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First Secretary from US Embassy visited UDD Headquarter

On Tuesday 30th July 2013, First Secretary Timothy P. Trenkle, along with Jessica Smith, political adviser to the United States Embassy, visited the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) headquarters in Imperial Lad Prao for a meeting with Assoc. Prof. Tida Tavonseth, President of the UDD.

The congregation was of casual nature where Assoc. Prof. Tida explained to the First Secretary the history and the current situations surrounding the UDD organization. Mrs. Tida also clarified to the representatives of the US Embassy about the current UDD’s priorities and their 3 points suggestion to the government (1.Amnesty 2.Constitutional amendment 3. Allow International Criminal Court to investigate the military crackdown on protestors in 2010).
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UDD President Congratulate CPP for their Electoral Victory

UDD Logo

30 July 2013

H.E. Hun Sen
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
Fax: +855 23 36 06 66 / 855 23 88 06 24
(c/o Council of Ministers)
Email: leewood_phu@nida.gov.kh

Your Excellency, Prime Minister Hun Sen,

On behalves of the Red Shirts and the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), I would like to congratulate the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) for their victory in the latest general election in Cambodia. We hope that the bilateral relationship between Thai and Cambodian people will continue to flourish as it was in the past and that it will be even stronger in the future. We also wish that the new government will be able to manage the country with ease and without any major turbulence during their administration.

Best regards,

Tida Tavonseth, President of the UDD

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Prachatai : Writer convicted of lèse majesté to face final verdict at Supreme Court

Taken from an article call “Writer convicted of lèse majesté to face final verdict at Supreme Court” by Prachatai reporters via http://www.prachatai.com/english/ , published on 26/07/13.

Bundit Aneeya, a 73-year-old freelance writer and translator, is to face the final verdict of the Supreme Court in his lèse majesté case in August. He was sentenced to four years in March 2006 for defaming the monarchy by distributing politics-related documents at an academic seminar. He is currently out on bail since the case has not reached the final judgement.

He could face up two years and eight months in prison if the Supreme Court stands by the guilty verdict.
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Robert Amsterdam : White Paper: The Judicial Attack on Thailand’s Democracy

Taken from an article call “White Paper: The Judicial Attack on Thailand’s Democracy” by Amsterdam & Partners LLP, via http://robertamsterdam.com/thailand, published on 17/07/13.

The purpose of this White Paper is to alert the international community to an ongoing assault—carried out largely under the standard of the Democrat Party of Thailand, but engineered by a broader coalition of groups hostile to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra—designed to remove a democratically elected government by illegal means.
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UDD Press Conference on July 24th, 2013

At the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) press conference on July 24th, 2013, Mr. Thanawut Vichaidit, spokesperson of the UDD, told the press that the Red Shirts are still strong supporters of the current government. “We maintain that we are still determined to fight by your side,” he said.

Mr. Thanawut also continued to urge the government to endorse MP Worachai Hema’s Amnesty Bill because it is the fastest way for political prisoners of all colors to be freed. Regarding the Democrat Party’s recent interest in the Amnesty Bill, Mr Thanawut believed that it is simply a ploy by the opposition to slow down the pardon process even further. “Granting amnesty to political prisoners could have been done since Mr. Abhisit was in the Prime Minister seat, why did he have to wait until now to show interest?” said Thanawut.
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New Mandala – Thailand’s International Human Rights Obligations in Question

Taken from an article called “Thailand’s international human rights obligations in question” by Carlos Fernandez Torne, guest contributor to http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/, published on 24th July 2013.

Much has been written about two amnesty bills tabled by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung and by Samut Prakan MP Worachai Hema. The Chalerm bill would reportedly offer a blanket amnesty to those involved in political unrest, from the 2006 military coup to the 2010 crackdown on the red shirts, including State authorities responsible for the crackdown on protesters. On the other hand, the Worachai bill would offer amnesty to people being investigated for, or convicted of, crimes related to political violence. However, it would not cover protest leaders or those who ordered the use of force to quell the protests.
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Worachai Amnesty Bill, First bill to be Deliberate on August 7

Mr. Jarupong (right) at Pheu Thai Party press conference

Interior Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan (right) at Pheu Thai Party press conference

Interior Minister and leader of Pheu Thai Party, Jarupong Ruangsuwan, along with Mr. Phumtham Wechayachai, General Secretary of the party and Mr. Udomdej Rattanasathien, Ex-Government Chief Whip,announced to the press yesterday morning (24/07/13), that the Amnesty Bill of Samut Prakarn MP Worachai Hema will be the only bill to be debated when the Parliament reconvenes. The date is set for the Amnesty Bill to be debated on August 7, 2013 and it will be the first bill to be deliberated. All other amnesty bill versions have been discarded, including the recently proposed bill known as “the People’s Amnesty Bill”.

“Following the Pheu Thai Party’s strategic policy meetings on July 23rd, 2013, and after Members of Parliament have agreed that Mr. Worachai Hema’s Amnesty Bill will be the first and only bill to be deliberated when the parliament reconvenes, members of the party have decided to throw their full support for the bill,” said Mr. Phumtham. “The Amnesty Bill will be deliberated by the Members of Parliament from August 7-8, 2013,” he added.

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UDD Concerns Over the Victim’s Families Bill

photo by: Khaosod Online

photo by: Khaosod Online

Mrs. Payao Akkahad (Mae Luk-Gade), the mother of 25 year old Kamolkade Akkahad (Nurse Gade), a medical volunteer who was killed inside Pathum Wanaram temple and relatives of those killed in April-May 2010 violent government crackdown on Red Shirts protestors, submitted their version of an Amnesty Bill to Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanjana last Tuesday (16th July 2013) at the Government House.

The group of relatives who call themselves, “Families of April-May 2010 Martyrs”, was led by Ms. Payao Akhard and Mr. Pansak Srithep, father of Mr. Samapan Srithep (Nong Cher), the schoolboy who was killed in Ratchaprarop Road on 16 May 2010. The newly drafted bill was dubbed the “People’s Amnesty Bill” or the “Victims’ Families Bill”.
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