Asian left on Thailand: 'Oppose the coup regime!'

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The statement below was released by several Asian socialist groups on May 23 in opposition to the military coup in Thailand. To add the name of your group, email int.psm@gmail.com, cc international@socialist-alliance.org. You can see the updated list of signatories at here.

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We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the latest coup d’etat staged by the Thai military under the leadership of Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The current coup, which took place almost eight years after 2006 coup, will do nothing to enhance democracy and social justice in Thailand. Instead it will only tighten the grip of dictatorial rule and attempt to crush any democratic institution that exists.

The army has already started its crackdown on media and the internet, and has arrested people who oppose the coup.

The coup is set to protect the interests of the section of the Thai ruling class who want to reduce democratic space to consolidate its power. The military junta in Thailand has no interest in bringing about free and fair elections to solve the political crisis, and certainly will not protect freedom of expression, which it sees as a threat to its rule.

The Thai military has been notorious for its ruthless crackdowns on democratic movements, for instance, the bloody massacre of Red Shirt pro-democracy protests in 2010.

Hence, we demand:
Immediate repeal of martial law in Thailand.
Restoration of the election process to let the people of Thailand choose their future government democratically.
Stop the crackdown and arrest of political dissidents in Thailand and free all the political prisoners.
The governments of ASEAN to get together to condemn and assert pressure to end the coup in Thailand.
All governments to withdraw their ambassadors from Thailand as a demonstration that they do not recognise the military junta.

Signatories (as of May 24):
Parti Sosialis Malaysia
Socialist Alliance, Australia
Partido Lakas ng Masa, Philippines
Turn Left Thailand
Awami Workers Party, Pakistan
Social Action for Change, Cambodia
Thai Alliance for Human Rights, Australia
Socialist Aotearoa, New Zealand
Unite Union, New Zealand
Transform Asia Gender and Labor Institute, Philippines
Communist Party of Bangladesh―Marxist-Leninist
National Democratic Action Society, Bahrain

From GLW issue 1010