Normal operating procedures

2 10 2009

Also available as งัดกฎหมายออกมาบีบบังคับประชาชน จนเคยตัว

PPT has posted previously about the normalization of repression in Thailand. This process continues unabated with little opposition.

The Bangkok Post (2 October 2009: “Govt to use security act during summit”) reports that the “government will again use the Internal Security Act during the 15th Asean Summit to be held in Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan provinces from Oct 23 to 25…”. This is now standard operating procedure for the Democrat Party-led coalition government. In The Nation’s report, however, it is stated that “Army chief Gen Anupong Paochinda said the ISA will be enforced between October 12 and 27 in nine sub-districts of Phetchaburi’s Cha-am district and four sub-districts of Prachuab Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district.” He also states that he expects no trouble.

This is an astounding demonstration that the use of this repressive law is now standard procedure. It is remarkable that it now goes unquestioned.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva claims this use is part of the rule of law. But this is using a draconian law, drafted and passed by a military-backed government, for political gain by a party with hollow claims to be interested in both human rights and the rule of law. For a statement on the ISA’s negative impact on human rights, see here.

The signal is clear when Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon is put in charge of security and using the ISA, which was hurriedly put in place when the military-appointed government in late 2007. Soldiers will join police in ensuring the safety of Asean leaders during the meetings.

Remarkably – well, it isn’t really, because this is also becoming standard procedure – it is reported that the “security act might also be invoked in the capital if red-shirt protesters rally when the summit takes place…”.

The ISA has become a law that the government can now use to repress legitimate political protests and rallies that it doesn’t like. The government argues that it doesn’t stop rallies, but the imposition of the ISA amounts to repression, threat and restrict. The use of the ISA is legal but it is still repression. It is rule by law, not rule of law and it is not part of any democratic processes.

Update: Reuters report here.



2 responses

3 10 2009
งัดกฎหมายออกมาบีบบังคับประชาชน จนเคยตัว « Liberal Thai

[…] 2009 — chapter 11 Normal operating procedures October 2, 2009 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thailand แปลและเรียบเรียง – แชพเตอร์ […]

12 10 2009
New: Security law again « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] New: Security law again The red shirt gathering at the Democracy monument in Bangkok on the weekend was larger than expected and peaceful.It called for a return to the 1997 constitution and the ousting of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The government did not use the Internal Security Act and did not explain why it decided against what has become its normal operating procedure. […]

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