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German politician raises questions about the status of Thailand’s Head of State

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German politicians have raised questions in parliament about the status of Thailand’s Head of State as a part time resident in the state of Bavaria, after protests in Thailand have continued to make international news, drawing attention to Thailand and the Thai government’s fragile political situation.

Frithjof Schmidt, from Germany’s Green Party, has questioned the German Foreign Ministry about its position towards the protests in Thailand as well as possible EU economic sanctions against Thailand’s current government, which has drawn attention in the German parliament and the EU, including a previous boycott and cessation of some trade following the military coup in 2014.

Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Green Party

The European Union some time ago suspended negotiations on a free trade agreement with Thailand because of the junta’s behaviour. Following the announcement of elections, negotiations were resumed in order to promote this process of return to democracy.

Are you prepared to work now in this situation in the European Council to freeze these negotiations again as long as the junta continues to block the path to democracy in Thailand?

Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas

I do indeed think that this is an option that we are keeping open within the European Union. I think it is right to have a dialogue on this once again with the Thai side. We also have the opportunity because, as I believe, there is a great Thai interest in an agreement to this end, which is used as a means of exerting pressure.

The MP also alluded to the occasional presence of Thailand’s Head of State as a resident in Bavaria.

A history of freezing inter-government contracts has not been regarded as making any difference in the way Thailand’s government operates as free trade talks resumed even after Thailand returned to a ‘democracy’ in the 2019 general election, which saw the country remain under quasi-military rule with allegations of human rights violations and freedom of speech still being made by opposition groups.

And some direct quotes in the question time regarding Thailand’s monarch…

Dr Frithjof Schmidt, Green Party

“I have one more inquiry. The Thai king stays often and for a long time in Germany; he owns a villa here. That is in order. But he also conducts direct politics from Germany. Among other things, he has publicly banned his sister from running as the leading candidate for the main opposition party.

Why has the Federal Government tolerated for months this extremely unusual and, in my opinion, illegal behaviour by a foreign head of state to conduct politics from German soil?”

Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas

“We have made it clear that policy affecting the country of Thailand does not have to be taken from German soil. Also, I believe that there are many bizarre reports on what is taking place. But it is not in line with the view of the German Federal Government that – and this is different from what we had with Mr Navalny – guests in our country carry out their state business from here; we would always like to counteract this clearly.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Dirty Farang

    October 11, 2020 at 8:22 pm

    “Frithjof Schmidt” – no one knows this guy here in Germany. He was cleaning dishes and toiles in the EU parlament in Brussels for years. Now he tries to get a voice in the German parlament.

    • Avatar

      LongTermFarang

      October 12, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Your comment is indeed dirty and should be banned. Just because you do not all your parliament members don’t qualify you for such comments.

    • Avatar

      Somtam

      October 13, 2020 at 12:38 am

      Dr. Frithjof Schmidt served as member of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2009. That you call this “cleaning dishes and toiles in the EU parlament in Brussels” speaks for itself.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 11, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    I hope this Thai head of state, who ever he is, has to endure 14 day in Quarantine visiting Germany as the Germans have to do entering Thailand.
    If not – why not?

    • Avatar

      Ian

      October 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Do you really not know who is being referred to here? Only the King of Thailand.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      October 13, 2020 at 5:15 am

      Yes. HM the King self-isolated in a luxury hotel in Germany with his staff. This was news about 7 months ago.

    • Avatar

      Noneya Bidnizz

      October 13, 2020 at 6:07 am

      Doesnt matter , The “ Head of State “ of Thailand is Already there , and HAS BEEN for MONTHS ! ——- Maybe Thailand is NOT so “ Covid Free“ as The Muppets will tell you, and THEY Belive Germany is REALLY better !! — Just ask the
      current POTUS, Ask tRump Himself , No Tests = No Covid ! — I think Prayut agrees !!!— ( Maybe the “ Head Of State “ and the muppets ALSO know !!! , Ya THINK ??? ) —— Germans ( and pretty much EVERYONE else CAN NOT go in to Thai now anyway ! ) No Matter WHAT “ Scheme“ Prayut & the muppets say. ( But Do Not worry , It will all change daily , same same , but Different ! )

      Even the CHINESE will not come ! ( Yet ! ) — The prices for the property/ businesses and belongings of the REAL WORKING THAI People and business owners( Much less deported / internationally stranded “filthy farangs“ and RICH expats and property / company owners who EMPLOY THAI WORKING PEOPLE AND PAY THAI TAXES ) have not dropped quite low enough yet , Be Patient , Chaoxhiang , Soon , VERY soon the Thai will starve and sell all to us for almost NOTHING ! —

      But , What I Want to Know , Will The Thai “ Head of State “ Also be FORCED into a “Government Approved“ ASQ HOTEL for 14 days upon returning to Thailand with sticks jammed up his nose almost daily , Then ,Pay For SCAM THAI COMPANY ONLY “ covid medical insurance “ wear a bracelet to let ALL who see him to believe & actually BELIEVE all the covid LIES and PROPAGANDA — “ He Will Kill US ALL if he come in my noodle shop !!!“ — and then , be CONSTANTLY tracked by government cell phone app ? — No “ Soapy“ For You I Think ! — ( At his own expense , of course, and can not even have a beer to pass the lonely time, Concubines NOT included with VERY expensive ASQ Gilded Prison Cell !!! ) — Not that it would really matter about the Baht to Him ( Her ? — LOL !!! ) — I`ll Bet NOT , He ( She ? ) Will Not be even “be asked“ for a large brown envelope to BUY the “privilege’s“ ! — ( Sorry , I will Just Donate the ` Tea Money“ of My Own Free Will) —

      I Pray For Thailand and Her People

      And I Pray That Prayut and the muppet show , som nam na , Mung Bpen Kwaai Dtuut —-

      I Think I am Now Excluded From The Kingdom Forever —

      Mai Bpen Rai , Lao Jo gan , taak khare Na , Khrap —-

      • Avatar

        Z

        October 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm

        Hahahahaha. QAnon much?

  3. Avatar

    Ling

    October 11, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    “… with allegations of human rights violations and freedom of speech still being made by opposition groups.”

    He might have a point, but there is a German saying “People who sit in a glass house, shouldn’t throw stones.”
    How about we talk about the suppression of freedom of speech in Germany during the anti lockdown protests?

    • Avatar

      Somtam

      October 13, 2020 at 12:33 am

      “suppression of freedom of speech in Germany during the anti lockdown protests?” Really? Can you be specific about this? For me (a German) this statement sounds like complete nonsense.

  4. Avatar

    Statue of Liberty

    October 12, 2020 at 12:10 am

    Restore Democracy !! Liberate Thailand !!

  5. Avatar

    Ruediger

    October 12, 2020 at 8:15 am

    As a German, it is my right to express an opinion about German politics. I consider it urgently necessary to refrain from threatening sovereign states (neither Thailand nor Russia). The German politicians’ overestimation of themselves is taking on strange forms. Germany and the European Union do not play anywhere near the leading role in the world, even if they believe so. And especially at this time it should be remembered that human rights and freedom of expression are currently more strongly respected in Thailand than in Germany. German politicians would do well to remain silent. Whoever disregards his own German Constitution should remain silent as a matter of principle.

    • Avatar

      J.C.

      October 12, 2020 at 11:43 pm

      You mention “freedom of expression” and “German politicians would do well to remain silent” in the same breath? The absolute cognitive dissonance required to make such a moronic statement…

    • Avatar

      Somtam

      October 13, 2020 at 12:47 am

      Are you serious about your statement “that human rights and freedom of expression are currently more strongly respected in Thailand than in Germany”? Can you name facts to support this?

    • Avatar

      Mas

      October 24, 2020 at 3:32 am

      He or she has been paid to post , troll , lol

  6. Avatar

    Daniel

    October 12, 2020 at 11:28 pm

    Polititians should not mix with other countries affairs.

    Leave Thailand alone, leave Belarus alone, as they should have left Libia, Ucraine, Syria, etc alone… countries that were more or less prosperous and end up in civil war.

    Europeans, Americans, Russians: take care of your own countries and leave the others deal with their problems.

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Protests

Palang Pracharath MP calls for probe into Pheu Thai MP who cut own arm in parliament

Maya Taylor

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Palang Pracharath MP calls for probe into Pheu Thai MP who cut own arm in parliament | The Thaiger
Wisarn pictured with his daughter - PHOTO: www.newsbeezer.com / Facebook

Opposition politicians are clashing over the actions of one MP who deliberately cut his arm in an act of self-harm to draw attention to the plight of anti-government protesters. Palang Pracharath MP, Sira Jenjaka, is threatening Wisarn Techathirawat, Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Rai, with removal from office for what he’s calling a publicity stunt.

On Tuesday, during a special joint parliamentary session aimed at finding a solution to the ongoing political unrest, Wisarn produced a knife and proceeded to cut his left arm 3 times. Prior to producing the knife, he had criticised the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, for using unnecessary force against peaceful protesters, and called on him to listen to their demands.

He said he did not want to see their blood shed and would rather lose his own. He then produced the knife and ignored calls from parliament president Chuan Leekpai not to cut himself. He subsequently received 9 stitches at Bangkok’s Vachira Hospital.

Sira says he plans to petition the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate Wisarn for allegedly violating the ethical code for MPs. He is also calling on Parliament to investigate the Pheu Thai MP’s action. He accuses Wisarn of having cut himself to garner media attention ahead of provincial elections around the country, pointing out that Wisarn’s daughter is contesting an election in Chiang Rai.

Sira says Wisarn’s actions are a disgrace to parliament, adding that security should be improved to prevent people bringing weapons into the building. However, Ubonsak Bualuang-ngam, Wisarn’s fellow Pheu Thai MP, says Wisarn borrowed the fruit knife from a maid working in the building. He says that, in his opinion, his colleague did not breach any ethical code.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Contempt charge dropped against protest leader Parit

Maya Taylor

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Contempt charge dropped against protest leader Parit | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Prachathai

The leader of the Free People protest group, Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, has had a charge of contempt dropped. He had been charged after calling on activists to gather at the court on August 8 to obstruct proceedings in a case against fellow protest leaders, Anon Nampa and Panupong Jadnok. The Bangkok Post reports that the Criminal Court dropped the charge yesterday after an apology from Parit.

Fellow protest leader Anon Nampa, who also serves as Parit’s lawyer, told the court that on August 8, while attending the Criminal Court, his client had spoken out without thinking, and that he hadn’t intended to disrupt proceedings. He added that Parit understood his action was unacceptable and had given an undertaking not to break the law again. After being admonished by the court, the charge was dropped. Parit remains in prison on other charges related to anti-government rallies.

In a separate development, 4 other protesters have been charged with violating the state of emergency by attending a rally at the Pathumwan intersection in Bangkok on October 16. Yesterday, Korakot Saengyenphan, Suwanna Tarnlek, Chartchai Kaedam and Sirapob Phumpheungphut, all arrived at Pathuman police station, accompanied by their lawyers. Korakot says they refute the charges, accusing officials of introducing the State of Emergency without just cause.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer Anon has been re-arrested on another protest-related charge, after being released on bail earlier this week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

PM refuses to resign, citing concerns over political divide, the economy, Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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PM refuses to resign, citing concerns over political divide, the economy, Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

“I refuse to comply with the proposals that do not represent the needs of the majority of the people.”

The Thai PM has made it clear he will not resign, saying he has no intention of “abandoning the country during a crisis”. Addressing Parliament yesterday, Prayut Chan-o-cha pointed to the current problems facing Thailand, including the political divide in society, the crisis brought on by the slowdown of the economy, and the dangers of a Covid-19 resurgence. He was responding to opposition calls for his resignation.

“You should think back to the political rallies in 2006 and 2014, when the ones in power also did not resign. I refuse to comply with the proposals that do not represent the needs of the majority of the people and will not run away from problems or abandon the country during a crisis. Ask yourself whether the victory you will gain on top of the country’s wreckage will be worth it or not, because by then we will have nothing left to change. Think about the children. Don’t use them to drive political movements.”

The PM went on to thank MPs who’d offered suggestions for a way out of the ongoing crisis, but pointed out that one of his biggest concerns about the protests is the risk of a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. He says the country must do everything to avoid another lockdown, adding that the protests risk undermining economic confidence and are creating division in Thai society.

“The political rallies could undermine the confidence in our economy, but what worries me is that it could cause a rift in Thai society. We used to say that Thais treat each other as family members and respect one another. I don’t want to see this culture disappear because of misunderstanding between generations.”

Referring to yesterday’s incident in Parliament, in which opposition MP Visan Techatirawat cut his arm in protest at the treatment of anti-government activists, the PM claims the incident was pre-meditated in order to get media attention.

“However, I regret that it happened, as such an incident has never taken place in Parliament before.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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