BRICS Not Concern About Thailand
As UK, Japan, EU, USA & UN repeated called for the restoration of Democracy in Thailand and for the Thai junta to recognize human rights, the BRICS have made no statement on Thailand. This “Hypocrisy” by the BRICS, which includes India, South Africa and Brazil, countries with strong tradition in Democracy and Human Right, is “Un-Forgivable.”
From with Wikipedia:
BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The grouping was originally known as “BRIC” before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are alldeveloping or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs; all five are G-20 members.
As of 2014, the five BRICS countries represent almost 3 billion people which is 40% of the world population, with a combined nominal GDP of US$16.039 trillion (20% world GDP) and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves. As of 2014, the BRICS nations represented 18 percent of the world economy.
Brazil held the chair of the BRICS group in 2014, having hosted the group’s sixth summit in 2014.
United Kingdom Concern
Is it “Thai Style Democracy?” or Thai Style Dictatorship?” What ever it is, Thailand’s leader, Prayuth, holds “Absolute Power.”
The following is from Prachathai (Source)
Submitted by taweporn on Sat, 22/11/2014 – 10:05
British Ambassador Mark Kent on Thursday met with junta leader and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and urged the general to return democracy to Thailand and respect human rights.
According to the UK in Thailand Facebook page, Kent called on Gen Prayut to discuss a range of issues. He urged PM Gen Prayut to fulfil his promise to restore democracy to Thailand by the end of 2015, and to maintain respect for human rights.
Ambassador Kent also raised tourist safety and security and the importance of maintaining an open, fair and transparent business environment for investors. He asked for assurances that British and other foreign investment in Thailand would not be jeopardized by new legislation.
Kent affirmed that the UK stands ready to engage with Thai ministries and agencies, as well as the private sector and civil society, to take forward work in all these areas and on other issues of mutual interest.
The following is from the Wikipedia:
A military dictatorship is a form of government different from civilian dictatorship for a number of reasons: their motivations for seizing power, the institutions through which they organize their rule, and the ways in which they leave power. Often viewing itself as saving the nation from the corrupt or myopic civilian politicians, a military dictatorship justify its position as “neutral” arbiters on the basis of their membership within the armed forces. For example, many juntas adopt titles, such as “National Redemption Council”, “Committee of National Restoration”, or “National Liberation Committee”. Military leaders often rule as a junta, selecting one of them as the head. For instance, Zhelyu Zhelev has argued that Fascist regimes such as Nazi Germany had its power run by the party and its various civic instituitions, and that a military coup
Since 1945 Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East have been common areas for all military dictatorships. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the military often has more cohesion and institutional structure than most of the civilian institutions of society.
The typical military dictatorship in Latin America was ruled by a junta (derived from a Spanish word which can be translated as “conference” or “board”), or a committee composed of several officers, often from the military’s most senior leadership, but in other cases less senior, as evidenced by the term colonels’ regime, where the military leaders remained loyal to the previous regime. Other military dictatorships are entirely in the hands of a single officer, sometimes called a caudillo, usually the senior army commander. In either case, the chairman of the junta or the single commander may often personally assume office as head of state.
In the Middle East, Africa and Spain, military governments more often came to be led by a single powerful person, and were autocracies in addition to military dictatorships. Leaders like Idi Amin, Sani Abacha, Muammar Gaddafi, Gamal Abdul Nasser and Francisco Franco worked to develop a personality cult and became the face of the nation inside and outside their countries.
Conversely, other military dictatorships may gradually restore significant components of civilian government while the senior military commander still maintains executive political power. In Pakistan, ruling Generals Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1977–1988) and Pervez Musharraf (1999–2008) have held singular referendums to elect themselves President of Pakistan for additional terms forbidden by the constitution.
In the past, military juntas have justified their rule as a way of bringing political stability for the nation or rescuing it from the threat of “dangerous ideologies“. For example, in Latin America, the threat of communism was often used. Military regimes tend to portray themselves as non-partisan, as a “neutral” party that can provide interim leadership in times of turmoil, and also tend to portray civilian politicians as corrupt and ineffective. One of the almost universal characteristics of a military government is the institution of martial law or a permanent state of emergency.
In pre-modern times, in many societies a monarch, tribal chief, or big man could gain or maintain power through interpersonal combat, by personally leading a military force against rival factions, or by personally providing for the physical security of followers. (This might be referred to as a might makes right system.) Due to the large number of historic regimes of this type that could arguably be classed as military dictatorships, the below list is limited to those administrations in power at some point since 1800. Some regimes such as Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy, while they pursued considerable aggressive and expansionist strategies, were not strictly run by the military and so are not included below.
In Japan, journalist are considered a “Highly Honorable” profession, and when a Japanese journalist, working for Reuters, was killed by Thailand’s traditional elite military, in 2010, along with about 100 Red Shirts protesters, the even shook Japan. Subsequently, when a Japanese Foreign Minister, visited Thailand, he went to the spot where the Japanese reporter was killed, an “Bow in Respect.”
Japan repeats call for civilian-led gov’t in Thailand
The following is from Global Post (Source)
Japan repeated its call on Thailand on Thursday to restore a civilian-led government in the Southeast Asian country which experienced a coup in May, Japanese officials said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the call during a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in Naypyitaw as he expressed Tokyo’s interest in more infrastructure projects in Thailand such as a high-speed train system, the officials said.
Prayuth explained his government’s efforts to return to a civilian-led government and told Abe that Thailand looks forward to Japan’s further economic assistance.
The Japanese and Thai leaders met on the sidelines of two-day events related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the Myanmar capital. They first met in Milan last month on the fringes of the Asia-Europe Meeting.
In Thursday’s meeting Abe asked Prayuth to completely remove a ban on imports of Japanese food products that was imposed for fear of radiation-induced health risks following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Prayuth was quoted as saying Thailand already eased part of the restrictions and will consider lifting all of them depending on the results of future safety checks.
Abe urged Prayuth to ensure a “fair and transparent” environment for investment by Japanese corporations and the Thai leader promised efforts to that end, according to the officials.
Later Thursday Abe held brief talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and asked him to consider using the Japanese system for the “shinkansen” bullet train for a high-speed rail link planned between Malaysia and Singapore, the officials said.
European Union Concern
Thai press, the Nation, reports that there are about 4,000 cases filed with the Thai police, by ordinarty Thais, under Thailand’s lese majeste law. Things have gotten so ridiculous, an academic/writer was charged with lese majeste, for questioning, the historical acuracy, of an ancient, Thai King, elephant back battle.
Local EU Statement on the increasing misuse of criminal defamation laws in Thailand (source)
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Thailand
Bangkok, 14 November 2014 – The EU is committed to promoting and protecting the freedom of opinion and expression worldwide. The EU Delegation wishes to express its concern over the increasing misuse of criminal defamation laws in Thailand. The EU believes that defamation laws should not be misused to censor criticism and debate concerning public issues as this constitutes a serious threat to Freedom of Expression. Recent cases brought against Human Rights Defender Andy Hall, journalists Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian from the “Phuketwan” newspaper, and the freelance journalist Andrew Drummond, have served to demonstrate how criminal defamation laws are vexatiously used to silence freedom of expression and investigative journalism in the country. The EU would like to appeal to State authorities to fully abide by their international obligations. As part of wider reform in Thailand, we urge the National Reform Council to address this issue, so that criminal defamation laws cannot in the future be used as a means of silencing legitimate analysis or debate.
It is an alternative name for the common law offence which is also known (in order to distinguish it from other offences of libel) as “defamatory libel“ or, occasionally, as “criminal defamatory libel”.
It is also used as a collective term for all offences which consist of the publication of some prohibited matter in a libel (in permanent form), namely defamatory libel, seditious libel,blasphemous libel and obscene libel.
The common law offences of seditious libel, defamatory libel, and obscene libel were abolished in the England and Wales and Northern Ireland on 12 January 2010 when section 73 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 came into force, blasphemous libel having already been abolished in England and Wales on 8 July 2008 by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, having been replaced with the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
Defamatory libel was originally an offence under the common law of England. It has been abolished in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. It was or is a form of criminal libel, a term with which it is synonymous.
United Nations Concern
Yesterday, Thailand’s ruling military junta forced a human rights group to cancel a presentation on the situation in the country. Local press reports, the military told Bangkok-based Thai Lawyers for Human Rights that if it had concerns about lack of freedom of expression or access to the justice system it should report them to the Interior Ministry. The lawyers’ group had intended to host a discussion and release a report titled Access to Justice in Thailand: Currently Unavailable.
But Amnesty International Thailand campaign co-ordinator Sutharee Wannasiri said that soldiers had phoned more than 30 times on Monday calling for the event be cancelled. The group condemned the pressure exterted by the army, saying that it had “created an atmosphere of fear in society” and deprived people of their rights. Several participants showed up at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand anyway, “to say that there were threats and harassment from the military,” Mr Wannasiri said.
The following is from AFP (Source)
Serious concern’ on human rights in Thailand – UN
Bangkok – The United Nations said on Wednesday it was “seriously concerned” about growing restrictions on human rights activists in Thailand after a string of curbs on freedom of expression in the junta-ruled nation.
Since seizing power from the elected government in May, the Thai army has stifled dissent by hauling in anti-coup protesters, muzzling the media and threatening those found in breach of martial law with trial in a military court.
The UN Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) pointed to “a deteriorating environment for human rights defenders” a day after activists said they scrapped a debate about access to justice in post-coup Thailand due to pressure from the junta.
“[The OHCHR] is seriously concerned about increasing restrictions on human rights defenders in exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and expression in Thailand,” it said in a statement, calling on the country to honour its international human rights obligations.
On Tuesday authors of a report on rights in Thailand since the coup said they received phone calls from military officers warning them against holding a discussion on the subject as it could be in violation of a ban on public gatherings.
Authorities also issued a letter in which they “asked for our co-operation” in cancelling the talk as “the situation is still abnormal”, said Pawinee Chumsri of The Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, who organised the event alongside Amnesty International Thailand and the Cross Cultural Foundation.
Anti-coup protesters have been detained, arrested and in some cases charged for opposing army rule.
Symbolic public readings of George Orwell’s anti-authoritarian novel “1984″ and the three-fingered salute from the “Hunger Games” movies were common in the weeks after the military takeover.
But public acts of resistance have since become more sporadic.
Junta chief Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, who was endorsed as Prime Minister two weeks ago, says he was forced to take power after months of protests against ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra’s government left 28 people dead and hundreds more wounded.
He has ruled out holding new elections before October 2015, despite international appeals for a return to democracy, vowing first to oversee reforms said to be aimed at cleaning up politics and society.