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Well-informed citizens are the true democratic forces.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Open Letter To Barack H. Obama

Open Letter
To Barack H. Obama
The 44th President of the United States

Yours Excellency:

Firstly we, Thai people in red shirt, believe that your political concepts building from the great national founders of the United States of America. The most famous part of Abraham Lincoln speech is the "government of the people - by the people - for the people". You also delivered your historic acceptance speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August 28, 1963 that “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal", where hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. They came to march for jobs, and for freedom, and for equality.

Please look onto Thai Democracy development, The Thai Revolution of 1932 or the Siamese Coup d'état of 1932 was a bloodless transition on the 24 June 1932, which the system of government in Thai was changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Since then the fake democracy have been developed by the elite and military who playing a role more than 16 times in toppling governments until now. Many times military suppresses Thai activists and students that requesting for freedom and real democracy. In the October 14, 1973 period, 77 people were killed and 857 wounded. On October 6, 1976, around 500 were killed and 11,000 arrested. In May 1992 period, 52 people were killed, many disappearances, hundreds of injuries, and over 3,500 arrested. Many of those arrested were tortured.

It has been widely reported in Thailand and global news that General Prem Tinsulanont, Privy Council head, who had made a fake democracy for long and backing the current government now, was politically naked. Before The 2006 Thailand coup, he had rally set his speaking at military institutes to against the elected government. Then he also was a person backing the yellow-shirted people that starting anti-government, led by Sondhi Limthongkul as a news media, whose missions were to overthrow the Thaksin government. As followed, General Sonti Boonyaratklin staged a coup d'état against the elected government of caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Then Constitution Law of 1997 had been replaced by the new ones of 2007. It means that fake democracy now legitimated and executed on the path of the conspiracy of political evil-elite network, formed by elite’s royalist, military, Democrat party, media and some academics. Political turmoil had continued since the leaders of the coup returned the country to democracy early last year and Mr. Thaksin’s supporters were voted back into office as Samak government. Therefore, Sondhi again, as a leader of anti-government protesters, started to protest and seized Government House, attacked NBT TV station, blocked Parliament Meeting, attacked the Police Head Office of Bangkok, and blocked trains and Bangkok seaport, and finally turning to be PAD terrorist, seized Suvarnaphumi International Airport and Bangkok Airport. It is surprisingly that no proceed on legal has been resulted for penalty yet. The network overthrew Samak and Somchai governments by any means (including the injustice court rulings), and help setting up the current coalition government nastily, through military intervention. That is 77 years for our fake democracy since the first coup.

On April 8, 2009, The March, more than 100,000 people, on Bangkok calling for democracy was the largest gathering of red-shirt protesters in Thailand's history. What we protest is that we are not accepted the "government of the political evil-elite network - by military - for the political evil-elite network ". Even though we, Thai people in red shirt, believe that the method of nonviolent resistance to government is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice, freedom and equality. But it may turn to the people revolution in Thailand if the people could not endure to injustices and economic conditions.

We urge US government as representative of American people who adore true democracy to support our democracy and social justice in Thailand. Since all events in killing the Thai people said above are surprisingly legitimacy in Thailand, but Thai political and military men said that was internal affairs. And now 7 people were killed this morning. So, Thailand needs change. The support of your Excellency shall be highly appreciated.

Yours Excellency, we remain

Thai people in Red-Shirt Groups for Democracy
13 April 2009

AlJazeera broadcast clearly showed soldiers firing at ground level - not into the air.


Please Help Us!: Listen to a female voice of Thai about the oppressive acts of Abhisit adminstration and the ignorance from the mainstream media

The lady also speaks in English.

"You come here and find the bullets. You are the fact finders, right?," she addressed the distorted media.

Here's the link to the youtube video

Please Help Us
Violent clashes on the streets of Bangkok

Thailand's army has begun an operation to remove anti-government protesters blocking the centre of the capital Bangkok, sparking violent clashes.

Jonathan Steele guardian.co.uk on Abhisit's useless charm

Less charm, more action

Thailand's prime minister may have charmed Gordon Brown, but he has yet to make an impact on the nation's real problems

Jonathan Steele guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 March 2009 13.00 BST

Forget Gordon Brown's recent love-in with Barack Obama in Washington. What about his extraordinarily intense relationship with Thailand's new prime minister? Brown first met him in Davos in January, invited him to next week's G20 conference in London and, if that wasn't enough, hosted him a fortnight ago in Downing Street. Three encounters in three months. Not bad for a man in power for barely a hundred days.

It helps, of course, that Abhisit Vejjajiva is an Anglophile, born in Britain, educated at Eton and with a first-class degree from Oxford. His brains and international sophistication – unique for a Thai prime minister – have made him the darling of Bangkok's diplomats while his fierce opposition to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled last year to avoid imprisonment, delights most of the urban middle class.

But Abhisit faces an uphill struggle in wooing investors as the world recession intensifies. The country's image lies in tatters. First came a military coup in 2006, a throwback to a pre-globalisation era. Last year, in spite of the restoration of civilian rule, increasing polarisation led to months of demonstrations by "yellow shirts" v "red shirts" which culminated in the occupation of government house and Bangkok's airports – blatant crimes for which no-one has been charged. Then came a judicial coup, with the courts banning the then prime minister and over a hundred other politicians, thereby paving the way for Abhisit to be voted into power by a rump parliament.

Are the roots of the crisis economic or political? Globalisation has increased the gap between the country's still huge rural population and the cities in spite of Thaksin's welfare reforms. Landing in Bangkok, you see well-watered paddy fields glinting in the sunlight, but drive two hours east and vast acreages lie fallow in the dry season, their farmers unable to afford irrigation. Thousands of others have lost their land to forestry projects, dam-building, or gas pipelines.

Thaksin, who was the first man to complete a full term and be re-elected, mobilised the rural population. Yet his much-needed pro-poor policies and welfare subsidies did not cut into the lifestyle of Bangkok's middle class. The city's spacious and tasteful shopping centres make Bond Street and Oxford Street look crowded and tatty. What turned many in Bangkok against Thaksin was his media manipulation and political bullying while the old elite, rooted in royalism, the military, and an ossified civil service hated his challenge to their power.

Chaiwat Satha-Anand, a political scientist at Thammasat University, describes Thaksin's system as "authoritarian democracy". He was elected fairly by people who "could vote a government in but not influence the ways in which it governs". In office, Thaksin increasingly monopolised decision-making, controlled TV, and enriched himself and his friends. By contrast, Thailand's previous system, restored by the 2006 military coup, is "democratic authoritarianism" in which civil rights are granted as long as they don't threaten the country's traditional rulers. Others describe Thaksin as an ideologically confusing mixture of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Italy's businessman-politician Silvio Berlusconi.

Satha-Anand as well as a leading human rights lawyer, Somchai Homlaor, say political violence under Thaksin was unprecedented. Thousands were murdered by the police and army in a "war on drugs". Environmental activists disappeared, and an insurgency by the Muslim minority in southern Thailand was met with massive repression. "The culture of impunity, especially in the police, is very strong. No government even now can bring them to justice", Homlaor argues.

Thaksin's beneficial economic record cannot be undone, and Abhisit is keeping most of his programmes, including giving cheques to millions of low-income families as part of a stimulus package. The former prime minister's political shadow still looms. Claiming his trial was politically motivated and flawed, he still addresses rallies by phone from abroad. His remaining MPs are planning a no-confidence motion in Abhisit and want amnesty for all banned politicians (mainly their colleagues).

Yet after the turmoil of the last 30 months the country's politics seem to have relaxed. A pro-Thaksin rally that I watched in Bangkok last month felt ritualistic and good-natured rather than angry. (Another one yesterday seems to have been similar in tone). The protesters did not try to storm government house, so as to keep the moral high ground compared with the anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) behaviour last year. Now the PAD is discussing whether to abandon street politics and become a party, a move which could split the anti-Thaksin vote when elections are called.

Homlaor takes an optimistic view. Although recent events tarnished the image of Thais as "soft smiling people", he believes there is greater restraint than in his student days "when protesters rushed to gun-shops to be able to fire on the police". Only ten have died in political violence since 2006 compared to much larger numbers in the turmoil of 1973, 1976, and 1992. The coup of 2006 lasted little more than a year. "We've created a norm that the military will not seize and retain power, and a politician will not become a dictator under a parliamentary system", he says.

There is increasing debate about Thailand's biggest taboo, the role of the monarchy, and the draconian lese-majeste laws which criminalise critics. "The King favours the other side, but we can't say that. They'll put us in gaol. We call him the invisible hand", a middle-aged woman on the pro-Thaksin march told me.

Kavi Chongkittavorn of the Bangkok paper the Nation highlights a paradox that runs against China's paradigm of a controlled press and an increasingly free web. In Thailand, he says, "while the printed and general media environment is pretty free, filtering of the internet is on the rise, judging from the numbers of blocked and shut websites". The authorities claim they contained pornography or insulted the monarchy, but Chongkittavorn says only about 100 of the 4,800 shut sites were pornographic. The rest dealt with the monarchy and "most were just disapproving, nothing serious".

Where does this leave Abhisit, as he strives to present a modern face to the world? The Bangkok pundits point out that his government shut over 2000 websites, angering young middle-class Thais. They applaud his promise to revive the stalled investigation of one of the most prominent abuses under Thaksin, the police abduction of a well-known human rights lawyer. But until the killers are brought to justice it is too early to know if official impunity is ending. Abhisit has talked of improving the way the lese-majeste laws are "interpreted", a phrase he used in a Financial Times interview. This sounds like interfering in the administration of justice rather than persuading parliament to soften or scrap the law.

Thailand's economic recession is as serious as every other country's. Gordon Brown may be enamoured by Abhisit's efforts on that front. But most Thais know their prime minister's control over global financial forces is limited. Changing Thailand's standards of governance is the area where he could make an impact – provided he has the will.

The charmer making a mess of his country

The charmer making a mess of his country

The Prime Minister of Thailand, best friends at Eton with Boris Johnson, is presiding over a chaotic and callous regimeRichard Lloyd Parry
However indignant you felt about him, and the calamitous mess over which he presides, it would be impossible ever to throw a shoe at a man such as Abhisit Vejjajiva. Among his peers, the new Prime Minister of Thailand challenges even Barack Obama for the title of World's Most Decent Leader.

As a young politician, he was a heart-throb among middle-aged Bangkok matrons. At Eton, where he was known by the name “Mark Vejj”, he was best friends with Boris Johnson. He is handsome, youthful, brilliant, cosmopolitan, impeccably well mannered and rather posh. So when he gives a speech at his old university, Oxford, tomorrow, it is safe to assume that the audience at St John's College will be keeping its brogues securely laced.

But Mr Abhisit's charm should not be a distraction from ugly truths about what is happening in Thailand. In the past four years, it has gone from being one of the most free and stable countries of South-East Asia to one of its most chaotic and divided. Writers, academics and journalists have been imprisoned or hounded into exile for harmless comment on Thailand's monarchy. Helpless boat people have been chased out to sea to their deaths. Democratically elected governments have been forced out, first by the army and then by the power of the mob.

All of this has been done with the approval - sometimes passive, sometimes explicit - of the nice Mr Abhisit. The title of his talk at St John's tomorrow, “Taking on the Challenges of Democracy”, could not be more appropriate, for Thailand's leader is indeed democratically challenged. Rarely since the days of Dr Faustus has a gifted and promising man achieved power through such grubby and disreputable means.

Profile: Abhisit Vejjajiva
Vejjajiva vows to sweep nation clean
Old Etonian is new Thai Prime Minister
Thai Premier defies protests for maiden speech
Since Mr Abhisit became the leader of the Democrat Party in 2005, there have been two general elections in Thailand. He boycotted the first one in 2006, which was won, for the third time in a row, by the man at the centre of 21st-century Thai politics, Thaksin Shinawatra. His next electoral test came in 2007, when he was defeated decisively. The greatest “challenge” of democracy for Mr Abhisit has been as simple as that - whenever they have been given a chance to elect him, Thai voters have chosen someone else.

Thaksin represents another challenge: a profoundly unsavoury politician who is adored by the majority of his own people. As Prime Minister, he used his great wealth to political and personal advantage (last year he and his wife were convicted in absentia of a multimillion-pound property cheat). In southern Thailand he ordered a brutal campaign against Islamic insurgents which left scores of innocent people dead.

Thaksin's version of the war on drugs was to license the police to execute without trial anyone they suspected of being a dealer. But for all of this, he changed for the better the lives of millions of rural Thais.

His cheap healthcare programme gave the poorest people access to affordable medical treatment for the first time ever. A micro-credit scheme allowed many villagers to lift themselves out of subsistence level poverty. But the majority of Thais chose him as their leader, time and again - and after he was forced into exile, and then criminally convicted, they have gone on voting for his political heirs and supporters.

By contrast Mr Abhisit owes his job, not to the will of his people, but to the support of powerful friends - and even they have required a comically large number of attempts to propel their boy to power. First there was the army, which drove Mr Thaksin into exile in a bloodless coup in 2006. Over the course of a year, the generals convened an assembly of tame delegates who rewrote the country's constitution to give Mr Abhisit a better chance of winning. To imagine the election which followed in footballing terms: the Democrat Party was playing downhill, against a team without a striker, in a game refereed by one of their dads. And still Thaksin's side won.

At this point, Mr Abhisit was helped out by a new and sinister force in Thailand - the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). At times he has had the decency to appear slightly embarrassed by this mob of yellow-shirted anti-Thaksin activists, led by a rich media owner and apparently supported by the Thai Queen. What exactly the PAD believes in is not easy to pin down, but at heart they want to strip the vote from those silly people who can't be trusted not to vote for Thaksin's side.

When they don't get their way, they resort to force, occupying first the Prime Minister's office and then Bangkok's international airport last year, in chaotic scenes that were broadcast across the world.

The Democrats have never employed such tactics themselves, but they have benefited from them. After the latest pro-Thaksin Government was forced from power by a court ruling last year, they formed a Government by jumping into bed not only with PAD supporters, but even former Thaksin cronies, under the watchful supervision of the army. Mr Abhisit might argue that these were political compromises necessary so that a decent man could finally get his hands on the levers of government. But in the three months since he became Prime Minister, he has come to look more like the puppet than the master of those who hoisted him to power.

A series of disgraceful incidents have made it harder than ever to understand what has happened to the liberalism for which he used to stand. In January, the Thai military beat up and set adrift some 1,000 boat people from Burma, scores of whom died at sea. Journalists and academics continue to be arrested and imprisoned under Thailand's Kafakaesque lèse-majesté law, under which a prison sentence of 12 years can be imposed for dispraise of the Thai King and his family.

At times, it has looked as if someone in power is consciously making a fool of Mr Abhisit - such as the speech he gave last week about the importance of media freedom, which was followed a few hours later by the arrest of the webmaster of an independent website.

Thailand is no Zimbabwe or China, and by comparison with most of their Asian neighbours, Thais are blessedly free and prosperous. But it has the alarming air of a democracy lurching into reverse and out of control, in which familiar freedoms are flying out of the window with unpredictable speed. It is all the more painful that this should be happening under a leader of such obvious talent, a man with all the qualifications except the essential one - democratic legitimacy.

Richard Lloyd Parry is Asia editor of The Times

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/04/08 06:39:50 GMT


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Abhisit's Profile at BBC

Profile: Abhisit Vejjajiva
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is the English-born, Oxford-educated 44-year-old leader of Thailand's Democrat Party.

Young and photogenic, though not known as particularly dynamic, he has a reputation for "clean politics".

Distinctly upper-class, Mr Abhisit hails from a wealthy family of Thai-Chinese origin. Both his parents were medical professors.

He was born in the British city of Newcastle in 1964 and educated at England's top public school, Eton. He then went on to gain a degree in politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) at Oxford University.

Mr Abhisit's support is drawn mainly from southern Thailand and from Bangkok's educated middle-classes. He has had less success in attracting the support of working class and rural Thais.

In 1992, Mr Abhisit joined Thailand's oldest party, the Democrats and, at the age of 27, entered parliament as one of its youngest ever members. Having tried and failed to become party leader in 2001, he eventually got the post in 2005.

Championing a raft of populist policies, Mr Abhisit campaigned under the slogan "Putting People First".

The Democratic Party has failed to win power at recent national elections but in December 2008, a Constitutional Court ruling removed from power the government led by allies of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Amid the turmoil of the airport blockade caused by anti-Thaksin protesters, a few Thaksin loyalists changed sides. This enabled Mr Abhisit to form a new government and become the next prime minister without calling elections.

The Democrats are not openly allied to one group of protesters or the other, but in the past the party has been closely associated with elements of the People's Alliance for Democracy, whose protests helped depose Mr Thaksin and his allies.

Mr Abhisit has been criticised for his choice of foreign minister, Kasit Piromya - an open supporter of the PAD movement and its airport blockade.

Anti-corruption platform

While not entirely ditching the liberal reforms of "Thaksinomics" - a term used to refer to the economic set of policies of the exiled former leader - he has argued for a more statist approach.

Among other things, Mr Abhisit has advocated free healthcare, a higher minimum wage, and free education, textbooks and milk for nursery-school children.

He has also been a consistent campaigner against corruption.

When Mr Thaksin called a snap election in February 2006, Mr Abhisit's campaign pitch was that he was "prepared to become a prime minister who adheres to the principle of good governance and ethics, not authoritarianism".

Later that year, he opposed the military when it overthrew Mr Thaksin in a coup.

"We cannot and do not support any kind of extra-constitutional change, but it is done. The country has to move forward and the best way forward is for the coup leaders to quickly return power to the people and carry out the reforms they promised," he said at the time.

The patrician also said he expected high standards of probity from his party and any government he led.

Going beyond the current transparency rules for Thai MPs, he said he would require all future Democrat Party representatives to declare their assets and any involvement in private companies. Currently, those measures apply only to cabinet members.


Before entering parliament, Mr Abhisit had a brief academic career. After Oxford, he taught at Thailand's Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.

Later, he returned to Oxford to study for a Master's degree. He then taught economics at Thammasat University before studying law at Ramkhamhaeng University.

Mr Abhisit's family is a circle of accomplished individuals. One of his two sisters is a professor of child psychology, while the other is a leading Thai author.

Mr Abhisit's wife is a dentist-turned-mathematics lecturer at Chulalongkorn University. They have two children.

Among the chinks in the Abhisit armour are his failure, so far, to win the popular vote and the impression that his good looks tend to outshine his sometimes rather bland political pronouncements.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/04/08 06:39:50 GMT


Print Sponsor

A message from a cyber warrior at prachathai webboard

The Abhisit Administration has ordered a crack down of the red-shirted protesters gathering to block one of Bangkok's main road this morning (around 4:30AM local time).
Soldiers, fully armed with M16, used real ammos to shoot at the protesters. There are at least 4 killed and more than 69 injured from this incident, while Thai medias, mostly controlled by the government, report no death.

Within 48 hours, the Abhisit Administration will definitely order another crack down of the red-shirted ten of thousands of the red-shirted protesters gathering in front of the Government House.

This will definitely result in more deahts and injury of peaceful and unarmed protesters at the Government House.

Please take any neccessary action to help Thai people immediately before more lives will be lost.

See pictures of protesters being shot (unsure whether dead or not)



Abhisit government killing innocent people with bare hands

Dear Friends from around the world,

I have been following news about politics in Thailand since the shocking coup on September 19, 2006. I have been involved in many online communities that fight for a tru democracy. I am going to share facts and truth about the ugliness of politics in Thailand.

Now that the majority of Thais are ideologically liberated and in favor of a true democracy, they have become a threat to the interests and privileges that the Thai elites have enjoy. The elites include the interest groups surrounding the monarchy, the military, the royal consultants known as the Privy Council, the PAD, the Democrat Party, and a few other allies.

On the early morning of April 13, the Abhisit goverment ordered a big troup with heavy arms to kill the innocent people with bare hands who were calling for the resignation of Abhisit for many valid reasons that you will have read by the time you have examine other links within in this blog.

Thank you very much for caring about democracy in Thailand and the lives of the innocent people.