Continuing the repression

29 08 2009

Just a few hours ago PPT posted about our deep concern that the Democrat Party and the government it leads were set on short and slippery path to authoritarianism and seemed remarkably comfortable on it. As if to confirm this, Prachatai (29 August 2009: “Police to arrest Triumph labour leaders for blocking roads at Government House and Parliament”) has a report on efforts to stop all protest as the police seek the arrest of the leaders of a union engaged in action against Triumph International. Also see ออกหมายจับหน.ม็อบไทรอัมพ์พาพวกยึดทำเนียบ and ตร.ออกหมายจับ 3 แกนนำคนงานไทรอัมพ์ฯ ฐานชุมนุมปิดถนนหน้าทำเนียบฯ ก่อความวุ่นวาย ทำปชช.เดือดร้อน. We had earlier posted about the links between labor and human rights.

The report states that “police have issued arrest warrants for three Triumph labour union leaders who led members on a protest that blocked roads at Government House and Parliament.” The warrants were issued for Sunthorn Bunyod, Bunrod Saiwong,  and Jitra Kotchadej, “on charges of gathering in a group of 10 people or more, leading or ordering people to cause unrest, and ignoring police orders.”

Their action involved, on 27 August, leading 300-400 union members to petition the Prime Minister for help in their dispute with Triumph, which had laid off 1,959 workers . Because Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva didn’t appear, the “protesters were dissatisfied” and apparently “blocked the road in front of Government House.” When they heard that Abhisit was attending a meeting at Parliament House, “the protesters went to block the road there as well…”.

Jitra, an advisor to the Triumph Labour Union, said that “she had yet to receive the arrest warrant or be notified by the police. The union will meet and discuss on what to do.” Justifiably, Jitra “questioned why workers who come out to protect their own rights have to face such severe charges” under “Criminal Code Article 215 for leading or ordering public unrest which carries a maximum of 5 years in prison or a 10,000 baht fine or both, and Article 216 for ignoring police orders to stop the unrest, which carries a maximum of 3 years in prison or a 6,000 baht fine, or both.”

The answer for Jitra seems clear enough for PPT: this government is becoming increasingly authoritarian in its bid to stay in power.

Update: For more about the Triumph dispute go here.



2 responses

8 09 2009
New: Repression of Triumph protestors continues « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Repression of Triumph protestors continues Readers will recall our earlier post on the use of Internal Security Act provisions against leaders of the laid-off workers from Triumph […]

14 12 2009
New: Abhisit disrupted « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] afternoon.” The women workers were some of those laid off several months ago by Triumph. See here, here and here for earlier posts. “The protesters said the government violated the human […]

%d bloggers like this: