Thailand's notorious Constitutional Court has once again worked hand in glove with the anti-democratic elite, ruling that the February 2 election was “unconstitutional”. This is a re-run of the ruling that the 2006 elections were null and void. The 2006 ruling, along with anti-democrat protests, led to a military coup and the continuous destruction of Thai democracy.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn
Indiscriminate violence against ordinary people, whether they be involved in politics or not, is always appalling and serves no progressive or democratic purpose. The recent killing of children is even worse. We have no idea who has been committing these latest deadly atrocities in Bangkok or in Trat and it would be foolish to make wild guesses. It could be those who favour a dictatorship and wish to create conditions favourable for a military coup against elected President Yingluck Shinawatra.
The national elections held on February 2 cannot solve the Thai political crisis because those lined up against the government and democratic elections are fundamentally opposed to democracy. The election was marred by violence from right-wing Democrat Party thugs who were determined to prevent voting from taking place. Armed thugs fired automatic weapons into crowds of people seeking to vote. These thugs have been enjoying total impunity for more than a month while intimidating voters and candidates.
Many people may wonder why Yingluck Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party’s government, which came to power supported by the poor-based Red Shirt mass movement, seems to be paralysed in the face of violent and criminal actions by Sutep Tuaksuban's Democrat Party mob. It is not due to “invisible hands” from the throne or covert military support for Sutep. In fact, the top elites regard Sutep and his acolytes as lowly street gangsters.
The Democrat Party’s mad dogs unleashed violence around Bangkok’s voting stations on January 26. Voting stations throughout the country were supposed to be open for people to cast their votes before the February 2 general election. Advanced voting is a required service since it is compulsory for people to cast their ballot. In many areas of Bangkok, angry residents argued with the anti-democratic protesters. They also protested against local election commissioners who closed voting stations whether or not they were surrounded by Sutep Tuaksuban’s Democrat Party thugs.
A semblance of calm has returned to Bangkok as the royalist anti-democratic Yellow Shirt protesters were allowed to symbolically occupy Government House. They took pictures and left. A temporary truce has occurred around the king’s birthday (December 5), since the royalists did not want to appear disrespectful to their “dear leader”.
The death in prison of poor odd-job man Aa-Kong (also known as Ah Kong) is yet another indication of the barbarity of the lese majeste (insulting the monarch) law, the injustice of the Thai legal system and the brutality of the Thai ruling class. The fact that he was refused bail to get medical treatment, and the that the prison authorities waited three days after he became ill before sending him to the prison clinic, is an indication of the terrible conditions in Thai prisons.
In July last year, millions of Red Shirts — a mass movement of the poor — turned out to vote for the Pheu Thai party (PT), headed by Yingluck Shinawatra. The party won a landslide majority despite attempts by the military, media and elites to block the party's victory. The election result was a slap in the face for the military and the “party of the military” (the misnamed Democrat Party — DP).
Serious flooding in Thailand has affected millions of people. Houses, property and infrastructure have been seriously damaged. Factories and workplaces have been closed and hundreds of thousands of people have become temporarily unemployed. Agricultural land has been flooded, leading to further loss of incomes. Millions of people who are living modest lives will have their incomes and savings drastically lowered and the economy will be dragged down. The waters are predicted to remain high for at least a month.
The results of Thailand's July 3 general election are a slap in the face for the dictatorship. They prove without any doubt that most people have rejected the military, the Democrat Party (PP) and the royalist elites. Pheu Thai Party (PTP), the party closely allied to the Red Shirt pro-democracy movement, won a clear majority. The result is all the more remarkable, given the election was held under conditions of severe censorship and intimidation of the Red Shirt democracy movement by the military and the military-installed PP government of Abhisit Vejjajiva.
On September 19, tens of thousands of pro-democracy Red Shirts returned to the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok to remember the military coup that took place four years ago, as well as the murder of about 90 unarmed demonstrators in April and May. Then, many of the protesters were gunned down by army snipers near Ratchaprasong. Since the brutal killings by the military-backed Abhisit Vejjajiva junta, there has been a climate of fear. Hundreds of political prisoners have been locked up and there is evidence of extrajudicial killings of Red Shirt activists.
Internationally recognised legal standards are being flagrantly ignored in the treatment of political prisoners from the pro-democracy Red Shirt movement. The prisoners have been detained by the Abhisit Vejjajiva military government since the bloody crackdown against unarmed demonstrators in May.
Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai socialist in exile in Britain after being charged with lese majeste (insulting the monarch). He is a member of Left Turn Thailand. Ji Ungpakorn’s blog, Wdpress.blog.co.uk, covers the struggle for democracy in Thailand, and the brutal repression meted out by the military backed regime. On May 25, the blog listed the names of all the pro-democracy Red Shirt protesters being hunted down by the regime — 66 arrest warrants had been issued and 21 people were already in custody.
May 17 If the military-backed government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajia dissolved parliament, announced fresh elections and ordered a cease fire, the violence would end immediately and the Red Shirts would all go home. Since the start of the latest bloody crackdown on May 13, the death toll in Bangkok, as of May 17, is 35, all civilians, except one air force personnel, all killed by the army. If you include the deaths from the April crack down, Abhisit is now responsible for 65 deaths with 1669 injured in order that his military-backed government can stay in power.
Bangkok is bathed in blood, yet again. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit's soldiers have shot dead at least 50 people do far. Hundreds are injured. The regime says there are 500 “terrorists" in the protest site. Earlier they said that they would use snipers to shoot “terrorists”. The only terrorists are in the Government, the army and the Palace.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva trumpeted that he was making an important initiative on May 3 to “solve” the political crisis. The country has been wracked by protests demanding the government — which was never elected — hold elections. The current government was installed after a military coup, far-right “Yellow Shirt” protests and judicial rulings that gave more power to the military. On May 3, Abhisit offered to dissolve parliament in September and hold elections on November 14. Previously, he had said he would not dissolve parliament until December.