Sulak, National Human Rights Commission and the king

15 06 2009

Prachatai (15 June 2009: “Sulak Sivaraksa petitions King’s Principal Private Secretary to examine complaints against nominated Human Rights Commissioner”) reports that Sulak Sivaraksa has raised the important issue of the suitability of a nominated member of the NHRC.

PPT has raised this issue several times previously (here, here, here, and here). Sulak raises a particular case, that of Parinya Sirisarakarn, who is the owner of a salt mining business in Nakhon Ratchasima. His activities there have been the subject of complaints about its impact on local villages.

Sulak claims that Parinya’s unethical record is in breach of the constitution and the National Human Rights Commission Act.

But why petition the king? Apparently the aged Sulak is “afraid that the appointment may cause vexation to HM the King, and opportunists might exploit this issue to do harm to the institution.” For PPT, while raising the problems associated with the NHRC, it seems absurd to take the issue away from parliament and civil society. Sulak’s self-proclaimed monarchism is potentially damaging to the development of a more democratic politics.


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