- By Ranger, Thai Intel’s political journalist
The multi-color group, an off-shoot of the arch Royalist Yellow Shirts have started a social network campaign, saying the attempt to change Thailand‘s military drawn constitution, is an attempt to topple the Thai Royalism system.
On the social network, the multi-color have spread a letter opposing changes to the military constitution, with the heading, quote: “Change to Topple the Thai Monarchy.”
The Thai parliament began debating on the subject today, and in front of the Thai parliament, the Red Shirts who supports changes are separated by about 500 police, from the multi-color, who are protesting against changes.
The Pheu Thai Party of Yingluck, is attempting to amend the military drawn constitution-called to have judicialized Thailand under establishment rule-and have weakened the Parliamentary system. Meanwhile, many of those who are against the amendment, says Thai politicians are not trustworthy, and thus the military constitution, offers Thailand, a counter balance to the politicians.
The argument between the two group, takes its roots in the concept of “Thai Exceptionalism” in that Thailand is special and unique with a Monarchy system-that permeates high moral and ethics across Thailand. And thus with that high moral and ethics standard-democracy, liberty, justice and human rights-are foreign values and not Thai value.
However, many in Thailand and globally, have made calls for the Thais to place the Thai Monarchy system, above the Thai crisis-such as Kofi Anund, the former head of the UN, who recently visited Thailand to give advice to the Thai reconciliation body. The body recently recommended to the government to post-pone the re-drawing of the military coinstitution-citing potential re-newed conflict in Thailand.
While many argue that with lese majeste being used for politics and hurting open debate on the Thai Monarchy that is a key pillar of Thailand’s future, that attempt to seperate out the Monarchy will solve little-however, most Thais have agreed and are very careful not to drag the Thai Monarchy into politics. The Thai Monarchy, suffered a massive loss of reputation when the Thai military incited “To Protect Thai Monarchy” as the main rationale for staging the 2006 coup. Historically, most Thai coups cited the Monarchy.
Yet as the multi-color move shows, the call to not involved the Monarchy is not registering with some royalist-and it appears that the Thai Monarchy have been dragged into the current conflict on the constitution.
This is a departure of the previous objection, by the royalist, that the change to the constitution, is meant to help Thaksin, return to Thailand, a free person.
During Thailand’s brief civil war a few years ago, when Red Shirts protesters and the Thai military, on order of the Democrat Party, confronted in the streets of Bangkok, Myanmar’s globally known democratic activist and Nobel Prize winner, life-long fighter for Democracy , Aung San, said quote: “Thailand is the proof that a military drawn constitution does not work.”
During that drawing of the military constitution, which was then tabled to the Thai people to vote on, the military government said quote: “We urge the people of Thailand to accept this constitution for now, and then amend it at a latter date.”
The military constitution, received majority of the Thais approval, however, most media, reported that the passage failed to received enough vote normally accorded to a country’s constitution-such as a 70% to 80% majority-but receives about 60% approval.
During last year election campaign, the Pheu Thai Party, campaigned heavily, on amending the military drawn constitution-and the party won a landslide victory against the Democrat Party, who campaigned against changes.
Most current polls in Thailand, to which Thai polls are seldom accurate, says Thais are not against changes, but not a total change.
- The following is from Bangkok Post:
Democrats come out swinging on charter rewrite
Published: 24/02/2012 at 02:24 AM
Newspaper section: News
The charter rewrite debate has started in parliament on a stormy note, with the Democrats accusing the government of pursuing vested interests as the first three amendment bills were accepted by the House.
The Democrats said the rewrite bid was an attempt to clear the way for ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return home.
Opposition party MPs also warned they would oppose any efforts to amend provisions in the constitution relating to the monarchy.
Parliament yesterday voted 341 to 181 to proceed with consideration of three bills after two hours of stormy debate.
The amendment proposals seek to change Section 291 of the constitution to create a constitution drafting assembly (CDA) to work out proposed amendments to the charter.
The bills were submitted by Pheu Thai MPs, Chatthaipattana MPs and the cabinet.
The Democrats wanted debate postponed until another three bills proposed by the public and civic groups could be submitted. The party was unsuccessful.
Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Pheu Thai-led government and its allies had made it clear the proposed charter amendments were aimed at bringing Thaksin back home.
Democrat list MP Jurin Laksanavisit said the government’s proposed amendments were driven by a hidden agenda aimed at clearing Thaksin’s name.
Democrat list MP Banyat Bantadtan said if the charter changes were allowed to take place, nobody could guarantee provisions relating to the monarchy would remain intact.
He said his party opposes any efforts to amend such provisions, particularly Section 77 which requires the state to protect and uphold the institution of the monarchy.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said the charter rewrite drive was one of Pheu Thai’s election promises which the government must fulfil.
Mr Chalerm said the government will table a bill on national reconciliation to parliament to pave the way for Thaksin to return to Thailand, although political circumstances will also be taken into account.
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