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Redshirts leader says “justice will never be served” over 2010 military crackdown

Maya Taylor

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Redshirts leader says “justice will never be served” over 2010 military crackdown | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: "Redshirt" protesters in Bangkok - Wikimedia
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The leader of the “Redshirts”, political activists supportive of former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra, says the military government will never be held to account for a 2010 crackdown that cost the lives of nearly 100 people, most of them civilians. His comments come just days after a spokesman for the Democrat Party, a member of the ruling coalition, claimed the crackdown was legal.

Khaosod English reports that Jatuporn Prompan was speaking at a Buddhist ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of government action that ended 3 months’ of anti-government protests in Bangkok during 2010.

Between the months of March and May 2010, over 100,000 activists marched on the capital, calling for the cabinet to be dissolved and elections to be held. They were finally crushed by a bloody government crackdown. Although charges were initially brought against Abhisit Vejjajiva, PM at the time, and Suthep Thaugsuban, deputy PM, these were later dropped. To date nobody has been held accountable for the loss of life and Jatuporn says he believes justice will never be done.

The ongoing Covid-19 outbreak means the commemoration ceremony in the capital was more low-key than originally planned. Jatuporn, who led the 2010 protests, has also hit out at pro-government figures for implying that those protesting 10 years ago were terrorists.

“The truth is that this was the deadliest fight for democracy in Thailand. Over the past 10 years, the Redshirts have been living humbly because we know that there is no way for us to fight. We can only seek for justice, but it will not be delivered. I have stressed to the families of the deceased that their children, parents, and relatives are martyrs. They are not terrorists.”

He adds that any move to attempt to bring Abhisit and Suthep to justice is doomed to fail as the current military government will find them not guilty. However, Weng Tojirakarn, another prominent Redshirt leader says despite this, the fight for democracy must continue.

“We should not let the 10 year mark go as another ritual, but we should do something more sustainable to continue the spirit of the martyrs. We must build a democracy that will truly stand in Thai society, no matter how difficult it can be.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Politics

Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident

The Thaiger

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Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident | The Thaiger

Corporate America is adding its weight in response to the insurgency at the Capitol building on January 6, and are pulling out from any association with the Trump brand after the storming of the capitol incidentwhich economists say will have a profound medium and long-term effect on his business interests. Recently, Signature Bank closed Trump’s personal accounts and the PGA of America stopped plans to hold its 2022 championship at Mr. Trump’s New Jersey golf course.

Such a parting of ways signals the business community’s weariness in being associated with a political figure that has attracted worldwide attention and is indicative of what may happen to the Trump brand. The president’s role in the incident, confirmed by his impeachment by the House this week, has gained criticism from the Business Roundtable to the AFL-CIO labour federation.

Michael D’Antonio, the author of a Trump biography, says the capitol incident has been a game-changer for the support of extreme politics.

“Trump’s name is really an albatross. He is the most disgraced president in history. This is a person who’s synonymous with a mob attacking the US Capitol. I just think this went a step too far.”

Other experts like Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, say Trump’s brand will inevitably suffer long-term.

“Before his term, Trump stood for wealth, success and over-the-top luxury. Now the brand has associations with anti-government views, racism and extremism. This makes the brand fairly toxic.”

Deutsche Bank, to which Trump reportedly owes around $400 million, is also planning to stop engaging in business with him. But the president dismissed any business challenges in an October 15 televised event by saying that the $400 million he owed was “a tiny percentage of my net worth.”

It appears true that some of Trump’s properties have benefitted from his presidency as taxpayer revenue has continuously flowed into his golf courses and clubs where he stays with his family, the secret service and the White House staff.

In fact, CREW estimates that Trump’s properties took in over $100 million from more than 500 visits by the president, according to a report in September 2020. But even that business transaction has received widespread criticism as many say Trump should not have mixed politics with his personal businesses.

D’Antonio predicts that Trump may sell current assets to pay off his Deutsche Bank debt, which means there could be fewer to none Trump hotels, golf courses or towers in the next 10 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thailand’s emergency decree extended again

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s emergency decree extended again | The Thaiger
Thairath

Thailand’s nationwide Emergency Decree has been extended again, this time until the end of February. The decree gives the Thai government the ability to set policies and procedures to prevent the control the spread of Covid-19… things like restricting travel, setting up road checkpoints and introducing other restrictions without having to consult the parliament.

All the latest articles about Thailand’s Covid-19 situation are on one page HERE.

Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri says it is just an extension of the decree that is currently in place that was initially set to end on January 15. The extension, adding on another 45 days, was proposed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and approved by the Thai Cabinet this week.

The initial emergency decree was enacted in March last year and has been extended ever since.

The number of local Covid-19 infections has spiked since the outbreak at the Samut Sakhon seafood market last month, spreading to 55 of Thailand’s 77 provinces. The ‘second wave’ has stemmed from a cluster of migrant workers in the nation’s seafood industry and markets in the Gulf of Thailand coastal province, as well as cluster of infections focussed on illegal gambling dens, principally in the eastern coastal provinces and Bangkok.

Here’s a video about the new Mor Chana app which you will probably be required to use if you are travelling around Thailand at this time…

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Politics

YouTube blocks music video with pro-democracy protest footage after legal complaint

The Thaiger

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YouTube blocks music video with pro-democracy protest footage after legal complaint | The Thaiger
PHOTO: R.A.D.

A music video by a pro-democracy movement band was blocked on YouTube in Thailand due to a legal complaint from the government, according to the message posted on the video’s page.

The band Rap Against Dictatorship, also known as RAD, made a post on their Facebook fan page saying that the music video for their song “Reform” was blocked on YouTube.

“Happy New Year everyone. Our new music video has been blocked. This is obviously the ‘New Year Gift’ from the government.”

The band members are active in the pro-democracy movement and 2 of them are currently facing criminal charges relating to a protest in July.

The song conveys a definition of the word ‘reform’ in the Thai language and mentions the current problems in Thailand, including politics, social inequality and the right of protesters to seek justice.

The music video had footage from recent protests in Bangkok including clips from rallies in October and November where water cannons were deployed, some spraying tear gas on pro-democracy protesters.

The music video was first released in about mid-November and reached over 300,000 views on YouTube within 9 hours. It now has over 9 million views. The band was told that the music video is against the law without any other explanations from YouTube or government agencies.

RAD made a reputation with its previous work “Prathet Ku Mi” (“Which is My Country”) released last year and it went viral across the country. The group was also recognised one of the three winners of the 2019 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent that was presented in 2019 at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

SOURCE: Facebook|Prachathai English

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