Latest from anti-democrats

23 01 2014

As we noted in an earlier post, the enactment of the state of emergency is a very high risk strategy. One of the risks is that the anti-democrats see it as a sign of weakness and a victory for themselves. This press release suggests exactly that:

PDRC Press Release

Issued: 22 January 2014

For Immediate Release

People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC)

PDRC Spokesperson: Emergency Decree shows state’s desperation The caretaker government’s enactment of the Emergency Decree today indicates its growing desperation, said PDRC Spokesperson Akanat Promphan. In his view the move was not surprising; prior to the enactment all signs pointed to Yingluck Shinawatra and her cabinet’s inability to govern.

First, civil servants from every ministry have invited and enthusiastically welcomed the PDRC to shut down their agencies, with some such as those from the Ministry of Public Health openly demanding the caretaker government’s resignation. Officials from other agencies have webpages or Line app groups denouncing ministry policies and actions, and officials alert the PDRC to their superiors’ whereabouts and next moves.

Second, citizens everywhere support the PDRC’s efforts numerically and financially. More people join secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban with each march, rally stages are packed every night with people from all regions as captured in social media, and massive amounts of donations continue to pour in. Seven-figure donations are frequently announced during Suthep’s rallies.

Third, Yingluck and her cronies’ graft and wrongdoings have been admonished and exposed by independent agencies, particularly the Constitutional Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), thereby garnering foreign media and diplomatic corps’ attention on the Thaksin regime’s misdeeds.

Finally, the Pheu Thai party’s traditional political base is rapidly eroding. Rice and corn farmers in the North and Northeast are shutting down provincial halls with PDRC supporters because their payments from the state are long overdue. They are fully aware that Yingluck’s government continues to lie and blame unrelated parties such as the PDRC, the Election Commission, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives, and the Government Savings Bank to cover up its inability to pay farmers, its mismanagement of pledging schemes, and its corruption. Left only with depreciating bonds while their stocks are rotting away in government storage facilities, several farmers are filing a lawsuit against the government’s fraud while many others will be travelling to Bangkok to join the PDRC’s shutdown of the city.

Spokesperson Akanat highlighted that the caretaker government’s grounds for enacting the Emergency Decree were falsified. “The anti-government protests are perfectly peaceful,” said Akanat. “Demonstrators are unarmed and non-violent. They are in no way a security threat. Violent attacks only commenced with the appearance of UDD government supporters, unknown “third parties,” and “men-in-black” (which police subsequently admitted to be police officers) who have killed and injured hundreds of citizens with tear gas, rubber bullets, live ammunition, arsenal, and explosives.”

Akanat further added: “Despite the increasingly violent attacks on PDRC core leaders’ and speakers’ residences, rally sites, and protesters, the caretaker government has failed to provide protection or security to citizens who are simply sitting and walking on the streets of Bangkok. Innocent Ramkhamhaeng University students were under fire almost 2 months ago and law enforcement officials have yet to capture a suspect or announce any progress in their investigation. Most recently, when peaceful protesters fell prey to a daytime bombing that killed Prakong Chujan, CAPO chief Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his peers quickly and conclusively accused anti-government demonstrators of staging the incident when the investigation had barely started. This discriminatory treatment by the state is terrorizing citizens. Members of the public write us daily about their alarm at the increase in police patrols scrutinizing protesters and also at normal occurrences like power outages for fear of attack. Even medical vehicles are victim to this discriminatory treatment. In the past few days at least two ambulances on active duty have been stopped and searched while police let other vehicles pass. Peaceful citizens and ambulances are not a security threat to the state. If anything, they feel increasingly threatened by law enforcement agents. Why, then, has Yingluck chosen to accuse an already intimidated public by enacting the Emergency Decree? Is she afraid of whistle-blowers and health professionals?”

The only side to benefit from the enactment of the Emergency Decree is the caretaker government, Akanat declared. This is because the law allows the caretaker government to centralize authority and arbitrarily encroach on individual rights including by imposing curfews, prohibiting assemblies, detaining suspects without charge, and censoring or even banning media at the state’s discretion.

However, humanitarian and international organizations were keeping a close eye on the caretaker government’s treatment of unarmed citizens, revealed Akanat. For instance, Human Rights Watch representative Sunai Phasuk met with the PDRC on 20 January 2014 and expressed his concern at law enforcement agencies’ failure to take responsibility for protecting peaceful, unarmed citizens, and their utter lack of progress in bringing the culprits to justice.

The release itself includes some interestingly misleading information. First, there is no evidence that “civil servants from every ministry have invited and enthusiastically welcomed the PDRC to shut down their agencies.” This response has been from some extremists and from groups traditionally royalist, such as senior medical professionals. Second, the claim that “rally stages are packed every night with people from all regions” is not accurate at all. That said, we do not doubt that “massive amounts of donations continue to pour in” to the anti-democrats as their rallies cost a considerable amount and this requires the support of major business elites. Third, it is true that theConstitutional Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission have been negative, but all observers recognize that these agencies are royalist and deeply politicize, long acting for the anti-democrats.Finally, the claim that the “Pheu Thai party’s traditional political base is rapidly eroding” is an exaggeration. Most farmers understand that the “shutdown” is causing inconvenience and sabotaging state actions. The demonstrating farmers are mostly from the south and Phichit, where the Puea Thai Party doesn’t hold seats.

The claim that the “anti-government protests are perfectly peaceful,” is a fabrication. The claim that “men-in-black” at the Thai-Japan Stadium were police officers is another attempt to concoct propaganda that has been shown to be false. The anti-democrats are writing their own history, and if they succeed in their campaign, it is this fabricated version that will become official. The Democrat Party has a long history of this fabrication of history.

Finally, the mention of Sunai Phasuk of Human Rights Watch is indeed interesting. PPT posted several times on Sunai’s past associations with the anti-democrats and support for the 2006 coup. He has long and close associations with former leftist, Democrat Party member and anti-democrat sympathizer Kraisak Choonhavan.



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