Communique from Jaran Ditapichai

25 07 2011

PPT wishes to share the following communique from Jaran Ditapichai:

Be aware of Judicial Coup d’état  

By Jaran  Ditapichai

After the general election on July 3, even though it was rather free and fair, when 75% of Thai people went to vote and  Pheu Thai Party got 265 seats and  won the absolute majority, almost  political observers and media  began to speak of  “ Judicial coup d’état”.  The term still fresh in their minds because they still remember  that under the Constitution of 2007 which is called  “ Aristocratic constitution “ that led to the general election of 23 December 2007, the judicial coup happened twice to oust the governments of People Power Party (PPP) in 2009.   Right now, there is sign of this tendency when the National Election Committee (NEC) had  not  endorsed  Ms. Yingluk  Shinawatra, the candidate number 1 of the party-list, who would  be the first female Prime Minister in its first confirmation of the elected candidates.

As mentioned earlier, during the last 5 years, there were two judicial coups in Thailand.  Its evolution began with the anti-Thaksin  movements, led by the People’s  Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and  the opposition party including the majority of the media who complaining to the NEC of vote buying by the PPP. Then,  the Constitutional Court disqualified  the Prime  minister, the Ministers,  and the Members of the Parliament, notably after the yellow shirt PAD rallying people to block the roads,  to seize  the Government House while the Democrat party and the appointed Senators debated the motion of No-confidence.  Another notably, after the clashes between the police and the PAD protesters in August;  and in October 7, when the PAD protesters tried to block the new PPP Prime Minister from entering the Parliament to give the mandatory policy statement by encircling the Parliament.    The actions led to the dispersal of the protesters by the police and caused 2 deaths and more than 300 injured.   The various Courts, Administrative, Constitutional, and their Justices began to play major role.  The Constitutional court made the decision in July  to disqualify one minister.  On September 9, the court disqualified PM Smark Sundaravej from the Prime Minister post for broken the conflict-of-interest law from his TV cooking shows. On December 2, 2009,  again this court  dissolved  PPP and  two other political  parties. The succeeding government of Somchai  Wongsawat  was overthrown.

 These were some kind of Judicial Coup d’état,  which is different from the “Coup d’état “ as “the sudden overthrow of a government and seizure of political power”, or “a sudden and decisive measure in politics, especially one that effecting a change of government illegally or by force”. It was the ongoing attempt to seize political power in Thailand by the third power, the Judicial.

Traditionally, the Judiciary rarely appears in the Thai political scenes, as political differences were settled in the parliament, or by forces. Only the 1997 Constitution provided for a number of political tribunals, which operated through the process linked to the elected Upper House. The 2007 Constitution, which was manipulated by a clique of “people in high places”, had a design for judicial participation, providing a powerful element to destabilize the government as seen by the events following the December 2007 election.

The purpose was for the judicial power to act as a reserved power. In case an elected government comprised of political parties of their choice then the “tribunals” could stay home; in case there were complaints against their government, then they can be of assistance.  The table was turned by the defeat of their people in the government formation, the “clique” then concertedly performed broadside attack on the government not-of-their-like to derail them.

The main instruments used by the clique were hostile and unfriendly verdicts of relevant “tribunals”. These verdicts ranged from disqualifying the MP, Prime Minister, or Ministers or even the entire cabinets including dissolution of Political  parties by the verdicts of Constitutional Court. The ministers can be stopped from performing official duties by the decision of the Counter Corruption Committee, if there  were cases warranting the proceed to relevant “tribunals”.   What matters really is the power to manipulate  as the clique had already installed his or her own men on this “tribunals”, mostly from the judiciary circle.

Obviously when Pheu Thai Party, the rebirth of Thai Rak Thai , won the absolute majority from the general election, and  Ms. Yingluk  Shinawatra , the youngest sister of  Dr. Thaksin, is the Prime minister, all anti-Thaksin movements will be united to oppose her administration.  Already they placed complaints to the NEC; they filed charges against Pheu Thai  Party in courts,  etc.  Thus, most Thai people  speculated  that  within 6 months to a year, there would be a judicial coup against the government of Ms. Yingluck.  She  will  be  disqualified  and  the Constitutional Court will dissolve her Party. Thus,  the newly elected government  will be ousted . The 5 years political crisis continues.   No one sees end in sight.





A letter from Jaran

3 06 2011

Dear Friends of Thai Democracy:

Attached please find an appeal for your attention from Mr. Jaran Ditapichai, former National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand, urging you to pay close attention to Jan 3rd General Election in Thailand.  While international community has heard the struggle for democracy around the world and supportive; the news on Thai struggle did not receive as much attention as it deserves.

Thai and English versions follow.

                                  การเลือกตั้ง ๓ กรกฎาคม ในประเทศไทย มิใช่ธรรมดา

      วันที่๓ กรกฎาคม นี้ จะมีการเลือกตั้งทั่วไปขึ้นในประเทศไทย  ดูเผยๆ เหมือนเป็นการเลือกตั้งตามระบบประชาธิปไตย แต่คนที่ติดตามสถานการณ์ทางการเมืองไทยมาหลายปี ย่อมเห็นว่า  การเลือกตั้งครั้งนี้ไม่ธรรมดา  เพราะมีลักษณะพิเศษ๒ ประการ

  ประการแรก  เป็นการเลือกตั้งภายหลังรัฐบาลอภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ แห่งพรรคประชาธิปัตย์ปราบปรามการชุมนุมของแนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ(นปช.)หรือขบวนการคนเสื้อแดง ที่ออกมาเรียกร้องให้ยุบสภา คืนอำนาจแก่ประชาชน  อันยังผลให้มีคนเสียชีวิต ๙๒ คน บาดเจ็บเกือบ๒พันคน และถูกจับเกือบ๔ ร้อยคนทั่วประเทศ   การแข่งขันและการต่อสู้ในการเลือกตั้ง จึงเป็นการต่อสู้ระหว่างพรรคประชาธิปัตย์มือปื้นเลือดกับพรรคเพื่อไทย พันธมิตรของคนเสื้อแดง  

ประการที่สอง   ในการเลือกตั้งครั้งนี้ มีปรากฎการณ์ใหม่ที่ไม่เคยเกิดมาก่อนในทางการเมืองไทย  คือพรรคเพื่อไทยตัดสินใจส่งนางสาวยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร  เป็นผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้งในระบบบัญชีรายชื่อ อันดับ๑ ซึ่งเป็นที่รู้กันว่า เป็นผู้ที่จะเป็นนายกรัฐมนตรี  และในช่วงรณนรงค์หาเสียงมา ๒ สัปดาห์  ความนิยมต่อยิ่งลักษณ์สูงขึ้นทุกวัน โพลทุกโพลพบว่า  พรรคเพื่อไทยและยิ่งลักษณะนำพรรคประชาธิปัตย์และอภิสิทธิ์หลายช่วงตัว   แนวโน้มที่ประเทศไทยจะมีนายกรัฐมนตรีหญิงคนแรก ค่อนข้างแน่นอน   การเลือกตั้งทั่วไปในประเทศไทยครั้งนี้กำลังจะสร้างประวัติศาสตร์ใหม่  ซึ่งสอดคล้องกับยุคสมัยแห่ศตวรรษที่๒๑ ยุคที่สตรีก้าวมาเป็นผู้นำทางการเมืองดังเกิดขึ้นในเยอรมัน  ฟิลิปินส์   ชิลี   อาย็นตินา  บราซิล ฯลฯ

อย่างไรก็ตาม  ที่ผู้คนทั้วไปทั้งคนไทยและต่างประเทศคาดหวัง ก็คือ การเลือกตั้งทั่วไป๓ กรกฎาคม ๒๕๕๔  จะทำให้ วิกฤติทางการเมืองอันหนักหน่วงรุนแรงมา ๕ ปี คลี่คลายลงไปแค่ใหน   วิกฤติดังกล่าวมาจากความขัดแย้งและการต่อสู้เประหว่างฝ่ายจงรักภักดี อำมาตยาธิปไตยที่มีสีเหลือง เป็นสัญลักษณ์   และฝ่ายประชาธิปไตยแห่งสีแดง ที่ยังขับเคี่ยวกันทุกแนวรบทั้งทางการเมือง สังคม และเศรษฐกิจ

สุดท้าย   ผู้เขียนขอเรียกร้องต่อประชาคมโลกให้เพิ่มความสนใจการเลือกตั้งในประเทศไทย  ส่งเสริม สนับสนุนให้การเลือกตั้งเสรีและยุติธรรม  ให้ชนชั้นปกครองไทยเคารพการตัดสินใจของประชาชน  ยอมรับผมการเลือกตั้ง  ให้พรรคเสียงข้างมากตั้งรัฐบาล    เช่นนี้ แล้วการเลือกตั้งทั่วไปจะทำให้ประเทศไทยเป็นประชาธิปไตยมากขึ้น อันย่อมมีผลทั้งในทางคุณค่าประชาธิปไตยและเอื้ออำนวยประโยชน์ทางเศรษฐกิจต่อประชาคมโลก มากขึ้นอีกด้วย

Jaran  Ditapichai

Former national human rights commissioner,Thailand

July 3rd Election in Thailand is Extraordinary

On this coming July 3, 2011, there will be a general election in Thailand which apparently looks ordinary as any elections in democratic countries.  But for those who follow the political situation in Thailand for many years would see that this is extraordinary election.  It is unique in two respects.

Firstly, it is the election after the government of Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva of Democrat, bloody crackdown the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) or the Red Shirt movement who staged a protest against the illegitimate government.  They called for a new election, returning power to the people; which resulted in the deaths of 92 people, nearly 2,000 injured, and 400 around the country arrested. This election is a competition between the Democrat party, whose hands dripping in blood, and Pheu Thai party, an alliance of the Red Shirt movement.

Secondly, in this election— a new phenomenon has occurred that never happened before in Thai politics.  That is— Pheu Thai Party decided to send a woman, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, to be the first on its party list, which is well understood that this position is Prime Minister’s position.  In addition, in the past couple of weeks of campaigning, all polls showed Ms. Yingluk’s popularity increases every day.  The Pheu Thai party and Ms. Yingluck have expanded their lead over the Democrat and Mr. Abhisit.  If this holds, Thailand is likely to have a woman prime minister.  This general election will create a new history for Thailand which appropriate for 21st century when women became leading politicians as happened in Germany, Philippine, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and so on.

However, the key expectation or question of Thais and concerned foreigners is— how much will this July 3 general election help decrease the political conflicts which intensify in the past 5 years.  The crisis stems from the conflict between the royalist-aristocracy, which use yellow color as symbol, and the democratic force which use red color as symbol; the conflict covers all spheres of Thai society— political, social, and economics.

Lastly, I urge the international community to increase their interest in Thailand elections, to help and support free and fair elections, and to lend their support in demanding the ruling elite to respect the will of the people by accepting the election results, allowing the party that received the most votes to set up the government.  Thus, the general election will make Thailand more democratic and will be beneficial to international economy as a whole.

Jaran Ditapichai

Former National Human Rights Commissioner, Thailand





Statement by Jaran Ditapichai/จรัล ดิษฐาภิชัย on 10 April anniversary

9 04 2011

This statement was received at PPT from Jaran Ditapichai, a former commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission:

Statement on the First Anniversary of Red Shirts Suppression

10 April 2011 marks the first anniversary of the start of the suppression of people protest for democracy. The protest was organized under the leadership of United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) or the Red Shirts.

The peaceful assembly began on 14 March 2010 without weapons. They called for the government of Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve the parliament, returning the power to the people through new election, the result— 25 deaths, and 800 injures.

The crackdown of the people derived from the strategy of not solving the political problems politically. They chose to use military force. Start with Internal Security Act. State of Emergency declared. More than 50,000 military and police personal deployed to surround the demonstrators. Armed with deathly weapons, sniper units, helicopters to drop tear gas, the crackdown continued until 19 May 2010, the death toll rose to 91, more than 2000 injures, and over 400 people arrested, dozens provinces throughout the country under curfew.

In the year past, the government not only not admitting the wrong doings in the cracking down of the Red Shirts, but also continued to use the Security Act to intimidate and made arbitrary arrests for months. Despite the setting up of Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and many others ‘Reform Commissions’, it is a trick to legitimize the government, and none of the recommendations have any practical effect.

In the meantime, the UDD or the Red Shirt movement revived rapidly. It became the largest Democracy Movement in Thailand for genuine democracy. They called for the prosecution of those involved in 10 April and 19 May 2010 massacre. They called for fair trials for all of arrested leaders, not double standard as is usually employed.

The political crisis that stems from the conflict between the ruling elite and the people who cherish democracy remains after 4 years. To resolve the crisis— those responsible for the bloody crackdown on 10 April to 19 May 2010 have to be brought to justice. Parliament must enact Amnesty Legislation for all protestors of all political persuasion. Moreover, a new Constitution that is truly democratic must be drafted.

I urge the international community, both governmental and private, to pay attention to crisis in Thailand. Especially I urge all to support the upcoming election, and help ensure it is free and fair.

If Thailand were completely democratic, it would help stabilize Southeast Asian region, and will be beneficial to all International community.

Jaran Ditapichai

แถลงการณ์ 1 ปี ของการปราบปรามคนเสื้อแดง

วันที่ 10 เมษายน 2554นี้ เป็นวาระของการครบรอบ 1 ปีแห่งการเริ่มต้นการปราบปรามการชุมนุมของประชาชน ภายใต้การนำของแนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาติ (นปช.)หรือคนเสื้อแดง โดยชุมนุมประชาชน โดยสงบและปราศจากอาวุธมาตั้งแต่วันที่ 14 มีนาคม 2553 เพื่อเรียกร้องให้รัฐบาลยุบสภา จัดการเลือกตั้งใหม่ คืนอำนาจธิปไตยแก่ประชาชน ซึ่งส่งผลให้มีผู้เสียชีวิต 25 คน บาดเจ็บกว่า 800 คน การปราบปรามดังกล่าวมาจากนโยบายและมาตรการทางการทหารของรัฐบาลอภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ เริ่มจากประกาศใช้ พระราชบัญญัติการรักษาความมั่นคงภายในราชอาณาจักร การประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน และใช้กำลังทหาร ตำรวจกว่า 50,000 นาย ปิดล้อมที่ชุมนุม โดยเฉพาะทหาร ใช้อาวุธสงคราม หนุ่วยแม่นปืน(สไนเปอร์ )ยิงฝูงชน เครื่องบินทิ้งระเบิดแก๊สน้ำตา และการปราบปรามดำเนินต่อมาถึงวันที่ 19 พฤษภาคม ทำให้มีผู้เสียชีวิตเพิ่มขึ้นเป็น 91 คน และบาดเจ็บเกือบ 2000 คน และถูกจับกุมคุมขัง 400 กว่าคน พร้อมกับประกาศเคอร์ฟิวส์ ในหลายสิบจังหวัดทั่วประเทศ

1 ปีที่ผ่านมา รัฐบาลไม่เพียงแต่ไม่ยอมรับความผิดในการปราบปรามคนเสื้อแดง เท่านั้น หากยังคงรักษากฎหมายความมั่นคง ข่มขู่คุกคามและจับกุมคุมขังคนเสื้อแดงอย่างต่อเนื่องมาอีกหลายเดือน แม้จะมีการตั้งคณะกรรมการสอบสวนข้อเท็จจริงและปรองดองแห่งชาติ และการตั้งคณะกรรมการปฏิรูปอีกหลายชุด แต่เป็นเพียงการหลอกหลวง เพื่อสร้างความชอบธรรมให้กับรัฐบาลเท่านั้น ไม่มีผลในทางปฏิบัติใดๆ

ขณะเดียวกัน นปช. หรือ ขบวนการคนเสื้อแดงฟื้นตัวอย่างรวดเร็ว จนขยายตัวเติบใหญ่ เป็นขบวนการประชาธิปไตยที่มีขนาดใหญ่ที่สุดของประเทศไทย คนเสื้อแดงเคลื่อนไหวต่อสู้เพื่อประชาธิปไตยอย่างแท้จริง เรียกร้องให้ดำเนินคดีผู้ร่วมสังหารประชาชนในกรณี10 เมษายน และ19 พฤษภาคม 2553 และขอให้ดำเนินคดีกับแกนนำและผู้ชุมนุมอย่างยุติธรรม มิใช่สองมาตรฐานเหมือนที่กระทำอยู่

ความขัดแย้งระหว่างฝ่ายปกครองกับประชาชนผู้รักประชาธิปไตย ยังคงเป็นวิกฤติการณ์ทางการเมืองที่เกิดขึ้นและดำรงมา 4 ปี เพื่อคลี่คลายวิกฤติ จะต้องดำเนินคดีกับผู้ปราบปรามอย่างนองเลือดในวันที่ 10 เมษายน จนถึง 19 พฤษภาคม 2553 รัฐสภาจะต้องออกกฎหมายนิรโทษกรรมต่อผู้ชุมนุมทางการเมืองทุกฝ่าย และต้องจัดทำรัฐธรรมนูญฉบับใหม่ที่เป็นประชาธิปไตยอย่างแท้จริง

ขอเรียกร้องต่อประชาคมโลก ทั้งภาครัฐและเอกชนให้สนใจวิกฤติการณ์ประเทศไทย โดยเฉพาะให้สนับสนุนการเลือกตั้งทั่วไปที่กำลังจะมีขึ้น ให้เป็นไปโดยเสรีและยุติธรรม หากประเทศไทยเป็นประชาธิปไตยสมบูรณ์ ย่อมมีผลต่อเสถียรภาพในภูมิภาคเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้และอำนวยประโยชน์ต่อนานาชาติไม่มากก็น้อย

จรัล ดิษฐาภิชัย





Jaran on Tunisia

19 01 2011

Congratulatory Message on the Tunisian Revolution

I am Jaran Ditapichai, a former member of the National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand, and a fighter for Freedom and Democracy, I would like to send this congratulatory solidarity message on the victory of the Tunisian people who stood up against the dictator President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and drove him off from power on Friday, January 14, 2011 after 23 years in power.

This great victory is not an uprising but a revolution. Moreover, this is the first time in modern Arab history that an Arab government has been overthrown by very public protests. The victory of Tunisian people encourages fighters for Democracy, and it also frightens dictators and monarchies around the world.

The Tunisian revolution showed that the mass of people is the decisive factor of the victory. Youths are the vanguard of fighting for Freedom and Democracy. The social media especially the Internets such as Face book played major role in circulation of mass information and mobilization. In addition, after the fall of each tyranny, the people’s struggle for freedom and democratic revolution enter high tide period all over the country.

Tunisia will be democratic where people will enjoy full rights and liberty. However, the dominate class is not completely defeated; they’ll be working on stealing the victory and attempting to maintain their socio-political power. The people must continue to protect freedom and finish the political revolution.

The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship(UDD) which is known as the Red shirts have been fighting for Thailand Democracy and Justice for 4 years. We will learn from Tunisian People and will support their cause. We wish the revolution in Tunisia well.

Long live the people of Tunisia!

Down with the Tyranny!





Further updated:Four years living in the shadow of the coup

19 09 2010

Today marks four years of living in the shadow of the coup in Thailand. PPT will post our own reflections on post-coup (or is that inter-coup?) life over the next few days, but for now we wanted to bring your attention to two new statements posted at New Mandala — by Jaran Dittapichai and Giles Ji Ungpakorn. Well worth a read. Check them out here:  New Mandala, 19 September 2010, “Two statements on the fourth anniversary of Thailand’s coup”.

Update 1: Not unrelated, The Thai Report has an excellent round-up, via numerous links to tweets, news reports and video posts, of red shirt activities that marked the anniversary of the 2006 coup. Amongst the more interesting elements of these links is that the size of red shirt crowds exceeded the authorities’ expectations and that the authorities continued to work hard to limit the demonstrations and repress, while instilling fear in the minds of the public.

Update 2: Thailand’s Troubles has a useful report and photos of the red shirt rallies in Bangkok on the anniversary of the coup.





Jaran on reconciliation

19 08 2010

Jaran Ditapichai, a former National Human Rights Commissioner and leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, has issued the following statement, dated 19 August 2010, on the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s “reconciliation” program:

National Reconciliation and Reform: All Talk and No Action

Three months after the Army’s crackdown on May 19th, 2010 which caused 91 deaths and almost 2,000 injured, Prime Minister Abhisit  Vejjajiva has not yet come to terms with the fact that his soldiers killed people.

His government still hunts Red Shirts all over the country ,during the  3 rd month  several  people were arrested. The Emergency Decree is still in effect in 7 provinces including Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakarn, and Pathum Thani.  The  attorney  indicted  seven leaders and 12  associate of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) of the  terrorism  and the  criminal court has not released them on bail. Provincial criminal courts have sentenced some red shirts from 6 months to 2 years in jail. All the while those [from the People’s Alliance for Democracy] who seized the Prime Minister’s office in 2007 have been allowed bail and those who close Suwannaphum Airport suspects have not been prosecuted. The government continues to shut the sole station that belong to the Red [shirt]s, 32 community radios, 5 journals and magazines, and 36 internet media outlets.

Concerning the national reconciliation plan of the Abhisit Vejjajiva government, his  five committtees  of political/media reform are composed of persons who are former PM Thaksin’s known enemies and enemies of Red Shirts people.  It is unfortunate the Truth and Reconciliation Committee began its work with public hearings of the incident instead of interviewing the victims  and the Army in its initial step and to date they have had discussions and have not issued any report. The Committee for Study the amendment of the  … Constitution agreed almost with every articles of  2007 Constitution which is not democratic.

There is no dispute that Thailand must move beyond violence and work toward reconciliation. But reconciliation begins with the restoration of the fundamental rights and human rights of the people.  What this government has done so far is giving a lip service to the principle they explain to the international media or to the diplomatic communities and does the opposites.

On the other side, I would like to assure that during the last 3 months the Thai people who love freedom and the Red Shirts are resisting the government’s continued violation of human rights. The Red Shirt movement has recovered rapidly and continues to fight in the political arena. There are variety of Sunday political activities which are attracting more attention by the public.  Some Red Shirts are formulating new political ideals and strategies because they believe the old way will not lead them to victory.   They’re determined to fight for real democracy and justice by all means possible because they have clear ideas who they are fighting against.

However, for immediate resolution, the Criminal Courts should release all UDD leaders and their associates on bail. The government must deal with the political and legal double-standards, most particularly the failure to move forward with prosecution of the Yellow Shirt leadership who presumably violated laws in 2008. Also, the government must stop censoring and blocking all opposition media. Finally, Prime Minister Abhisit should declare amnesty, dissolve the Parliament, and call for general elections on November 14.

Because of the massacre which took place three months ago  and  the present  aristocratic  government  in Thailand  affect not only this region but to the rest of the world. Therefore, we ask for moral and political support from international communities.





Letter from Jaran Ditapichai

22 07 2010

PPT has received this letter from Jaran Ditapichai, and wishes to post it to make it as widely available as possible:

July 19,2010

Dear Friends of Human Rights and Democracy,

On the two month anniversary of the Army’s crackdown, I Jaran
Ditapichai, a UDD leader, and a former National  Human Right
Commissioner of  Thailand would like to thank all the persons and
organizations such as the Asian Human Rights Commission, Human right
Watch, Amnesty International, International Crisis Groups,
International Committee of Jurist  and others for their universal
condemnation of the Thai Government’s handling of the dispersal in
April and May where 90 deaths and over 1900 persons were injured.

While Thai Government present a new reconciliation plan to heal the
scar of the dispersal to the world, UDD leaders such as Vira
Musikapong, Nattawut Saikuer, Kokaew Pikulthong, Nisit Sintupai, Weng
Tojirakarn, Kwanchai Praipana, Vipootalaeng Patanaphumthai   and Jenk
Dokjik,  are still being detained after arrest and face the legal
double standard by not receiving bail as compare to those who seized
Suwannaphum Airport during 2007 who were allowed bailed after arrest.
And still there are over 300 of UDD provincial leaders arrested with
800 arrest warrants on notice nationwide.

For the past 2 months, the situation in Thailand has not improved but
it is getting worse.  The Government still abuse its power by using
its legal proceeding to continue the Emergency rule for three more
months. They arrest  those with different political point of view by
freezing over 106 persons of their asset and invite 83 Thais to audit
their financial transaction. At the same time, the Government was
criticized by deceiving the world  by creating 5  committtees of
political-media-reconciliation and reforms  which are composing by
the persons  who are PM Thaksin’s enemies and enemies of  red shirts
people.


By doing such actions, it is impossible to reduce tension in the
current political arena. At the mean time, Thais are still resisting
the government’s continuation of Emergency Decree with seminars,
discussion and declaration to stop the government’s violation of human
rights.

Besides, during the past 2 months, there are report of violent
incidents such as bombings which, regardless of who did them, show
that as long as Government use deceit, law, and Emergency Rule to
destroy the Reds and democratic groups, these type of situation will
happen and  cause more violence. To lessen it, Abhisit must suspend
Emergency Decree, bring back the previous reconciliation plan by
dissolve Parliament, hold general election  on Nov 14 which all
international communities’ had previously support. Then there will be
a true reconciliation in Thailand.

Sincerely,

Jaran Ditapichai





Jaran Ditapichai on human rights violations

13 07 2010

PPT reproduces a letter from former National Human Rights Commission member and red shirt leader Jaran Ditapichai:

July 12,2010

Dear Friends of Human Rights and Democracy,

On the two month anniversary of the Army’s crackdown, I Jaran Ditapichai, a UDD leader, and a former National Human Right Commissioner of Thailand would like to thank all the persons and organizations such as the Asian Human Rights Commission, Human right Watch, Amnesty International, International Crisis Groups, International Committee of Jurist and others for their universal condemnation of the Thai Government’s handling of the dispersal in April and May where 90 deaths and over 1900 persons were injured.

While Thai Government present a new reconciliation plan to heal the scar of the dispersal to the world, UDD leaders such as Vira Musikapong, Nattawut Saikuer, Kokaew Pikulthong, Nisit Sintupai, Weng Tojirakarn, Kwanchai Praipana, Vipootalaeng Patanaphumthai and Jenk Dokjik, are still being detained after arrest and face the legal double standard by not receiving bail as compare to those who seized Suwannaphum Airport during 2007 who were allowed bailed after arrest. And still there are over 300 of UDD provincial leaders are arrested with 800 arrest warrants are on notice nationwide.

For the past 2 months, the situation in Thailand has not improved but it is getting worse. The Government still abuse its power by using its legal proceeding to continue the Emergency rule for three more months. They arrest those with different political point of view by freezing over 106 persons of their asset and invite 83 Thais to audit their financial transaction. At the same time, the Government was criticized by deceiving the world by creating 5 committtees of political-media-reconciliation and reforms which are composing by the persons who are PM Thaksin’s enemies and enemies of red shirts people.

By doing such actions, it is impossible to reduce tension in the current political arena. At the mean time, Thais are still resisting the government’s continuation of Emergency Decree with seminars, discussion and declaration to stop the government’s violation of human rights.

Besides, during the past 2 months, there are report of violent incidents such as bombings which, regardless of who did them, show that as long as Government use deceit, law, and Emergency Rule to destroy the Reds and democratic groups, these type of situation will happen and cause more violence. To lessen it, Abhisit must suspend Emergency Decree, bring back the previous reconciliation plan by dissolve Parliament, hold general election on Nov 14 which all international communities’ had previously support. Then there will be a true reconciliation in Thailand.

Sincerely,

Jaran Ditapichai





Updated: Government to arrest red shirt leaders, closes People TV again

9 04 2010

Police claim that they “are poised to arrest, whenever they can, 24 United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship figures wanted under arrest warrants…”. PPT would assume, given the events over People TV, that any arrests would be met with red shirt anger and responses.

The report states that the “Criminal Court has approved arrest warrants for two groups of UDD leaders. The first group of seven are wanted for breaking into the parliament compound on Sunday. The second group of 17 are wanted for leading the red-shirts to block the Ratchaprasong intersection in violation of the emergency decree.” Those named in the new warrants are Weng Tojirakan, Darunee Kritboonyalai, Jaran Dithapichai, Natthawut Saikua, Nisit Sinthuprai, Veera Musigapong, Korkaew Pikulthong, Kwanchai Sarakham, Chinawat Haboonpat, Wiputhalaeng Pattanaphumthai, Adisorn Piengket, Worapol Prommikbut, Waipot Arpornrat, Samroeng Prachamrua, Visa Khanthap, Paijit Aksornnarong, and Khattiya Sawasdipol (Seh Daeng).

The police “had closed in on the 24 and would arrest them whenever they could. After they were arrested, they would be detained at six locations to prevent them from further illegal activities.” The emergency decree means they can be held for 30 days.

The police have also warned “motorcycle taxi and cab drivers had been warned against joining the UDD rally, under threat of legal action under the emergency law.”

Abhisit Vejjajiva’s acting police chief Police General Pratheep Tanprasert told a meeting of police commanders “to arrest the 24 UDD leaders as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that the army has “reoccupied the Thaicom station at Phatum Thani province’s Lat Lum Kaeo district and have managed to black out the red shirts’ People’s Channel TV broadcast again on Friday night.”  Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said that “the government has again blocked signal of PTV, and vowed that authorities would not let the red-shirts … break into the station’s compound one more time.”

With the police threatening to arrest red shirt leaders and the government taking down People TV again, conflict seems assured.

Update: Not really for this post alone, but on the red protests generally, New Mandala has pointed PPT to this important set of photos at the Boston Globe website. PPT didn’t understand why Abhisit had earlier stated that soldiers should not feel “discouraged.” See the last few photos for an explanation.





Class war and the red shirts

14 04 2009

In recent posts PPT has mentioned reports that allude to a class basis to the current political crisis in Thailand. We recall that the 200 was often portrayed as a clash of elites. That clash has had deep impacts.

Marwaan Macan-Markar at IPS (13 April 2009: “Thailand Marks New Year with Bullets, Troops Clash with Protesters”) provides some insights on this perspective.

He writes that the “government’s effort to take back the streets and enforce emergency laws in Bangkok and five neighbouring provinces appeared to have provoked more anger among the ‘red shirts’. They gathered in the hundreds, chanting pro- democracy slogans, openly defying the emergency law, which bans gatherings of more than five people.”

Macan-Marker continues: “The rage of this anti-government movement – which draws support from this kingdom’s urban and rural poor – is matched by the defiant rhetoric of the UDD’s leaders. The latter are describing the rising ‘red tide’ threatening to push Thailand to the brink as a ‘revolution on behalf of the poor’.”

Jakrapob Penkair, accusedof lesè majesté and a leader of the UDD is reported: “This is not a civil war, a war among equals, with each bearing arms, not knowing who is going to win. This is a war of the have-nots.” The UDD claims support in more than 30 provinces.

Another UDD leader, former member of the national human rights commission Jaran Ditapichai, is quoted as claiming that, “The people want a revolution,” adding, “This is the idea of the mass of the people.’








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