Respect for the judiciary but little else

20 02 2010

The Nation (19 February 2010) has an interview with former army chief and 2006 coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who is now a member of the little-known Matumbhum Party.

When asked about the upcoming Supreme Court verdict on Thaksin Shinawatra’s assets case, this general states: “It is my duty to respect the court’s verdict, whatever it is. It’s the country’s highest court, and should be respected by every Thai. In fact, the judiciary system is a critical component of the checks-and-balances system in a democracy and there are always people who agree or disagree on certain issues in any democracy.”

The word “hypocrite” comes quickly to mind. This is a man who overthrew the twice elected government in 2006 and tore up the 1997 Constitution, the country’s basic law. He then wrote himself an amnesty for this illegal act. His junta also rearranged several courts in order to create courts that suited their political needs. It got the courts to apply junta laws retrospectively to dissolve the Thai Rak Thai Party. The junta, the military and the palace have done plenty to politicize the judiciary and now talk of respect.

Not only is he a fraud, he treats the public as dumbies who can’t see through his mendacity. So when he’s asked if there are double standards, the asinine response is: “Please don’t suggest such a thing…. the judgement of court cases and has nothing to do with the notion of double standards.”

He compounds this when he states: “I wasn’t the one seizing Thaksin’s assets, but an independent body that was commissioned to do the job legitimately. Personally, I stick to the truth…”. An independent body? The Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) was stacked with anti-Thaksin appointees and its work was only ruled legal because its work was undertaken under junta rules. PPT’s favorite example of “independence” was when its secretary Kaewsan Atibodhi claimed “evidence and witnesses are useless,with one of its panels recommending legal action without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008). In any case, when the Committee’s tenure expired, the former junta members attended a farewell party at the Army Club, promising to protect its legacy (Bangkok Post, 1 July 2008).

On coups, the general states: “Sometimes, a coup can help start the process of restoring a democratic way of life.” In discussing his own coup, this military hack says, “we didn’t have a democratic way of life because there was widespread political interference in our independent agencies. Also there was political interference in the mass media, as you may remember, so we didn’t have a free press…. Without the public’s support, no coup would be successful.” Like an old actor watching his own films, he sees himself as a hero. Washed-up and serving generals now pretty much run Thailand. This is democracy, Thai-style.


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24 03 2014
Let the blood flow! | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Back when the military junta appointed him to “examine” Thaksin’s assets, the Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) was stacked with anti-Thaksin appointees and its work was only ruled legal because its work was undertaken under junta rules. PPT’s favorite example of “independence” of this mob was Kaewsan, as its secretary, claimed “evidence and witnesses are useless,” with one of its panels recommending legal action without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008). Now he just wants a bloodletting. This is the kind of legal/political mind who wants to “reform” Thailand! […]

24 03 2014
Let the blood flow! | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Back when the military junta appointed him to “examine” Thaksin’s assets, the Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) was stacked with anti-Thaksin appointees and its work was only ruled legal because its work was undertaken under junta rules. PPT’s favorite example of “independence” of this mob was Kaewsan, as its secretary, claimed “evidence and witnesses are useless,” with one of its panels recommending legal action without hearing 300 witnesses or considering 100 additional pieces of evidence (Bangkok Post, 9 April 2008). Now he just wants a bloodletting. This is the kind of legal/political mind who wants to “reform” Thailand! […]

2 04 2014
NACC and evidence | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] of several such cases that involved double standards and the jettisoning of all legal principles. A favorite is the junta’s Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) which was stacked with anti-Thaksin Shinawatra appointees and […]

2 04 2014
NACC and evidence | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of several such cases that involved double standards and the jettisoning of all legal principles. A favorite is the junta’s Assets Scrutiny Committee (or the Asset Examination Committee) which was stacked with anti-Thaksin Shinawatra appointees and […]




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