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Anti-government activists reject idea of a “reconciliation committee”

Maya Taylor

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Anti-government activists reject idea of a “reconciliation committee” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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Thailand’s pro-democracy activists have rejected the government’s suggestion of a reconciliation committee, saying it is merely aimed at keeping PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in power. The Khana Ratsadon 2563 (People’s Movement) group say the ongoing political conflict cannot be resolved as long as the current PM remains in power. They claim his position is illegitimate and has been from the start, as they double down on calls for his resignation. They have also repeated their other demands, namely for a re-write of the constitution and reform of the revered Monarchy.

Natchanon Phairot agrees, saying his group, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, also rejects the idea of a reconciliation panel, adding that anti-government activists will not surrender. He says the PM’s resignation would be a good starting point for re-drafting the constitution.

(The Thai prime minister, under the 2017 Charter, could be nominated by a joint sitting of the parliament – elected MPs and the hand-picked Senate IF one party didn’t win over 50% of the vote. In the case of the March 2019 election no party was able to get over the 50% mark for votes so the PM was selected by the joint sitting, virtually guaranteeing General Prayut’s appointment. Prayut Chan-o-cha didn’t stand for election as an MP and was not elected to the position of prime minister by Thai voters)

Adding to the calls for the PM’s resignation, protest leader Jatupat Boonpattarasaksa says if the current administration retains its grip on power, attempts to end the political unrest will get nowhere. He points out that the more protesters feel their demands are being ignored, the more the protests will grow.

“We want changes and we will stick to a non-violent approach. We don’t know when the government will step down, but we’ll continue our fight.”

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that Sutin Klungsang from the opposition Pheu Thai Party, has changed his stance on the proposed reconciliation panel, saying that if the government initiates an attempt at unity, his party would be willing to participate. He is calling on officials to work more closely with civil groups, in order to reach a resolution. He wouldn’t be drawn on the protesters’ 3 key demands, but says that all issues, including controversial subjects (code for ‘reform of the Monarchy’), should be up for discussion.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    gosport

    November 5, 2020 at 11:15 am

    Good, let’s have another meeting.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 5, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Refusing to take part doesn’t do them much credit either locally or internationally – they could still keep up the protests while at least participating.

    Demanding that the government agree to all their demands first, before they’ll even discuss anything, really isn’t either realistic or a good basis to start negotiations from and they’re very unlikely to get any more active and broader based support as a result. Their protest is starting to look increasingly insular and isolated, which is largely their own fault.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 5, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Their protests are starting to look increasingly more effective and likely to change things. which is largely their own fault.
    READ the article. T
    he present P.M. was not elected to the position of Prime minister by Thai voters.
    He did not even stand for election as an M.P.
    He corrupted his way in with the help of his pals.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 5, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Ummm …. I have “READ the article”.

      Maybe you missed the last para, as there weren’t enough pictures:

      “the Bangkok Post reports that Sutin Klungsang from the opposition Pheu Thai Party, has changed his stance on the proposed reconciliation panel, saying that if the government initiates an attempt at unity, his party would be willing to participate. He is calling on officials to work more closely with civil groups, in order to reach a resolution. He wouldn’t be drawn on the protesters’ 3 key demands, but says that all issues, including controversial subjects (code for ‘reform of the Monarchy’), should be up for discussion.”

      Without appealing to more people it’s going to remain a student protest movement without the broad base of support it needs to effect change – if Pheu Thai desert them, as appears to be the case, then they’re unlikely to get that support. It really isn’t hard to understand – it’s classic ‘divide and rule’ which the students are falling for.

      “The present P.M. was not elected to the position of Prime minister by Thai voters.” etc …

      Yes, but that’s the constitution as it stands now; the only way to change it is to change the constitution. Similarly, Trump wasn’t elected to the position of President by American voters, as he lost the popular vote by 3 million votes, and neither had he previously been an ‘MP’.

      I’m not being an apologist for the PM or aanyone else, but just pointing that the students are far from being as effective as they could be and they’re losing support outside their student base, and that the West isn’t eaxctly a great role model.

      So how are things with protests in your part of the world? Allowed to carry on without undue human rights abuses? Free and fair elections? Nobody corrupting their way in with the help of their pals? Oh …..

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 6, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Same excuse to justify the corrupt Thai.
    Trump did the same.
    This is not valid and stop using this. We are discussing the corrupt Thai.
    What next? Are you going to quote north Korea abuse of democracy and therefore justify the scum politicians that operate in Thailand.
    And now you try to involve the Cambodian administration.
    The dictators in Cambodia rules with a light hand.
    Very few restrictions. None that effect the dirty ferang.
    I would have no objection if the Thai government acted the same.
    In fact I have met many ferangs here that live without a passport or visas.
    Thailand is ruled by corrupt dictators and tyrants, and just because it happens elsewhere will not make it right.
    Do not lie and write: I am not being an apologist for the PM and aanyone else.
    That is exactly what you are doing – and learn to spell.
    “The west is not eaxctly a great role model.” Which part of the west do you refer to?
    What all of the west?
    You really are writing rubbish. Are you drunk. And learn to spell!

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 6, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Sorry to remind you, but you’re the one who suggested Thais were looking at the US with “envy”!

    … and it’s no surprise to see that you’re so happy about things in Cambodia from a strictly farang perspective, while you couldn’t care less about the locals who are carted in to PP by the truckload every day from shanty towns to slave away in garment factories, while their country is sold around them by HS and his family (45% is foreign owned or leased).

    … which part of the West? At the moment, with a handful of exceptions, you can take your pick.

    Spelling? Aaah, the spelling / grammar police, the last refuge of the debate failure. Actually typos, rather obviously – big fingers, small phone.

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Protests

Thai Constitutional Court official files contempt charge against protest leader

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Constitutional Court official files contempt charge against protest leader | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A student protest leader is facing charges of contempt after he made statements on Facebook critical of the Constitutional Court ruling to acquit PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing the Thai prime minister and former Army General to continue occupying a military-owned residence. Critics have argued that allowing Prayut, a retired general, to say at the Army residence is a conflict of interest.

Director of the Constitutional Court’s litigation office and police officer, Montri Daengsri, filed the charge against pro-democracy protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak. Montri says the Facebook posts made by Penguin were defamatory to the court and had tarnished its reputation.

In addition to the Facebook posts, Montri says the protest leader made an offensive speech following the court ruling at the Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok. He says the speech was defamatory and violated Thailand’s Criminal Code. Police are investigating the claims to determine if charges should be pressed.

Prayut occupies a military reception house at the 1st Infantry Regiment residential area on Phahon Yothin in Bangkok, according to the Royal Thai Army. Tenants in army welfare houses have to pay for utility bills while those who live in the reception houses, like retirees, do not pay for household expenses and the utility bill is covered by the Army.

The Constitutional Court ruled this week that Prayut did not violate the Charter by occupying the residence. The court says under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement at the discretion of the Thai Army commander.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Schoolgirl bursts into tears meeting Panasaya, fearing for activist’s safety

Maya Taylor

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Schoolgirl bursts into tears meeting Panasaya, fearing for activist’s safety | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.prachachat.net

Protest leader Panusaya Sitthijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, has been pictured consoling a young schoolgirl who broke down in tears, concerned about the activist’s safety. Rattapol Kaiipah Promsuwan, who witnessed the exchange, has shared a photo of the moment on social media. She says the girl, who is in Grade 6 (making her around 11 years old), had gone to the organisers’ area during Wednesday’s rally at the Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok. There, she asked to meet Panusaya, a hero of hers.

The girl’s sister says her sibling has an interest in politics and is concerned about reports that Panusaya faces lèse majesté charges. Thailand’s lèse majesté law prohibits insulting, defaming or threatening the nation’s revered Monarchy, and carries a punishment of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. During her meeting with Panusaya, the girl cried for half an hour, with the student activist trying to console her, and a Facebook photo showing her hugging the child.

Panusaya has received a new summons from the Technology Crime Suppression Division, as a result of a police complaint lodged by royalist supporter, Nitipong Honark, a music composer. She is now being summonsed on December 9, to hear additional charges of lèse majesté and violating the Computer Crimes Act .

Meanwhile, the BBC has named her in its list of the world’s 100 most influential and inspirational women of 2020.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

K-Pop fan-funded billboards move from BTS and MRT stations to tuks tuks to support protesters

Caitlin Ashworth

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K-Pop fan-funded billboards move from BTS and MRT stations to tuks tuks to support protesters | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter: @katipunera

K-Pop fan-funded “happy birthday” billboards are moving from mass transit stations in Bangkok to tuk tuks after the BTS Skytrain and MRT Bangkok Metro temporarily shut down services during pro-democracy protests last month.

The world’s K-Pop fans are weaponising their huge numbers and online ‘power’ by supporting Thailand’s pro-democracy movement. In 3 days last month, Thai and overseas K-pop fans raised more than 3 million baht to support the growing student-led movement calling on government and monarchy reform. A lot more has been raised since then.

A Thailand fan page for the South Korean K-Pop band BTS (not to be confused with Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain) urged fans to stop paying for the “happy birthday” billboards displayed in BTS and MRT stations. The fan-funded signs celebrate the birthdays of the 7 members of the band.

The band members also issued a statement asking their fans (known as ARMY) to stop paying for signs in the BTS and MRT stations because the mass transit systems “inconvenienced protesters and normal citizens from getting home and putting them in danger.”

The “happy birthday” signs have been seen on tuk tuks throughout Bangkok while some have posted photos of empty advertising space in the transit stations.

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