Former communists demand action on Prem’s promise

3 08 2009

The Bangkok Post (4 August 2009: “Former communist defectors rally”) has a story on former members of the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) who surrendered under Prime Ministerial Order No 66/23 in 1980.

The Post reports that some “500 representatives of the group of ‘participants in national development’ under Prime Minister’s Order No 66/23 from 19 northeastern and central provinces rallied in front of Government House on Monday calling for the government to provide them with land, capital and housing as promised by the government of then prime minister [and now privy councilor] Prem Tinsulanonda.” This order was meant to see the “former CPT members were promised land, capital and housing.” The protesters are claiming that the promise had not been kept.

According to the group’s secretary-general, Jandaeng Pidtarapa, “Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva signed an order on April 7 this year for Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban to handle this matter.”

The former CPTers are demanding that each of about 6,000 families get 650,000 baht.

The group has set a deadline of 7 August, a date that has been mentioned several time lately as the date that the shooting war began between the Thai state and the CPT. It is also one of the dates suggested for submitting the Thaksin Shinawatra “royal pardon” petition, although Jandaeng said the “rally of her group had nothing to do with the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship’s intention to submit a petition for a royal pardon…”.

Readers will recall that there are former CPT members with both PAD and the UDD. This group seems to be villagers rather than high-profile former leaders. For more information, see here and here and here.



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