PAD claims to speak for the Thai people

17 11 2009

ASTV/Manager Online (15 November 2009) posts the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s “The Thai People’s Declaration to the World” and includes a video of its delivery. While PAD’s claim to speak for all Thais is grandiose PPT reproduces it in full, with some emphasis added by us, to provide the flavor of PAD’s royalism and nationalism. At the same time, it shows that Thaksin remains the enemy for PAD:

We are the people of the Kingdom of Thailand and are citizens who are loyal to our nation, our religion, and our monarchy. We gather here today at Sanam Luang in the capital city of Bangkok and are joined in spirit and in faith by Thai citizens from across the Kingdom.

We come today to declare our purpose to everyone around the world, the following:

1. The Kingdom of Thailand is one kingdom that cannot and will not be divided. The people of Thailand have always been and continue to be loyal to our nation, our religion, and our monarchy. The Kingdom of Thailand is governed under a constitutional monarchy and will never be ruled by any other system because we, the people of Thailand, are prepared to protect our nation, our religion, our King, our independence, our sovereignty, and our national interests…we protect these institutions with our lives.

2. Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra has been found guilty by the Supreme Court of Thailand for abuse of power and continues to flee and remain on the run. While he is hiding from the law, he is still wanted in many other corruption cases, but continues to create trouble and harm Thailand and its people, increasingly so that he has become the most wanted fugitive in the Kingdom’s recent history. Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra will repay and return all assets that he has acquired through unjust means.

We, the people of Thailand, will continue to monitor and demand those assets until they are rightfully returned to Thailand.

3. We declare that Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra has now become an enemy to the Kingdom of Thailand. He has become a traitor to his motherland by threatening Thailand’s national security and becoming an antagonist to Thailand’s constitutional monarchy. He has conspired with the enemy in undermining Thailand’s dignity.

It has been apparent throughout his years as a fugitive that Thaksin Shinawatra has tried his best to incite political and ideological separation among Thais nationwide and also between the Kingdom of Thailand and its neighbor, Cambodia…a conflict that will not only affect Thai citizens, but also holds repercussions for the people of Cambodia and the citizens of Southeast Asia as a whole.

4. We declare that the Kingdom of Thailand’s justice system is fair and just….a system that utilizes judicial, humanitarian, and compassionate philosophies in deliberating cases. While trying to disgrace and discredit Thailand’s judicial system around the world, Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra uses that same judicial system to file lawsuits against others as well. He has now become the Kingdom’s most frequent plaintiff.

We condemn Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra and Mr. Hun Sen for dishonoring the Kingdom of Thailand’s judicial system. In doing so, both have also insulted the people of Thailand in the most shameful way and, for this, should never be forgiven.

5. We declare that the Kingdom of Thailand and the Kingdom of Cambodia and its peoples remain friendly neighbors. We, therefore, call upon Mr. Hun Sen to cease his activities in conspiring with Fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra in turning Thailand into an enemy of Cambodia. Mr. Hun Sen should also immediately strengthen ties with Thailand and urgently act upon what is called for in Former King His Majesty Norodom Sihanu’s [sic] royal missive.

6. Following in our ancestors footsteps, we, the people of Thailand, continue to be at peace with our neighbors and the world. We are dedicated to cooperating with the peoples and governments of nations around the world in protecting world peace, human rights, and the wellbeing of mankind.

Our gathering today reflects a great deal about the current state of the Kingdom of Thailand. Our presence represents Thai citizens who remain devoted to protecting the honor and dignity of our nation, our King, and our constitutional monarchy as stipulated in the Kingdom of Thailand’s constitution.

Declared to those present here and around the world…November 15, 2009 at Sanam Luang, Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand

With Heartfelt Respect and Peace

The People of Thailand

Who remain loyal to our nation, our religion, and our monarchy

Prachatai (17 November 2009: “Fierce PAD nationalism on stage”) has a post that reflects on the PAD rally and its expressions of “nation, religion, monarchy” – and where we found the link for the declaration above. PAD’s speakers took a stage that was adorned with slogans “which read in Thai ‘Unite the Strength of the Land. Protect Nation, Religion and King’, and in English ‘Fight for Thailand. Fight for our King’.”

The speeches were hardly “dedicated to cooperating with the peoples and governments of nations around the world in protecting world peace, human rights, and the wellbeing of mankind” as in the statement above.

Some examples from Prachatai’s report include “Prasert Lertyaso called for the beheading of Hun Sen, General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, and Thaksin Shinawatra, alluding to an old Thai saying of shedding blood to wash royal feet.” Saken Sutthiwong said reported to have attacked Cambodia and Cambodians in racist and nationalist terms. A group of students condemned Hun Sen and Thaksin, calling the latter “the traitor.” Reminiscent of similar statements in 1975-76 that led to violence,  a “group of artists also read a statement, referring to both men as ‘non-human’.”

General Preecha Iamsuphan said “it was time to get rid of traitors, adding “We have to quickly finish them off for the sake of our beloved King and ancestors, so that Thais stop quarrelling with one another because of these scoundrels.”

Appointed senator Khamnoon Sitthisaman said that he expected Thaksin to intensify with Thaksin marching into Thailand from Cambodia. The aim would be an election that Thaksin’s supporters would win or a “people’s revolution.” He finished his speech with lines from the king’s anti-communist anthem “We Fight.”

Sondhi Limthongkul drew on figures from Thailand’s past, created in royalist myths, to emphasize nation, religion and monarchy. He claimed that the current king needs the protection of PAD: “We have our duty to protect Nation, Religion and King. As I have always told you, His Majesty has no one else to count on, except us…”. Sondhi also cited a parable that allowed him to join with General Preecha in saying that the traitors needed to be “finished off,” obliquely warning that if this meant invading Cambodia, so be it.

The Prachatai article states that as well as the royal anthem, other nationalist songs were played and sung, including the notorious “Scum of the Earth.” PAD called for another rally on the king’s birthday, 5 December.

Some commentators around the blogs think that PAD are finished as a political force. Certainly, their appeal seems somewhat diminished. However, the calls to xenophobic nationalism remain powerful and PAD is likely to remain useful in the continuing struggle being waged against Thaksin. Calling for another rally on 5 December is an interesting ploy, especially as the government has already arranged the obligatory mammoth celebrations.



One response

20 11 2009
With major update: Monitoring and repressing for the monarchy « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is true that a station called for Abhisit to be killed, then this is a serious issue. As serious as PAD speakers calling for the beheading of Hun Sen, General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, and Thaksin Shinawatra, […]

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