Thai Red Shirts (TRS) recently held an interview with Dr Thongchai Winichakul to discuss Thailand’s historic opportunity to grant the International Criminal Court (ICC) ad hoc jurisdiction over the events of 2010 and the emergence of the anti-democratic group Pitak Siam.
Dr Thongchai is a specialist in the intellectual and cultural history of Thailand and a professor at the University of Wisconsin in the USA. He was a leader in the pro-democracy student protests of the 1970s and was imprisoned after the Thammasat massacre of 1976.
TRS: You have come out strongly in favour of the ICC in Thailand. Why?
Dr Thongchai: Because I want to end impunity. I’m not a member of the UDD, nor do I agree with them on everything, but I’m definitely sympathetic to them when it comes to the killings of 2010. [UDD lawyer] Robert Amsterdam informed me that the ICC was taking their application seriously and that my involvement would be beneficial, so I joined him.
The fact that the ICC prosecutor came to Bangkok to sit down with the Foreign Minister (FM) is a major step. To this day, many people in Thailand don’t believe that the ICC path would be helpful, or even possible. But the visit from the ICC prosecutor is proof that this is serious. If there were no grounds for Amsterdam’s application to the ICC then the case would have been thrown away a long time ago. (more…)