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UDD Press Conference on June 26th 2013

red farmerAt the press conference on Wednesday June 26th 2013, Mr. Thanawut Wichaidit, spokesperson of the UDD, has commented on the bruised face of the government that was hit by its own right hook called the rice pledging scheme.

Mr. Thanawut expressed his concern for the farmers and praised them for voicing their grievances directly at the government. “They need to solve this problem for their own good, if they can fix it, they are sure to gain popularity” Mr. Thanawut said, referring to the government. “Farmers are honest and hard working people and when they are in trouble you need to listen to them. It is good that they came out to protest because it can force the government into initiating dialogues that can lead to the solution of the problem” the spokesperson of the UDD remarked.
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19 Million Baht Compensation for 77 Red Shirts

june 27On Tuesday (11:00am) at the Ministry of Justice, Assoc. Prof. Tida Tavonseth and Dr. Weng Tojilakarn were invited to attend a ceremony to award 19 million baht worth of compensation to 77 individuals who were jailed for their alleged roles during the Red Shirt protests in 2010.

Pol.Gen. Pracha Promnork, Minister of Justice and president at the ceremony, presented the compensation money to the political victims; 18 of whom are from Ubon Ratchatani province, 20 from Bangkok, 28 from Udon Thani, 6 from Kon Kaen, 4 from Chiang Mai, and 1 from Mukdaharn.

The April-May 2010 protests ended in bloodshed on 19 May 2010 after the military launched its final phase of the “Area Reclaim” operation on unarmed Red Shirt protestors in financial district of Bangkok. Apart from killing more than 90 of them, the military rounded up innumerable protesters and jailed them under the emergency laws. Some were arrested without explanation and ended up spending months in jail without charges for any crimes. Most of the arrested were acquitted of their charges on terrorism and arson attacks, which were forced upon them by the coup appointed government.
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The Government Rice Pledging Scheme

Rice_FieldOn June 25th 2013, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom accepted a letter from a representative of farmers requesting the government to reverse its decision to reduce the price for rice under its pledge program by 20%, from 15,000 baht per tonne down to 12,000 baht per tonne.

Approximately 500 farmers from around the country held a brief rally in front of the Government House on Tuesday and only agreed to disperse after their representative had submitted a written demand to Mr. Boonsong. In an attempt to ease the situation, the Commerce Minister promised the furious farmers that the National Rice Policy Committee will consider their demand to maintain the government’s paddy pledged price for ordinary rice at 15,000 baht per tonne until at least the end of the harvest season in September.
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BKK Post : Three milling firm execs face fraud charges

riceTaken from an article called “Three milling firm execs face fraud charges” by Bangkok Post Reporters on 27th June 2013.

The Phichit provincial court has approved warrants for the arrest of three executives of a rice milling company for alleged fraud, a senior police officer says. Nattariya Boonkua, Munin Chantra, and Nattakit Ananchalin, of L-Gold Manufacture Co, face charges relating to the disappearance of 12,000 tonnes of rice acquired by the company under the government’s pledging scheme, Phichit police chief Krisana said Wednesday.
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Khaosod : Abhisit Says He’s Not Worried By 2010 Crackdown Criminal Charges

Taken from an article called “Abhisit Says He’s Not Worried By 2010 Crackdown Criminal Charges” by Khaosod Online on 26th June 2013.

Mr. Abhisit Vejjajeeva and Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban at the Attorney General office. Photo by Khaosod

Mr. Abhisit Vejjajeeva and Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban at the Attorney General office. Photo by Khaosod

(26 June) Former PM Abhisit Vejjajeeva visited the Attorney General office to acknowledge the criminal charges brought against him for his role as then-Prime Minister in the 2010 military operation which ended Redshirts mass protests in central Bangkok and led to more than 90 fatalities.
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Khao Sod : Van Driver Injured By 2010 Crackdown Wants To Confront Abhisit

Taken from an article called “Van Driver Injured By 2010 Crackdown Wants To Confront Abhisit” by Khaosod Online on 25th June 2013.

Mr. Samorn Maithong showing the wound. Photo by Khaosod

Mr. Samorn Maithong showing the wound. Photo by Khaosod Online

(25 June) The van driver shot and injured during military operation against the Redshirt protesters in May 2010 says he wants to meet Former PM Abhisit Vejjajeeva and ask him what the former leader has to say about the operation that led to his injury.
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BKK Post : Autocrats told to embrace equality

Taken from an article called “Autocrats told to embrace equality“, by Achara Ashayagachat, on 24 June 2013 at www.bangkokpost.com

The June 24, 1932 revolution successfully installed rights and liberty in Thailand but egalitarianism, another tenet of democracy that was announced by the Khana Rassadorn (People’s Movement), has yet to be embraced by the autocratic middle-class, say academics and descendants of the founding fathers of Thai democracy.

คณะราษฎร - The Khana Rassadorn (People's Movement)

คณะราษฎร – The Khana Rassadorn (People’s Movement)

Puangkeo Satraprung, 71, one of the four surviving children of Phraya Phahonponpayuhasena, leader of the young, oversea-educated civil and military officials who revolutionised Thai politics by turning an absolute monarchy into a constitutional one, said it was a pity that today, people did not fully understand “democracy for all”.
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Narn Democracy School (Part I)

narn 2At the “UDD Democracy School” in Narn province on 26 May 2013, Assoc. Prof. Tida Tawonseth gave a speech concerning the current political situation in Thailand in front of 2,000 participants at the event. Mrs.Tida speech is summarized and presented here as follows:

The UDD’s school for democracy in Narn province was the 16th event of its kind where co-leaders of the Red Shirts have travelled to different provinces in Thailand in to provide basic lessons on democracy to anybody that interested in the people’s struggle.

“We are creating co-leaders of democracy for the future in order to safeguard Thailand’s democratic institutions from being over thrown by any kind of coup d’état” said Assoc. Prof. Tida. “Some intellects think that grass root citizens only care about their own well-being and they do not care about politics or democracy. What these intellects fail to realize is that the level of political awareness among the grass root people of Thailand is already beyond this primitive way of thinking. Poor people also want justice and basic human rights, not only the rich and the middle class can enjoy democracy and its benefits.”
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