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Thai pro-democracy body calls on UN to investigate ‘military government in disguise’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai pro-democracy body calls on UN to investigate ‘military government in disguise’ | The Thaiger
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PHOTOS: Facebook: Jaran Ditapichai/Kritsada Akkhapracha

Jaran Ditapichai, the president of the Association of Thai Democrats without Borders’ has written to the UN yesterday asking the international body to investigate the government of Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The Nation reports that Jaran personally dropped the submission at a letterbox near the UN headquarters in New York and recorded the action with a selfie next to an anti-Thai government sign saying: “Don’t Let Democracy Die in Thailand!”

Meanwhile PM Prayut has been in New York since Saturday attending a UN meeting themed “Galvanising Multilateral Efforts for Poverty Eradication, Quality Education, Climate Change and Inclusion”, other trade meetings with his entourage and the Climate Summit, along with the Thai Foreign Monster Don Pramudwinai. Prayut has also been meeting with Thai expats at staged photo opportunities over the weekend.

In his letter addressed to the UN, Jaran described the administration as a military government in disguise, which has direct control over several state institutions such as the Senate, the Constitutional Court, Criminal Courts and the Election Commission. The pro-democracy association also called on the UN to seek a “Thailand Status Update on Current Political Situation”.

The 250 member upper house – Senate – of the Thai parliament was entirely hand-picked by the military government, the NCPO, before being disbanded in the aftermath of the March 24 election.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thai pro-democracy body calls on UN to investigate ‘military government in disguise’ | News by The Thaiger

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Events

Bangkok braces for Black Lives Matter rally

Jack Burton

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Bangkok braces for Black Lives Matter rally | The Thaiger
PHOTO: ABC News

The death of black American George Floyd at the hands of police burgeoned into a storm of protests reaching across the globe; one that will reach Bangkok this weekend. The vast majority of demonstrations over the past 8 days in the US have been peaceful, but some have turned violent and curfews have been imposed after looting in a number of US cities. “Justice for George Floyd (Peacefully Paying Our Respects),” a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, is expected to be held Sunday from 1pm-3pm at a location to be confirmed.

Attendees are encouraged by the event’s organisers to wear black, wear masks, bring signs and practice social distancing. The event was announced Tuesday, and more than 800 people have so far expressed interest. Reached for comment this afternoon, organisers said the event is more likely be held “virtually”. Public assembly is currently banned in Thailand under the Emergency Decree enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Thailand, which has its own history of police brutality, denied using using that decree last month as a pretext to quash an anti-government rally.

New charges have been announced against all of the sacked US police officers present at George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minneota. The charge against the officer who held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, has been elevated to second degree murder. 3 other officers, previously uncharged, now face counts of aiding and abetting murder.

SOURCES: Coconuts Bangkok | BBC

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Politics

PM distancing himself from party room clashes

Jack Burton

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PM distancing himself from party room clashes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: kaohoon.com

PM Prayut Chan-o-Cha appeared to distance himself from party politics, and internal strife within the ruling Palang Pracharat party, after 18 members resigned en masse to pave the way for the election of a new executive committee, party leader and secretary-general. He repeatedly deflected questions from reporters about speculation that the resignations were intended to replace party leader Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana with Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, who has been the party’s chief strategist.

The PM says it’s is an internal affair and quite normal for any political party. He says he doesn’t want to make excuses, and he will not get involved in internal party politics unless it concerns the Government or the coalition’s stability. He told reporters that the conflict within the party should be settled by party members, without the need for him to get involved, and warned the media not to dramatise the issue.

Prayut also made it clear that changes to the executive committee are a separate issue from Cabinet appointments, which concern all parties in the coalition, adding that he has to prepare to address the House of Representatives tomorrow about changes to the 2020 fiscal budget bill.

“Be cool, don’t be temperamental. I have been very calm so far because it won’t do any good for me to get upset.”

Culture Minister Itthiphol Khunpluem says most Palang Pracharat party members don’t object to Prawit being elected party leader. Like Prayut, he maintains that a change of the party’s executive committee is a normal process.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

Prawit tipped to become leader of ruling Palang Pracharat party executive

The Thaiger

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Prawit tipped to become leader of ruling Palang Pracharat party executive | The Thaiger

Whilst the attention of the country has been on the CCSA, with the PM at the helm, and their handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, there has been ongoing dissent inside the ruling Palang Pracharat party which boiled over yesterday with the resignation of 18 members of the party’s executive committee. There’s been building conflict within the party whilst the PM has been ‘distracted’.

Under the party’s rules the party will have to elect a new leader and executive committee within 45 days. Paiboon Nititawan, a Palang Pracharat deputy leader, informed embattled party leader Uttama Savanayana about the resignations yesterday and submitted 18 letters of their intentions, one from each MP. Meanwhile, the outgoing committee will remain in place before the election of the new executive committee.

Now all eyes are on the diminutive 74 year old loyal sidekick to the prime minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, who is tipped to become the new leader of the executive committee. Prawit has served throughout the period of the NCPO (National Council of Peace and Order) following the May 2014 army coup, in various capacities. He often serves as Prayut’s ‘fix it’ man and currently serves as one of the deputy prime ministers in the coalition government. He served as defence minister during the period of the NCPO.

The resignations and potential cabinet reshuffle appear to be a response to disagreements within the leading party (a political extension of the NCPO who ran candidates in the March 25 election last year) about the rebooting of Thailand’s economy in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and the damage its caused just about every sector of the country’s finances.

Palang Pracharat MP for Bangkok, Sira Jenjaka, says that the spill was the result of a deal when the party was formed that the current executive committee members would have one year to prove their value and their performance would “then be assessed”. He said “they now must admit that it is time for a change”.

Current party leader Uttama has found himself embroiled in the crossfire of party infighting with factions pushing stalwart General Prawit, who has been the party’s chief strategist, to take the top job. Asked about the prospects of him becoming the new leader of Palang Pracaharat, General Prawit responded in his usual non-committal manner.

“Let me think about it first because I had no intention to enter politics from the beginning.”

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he doesn’t want any involvement with the resignation of the party executives or any change in the party’s leadership because he is not a member of the party machine even though he was nominated by them to be their prime ministerial candidate.

Prawit Wongsuwan hit the headlines again over the weekend after a letter of explanation, sent by the country’s anti-corruption commission, listed the reasons Prawit was exonerated over the luxury watch scandal in 2018. The letter says the NACC commissioners “acknowledged that Pattawat Suksriwong was the owner of the watches and had lent them to General Prawit. The letter, sent to a Pheu Thai Party member, also confirmed that Prawit had returned the watches, worth tens of millions of baht, to Pattawat’s family after he used them.

Here’s the list of the watches he ‘borrowed’ from his friend, businessman Pattawat Suksriwong who died in 2017.

Prawit tipped to become leader of ruling Palang Pracharat party executive | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Wikipedia

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