With a major update: Reneging on the emergency decree and DSI reports

15 12 2010

PPT is falling behind on posting as events in Thailand heat up or at least speed up. Two important trends deserve brief mention and readers can follow-up on these via the links we provide.

The first is the earlier report that the emergency decree in Bangkok and areas close by was going to rescinded after many months. That seems to still be the case. However, the forces of a hierarchical, authoritarian kind in the military and related places seem unhappy with this. Recent reports, however, suggest that getting rid of emergency rule means instituting the Internal Security Act. In the Bangkok Post it is reported that the “Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation and the army are seeking the imposition of the Internal Security Act when the emergency decree is lifted in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces.”

The report points out that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva motivation for ending emergency rule is that he “wants to restore the country’s image in the face of intense domestic and international pressure…”. However CRES and the military want no change in Bangkok. In fact, “Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, as the CRES director, and army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, deputy director of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), would propose that if the emergency decree is lifted before the New Year then it be replaced by the ISA so officers operating under the security law would be given legal immunity.” The ISA also “empowers security officers to detain suspects for seven days without charge. The emergency decree allows authorities up to 30 days to hold suspects for questioning.”

What’s the big threat? Easy: “Gen Prayuth is said to be more concerned about which law would be used to close websites deemed offensive to the monarchy after the emergency decree is lifted.” So the emergency decree has really been about protecting the monarchy.

The second issue relates to the leaked reports said to be from the Department of Special Investigation. MCOT News reports that after first admitting that the leaks were from DSI reports (see Update 2, here), DSI chief Tharit Pengdit has now decided that “the integrity of his agency’s investigative documents relating to the case of a Japanese photo journalist killed during the confrontation between government troops and anti-government Red Shirt protesters in April, asserting that they were not leaked as earlier claimed by a key protest leader.” That’s Jatuporn Promphan as well as by Reuters.

Tharit now insists that “the documents that Mr Jatuporn had referred to, as seen in media, carried significantly different information from those of the DSI.” And he’s alos said that DSI will never release all of its results.

Startlingly, Tharit stated that after 8 months, the “investigation on the death of Mr Hiroyuki [Muramoto] … is still at the first step which is an autopsy by local police.” How it that even conceivable? It seems because DSI now claims that this case and all of those at Wat Pathum Wanaram have been  “sent back to National Police Bureau to conduct the autopsy…”. Read our recent post on the disappeared to get a feeling for police work that is meant to guarantee immunity and impunity for the state’s killers.

Update: Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha has never believed these nasty stories about red shirts being killed by the army….  This from Prachatai: Prayuth “dismissed Jatuporn’s allegations that the army was involved in killing red shirts, saying that he paid no attention to it and had never believed anything Jatuporn said. Let the justice process deal with the issue of the deaths of red shirts, and the army will not explain anything.” Hmm. Wasn’t it Prayuth who was in charge of the operations at Pan Fah Bridge and at Rajaprasong that resulted in all the deaths and injuries? Didn’t he give the orders on “free fire zones” and snipers?

Prayuth was apparently responding to Jatuporn’s claims to the media, as reported in the Bangkok Post. Jatuporn stated that: “Five soldiers from the Special Warfare Centre in Lop Buri have confessed to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) that they fired shots into the grounds of Wat Pathumwanaram from the Bangkok Mass Transit rail track on May 19…”. He went on to “dare… Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, and army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to make public the testimony given to the DSI by the five soldiers.” Jatuporn also claimed that there “had been attempts by influential figures in the government and the military to interfere in the DSI investigation…”.




2 responses

15 12 2010
Tweets that mention Reneging on the emergency decree and DSI reports | Political Prisoners in Thailand -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NEWSpace, อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร. อิสระภาพ แห่งข่าวสาร said: Reneging on the emergency decree and DSI reports: PPT is falling behind on posting as events in Thailand heat up… http://bit.ly/h4TdwG […]

15 12 2010
Japanese embassy says DSI documents are real | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] position is significantly different from the government response in recent days. It looks like the ball is back in the government’s […]

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