crimes at Takbai in 2004 and the extra-judicial killings in the War on Drugs while he was Prime Minister.
3. Taksin and the Pua Thai government need to create an image that they are “doing something” about those who shot the Red Shirts. But although this is partly because of rank and file Red Shirt pressure, it also serves the purpose of being a bargaining chip with the military in order for them to give the green light for Taksin’s return to Thailand. They are also acting out another “play” to show that they are doing something by trying to charge Abhisit at the ICC abroad, on account that he holds dual British-Thai citizenship. This only applies to Abhisit and not the army generals. It is also unlikely to succeed.
4. Pua Thai and Taksin are part of the Thai ruling class. Two factions of this class have been in violent dispute with each other. But they are united in not wanting to improve the standards of human rights in the country and not wanting any state crimes, from 1973 to today, investigated. They are united also on not reforming lèse majesté and on the need to use the King for their own differing interests.
I would so like to be proved wrong on all this. I would love to see the state criminals brought to justice, the political prisoners released, lèse majesté repealed and myself and others would like to return to Thailand. But this dream can only be made into reality if progressive Red Shirts organise a political party independent of Pua Thai and the UDD leadership.