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Pro-democracy group calls for “honest” cops to join them, as corruption exposed in parliament

Maya Taylor

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Pro-democracy group calls for “honest” cops to join them, as corruption exposed in parliament | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

The pro-democracy Ratsadon group is calling for “honest” police officers to join a rally taking place today to protest police and government corruption. Protesters are expected to gather at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok from 5pm. During last week’s no confidence debate against the PM, members of the opposition accused Prayut Chan-o-cha and his deputy, Prawit Wongsuwa, of involvement in a corrupt system of “payment for promotion” to allow police officers to move up the ranks.

The Ratsadon group is appealing to officers who have not benefited from such corruption to join them in calling it out.

“Good work, well-recognised work, but without lobbying, you will be stuck at the same place. Police, it’s time to choose whether to side with the civilians or the tyrants!”

Coconuts reports that the rally is called, “police mob to defeat an elephant” in reference to the system known as “elephant tickets”, in which prominent figures at the top of the political system sign tickets that promote officers swiftly through the ranks . It’s understood such tickets can be bought for millions of baht and even give the holder a discount on the bribe needed for promotion.

The crooked system was highlighted during last week’s parliamentary debate, with leaked documents indicating the involvement of the PM and Prawit, as well as Thailand’s highest institution. An MP from the Move Forward Party, Rangsiman Rome, was swiftly threatened with the country’s lèse majesté law after he presented a 2019 palace document which backed the promotion of 20 police officers.

Rangsiman says he’s aware of the risk he’s taking in presenting such evidence, but that the system creates a circle of immorality and corruption. He says officers have to maximise the payments taken from human trafficking and illegal gambling operations in order to afford promotion tickets.

“This is probably the most dangerous action I’ve ever taken in my life. But since people have chosen me for this duty, I will fight for them.”

SOURCE: Coconuts

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Any cops that turn up will lose their chance of promotion.
    However an honest cop would not bribe to gain promotion anyway.

    • Avatar

      Galaxy

      Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 1:07 pm

      Unfortunately, they don’t exist: They are honest at the beginning and after a certain time they join the loop of corruption. Why most of them they get some profits and not me? So I go and I practice now!

  2. Avatar

    Slugger

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    You people are corruption fixated. There must be a name for it. Maybe it reflects where you come from.

    • Avatar

      Pedro

      Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:14 pm

      Oh come on Slugger, surely even you with your strong sense of law and order and punishment for protesters, cannot condone the corruption that clearly exists in the Thai police – unless of course you are a corrupt Thai police officer trying to hide from the truth about yourself. No-one can uphold the law by breaking the law.

    • Avatar

      Boss

      Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 7:32 pm

      You seem so Slimy perhaps you should change your name from Slugger to “Slug”

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Doomed to be the least supported rally in Thai protest history – the only thing new about this is that it’s the first time anyone’s dared say so publicly and to name names.

    Maybe doing so will have an effect, but it won’t bring police flocking out to support it (at least not if they can be identified).

  4. Avatar

    Tony

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    An honest cop in Thailand was once said to be as rare as rocking horse shit. Good luck finding them.

  5. Avatar

    mud bucket

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    funniestthing I have read all day, thanks for the laugh.

  6. Avatar

    Jim kelly

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 8:33 pm

    Remember, this is the ‘ROYAL’ Thai Police.. ROYAL….. H ha ha ha ha!!

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Thailand

Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk

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Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk | The Thaiger

A group of pro-democracy protestors, on an almost 250 kilometre walk, are expected to reach the outskirts of Bangkok today. The group has been walking for 17 days, starting from the Thao Suranaree statue in Korat province’s Muang district to protest the imprisonment of 9 pro-democracy demonstrators who are being denied bail.

The demonstrators imprisoned include 4 protest leaders from Ratsadon named Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Morlum Bank” Saraiyeam. The 247.5-kilometre march, named “Walk Through the Sky: Bring Back the People’s Power,” started on February 16. Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, from the student-led protest group Ratsadon, is leading the walking protesters and says they have been held in jail without bail since February 9.

The 4 are facing charges under Article 112, which prohibits lese-majeste, or the defaming of the Thai Royal Monarchy. Lese-majeste carries a jail sentence of 3 to 15 years. They are also facing charges of sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, which carries a jail term of 7 years, as they are accused of organising pro-democracy rallies.

“The ignition and the fuel for the walk is simple. They have started to incarcerate our friends while denying their bail requests, which made it impossible for us to do nothing.”

The court has denied the demonstrators bail requests 4 times now, citing that their release would create more unrest.

Pai said he emphathises with the detained protestors as he has been imprisoned for lese-majeste before. He says he spent 2 years and 6 months in prison for sharing a BBC Thai’s biography of the monarch on Facebook.

“When I was in jail, there were people outside who were protesting for my release so now that my friends are in jail by an unfair law while being denied their right to political expression, I must come out and do something.”

“A walk is a type of a fight against injustice and we choose to fight this way in order to peacefully spread the words about police brutality, the uses of various laws to silence dissidents, the plights of the poor and the mismanagement of the government’s covid-relief measures and natural resources.”

The walk-in protest group is expected to reach Zeer Rangsit in Pathumthani around 5:30 pm today and will camp out near the department store before marching at the Bang Khen intersection tomorrow. On Sunday, the march is expected to end at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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Thailand

Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report | The Thaiger
October protest at the Asok-Sukhumvit intersection in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being absolute freedom, Thailand scores at 30, a “not free” country, according to the nonprofit Freedom House. Each year, the organisation reviews the political rights and civil liberties of countries around the world. According to their recent assessment, Thailand has declined in terms of rights and liberties, dropping on the scale from “partly free” to “not free.”

The main reason for the drop on the freedom scale, the organisation says, is “due to the dissolution of a popular opposition party that performed well in the 2019 elections, and the military-dominated government’s crackdown on youth-led protests calling for democratic reforms.”

The Future Forward Party was dissolved in February 2020 after the court found that the founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, had made a large donation to the party that exceeded the legal limit. The party’s leaders were then banned from politics for the next decade.

Youth-led protests started in February, but the demonstrations were put on pause due to Covid-19 restrictions banning large public gatherings. Protesters gathered in July as restrictions lifted, but some leaders then faced charges for holding a public gathering, which was still banned under emergency orders.

In October, the prime minister imposed what Freedom House calls a “severe” State of Emergency order in Bangkok that banned gatherings of more than 5 people. Some protesters were arrested for violating the order nearly immediately after it was imposed.

With activists pushing for monarchy reform and an end to the military’s involvement in government, raising subjects considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society, the Thai government has increased its use of the draconian lèse majesté law. Since November, dozens of activists have faced charges for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

Freedom House scores countries on topics like the electoral process, questioning if politicians and leaders were elected in free and fair elections, as well as freedom of expression and individual rights.

Thailand’s military seized power in 2014 in a bloodless coup. The 2017 constitution was drafted by a committee appointed by the military’s National Council for Peace and Order. In 2019, the country transitioned to what Freedom House calls a “military-dominated, semi-elected” government.

The 2019 elections were overseen by the Election Commission of Thailand, whose members were appointed by the military. All 250 senators were appointed by the military in 2019 to serve 5 year terms.

In 2020, the combination of democratic deterioration and frustrations over the role of the monarchy provoked the country’s largest anti-government demonstrations in a decade. In response to these youth-led protests, the regime resorted to familiar authoritarian tactics, including arbitrary arrests, intimidation, lèse majesté charges, and harassment of activists. Freedom of the press is constrained, due process is not guaranteed, and there is impunity for crimes committed against activists.

SOURCE: Freedom House

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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