The continuing hunt for red shirts

5 06 2010

In a recent post PPT referred to the now blatant authoritarianism of the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime, backed by the might of the military. That identity is amply demonstrated in three stories in the Bangkok Post.

The first refers to the now totally-politicized government police at the Department of Special Investigation. The DSI is chasing down anyone the government thinks is an influential red shirt with wild charges of “terrorism.” The latest targets are three Puea Thai Party MPs facing these terrorism charges that can lead to a death penalty. They have been ordered to appear at the Criminal Court.

One of the MPs is red shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan who had already turned himself in on 25 May and sat in parliament after he was released.

The others are Karun Hosakul and Wichian Kaokham, both of who are reported to have already reported to the department.

The second story is about the army and police hunting down red shirt leader Suporn Attawong “reported to be hiding in a Northeastern province…”. The army “urged the public to pass information on his whereabouts to  police or the army.”

It also reports that provincial governors where emergency law remains in force  “suggested  it could remain in place for a while longer because it does not affect the people’s day to day lives.” Only if the “people” are not red shirts, for the “state of emergency allows authorities to proceed with cases related to red-shirt leaders and core members…”. The army wanted emergency rule to be maintained for the “the next month or two.”

The third story relates to the extension of the detention of  Somyos Prueksakasemsuk by the Criminal Court on Friday. The effective joint-venture government of Thailand, known as the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation’s (CRES) requested and received the 7 day extension. The court made the breathtakingly brilliant decision that as the emergency decree had not been revoked CRES could continue to detain him.

Readers should note that the emergency decree – stated above to not infringe on daily lives – seems to remove constitutional protections. But Somyos is considered by the CRES to be a hated red shirt, so he has no real rights in any case.

The grounds for detaining Somyos remain opaque.



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