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Human rights group iLaw calls on Parliament to approve draft charter amendment

Maya Taylor

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Human rights group iLaw calls on Parliament to approve draft charter amendment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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The director of iLaw, a Thai human rights non-profit group, is calling on Parliament to approve its charter amendment bill. Jon Ungphakorn made the call as MPs and senators meet for a second day to vote on 7 draft charter amendments. The amendment submitted by iLaw is the only one not submitted by the government and opposition MPs.

Yesterday, protesters attempting to reach the Parliament building in Bangkok, where the debate is taking place. Protest leader Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul’s demands that Parliament approve the amendment. It’s understood the proposed amendment includes a section on reforming the Monarchy to allow for greater accountability and transparency.

Addressing Parliament, Jon said the iLaw amendment belonged to the people of Thailand, with nearly 100,000 people signing a petition to support it. He says iLaw believes Thai society wants a new, more democratic constitution than that which is currently in place (which was voted on and approved in a referendum in 2017).

“Under the current constitution, the people have no right to decide who will form government and who will become prime minister. There are other components within it which were not chosen by the people. So, we have proposed a democratic amendment to get rid of dictatorship and open the way for a charter drafting assembly to be set up.”

The current constitution was drawn up in 2017 by the junta-backed government that installed former army general Prayut Chan-o-cha as PM following a 2014 military coup. Jon says the current generation of pro-democracy activists are losing patience in their quest for a truly democratic political system.

“The young generation will not wait for a drawn out return to democracy. Therefore, we hope parliamentarians attach importance to the people’s draft and will not reject it in the first reading.”

Yingcheep Atchanont from iLaw adds that the draft amendment contains 5 “aspirations”, including, “for the people to be able to elect a prime minister via the House of Representatives, for a transparent government which is subject to scrutiny, for the people to determine their own future, for a justice system ensuring fairness to all, and for a supreme law that is written by the people to guarantee basic rights.”

The bill has been heavily criticised by senator Lertrat Rattanawanich, who calls it a breach of the current constitutional law. He points out that the amendment does not rule out potential future changes in relation to the Monarchy.

Meanwhile, after Paiboon Nititawan from the ruling Palang Pracharat party pointed out that the bill could not be passed if iLaw had received foreign funding in the past, Jon issued a statement on the group’s Facebook page, insisting that it has never allowed foreign investors to interfere with its independence, nor does it intend to in the future.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Denis

    November 18, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Ilaw, une ONG financée par des fonds étrangers: Open Society Foundation, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, National Endowment for Democracy, Fund for Global Human Rights, American Jewish World Service et Google.

    On comprend bien qui est à la manoeuvre derrière cette déstabilisation de la Thaïlande, orchestrée depuis l’étranger.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 18, 2020 at 11:28 am

    For those who are unaware of Jon Ungphakorn’s background, and that of his father Puey Ungphakorn, and think he and ILaw are ‘just another NGO’ they deserve a good look, particularly Dr Puey Ungphakorn’s “Quality of Life for a South-East Asian”, known as “From Womb to Tomb” which has to be the best charter of human rights ever written.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 18, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Totally unjustified.

    ILaw are completely open about their funding, and you only cite a few carefully selected financial supporters, and as Jon Ungphakorn said they only accept funds as long as there are no strings attached and ILaw retain their full independence.

    ILaw are also not connected in any way with any of the protest movements, nor have they supported any (although some of the protesters have supported them). They have instead presented an amendment to the constitution which beyond very much doubt has widespread popular support that goes way beyond the protesters.

    • Avatar

      Denis

      November 18, 2020 at 11:47 am

      LOL

    • Avatar

      denis

      November 18, 2020 at 11:55 am

      iLaw’s primary source of income is the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a notorious US government arm involved in political interference and regime change operations around the globe.

      The organization’s US government funding can be found on NED’s official website under the name, “Internet Law Reform Dialogue” (iLaw).

      On iLaw’s own website under “About Us” it admits:
      Between 2009 and 2014 iLaw has received funding support from the Open Society Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and a one-time support grant from Google.

      Between 2015 to present iLaw receives funding from funders as listed below1. Open Society Foundation (OSF)2. Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBF)3. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)4. Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR)5. American Jewish World Servic (AJWS)6. One-time support donation from Google and other independent donors

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        November 18, 2020 at 12:12 pm

        That you use the term “admits” rather than a more accurate “declares” is a pretty good indicator of your own bias – as are your previous racist and anti-semitic comments amply indicate.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          November 18, 2020 at 9:49 pm

          What previous racist anti-semitic comment amply indicate? WHAT!!!!
          You just throw in this rubbish to object to other posts.
          Admits – declare. You are really being a idiot here by claiming anything by this.
          Engage brain before posting or don’t post!

  4. Avatar

    Denis

    November 18, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Ilaw, an NGO sponsored by foreign funds: Open Society Foundation, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, National Endowment for Democracy, Fund for Global Human Rights, American Jewish World Service and Google.

    It is easy to understand who is behind this destabilization of Thailand, orchestrated from abroad.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 18, 2020 at 11:58 am

      See above. Your comment was as unjustified in English as it was in French.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 18, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Possibly too long for a ‘comment’, Thaiger, but under the current circumstances it may be worth publishing Puey Ungphakorn’s “From Womb to Tomb”:

    “While in my mother’s womb, I want her to have good nutrition and access to maternal and child welfare care.

    I don’t want to have as many brothers and sisters as my parents had before me, and I do not want my mother to have a child too soon after me.

    I don’t care whether my father and mother are formally married, but I need them to live together in reasonable harmony.

    I want good nutrition for my mother and for me in my first two or three years when my capacity for future mental and physical development is determined.

    I want to go to school, together with my sister, and to learn a trade, and to have the schools impart social values to me. If I happen to be suitable for higher education, that opportunity should be available.

    When I leave school I want a job, a meaningful one in which I can feel the satisfaction of making a contribution.

    I want to live in a law and order society, without molestation. I want my country to relate effectively and equitably to the outside world so that I can have access to the intellectual and technical knowledge of all mankind, as well as the capital from overseas.

    I would like my country to get a fair price for the products that I and my fellow citizens create.

    As a farmer, I would like to have my own plot of land, with a system which gives me access to credit, to new agricultural technology and to markets, and a fair price for my produce.

    As a worker, I would want to have some share, some sense of participation in the factory in which I work.

    As a human being, I would like inexpensive newspapers and paperback books, plus access to radio and TV (without too much advertising).

    I want to enjoy good health, and I expect the Government to provide free preventive medical service and cheap and readily available good curative service.

    I need some leisure time for myself, and to enjoy my family, and want access to some green parks, to the arts, and to traditional social or religious festivities. I want clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.

    I would like to have the security of co-operative mechanisms in which I join to help others do things which they cannot do alone, and they do the same for me.

    I need the opportunity to participate in the society around me, and to help shape the decisions of the economic and social as well as the political institutions that so affect my life.

    I want my wife to have equal opportunity with me, and I want both of us to have access to the knowledge and means of family planning.

    In my old age, it would be nice to have some form of social security to which I have contributed.

    When I die, if I happen to have some money left, I would wish the Government to take some of it, leaving an adequate amount for my widow. With this money the Government should make it possible for others to enjoy life too.

    These are what life is all about, and what development should seek to achieve for all.”

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      November 18, 2020 at 9:58 pm

      YES IT IS TOO LONG TO COMMENT.
      As you stated, but you still cut and past it!
      If this is allowed here, I might cut and paste the old testament Exodus, which I wish you would do.

  6. Avatar

    Denis

    November 18, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    The truth is that this is the United States is attempting to destabilize Thailand politically and economically. USA dreams to topple the current government and place into power a political opposition led by billionaires pro-US. A good way to kill the economic power of the thai-chinese partnership.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    November 18, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    “… the constitution ….. which is currently in place (which was voted on and approved in a referendum in 2017)”

    True, but that’s hardly the full story of the “referendum”.

    1. The draft constitution itself was not openly or readily available, so those voting for or against it had to rely on what they were told it said rather than be able to read it themselves.

    2. Any and all campaigning against the draft constitution was made illegal and banned, and those campaigning against it were arrested and jailed as were those who said they would vote against it.

    3. While campaigning against it was banned, over 350,000 canvassers for the draft constitution were paid, trained and sent around the country by the NCPO (the military junta).

    4. There was no alternative to the draft constitution, such as the 1997 constitution which had been written by a drafting assembly where 76 of the 99 members were directly elected by popular vote, so the only alternative to accepting the constitution was continued military rule by the NCPO.

    5. Six amendments to the constitution were added after the referendum.

    I’d suggest that while the referendum meant the draft constitution was “voted on”, the way it was carried out didn’t mean that it was “approved”.

  8. Avatar

    Galaxy

    November 18, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Thailand does not need any “support” from any country to be destabilized. With “only” the actual government which is on the place, you don’t think that they succeed very well? Look only around you! And please everybody “STOP” to speak about all suspicious “INCOME”; You want to make a brilliant demonstration of your pieces of knowledge or what? Stop to go on Google and to make some copy/paste. When I see 1 Thai with a big stone in his hand and ready to through it on the manifests I feel now a deep destabilized country!!!! Only 1 big stone is maybe more dangerous than some “INCOMES”

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      November 18, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      Thailand’s overcentralisation in Bangkok, and poor city planning guarantees political instability.
      None of this is political, it’s mathematical… economics, geography, and statistics, and probability, that’s what makes Thailand politically unstable, It needs larger junior cities.
      Hopefully, places like Hat Yai, Chiang Mai, Rayong, and Khon Kaen will grow to fill the vaccuum.

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Thailand

Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings

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Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings | The Thaiger
Thailand’s netizens are refuting police’s claims that pro-democracy protesters carried out Wednesday’s rally shootings. The shootings occurred at the rally site near Bangkok’s Siam Commerical Bank head office, where the rally site was originally planned but was then moved after protesters tried to avoid a clash with pro-government royalists. However, shots were fired, with police arresting a suspect on charges of attempted murder, shooting in public without reason, and carrying a firearm in public.

The netizens found footage of the scene, in which they say they identified the faces of the offenders. The revelation came after Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Piya Tawichai blamed Ratsadon guards for the shootings and injuries.

Meanwhile, the pro-democracy leaders have been called into questionby donors to the movement, as they have criticised how the leaders have used the donations, when a guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money with some online comments mentioning the display of yellow ducks and props as a poor use of donation funds. Some criticisers pointed towards using the donations to buy protective gear for protesters after the shootings occurred, prompting the 2 leaders to issue a statement that they would now use such funds for the injured guards.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events

The Thaiger

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events | The Thaiger

The pro-democracy protests are set to continue well into December, according to Thai security officials. Officials have been preparing to cope with a rise in anti-government activities as symbolic calendar events are coming up. Today the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group says a protest will take place outside the 1st Infantry Battalion on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Phaya Thai District, giving credit to the predictions that there will no end in sight to the protests.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a secretary to PM’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai, made the announcement yesterday in light of the Constitutional Court being set to pass a ruling this Wednesday on whether PM Prayut is guilty of occupying a house that is meant for military officials.

Prayut is accused by the opposition of engaging in the conflict of interest by occupying the army residence. Such a move should have ended with his army chief tenure in 2014, according to critics.

Following the upcoming ruling on Wednesday, the symbolic calendar event of Constitution Day falls on December 10, a day which will ignite more protests as one of the main demands of pro-democracy demonstrators is to have a new Thai charter, along with the resignation of Prayut and reform of the Thai monarchy.

But despite the anticipated rise in rallies, security officials have ruled out the possibility of a military coup. Critics remain sceptical as many demonstrators claim the government has put police on the front lines of the protests, dressed in yellow shirts, in an attempt to spark a clash to pave the way for a coup. The current PM, when he was the head of the Thai Army in 2014, also said there would be “no coup” against the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government. A month later the NCPO led a bloodless coup and installed Prayut Chan-o-cha as the interim prime minister.

Piya Tawichai, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says protesters yesterday gathered near the Imperial World Samrong shopping mall in Samut Prakan before marching to the Bang Na intersection to rally, partially blocking the road. According to Kissana Phathanacharoen, the deputy spokesman for the national police, the protesters did not obtain permission for staging the rally.

Some protesters also reportedly spray-painted traffic police kiosks with messages that criticised the police for “ditching the people,” and smashed kiosk windows. Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a protest leader, posted on Facebook yesterday that she has been summoned for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which bans anyone from criticising the King which states:

“Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

Rung says she believes the summons is linked to the September 10 anti-government rally.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries

The Thaiger

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Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries | The Thaiger

Pro-democracy rally leaders are being questioned by followers over the usage of donation funds after a volunteer protest guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money, prompting them to make an announcement on Thursday.

The announcement came after the rally on Wednesday at the Siam Commercial Bank HG, in which the “magic team” as dubbed by the leaders themselves, said they would channel all their efforts into taking care of injured protesters from December 2 onwards. Such criticisms of how Inthira and Pakorn were spending the donations have been trending on social media for days with questions such as the ones seen below.

“Guards on the frontline have no protective gear, yet 20,000 baht was spent on an army of inflatable aliens.”

But the pair of leaders say it was not possible to provide bulletproof vests or anti-riot shields because these were controlled items, and instead they say they bought safety helmets with donors’ money. As for the yellow duck props, they say they were donated and the duo spent their own money on matching duck accessories. When asked for a detailed list of how the donations were spent, however, the pair said “it would be too complicated” to explain.

Inthira says an accountant would have to be hired to detail the way in which the donations were used. But she added that she would return the money to donors who were unhappy with how their money was being spent. Furthermore, she says the donors should remain anonymous.

“Just show me a copy of the transfer and I will return your donation.”

Despite the criticisms, Friday’s protest at Bangkok’s Lat Phrao intersection still featured the yellow ducks with Pakorn and Inthira gracing the scene with big smiles. Pakorn took to social media later announcing the return of donations.

“Mine and Sine’s bank accounts are now flooded with donations.”

Inthira also speculated that maybe the donors don’t want them, dubbed “the fairy godparents,” to fade from the scene.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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