Kasit at the U.N. Human Rights Council

6 03 2011

PPT can’t find a copy of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya’s speech to the 16th session of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, so we rely on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement. We have an earlier post here.

Kasit Piromya

Kasit delivered a speech where he advertised Thailand “as a leading country in pushing forward human rights at the international level…”. PPT is tempted to add that he wasn’t suggesting this for the domestic situation on human rights situation, which is a record of repression and abuse. However, Kasit did make most of his points pertinent to domestic issues, so of course some corrections are required.

Kasit stressed that  Thailand, as current chair of the HRC, has great hopes for the Council at a time when “the world is witnessing the call for freedom, peoples’ right of ownership and participation.” He adds that Thailand hopes the Council will promote and protect human rights and “address human rights challenges in an even-handed manner.”

In Thailand, those who seek freedom have been met with the army’s boot, censorship and repression. Thailand under the Democrat Party-led government continues to lock up political opponents and exercises power through laws and courts that are politically biased (see here, here and here). While the regime recently released seven red shirt leaders on bail after X months incarcerated, other remain imprisoned and refused bail. An unknown number – probably in the hundreds – of political prisoners remain in prison on charges of lese majeste, computer crimes and violating an emergency decree. Thailand’s political police, the Department of Special Investigation has announced plans for more arrests.

Kasit lectured on the “importance of promoting democracy, tolerance, avoiding extremism and support for the cohabitation of multi-ethnic groups in society are all crucial factors in the development of human rights.”

Of course, there is none of this in Thailand. “Democracy promotion” in Thailand revolves around a “Thai-style democracy” that must have the king held in a revered position. Any attempts to change this system are consider illegal and unconstitutional. The status quo is all that is acceptable. For a critique of Thai-style democracy, which is not democratic at all, see here. As for tolerance, perhaps the political death toll is not the only measure of the low-bar in Thailand as much as the intolerance of border-crossers and asylum seekers (see a selection of PPT’s posts here and here).

Kasit is said to have claimed:”human rights promotion and protection continue to be one of the top priorities of the Thai Government.” While PPT can think of no evidence for such a claim, Kasit went on to claim “progress.”

He pinpointed “[i]nvestigations into the violent incidents during the protests last April are still on-going with a view to bringing the perpetrators to account.” Few seem to think this is likely in Thailand (see here).

Kasit also confirmed that “progress had also been made with regards to reducing the disparity within Thai society and pushing forward the implementation of the 5-point national reconciliation plan which aims at ensuring basic rights and needs for all persons on an equal footing.” That’s a bold but false claim. The reconciliation plan was never more than a political proclamation of how the current coalition and its army partners would seek to fix an election. Kasit might have also have trumpeted the current regimes huge efforts to pour funds into the electorate – at least this might have some impact on short-term income inequality – but he probably recognizes that this too is about winning an election at all costs.

Kasit also “declared Thailand’s readiness to undergo review under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism in October this year in the spirit of constructiveness and openness to improve the human rights situation in Thailand.” While PPT doubts that anything will come of this Review, it is an opportunity for revealing the current regime’s human rights abuses. Will any of the so-called human rights defenders in Thailand be prepared to stand up? Will anyone dare challenge lese majeste repression?


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6 03 2011
World Spinner

Kasit at the U.N. Human Rights Council | Political Prisoners in ……

Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

1 03 2016
Warning the conservative elite II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] has never had much respect for former ambassador, anti-Thaksin foreign minister, defender of human rights abuses and lese majeste, PADster, coup supporter, anti-foreign media, etc. Kasit Piromya. He’s often […]

1 03 2016
Warning the conservative elite II | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] has never had much respect for former ambassador, anti-Thaksin foreign minister, defender of human rights abuses and lese majeste, PADster, coup supporter, anti-foreign media, etc. Kasit Piromya. He’s often […]




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