Posts Tagged ‘army’

Pro-election activists and politicians say the allegations of corruption by various junta officials and supporters are symptoms of the military government’s hypocrisy and failure.

Mr. Prayuth led the coup when he was army chief, declaring only he could end corruption at the top which plagued elected civilian governments.

“More Thai people are sick and tired of his [Mr. Prayuth’s] government than at any time since the military coup in May 2014, but not enough are willing to stand up and stare down the military regime,” said the director of Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Security and International Studies, Thitinan Pongsudhirak.

“Corruption and graft will lead to crises and more coups. It is a familiar and vicious cycle,” Mr. Thitinan said on March 30.

Prime Minister Prayuth “cannot afford to leave the corridors of power too soon, or he could become the subject of vengeful acts by his political opponents, pundits say,” the Bangkok Post reported on March 31.

Many Thais assume Mr. Prayuth is conspiring to extend his control after the polls — planned for February 2019 — by using a recent law which allows a hung parliament to appoint an unelected person as prime minister.

Source: SCOOP


More than 300 Thai pro-democracy demonstrators marched to the gates of the army headquarters in Bangkok on Saturday (Mar 24) to call on soldiers to withdraw their support for the government.

It was one of the biggest in a new wave of protests against corruption and the government’s failure to keep to a promised election timetable.

The marchers demanded soldiers end their backing for the government, which took power following a May 2014 coup. But the protesters also said they did not want another military takeover.

“We want a peaceful transition,” Rangsiman Rome, one of the protest leaders, told Reuters. “It’s time for the army and all of Thai society to stop supporting the junta and side with the people.”

Soldiers at the army headquarters declined to respond.

Continue reading: Channel NewsAsia

Protesters pushed past police Saturday evening on a march to army headquarters in Bangkok to demand the military dissolve the ruling junta and hold elections.

In what appeared the largest turnout since protests erupted anew in January, a crowd of several hundred set out from Thammasat University just after 5pm and after about two hours of maneuvering around police managed to march on army headquarters.

“If you continue to get in the way of democracy, then the military will lose more and more of its dignity,” protest leader Rangsiman Rome said over a megaphone at 8:15pm from outside the building.

He added that anyone who sides with the junta is a “traitor to Thailand.”

Continue reading: Khaosod English

Security Camera Footage Goes Missing.

An inquest in Thailand into the death of a teenage ethnic Lahu activist ended today without an answer to a critical question: What happened to the missing security camera footage the army claims justified the shooting?

Chaiyaphum Pa-sae, 17, was shot dead on March 17, 2017, by soldiers from the army’s 5th Cavalry Regiment Task Force and the Pha Muang Task Force after they arrested him for alleged drug possession in Chiang Dao district of Thailand’s northern Chiang Mai province.

The investigation into Chaiyaphum’s death has been hampered by shoddy police work. In April 2017, the army gave police a computer hard drive containing footage from security cameras at the checkpoint where soldiers arrested and shot Chaiyaphum. But Chaiyaphum’s family found during the inquest at Chiang Mai Provincial Court that the March 17 footage was missing. No one explained how the footage – which the army had claimed proved the shooting was justified – went missing. Police, prosecutors, and judges responsible for this case did not demand that the army hand over this critical evidence even after they knew it was missing.

Continue reading: Human Rights Watch

An army commander apologized Tuesday on behalf of a colonel under his command who gave the middle finger to protesters in the north.

The confrontation broke out at Phayao City Hall after an activist group petitioned the authorities to end prosecution of its supporters. Lt. Gen. Vichak Siribansop, head of the northern army, said the officer lost his cool in the heat of an argument and subsequently “displayed inappropriate action.”

“I would like to apologize to the local residents and the media,” Vichak told reporters Tuesday.

The general added that the army has put the officer, named in media reports as Col. Thinnachart Sutthirak, under disciplinary review. Vichak said the inquiry would be concluded in three days.

Continue reading: Khaosod English

In Bangkok, young, middle-class Thais, have led a series of anti-junta protests, including one on Feb. 24 at Thammasat University – which Thai troops stormed in 1976, killing dozens of students in an earlier coup.

Than Rittiphan, a member of the New Democracy Movement, which has helped to organize the protests, said the movement is mainly aimed at holding a general election sooner.

The movement transcends the red-yellow divide in Thai politics and “has actually spread into a conflict between generations and values”, he said. The students say they are pushing for a Thai meritocracy to replace what they see as corruption and nepotism in the system.

The latest protests are too small to be a factor in any election timing, said Kan Yuenyong, a political analyst and executive director of the Siam Intelligence Unit think-tank told Reuters. “But they do increase public awareness about the vote.

“The underlying politics of Thailand is still about class – the upper, middle and the working class. People try to say that we’ve moved on from color politics but we haven’t,” Kan said.

Source: Reuters

The Thai government should immediately end the incommunicado military detention of a prominent ethnic Malay Muslim human rights activist, Human Rights Watch said today. Aiman Hadeng, chair of the Justice for Peace Network, has been detained in a military camp in Thailand’s Yala province since February 23, 2018, without effective safeguards against mistreatment.

“The Thai military’s incommunicado detention of a well-known rights activist should set off alarm bells given the army’s long history of abuse in southern Thailand,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The Thai government can address the growing concerns for Aiman’s safety by immediately allowing him access to his family and lawyer, bringing him before a judge, and moving him to civilian custody or releasing him.”

Continue reading: Human Rights Watch