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Prachatai : Five follies of the blanket amnesty

Free somyotTaken from Prachatai’s article called “Five follies of the blanket amnesty” by Somyot Pruksakasemsuk that was published on 5 October 2013.

Revised and translated by Prachatai

Regarding the amnesty draft bill, which was hastily passed in its second and the third readings by the lower House last week, I would like to illustrate the following five points of folly about the bill.
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Dr. Weng Questioned Asia Update Decision

unnamedDr Weng Tojilakarn, Pheu Thai MP and co-leader of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) questioned the directors of Asia Update Channel’s decision to suspend all Red Shirt’s programmes from its broadcasting schedule.

Four of the shows that have been suspended are presented by; Mr. Sombat Boon-ngarmanong (บก.ลายจุด), the coordinator of Red Sunday group and other co-leaders of the UDD which includes, Mrs Tida Tavonseth, president of the UDD, Mr. Jatuporn Prompan and Commerce Minister, Mr. Nattwut Saikua.

Asia Update has made no intention of explaining its decision but many, including Dr Weng, believe that it is due to the co-leaders opposition against the blanket amnesty bill that was supported by Pheu Thai Party.
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Dr. Weng Submit an Open Letter to the Government Concerning US Spying Program

1456760_491309804301172_1953592283_nOn 4 October 2013, Dr. Weng Tojilakarn, Pheu Thai party-list MP and co-leader of the United front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), had submit an open letter via Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok to formally asked the government about the claim that the United States spy agency has been collecting data of phone calls and internet usage through their embassy and consul in Thailand.

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article called “US spying on our neighbours through embassies” by Philip Dorling on 29 October 2013 and according to its reports;
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Prachatai : Blanket amnesty bill unconstitutional: Nitirat

Taken from Prachatai Online article called “Blanket amnesty bill unconstitutional: Nitirat” by Suluck Lamubol that was published on 4 November 2013.

Photo by : Prachatai Online

Photo by : Prachatai Online

Nitirat, a group of law scholars from Thammasat University, warned on Thursday that the passing of the blanket amnesty bill would contradict the constitution and could results in lawsuits at the Constitutional Court against Members of Parliament.
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Khaosod : Editorial: Put An End To ‘Amnesty For All’

Taken from Khaosod Online article called “Editorial: Put An End To ‘Amnesty For All’” on 4 November 2013.

A map which shows the areas where Red Shirt protestors were shot and killed during 2010 crackdown

A map which show the areas where Red Shirt protestors were shot and killed during 2010 crackdown

(4 November) Since its departure from its original form, the government-sponsored Amnesty Bill has been attracting much criticism from members of the public of various backgrounds.

Submitted to Parliament by Pheu Thai MP Worachai Hema, the Bill was designed to grant amnesty exclusively to ordinary citizens who had been caught in the crossfires of the political unrest that has plagued Thailand in recent years.
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Prachatia : Red shirts commemorate 7th anniversary of anti-coup suicide

Taken from Prachatai article called “Red shirts commemorate 7th anniversary of anti-coup suicide” on 1 November 2013.

Photo by : Prachatai

Photo by : Prachatai

About a thousand of anti-coup activists red-shirts on Thursday commemorated the seventh anniversary of the symbolic suicide of a taxi driver against the 2006 coup d’état at two separate events in Bangkok.

A pillar was built and installed in honour of Nuamthong Phaiwan at the pedestrian bridge on Vibhavadi Rangsit road where the 60-year-old taxi driver hanged himself on October 31, 2006. It was his second suicide attempt after he tried to kill himself by driving his cab into a military tank on September 30, 2006 when he was seriously injured.
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Blanket Amnesty Rushed Through Parliament

Photo by : Bangkok Post Online

Photo by : Bangkok Post

The notorious blanket amnesty bill was rushed through second and third reading last night when everybody else were sleeping at 4am on Friday morning.

The 19 hour debate ended with 310 – 0 vote after Democrat Party opposition members walked out an hour before the voting process. The obvious result from the Democrats retreat means no one voted against the bill except for 4 Red Shirt/Pheu Thai MPs who have chosen to abstain despite the party resolution for all MPs to vote for it.

They four abstained are; Commerce Minister, Natthawut Saikua, party-list MP and UDD co-leader, Dr Weng Tojirakarn, Samut Prakarn MP Worachai Hema and Ms Khattiyar Sawasdipol, party-list MP and daughter of Maj Gen Khattiya Sawasdipol (Sae Daeng).
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