Giles Ji Ungpakorn, His Sincere Confession of Being An Anti-Royalist
( Last edit 2009-06-23 )
Presenter: Sen Lam, Radio Australia February 12, 2009
Giles Ji Ungpakorn got on the red-shirts stage, wearing bright red-shirt to condemn the Lese Majeste law. He committed a Lese Majeste act with his book "A Coup For The Rich"and was charged by the police of committing Lese Majeste. In February, 2009 he jumped bail and left his teaching post at Chulalongkorn University for Britain, claiming that he is not a Thai, but a half Chinese half British.
His other previous articles proved himself as a faithful in what he preaches, Marxism-Leninism Communism."
This below is an exerpt from the interview by Radio Australia just after he fled from Thailand before the red-shirts riot in April 2009. By his own words below, he has frankly confessed an intentional threat to the Monarchy of Thailand. Such act is considered harmful to the national security of Thailand.
GILES: Yes I am and basically because I don't believe I would receive a fair trial, the political climate in Thailand is nearing a situation like a police state. The courts are biased. I think the government is trying to create a climate of fear in conjunction with the efforts of the military. They've opened a website so people can inform on each other, and tracing people's IP numbers back to their homes and putting people in jail for putting comments on the internet.
LAM: So you have no faith in the Thai judiciary? You think the government of Prime Minister Abhisit has infiltrated the Thai judiciary?
GILES: The Thai judiciary has never been independent at all, it's actually bowed to whoever's been in power, whether it be a Thaksin regime or the present Abhisit regime. The Abhisit regime is now staffed by people who took part in the illegal occupation of the airport. The government is in power via manoeuvrings from the military. So we have a situation where Thailand has now slipped back into the dark ages of dictatorship. Five years ago, Thailand was a beacon for democracy but unfortunately that isn't the case anymore.
LAM: How long do you plan to stay in the United Kingdom?
GILES: Well I've issued a manifesto for freedom and democracy and really, I'm saying that we need political reform, we need a welfare state, and unfortunately, I think that we need to actually move towards a republic, because the Establishment is now an obstacle to democracy. Whether or not it's its intention or the fact that the Establishment is being used by the government and the military to justify its own actions.
LAM: But you're not suggesting that the Thai Establishment be done away with? I mean in some sense Thailand is already a republic in the sense that the Thai Establishment while it has influence, it doesn't really have a role to play in Thai politics?
GILES: Well, that isn't the view of a lot of people in Thailand. The 16 million people who voted for the previous elected governments feel that the Establishment has intervened in politics and actually destroyed democracy. Myself, I feel that the Establishment is very weak and has allowed itself to be manipulated by the army and the Democrat Party. But really, what we see now is that whatever the truth is, the Establishment is an obstacle to freedom and democracy in Thailand.
LAM: But you're not a fan of the Red Shirts either are you? You believe that the former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra is not likely to be the saviour of Thailand?
GILES: I don't believe he is likely to be the saviour of Thailand. I opposed his human rights abuses and the war on drugs, I opposed his human rights abuses in the south, but I think that the Red Shirts now have moved beyond being merely people who love Thaksin. I think they are starting to organise themselves and rebuild civil society, and therefore, I stand with the Red Shirts on that.
LAM: What do you think needs to be done for Thailand to move ahead though, away from these tit-for-tat protests? I mean, some people say Thailand is in danger of going the way of Bangladesh ten years ago, where successive governments just keep getting ousted?
GILES: Well I think what we need to do is rebuild civil society. The NGO movement, the academics in Thailand have disgraced themselves in supporting the dictatorship. We now have a government which has manoeuvred into power by the military. We now have the people who closed down the airport and used violence, now sitting in government. And so what we really need is to actually build democracy in Thailand, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and we need to build human dignity. And for that to happen we need to build the Red Shirts into a political party that goes beyond just loving Thaksin or relying on the old politicians. We need to build a genuine people's movement.