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Asia Sentinel : Southeast Asia’s Stark Democracy Lessons

asean-leadersTaken from an article called “Southeast Asia’s Stark Democracy Lessons” by Michael Vatikiotis that was published via asiasentinel.com on 10 September 2013.

(Michael Vatikiotis is Asia regional director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. This is from a speech delivered at the Uniting for the Future Conference, Bangkok Sept. 2, 2013.)

Southeast Asia is no stranger to the challenges of unity and reconciliation. The early phases of nation-building were characterized by struggle and upheaval stemming from the reluctance of established conservative elites to share power. Democratic forms of government were deemed unsuited to societies that were organized along hierarchical lines and dominated by narrow interest groups.
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The Diplomat : Thailand Opposition Behaving Badly

Taken form an article called “Thailand Opposition Behaving Badly” by Mong Palatino that was published by The Diplomat blogs on September 19, 2013.

Flickr-World-Economic-Forum-400x266It seems Thailand’s opposition politicians are getting desperate.

Last month, 57 members of parliament belonging to the opposition Democrat Party were evicted from the session hall after they repeatedly protested the ruling of the presiding officer. When parliamentary police officers were called in to escort the MPs out, they forcibly resisted, with one seen grabbing the throat of a police officer.
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UDD Press Conference on September 18th 2013

IMG_0475At the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) press conference on September 18th 2013, Mr. Thanawut Vichaidit, spokesperson of the UDD, described the current political situation as “unstable” and “tedious”. He said that it is unstable because of the blockade in the South and it is dull because of the all the bickering inside the parliament.

Mr. Thanawut said that the people, neutral or not, are sick of the politicians’ behavior and the fact that nothing is being done inside the parliament while blaming this motionless and unproductive political game on the opposition party.

“The Democrat Party’s voting record in the past 20 years is miserable and the chance for them to win any election in the future is dim. This reality force them to impede the progress of the country through judicial and military coup d’état. They were successful in 2006 but now the people are more aware and are ready to revolt against it which compelled them to use another obstacle mean to regain their power,” said the spokesperson of the UDD.
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20th and 21st UDD Democracy School in Chiang Mai

UDD-LogoSince the last “UDD Democracy School” in Satun province on July 7th 2013, the political tension in Thailand had intensified noticeably in August due to the reconvening of the parliament and the first hearing of the amnesty bill that was proposed by Pheu Thai MP Worachai Hema on August 7th 2013.

Other debates and events also sparked a heated session in and outside of the parliament including the deliberation of the budget bill, the constitution amendment, the gathering of the Amart’s ground forces in Bangkok and the speech rallies of the opposition party.
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112 Cases Revisited

1240585_10201306537077992_1374565762_nOn 13th September 2013, at 09:00am, the Ratchada Criminal Court judge had acquitted the case against, Mr. Yutthapoom Martnork, whose brother had accused him of defaming the country’s monarch by speaking and writing defaming words on VCD.

The court found that there was not enough evidence to convict Yuthapoom because his brother, Thanawat Martnork, had been the only accuser, and other relatives, had insisted that Yuthapoom never insulted the crown. The judge also cited several other reasons for Mr. Yuthapoom’s acquittal, including the conflicting accounts that Thanawut gave to the police and the history of conflict between the two brothers prior to the case.
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“Understanding the Amnesty Bill” mini-lecture in Bang Pra-Thun Nork Temple

จอมทอง 2On Sunday, September 15th 2013, Dr. Weng Tojilakarn, Pheu Thai MP and co-leader of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) hosted a miniature lecture series on “Understanding the Amnesty Bill” that was set up by UDD Bangkok and UDD Headquarter.

The venue for the miniature lecture series and the topic changes weekly throughout the 50 districts in Bangkok. The lecture aims to provide information on the amnesty bill that is currently being debated in the parliament and provide the UDD supporters with a stage to ask questions which related to the organization and other current political issues.
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UDD Miniature Lecture Series on “Understanding the Amnesty Bill”

Arawan institute in Jarunsiriwong

Arawan institute in Jarunsiriwong

Giving that the amnesty bill, proposed by Samut Prakarn MP Worachai Hema, had passed the first parliament hearing last month on August 8th 2013, it is imperative for the people to gain a further understanding on the principle and the reason for the drafted bill, therefore, the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) has decided to set up a miniature lecture series called, “Understanding the Amnesty Bill,” to provide grassroots citizens with additional information on amnesty and other current issues.
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Khaosod : Witnesses Recall Military Actions In May 2010

13789990331378999288lTaken from an article called “Witnesses Recall Military Actions In May 2010” by Khaosod Online that was published on 12th September 2013.

(12 September) A fish vendor and a rescue worker told the Criminal Court yesterday about how military personnelshot at them during clashes between the military and the Redshirts around Lumpini Park in May 2010.

The testimonies were given as part of the inquests into the deaths of 3 individuals killed at the park on 14 May 2010: Mr. Piyapong Kittiwong, Mr. Prachuab Silapan, and Mr. Somsak Silarat. The court is trying to establish whether the security forces had been responsible for the 3 deaths.
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