Double standards at the Office of the Ombudsman

16 06 2012

The Nation has a story that raises the question of double standards. The account relates to what the biased report declares:

Deputy Agriculture Minister Natthawut Saikua was forced to face his past when the Office of the Ombudsman questioned him about his ethics and whether they allowed him to participate in the 2010 red-shirt protests.

This claim relates to the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s charge of “terrorism” against Nattawut.

Nattawutt (L) and Jatuporn (Bangkok Post photo)

Not surprisingly, Nattawut’s political opponents – the ones who had him charged – are now calling for his resignation from cabinet because the Ombudsman maintained that Nattawut’s “ethics” were flawed.

Fellow Puea Thai MP and red shirt Korkaew Pikulthong defended Natthawut, making the all too obvious point that the constitution “clearly stipulates the presumption of innocence and Natthawut has not been convicted of any wrongdoing…”.

Instead, the Ombudsman became judge and jury and offered:

the opinion that Natthawut might have violated the code of ethics for office holders because of the Civil Court verdict on his involvement in agitating crowds beyond a peaceful rally as sanctioned by the Constitution. Natthawut was indicted and is being tried for terrorism.

How the Ombudsmen can take such a position is unexplained and probably inexplicable. In fact, PPT rejects these charges for all engaged in political opposition (including those against yellow shirts).

Spokesman for the so-called Democrat Party Chavanond Intarakomalyasut then chimed in, saying that “the Ombudsman’s report was clear: Natthawut was unfit to hold a ministerial portfolio.” He added, “He should be removed from the Cabinet…”.

Kasit

Remind us, did the Democrat Party take the same position on its foreign minister Kasit Piromya was charged with “terrorism” for the 2008 airports occupations that Kasit described as “a lot of fun.” The charges against Kasit came in July 2009 and he remained foreign minister until the end of the Abhisit government. The charges were only dropped in March 2011 as the Abhisit regime pressured police.

Back when he was charged, Kasit said he “would be ready to comply with the law but he would not stop working [as foreign minister] and he had informed [then] Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of his intention not to leave the office.” Abhisit stated that “Kasit could go on working as foreign minister…. He said it would be too soon to say whether Kasit would be removed from Cabinet.”

Sounds like The Democrat Party and loudmouth spokesman Chavanond better count their standards. Our count is at least two.

Remind us, did the Office of the Ombudsman issue any statement on Kasit? Did it question his ethics? Did it state that he should step down? Not as far as we can tell. PPT draws a blank when we search for evidence that the Ombudsman was even-handed.

Double standards? Sure looks like it.


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28 06 2012
The Ombudsman reaks « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Hmm, let’s try to understand this. We think the report is wrong in the first paragraph, and refers to complaints against Kasit. Even so, the second paragraph seems clear enough. A while ago, PPT asked: […]

28 06 2012
The Ombudsman reaks « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Hmm, let’s try to understand this. We think the report is wrong in the first paragraph, and refers to complaints against Kasit. Even so, the second paragraph seems clear enough. A while ago, PPT asked: […]




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