Statement by Thai Democracy group in UK
Subject: Human rights abuses by the Thai government and the general decay of democratic values in Thailand since the military coup in 2006.
We are deeply concerned over the current situation in Thailand, where military-backed Prime Minister Ahbisit Vejjajiva has declared a state of emergency and started a bloody crackdown which left at least eighteen people dead and over eight hundred injured on Saturday the 10th April. This violent reaction by the army came despite assurances from both Abhisit Vejjajiva and Army Commander Anuphong Phaochinda that the army would not use force to deal with protesters and would comply to ‘international standards” of dealing with protests.
We view the force used by the army against civilian protesters as excessive and in particular we are worried about reports from a variety of sources that live ammunition was fired at protesters, resulting in many deaths. As more and more evidence surfaces, particularly reports from hospital staff, eyewitness accounts, and video footage on sites like youtube, it is becoming harder and harder to believe the governments’ claim that live ammunition was only fired into the air.
The red shirt protesters have been demonstrating peacefully since Friday the 12th March against a Prime Minister we see as not being democratically elected and having no mandate to rule. We are worried about government attempts to consolidate power and to stifle freedom of speech by closing down opposition media. In general, we feel that there has been decay in democratic values and civil liberties starting with the military coup in 2006 and then continuing with the parliamentary fix that resulted in Abhisit’s Vejjajiva’s military backed government coming to office in 2007
In order to restore peace and normalcy to Thailand and to restore the democratic values, human rights and civil liberties, which our citizens deserve, we call for:
• The immediate dissolution of parliament and free and fair elections
• And end to all forms of violence by the state against its own citizens
• An end to media censorship and the immediate unblocking of the People's Channel
• Recognition of people's right to organize, to protest and to engage in industrial action.
Thai Democracy group in UK, together with pro-Democracy Thais throughout the World, will do all in our power to support the actions of those fighting for democracy inside Thailand. We are determined to see Thailand become a nation where the principles of democracy, human rights, and equal justice are not only espoused but also upheld. As such, we stand opposed to the illegitimate government of Abhisit Vejjajiva and the aristocracy that backs him. We will continue to monitor the situation and protest until full democracy is restored in Thailand.
Thai Democracy Group in UK
10 April 2010
Watch video clips of the violence imposed the Royal Thai Army
Download at http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=f3bf5b20eaaa85cfab1eab3e9fa335ca39a92d4a5b04aad7