Pressuring Prayuth

28 11 2012

In recent posts, PPT has commented on the ongoing political struggles that have seen the continuing use of the judicial weapon.

The Bangkok Post reports that one of the few attempts to make state officials and politicians responsible for murderous attacks on political opponents is pressuring not a few of those involved in the bloody events of April and May 2010.

It reports that “Foreign Ministry officials will meet state agencies on Thursday to discuss whether Thailand should accept International Criminal Court jurisdiction over clashes between red-shirt protesters and security forces in April-May 2010.” Foreign Minister Surapong Towijakchaikul is bringing together yesterday “officials from the Justice Ministry, the Council of State, Attorney-General’s Office, the National Police Office, and the Department of Special Investigation.”

Surapong says that if these agencies are receptive, a cabinet resolution for ICC jurisdiction will be proposed. That scares the pants of quite a few, including Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Another story at the Bangkok Post refers to Prayuth’s “opposition to the possibility of the International Criminal Court (ICC) having jurisdiction over the 2010 clashes…”. Prayuth would prefer the impunity that has long reigned for state murderers, especially those claiming to act for the monarchy or in protecting “national security.”

Prayuth was clear: “Don’t seek the intervention of outside powers…. What is happening is messy.” By “messy,” he seems to mean that real justice might prevail. He raised the possibility of joining with the unDemocrat Party in arguing that going to the ICC would be unconstitutional and talked about national pride.

Prayuth also stated that if any cases in the local courts brought against the military over the 2010 protest deaths “the army would appeal…”.

The loud-mouthed general then stated that the “military was the country’s mechanism to solve its own problems.” This is a classic statement of the military’s superiority. While Prayuth adds that the “military had to perform its duty in line with the law and the constitution…” it is evident that the military considers itself above law and constitution (as evidenced by repeated coups).



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