Truth, justice and lese majeste I

16 09 2011

In The Nation, the Truth for Reconciliation Commission is reported as having released its second report related to political violence in 2010. Commission chairman Kanit na Nakorn is reported as hoping the government will receive its report and recommendations and actually do something – well, not his words, but near enough.

The seven recommendations, as listed in the report are:

– The government should lessen the conflict by dispensing justice equally among the victims and the state officials involved in the violence.

– The government should ensure that all sides exercise self-restraint in order to foster a climate of reconciliation.

The legal proceedings in connection with lese majeste charges, emergency rule violations, cyberspace offence, should spell out clear indictments before apprehending suspects, encourage a fair bail review and detain suspects in these cases in a separate facility from the usual remand prison. (PPT: we wonder if this has something to do with the idea of reviving the recent discussion of political prisons)

– Victims of violence should be entitled to compensation payments beyond the existing rules and regulations. The payments should cover incidents that occurred in 2009, 2010 and those before the 2006 coup.

– Victims of unfair legal treatment in connection with street protests should be compensated. (PPT: The Yingluck Shinawatra government moved on these two ideas about compensations several weeks ago, but seemed to get cold feet)

The lese majeste cases and the violations of the Computer Act have increased at an alarming rate. All sides should stop involving the monarchy for political gain. The public prosecutors should review each case based on the merit of upholding the monarchy instead of letting the sentiment cloud judgement. (PPT: While we understand the need to hedge on these matters, this is a pretty strong statement. In a report noted below, the TRC is said to have noted that the “use of controversial legislation banning criticism of the monarchy has been ‘directly related to political conflict’ since before the coup.”

– The government should sponsor a public forum for all sides to exchange views in order to raise awareness that the political conflict is a normal occurrence for a society in transition.

Controversially, according to another report, the TRC recommended that the government “should halt and review all trials connected to political conflict since before a 2006 coup that opened deep divisions in the country…”. It also “criticised the use of legislation, including an emergency decree imposed last year during clashes between the army and anti-government demonstrators …”.

The TRC “urged authorities to delay political criminal prosecutions by ‘not bringing the cases to court’ and also said the government should ‘proceed in earnest with a temporary release’ of the accused.” The detained are all red shirts.

That two of the TRC recommendations relate directly to lese majeste should set alarm bells ringing amongst the royalist elite. But will it be a wake up call or a call for more royalist sandbagging of an increasingly doomed position?



5 responses

17 09 2011
Truth, justice and lese majeste II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is a short update on PPT’s earlier post on the the Truth for Reconciliation Commission report on political violence in 2010 where we drew […]

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[…] to an AFP report, following the Truth for Reconciliation Commission’s second report, which had considerable emphasis on the odious  lese majeste law, Yingluck has asserted that her […]

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[…] Lese majeste victim Giles Ji Ungpakorn sent this commentary on the Truth for Reconciliation Commission’s second report: […]

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Thai PM to review Lese Majeste « The Librarian of Bangkok Prison

[…] is a statement made on Tuesday by Yingluck Shinawatra in response to the second report by the Truth for Reconciliation Commission. The Thai PM also committed to look into requests for […]

21 09 2011
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[…] heard the calls as there has been a clamor on lese majeste. According to an AFP report, following the Truth for Reconciliation Commission’s second report, which had considerable emphasis on the odious lese majeste law, Yingluck has asserted that her […]

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