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Prachatai : Tony Blair in Thailand: What we can learn

Taken from article called “Tony Blair in Thailand: What we can learn” by Titipol Phakdeewanich that was published by prachatai.com on 28/08/2013.

Much has now been written in an attempt to make sense of the dramatic confrontation that we witnessed in parliament last week, which resulted in the sadly not unprecedented scenario of having police on the floor of the House. Thailand likely senses that the political drama between the government and the opposition will almost inevitably continue, and realistically, why should the country expect otherwise? Their respective positions are already well established, and we now see a demonstration of what amounts to a zero-sum game, too often favoured by Thai political strategists.
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NY Times : Well-Mannered Thai Party Throws Down Its Gloves in Government Protests

NYTIMES_LOGO 2-13A version of this article was published by nytimes.com on August 25th, 2013, with the headline “Well-Mannered Thai Party Throws Down Its Gloves in Government Protests,” by Thomas Fuller.

BANGKOK — Booming loudspeakers, crowds of cheering protesters and the riot police on alert — after a relative lull of more than two years, politics is back on the streets in Thailand.

Thousands of demonstrators cheered in a vacant lot here on Saturday as speakers threatened to “overthrow” the government. But unlike in previous years, this time the protesters were members of Thailand’s oldest political party, the Democrat Party, which has long had a reputation as the staid, well-mannered and intellectual voice of the Bangkok establishment and has been firmly dedicated to resolving differences inside Parliament, where the Democrats lead the opposition.
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BKK Post : NHRC slammed over protest report

NhrcTaken from an article called “NHRC slammed over protest report” by Achara Ashayagachat, Bangkok Post Online, on 13 Aug 2013.

Civic groups are calling for the resignation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after it last week published its long overdue report into the government crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April-May 2010.

A red-shirt splinter group has said it will stage a protest at the offices of the NHRC on Wednesday, while student activists are planning a flash mob against the NHRC on Thursday.

Pongpisit Kongsena, chairman of the People’s Power Alliance, said the NHRC should have stood by people affected by the 2010 violence, instead of taking sides with the government that dispersed people to their deaths.
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Khaosod : Human Rights Expert Slams NHRC’s 2010 Crackdown Report

human-rights-watchTaken from an article called “Human Rights Expert Slams NHRC’s 2010 Crackdown Report” by Khaosod Online on 11 August 2013.

The representative of Human Rights Watch in Thailand criticised the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) for displaying bias against the Redshirts and downplaying the heavy-handed tactics of the authorities in its report on 2010 political unrests.

The report claims that the decision of the government under then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to use military force against the protests organised by the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) was “appropriate” because the protesters have overstepped the extent of freedom of assembly guaranteed by the Constitution.
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Khaosod : NHRC Accused Of Whitewashing Authorities’ Hands In 2010 Crackdown

Taken from an article called “NHRC Accused Of Whitewashing Authorities’ Hands In 2010 Crackdown” by Khaosod Online on 10 August 2013.

(10 August) Thailand′s top human rights commission has been blasted by a number of activists and academics for its report on the 2010 political violence which, the critics say, shifts most of the blames on the side of the protesters rather than the authorities.

Now recognised as the Kingdom′s worst political violence in decades, the events in 2010 started in mid-March when Redshirts protesters rallied to demand then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve the Parliament and resign, charging that Mr. Abhisit did not come to power via an election which counts as an undemocratic procedure.

The protests later escalated as the Redshirts occupied the financial district of the capital city. A military operation was launched to dislodge them on 10 April, but ultimately failed. In the following weeks Bangkok saw sporadic – sometimes deadly – clashes that pitched the Redshirts against the security forces and counter-protesters.
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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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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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