28 08 2011

Putting political pressure on journalists and preventing legal political protest are reprehensible.

There has been considerable talk in the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra media about pressure put on a journalist from one television station that involved some emails being sent around that can be interpreted as an attempt to pressure her. The Nation believes she is “the victim of a hate campaign by the red shirts.” The reporter involved says “she wanted the case to be a lesson for anyone who would violate other people’s rights or the law.” She has refused to accept an apology.

Now the Democrat Party has chimed in, with The Nation reporting that it

claimed to have endured a ‘week of harassment’ last week as senior opposition figures including Chuan Leekpai and Abhisit Vejjajiva, as well as other critics of the government, were subject to intimidation by red-shirt supporters of the government. Democrat [Party] spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the intimidation of former premiers Chuan and Abhisit, as well as an assault on two students involved in a protest, must not be allowed to happen again.

The Democrat Party’s Sathit Wongnongtoey said “the party had assigned him to check with Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung on the progress of investigations into the alleged red-shirt attack on two students protesting outside Parliament on Thursday during the policy debate.” Apart from the fact that it appears that neither man was a student at the time of the incident, this action by the Democrat Party is nothing more than a continuation of its attacks on red shirts.

PPT would be more sympathetic to the reporter involved and to the Democrat Party if both had clear records of standing up for political and human rights. In the case of the Democrat Party, the record of the past two years is of repression, murder, censorship and double standards. Where was Channel 7 when websites and journalists were being harassed and thrown in jail by the Abhisit government? Supporting the regime, of course.

So while the two rather insignificant storm-in-a-teacup have been blown up and a few red shirts acting very inappropriately (and others attacked them and rescued the so-called students), the Democrat Party seeks to do no more than incite people more by its blatant insincerity. This approach matches a trait PPT sees in Abhisit himself, where he seems to think that he moves to opposition with a clean slate and clever dick debating. There are no principles and no positions.



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