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UDD Press Conference 11th September 2013

1266293_476587059106313_1243894317_oOn Wednesday, September 11th 2013, at the press conference of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Mr. Thanawut Vichaidit, spokesperson of the UDD, warned Southerners about the Democrat Party continuous scheme of using the rubber protests to discredit the government. Mr. Thanawut said that the Democrat Party wanted nothing more but to cause trouble in the South in an attempt to overthrow the government with a complete disregard of the wellbeing of the citizens in the South who are largely their own supporters.

“The Democrat Party should find a new leader and get rid of Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva if they really want to win the next general election. They should stop trying to dissolve the parliament and closed down the southern traffic for their own gain. Think about your supporters in the south who are going to suffer more than anybody if you going to keep this charade going,” said the spokesperson of the UDD.

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Mrs. Tida: “Holders of state power have to commit to reforms or else it is all just a show”

972367_645265515518853_1452689616_nOn September 7th 2013 at Rattanakosin Hotel in Bangkok, the board of “14 October (1973) for Complete Democracy” had set up a discussion stage on the topic called “40 years since 14 October, it’s time to reform, reform, and reform”. The host of the event invited Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, Assoc. Prof. Tida Thavonseth, President of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Mr. Sombat Boon-ngam-anong, leader of the Red Sunday Group, and Dr. Anusorn Thumjai Dean of faculty of Economics at Rangsit University as the keynote speakers.

Mrs. Tida said in her speech, “40 years had passed since 14th October 1973 and many things have changed in science and technology which enabled the development in economics, politics, and society but the fight for democracy still continue at the grassroots level. Many people on top of the society’s pyramid believe that they can maintain their status quo forever but in reality, the people and the world have changed.”
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Three Years and Waiting

3After 3 years, the hidden truth behind the violent crackdown of Red Shirt protestors in 2010 has started to gradually reveal itself through court results and findings of special investigation teams.

On September 4, 2013, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) had forwarded 28 more cases of 2010 victims, whom they believe were killed by the government’s security forces between April – May 2010, to the Police Bureau for further investigation. Previously, there were 40 victims that were allegedly killed by soldiers; this addition brings the total to 68 cases of its kind.
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OHCHR : Technical Note on International Law and UN Policy Regulating Amnesties

46.pngThe United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a “Technical Note on International Law and UN Policy Regulating Amnesties” dated August 26th 2013, on their official website in order to present a “note that aims at informing the current debate in Thailand on the draft Amnesty Bill by setting out the relevant international law and United Nations policy on amnesties.”

This “technical note” does not oppose the proposed amnesty bill but intended to give a guideline of International law and United Nations which prescribe limits on the lawful and permissible scope of an amnesty. Under international law and under United Nations policy, amnesties are impermissible if they:
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The Courier Mail article on Mrs. Tida

courier_mail_logoA version of this article called “Roles are reversed for rebels”, by Sian Powell, appears in print on September 7, 2013, on The Courier-Mail, daily newspaper published in Brisbane, Australia.

Weary and feeling her age after the bloody 2010 uprising in Thailand, Tida Thavonseth was a sudden and unexpected rebel leader. Yet she could hardly refuse to to take the chair of the insurgent red-shirt movement; the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, or UDD.
Crushed by Thailand’s military, with most leaders jailed, the movement was at a standstill.

Now, after nearly three years at the helm of the red-shirt movement, and with a sympathetic government in power, it seems Tida’s work is not yet finished. Followers of the opposition Democrat party last month took to the streets to demand change, and they have warned of violence to come.
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UDD Press Conference on September 4th 2013

1231311_473439222754430_600600609_nAt the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) press conference on Wednesday 4th September 2013, spokesperson of the UDD, Mr. ThanuwutVichaidit shared his concerns over the rubberprice crisis in the South as he is also a southerner himself.

Mr. Thanawut argued that most of the rubber farmers who are truly affected by the falling price of rubber have already accepted the government’s subsidy offer. However, the process to overthrow the government and democracy in Thailand still subsists because the autocratic party would not yield and will continue to use the rubber farmers’ rallies in the future as an excuse to once again attack the credibility of government.
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Uniting for the Future: Learning from Each Other’s Experiences (PART III) & Dr. Weng’s Comments on Ms. Hayner

1175208_627154250662139_773053340_n

Special Lecture Series on “Uniting for the Future: Learning from Each Other’s Experiences” at Plaza Athenee Hotel, Bangkok, on Monday, 2nd August 2013. (Continue from PART (I) & (II)).

Before she concluded her speech, Ms. Priscilla Hayner, senior adviser to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, mentioned the discussions of the current Amnesty Bill backed by the Pheu Thai-led government which promises to lift responsibility for political violence during the military crackdown in 2010 for everyone except the leaders of the protests and the commanding authorities at the time.
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Uniting for the Future: Learning from Each Other’s Experiences (PART II)

ahtisaari_un01_photoSpecial Lecture Series on “Uniting for the Future: Learning from Each Other’s Experiences” at Plaza Athenee Hotel, Bangkok, on Monday, 2nd August 2013. (Continue from PART I).

Following Tony Blair, former Finnish president and Nobel Peace prize winner, Marti Ahtisaari, was the next speaker on the panel. Mr. Ahtisaari recommended the Thai government to open up and facilitate groups in society for the purpose of building trust among one another.

From his experiences in peace and reconciliation process in Namibia, Kosovo, and Ache, Mr. Ahtisaari believes that in reconciliation and nation building “Trust is everything” but it requires time, patience and work. What you have to remember is that “Peace is not only an outcome, it is a process”.
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