Below is a copy of a letter submitted to the Bangkok office of the United Nations and the US Embassy in Bangkok today, April 22, 2010, by parliamentarians from the For Thais Party (Pheu Thai Party).
We, the Members of Parliament from Phue Thai Party ( PT), are writing on behalf of Thai people who are victims of the violation of human rights by the present Thai government.
Phue Thai Party ( PT), the largest party in Thai parliament, have observed the peaceful political assembly in Bangkok to protest against the present Thai government led by Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva and are disturbed by the recent violent crackdown on innocent civilians (“Red Shirts”).
However, despite peaceful and constitutional assembly, the government, on 10th of April 2010, used armed soldiers and violence to disperse the assembly which led to over 20 deaths and numerous injuries. The use of war weapons to disperse the peaceful demonstration guaranteed by the Constitution is clearly illegal, unconstitutional, and undemocratic. It constitutes blatant violation of human rights under the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
To give you some background information, the present government has never received any popular mandate from the Thai people. The Democrat Party, the core party in the coalition, has never won any general election during the past decade. The formation of the coalition government is only possible after the People Power Party, the largest party in Thai Parliament, was arguably and suspiciously dissolved by the Constitutional Court. The Thai elites and the military clearly lent their support and pressure to cause this government to be formed.
The majority of Thai people strongly feel that their voices and votes have been ignored and they can no longer tolerate numerous cases of corruptions, double standard and discrimination perpetrated by this government.
For instance, those so-called “Yellow Shirts” who seized and closed down Suvarnabhumi International Airport in 2008 have never been formally charged while cases against us and other political opponents have been relentlessly pursued and dealt with.
The majority of Thai people have demanded genuine democracy and social justice for all Thai people and some of them have taken on the street to make their demand known. They support the “Red Shirts” movement.
The protesters’ demand is clear and simple. They only demand the dissolution of parliament to allow all political parties to seek fresh mandate from the people in the general election. The demand is noble, democratic and is consistent with democratic value and standard of civilized countries.
Had Prime Minister Abhisit dissolved parliament, there would have been no death and casualties.
The protesters have been staging peaceful and constitutional assembly. They adhere to “Peace and Tolerance” principle. Sadly, the government has been trying to suppress the peaceful political assembly of the people even though they just exercise their constitutional rights.
The Prime Minister declared the state of emergency under the Executive Decree which empowers the law enforcing officers and the military to disperse peaceful assembly. As a matter of fact, the state of emergency had never existed when it was so declared. The declaration is therefore illegal and has been clearly used as a pretext to disperse the peaceful demonstration.
Not only the way the state of emergency being declared is illegal, but also the way in which the power under the law has been exercised is illegal.
On 10th April 2010, the government ordered the soldiers to disperse the assembly and thereby over 20 innocent and unarmed people were killed. Live rounds were fired and the war weapons were used against unarmed civilians.
To deprive the public of the truth of the matter, the government chose to black-out and shut down various media to the extent that even the past dictatorial regimes never dared to do. Conversely, they have been using and interfering with state owned media and allow private satellite TV allied and sympathetic towards them to one-sidedly broadcast and bombard the public with false information.
This will certainly lead to more confusion and conflicts and will create deeper hatred among the people of different political beliefs. We must put the stop to this.
Based on the above facts, the present government clearly violated basic human rights, caused several innocent people to lose their lives and suffer injuries. They also infringed press freedom and the public rights to know. They have abused their power. Their actions are criminal, unconstitutional and illegal under domestic and international laws.
By this letter, we humbly ask for your cooperation and action to resolve the violation of human rights and press freedom prevailing in Thailand at the moment.
We beg for your support in taking up the case, investigate and deliberate the regrettable situation in Thailand and call upon the Thai government to stop violating media freedom and to uphold basic human rights despite political differences. If you require further relevant information, we will be delighted to supply you with the same.
We trust that you and your organization would kindly consider our letter and help Thai people to achieve what they truly and righteously deserve. Your kind and prompt assistance on the matter is greatly appreciated.
Titima Chaisang MP
Phue Thai Party