The “Southern Thailand Police State Model” will be applied throughout Thailand, according to several international human rights NGOs working in Thailand’s deep South.
“A Thai political party had relied on its close relation to the police apparatus in Southern Thailand to hold power over the region, and it now plans to apply the model throughout Thailand……The situation had resulted in an overall deterioration of human rights condition in the region over the past 20 years……When this attempt to apply the model throughout Thailand succeeds, Thailand’s overall human rights condition will become critical” said an NGO in the report.
The report highlights Thailand’s police, under the direct control of the Thai prime minister, as a major human rights violator. “Torture and intimidation is a widespread practice of the Thai police,” said the report.
The Democrat Party of the current Thai prime minister Abhsit, had held power over Thailand’s Southern region for the past 20 years. Most Thai political analyst points to the Thai police as responsible for that power hold.
“The economic activity in Southern Thailand are related one way or another to the gray area and the people depend on the police being lenient. That gives the police immense influences and benefits and it means a strong desire to be located permanently in the area. The only way to achieve that is through political links which benefits politicians from the region,” said Whit, a Thai political analyst.
Most Thai local press currently are reporting that the Thai prime minister is wrestling away the power to control the appointment of police post away from the police into its own hands. According to these press report, the move will solidify the Democrat Party control of the police apparatus throughout Thailand.
Traditionally, the control of the police assignment is under the direct control of the police, with politicians working with the list from the outside through senior police officials. However, that tradition appears to be shifting to having politicians in direct control of the list.
“It is a concentration and consolidation of power, according to the Southern Model, throughout Thailand. The move will result in increase coordination between politics and law enforcement. We have already seen the Interior Ministry, that supervised the administrative structure of government over taken by politics, and now it is the law that is the target,” said the report.
The Thai Interior Ministry that supervises the Thai government’s administrative activities has in recent weeks, ordered all government apparatus under its control to pressure Thais at grassroots levels to sign a petition. The move to control the Thai police by Abhsit, will likely add to the level of coercion in Thailand, said the report.
“The Thai government had demonstrated the willingness to use pressure tactics on the entire Thai population for political objectives. There is a fine line between pressure and coercion. And coercion is a directly violations of human rights because it goes against the principle of free will. We are worried that with the police apparatus in the hands of such a government, in combination to the control of the administrative branch, the human rights condition in Thailand will deteriorate,” said the report.
Several analyst at Thai newspapers have been running stories about a new rise of the police state in Thailand, but received little attention. Most of those analysis were based on the current right wing control over Thailand that have seen the military, the judiciary system, the government, the academics, and many of Thailand’s independent agencies-having a singularly objective in common-and that is to protect Thailand’s class system.
To many international NGOs, that shared objective have resulted in little balance of power and thus a weak check on power abuses in Thailand.
The current government of Abhisit had been greatly criticized on a host of human rights violation, by international human rights NGOs. Much of the Thai human rights NGOs have been compromised by an interest in protecting the Thai class system at all cost-even to the extent that the objective violates fundamental human rights.
The current government plans to spend about US$44 bilion to stimulate the Thai economy. Corruption through coersion, at many stages, to get projects through the approval process had already appeared in great numbers. Many Thai newspaper sees the potential rise of the police state throughout Thailand as an attempt to gain control over that spending.