2010 Thaksin's Terrorism
Militant Red Army
Public Autopsies of April 10, 2010 (4)
( Last edit 2010-04-29 )
A Joint Statement by the Network of Thai Academic and Civil Society Organizations, April 22, 2010
We, the undersigned members of Thai academic community and civil society organizations, have a grave concern on the crisis-like situation afflicting the capital city. The situation has a tendency to pull our country into another quack mire of bloody violence that could end up with more tragedies than those occurred on April 10, 2010.
Bangkok is now regarded seen by the world media as being close to falling into a state of war. Demonstrators set up road blockages and fortified barricades made of sharpened bamboo shafts, behind which reportedly are arsenal of various firearms and acidic substances. They claimed of their readiness to wage a war against the authorities who had declared to employ military forces to regain the rally site when condition and timing permit. Trapped in the middle of the hostility are the vast majority of people who have been extremely frustrated with the current situation. They recently started to voice their discontent and also expressed their readiness to confront the anti-government protesters. If the current situation drags on and is left to blow up without any effort to contain and cool down the situation, it is not difficult to foresee a grave misfortune brought on to this country to a greater extent. Damages done to our country’s image is incalculable, not to mention the losses of assets, and above all, the invaluable casualties of Thai and foreign citizens alike.
As a network of learned and well-informed citizens who are troubled with the worsening state of affairs in our society, we therefore would like to call on all parties concerned to effectively take measures on the following crucial issues:
1. The so-called UDD’s rally has already stepped over the peaceful and legal bound. The fortified barricades they set up, the arsenal they amass, and the combat-ready personnel they deploy are likely to cause serious troubles to law-abiding citizens in our society. Acting as if they were deputized as authorized officials, the vigilantes guard their self-proclaimed checkpoints, search the passers-by, and turn their turf into a separatist area within this city. Their actions apparently breach Article 1 of the Constitution that says, “Thailand is one and indivisible Kingdom.” Furthermore, Article 63 stipulates that, “A person shall enjoy the liberty of assembly in a peaceful manner and without arms.”
2. Article 77 of the Constitution stipulates that, “The State shall protect and uphold the institution of the monarchy, independence and the integrity of its territories.” Under the Constitution, the Government therefore is rightfully empowered and dutifully obliged to end the state of anarchy that goes against the Constitution as soon as possible. Bearing in mind that there are innocent people among the demonstrators, and unless distinction could be made between gullible demonstrators and the violence-prone core leaders who are provocative of breaking the laws, harsh measures should be avoided at all costs.
3. We call for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and core leaders of the UDD to contemplate on the harm they could do to people’s lives, especially those inside the rally. We would like to see them return to a peaceful and unarmed demonstration that does not disrupt everyday’s lives of the public or, worse as it has been, hurt the economy and reputations of our country. Rather than directly disturbing the public and damaging the businesses around the Ratchaprasong area to achieve their political cause, the rally should have been staged at a self-contain venue elsewhere, like at the Phra Main Ground (Sanam Luang). Our call is to benefit all parties concerned, at the same time defuse the imminent danger of the volatile situation. The demonstrators, on the other hand, would win the heart of the public.
4. To avoid a possible recurrence of violence, we call on the people who agree with our appeal to express their voices and take part in sending peace messages to the demonstrators through any possible means. These include, for example, making phone calls to their relatives, joining peaceful rallies, as well as making personal points of view known through any available media channel. A rally against violence and dissolution of the parliament, however, must also be taken with caution, peace, patience, and endurance. Such rally must in no way be the one that itself initiates the violence.
5. We would like to propose drastic social sanctions against the parties involved in case nothing is done to bring back our peaceful society, yet willfully worsening the situation and stirring up violence. These include the anti-government demonstrators, the Government, or other rallying groups. We call for members of the public, government officials, businessmen, and people from all walks of life to apply social sanctions against such troublemakers. The measures we hereby propose range from disassociation with the culprits, boycotting their products and services, campaigning against voting for the politicians or parties that support violence and/or express their ill-intentions towards our nation. Any private citizen can lend a hand in rendering harsher social sanctions in case of further defiance, yet should stand ready to reconcile and recall the retribution when behavioral changes are proven as acceptable by the norms of our society.
303 lecturers (from 16 universities) against house dissolution
Members of the Council of University Senates of Thailand (22 university councils)
The Business Club for Democracy
The Open Forum for Democracy Foundation
The Siam Wisdom Network
The Coalition of 10 Civil Society Networks
The Youth Moral Courage Network
The Confidence in Over-a-million People Against Parliament Dissolution
The Thai-Together Forum