Thai Language source:Historic incident: Closure of the NLA
14 December 2007
On 12 October 2007 at 7.00 am more than 1,000 civil society representatives from different networks including the Non-Government Organisations Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-COD), the Confederation of State Enterprise Labour Unions, the Council of People's Organisations Network in Thailand, the Four Regions Slum Network, the Confederation of Teachers' Societies of Thailand, the Students Federation of Thailand (SFT), the Civil Society Organisation Network, and students and members of the general public, gathered in front of Parliament house intending to stop the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) from continuing its work.
Later at 9.00 am, trucks carrying loud speakers were moved to block the three entrances to parliament, marking the official closure of the parliament by the people.
However, although the three entrances were closed, members of the NLA were still able to gain access to the parliament building through the gate of Chang Ton National Museum (next to Vimanmek Palace). This particular entrance has not been in regularly use except on special occasions such as Children's Day. Therefore the NLA was able to attain a quorum for the meeting to continue as normal.
Declaring the Closure of the NLA
After the closure of the three entrances, Mr. Jon Ungpakorn, Chairperson of NGO-COD, announced that the closing of parliament was being done in a peaceful way to announce that the actions of the NLA are not acceptable. If the NLA plans to examine 40-60 acts in a few days to increase the power of the bureaucrats instead of giving more power to the people, it is unacceptable. He said he regretted that the NLA had passed many bills violating human rights such as the Computer Crime Act. Currently, the most dangerous act under discussion is the draft Internal Security Act (ISA), which will guarantee and establish military power over civilian government in the future.
Mr. Jon also stated that the National Legislative Assembly should change its acronym from NLA to SLA, which means Shameless Assembly. The gathering today was to express the fact that the people cannot accept laws violating people's rights and to demand that NLA members that care about the people's concerns should resign. After that, he read the declaration of the closure of the NLA:
Continued in next postDeclaration
Closing the Interim National Legislative Assembly
Stop violating human rights and freedoms
It is clearly evident that the National Legislative Assembly, which was appointed by the military after a coup d'état that seized power from an elected government, had been passing laws to increase the power of the bureaucratic system and further the interests of capitalists. The NLA is destroying the rights and liberties of the people and their communities. Instead of improving the democratic system, Thai society is being taken backward to a system of bureaucratic polity. A series of unacceptable laws is being pushed through, such as:
1) the draft Internal Security Act which increases the power of the military over the state and society;
2) the Community Forest and Water Resources Bill, which attempts to prohibit community rights;
3) the draft law relating to the Management of Radio and Television, which gives state agencies a monopoly of control over radio and television broadcast frequencies;
4) the draft Act on Privatisation Regulations and Standards which will privatise national enterprises vital to the livelihood of the public and put them in the hands of domestic and international corporations;
5) bills regarding the autonomy of six universities, which will turn universities into private enterprises controlled by the market and will prevent the poor from gaining access to education;
and 6) the transportation-related Bill which will transfer transportation businesses to the corporate sector.
We feel that these numerous bills will have serious effects on the freedom and liberties of the people and on democracy; it will not be possible to hold the NLA responsible for these effects after they leave their positions.
We believe that if the current NLA continues to pass laws, even though there are only 13 days left before an election which would return the power to the people; there would be a severe impact on Thai society, which could be irreparable. Therefore we demand that the NLA stop functioning.
We, as citizens of Thailand, declare our right to "Close the Interim National Legislative Assembly, and to Stop Violating the Freedom and Liberty of the People".
Translated by Pokpong Lawansiri
Last edited by GWR; 14-12-07 at 11:50 AM.
Continued from previous post
Thai Language source:Surapon Criticises the Demonstrators as "Cynic"
Associate Professor Dr. Surapon Nitikraipoj, an NLA member, gave an interview before attending the meeting and said that if the demonstrators declare that the assembly is illegitimate since it was appointed by the coup plotters, it meant that they thought that the NLA did not have legitimacy since the beginning. But he wanted to ask how, without the NLA, could elections or laws have been initiated. This assembly passed the laws to enable the election to take place. Thai society needs a legislative branch. The demonstrators could be thought of as cynics if they are not happy with certain laws but overgeneralise by saying that the NLA is not legitimate. However, the demonstration by the civil society groups is peaceful, he said.
Before the meeting to discuss the pending acts by the NLA, Ms. Pojanee Thanawaranit, 1st Vice-Chairperson of the NLA and acting Chairperson of the meeting, informed the members that Assoc. Prof. Surichai Wankaew had resigned his NLA membership as of 11 December. However, the Chairperson did not reveal the reasons for his resignation.
Nation journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk said however that the resignation of Assoc. Prof. Surichai is still not enough. Assoc. Prof. Surichai should apologize to the people for playing his role to legitimize the coup plotters and for lubricating the work of the dictators. Pravit also demanded that Associate Professor Surichai donate his salary from working as an NLA member to the Wanida Tantiwittayapitak Fund, since his salary came from taxpayers' money.
Activists Climb the Fence into Parliament Declaring - "No Parliament Meeting Today"
The demonstration outside the parliament continued as representatives from different networks described the reasons why the NLA must stop considering new laws.
At around 11.30 am, Mr. Jon and the leaders of different networks, such as Saree Ongsomwang (Foundation for Consumers), Supinya Klangnarong (Secretary General of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform), Vasan Sitthiket (Artists Party), Nitirat Sapsomboon (Friends of the People), Pairoj Polpetch (Union for Civil Liberty) and other demonstrators brought wooden ladders to climb into parliament. About 20 persons from the first batch were able to climb over and ran to the doors of the parliament building, followed by security officers at the gate. Since the number of officers watching of the gate was reduced, about 60 more demonstrators then successfully climbed into parliament. The entry into parliament was to declare to the NLA that "there is no parliament meeting today."
Wallop Volunteers to Coordinate with Meechai
After the demonstrators climbed inside, they headed directly to the chamber of the parliament. The parliament session was ongoing, but had to be postponed after ten minutes. NLA member Mr. Wallop Tangkananurak came out to meet Mr. Jon, asking what law the demonstrators disagreed with. Mr. Jon explained by giving an extensive list and asked Mr. Wallop to call for a quorum on the assumption that many NLA members came to sign their names but did not really attend the meeting.
Mr. Wallop insisted that there were 140 members in attendance, which made a quorum, and he had recommended the Chairperson of the meeting to postpone the meeting due to the situation. He proposed that after this there should be no more discussion of the 15 recently proposed laws but only laws in the 2nd and 3rd readings.
On the issue of the civil society organizations calling for the NLA to resign, Mr. Wallop said it was a separate issue. He said resignation will not do any good, but he agreed that there are many acts that are big issues that need extensive consultation, not limited consultation. However, he will work as the bridge to bring the demands of the civil society to the Chairperson of the assembly.
Tuenjai Proposes Sending Representatives to Negotiate - Meanwhile Jon Agrees to Retreat if Draft ISA is Withdrawn
NLA member Mrs. Tuenjai Deetes came out to greet the demonstrators and said that she also wished to have a direct discussion between civil society with the NLA, since the demands were reasonable. It is true that the NLA is examining laws close to the election. There are some laws where civil society has extreme concerns, therefore she will propose to the NLA that a mechanism to interface between civil society and the NLA should be established.
When the media asked about the demand of civil society groups for NLA members to resign to show spirit, Mrs. Tuenjai responded that resignations would not do any good, since with her resignation the assembly would still have a quorum and could continue meeting. However, if she stays on, she could campaign for positive laws such as Nationality Act or Citizenship Record Act, which have been thoroughly examined.
At the same time, Mr. Jon responded that he did not know how to negotiate with the NLA since the demand is for the NLA to cease operating. Civil society is aware that the reason for the continuation of the NLA meeting is for to push for the draft ISA. The people will not accept this. However if the draft ISA is formally withdrawn, negotiations could taken place, he said.
Meechai States the NLA has to Perform its Role According to the Constitution
Journalists reported that NLA Chairperson Mr. Meechai Ruchupan, after arriving at Parliament House from his medical check-up at a hospital, called for a meeting with relevant personnel such as NLA Secretary-General Ms. Suwimon Phumsingharat,; NLA and Parliament Property Director; NLA member Mr. Visanu Krue-ngarm; 1st Army Commander Lt-General Prayuth Chan-ocha; Assistant Police Chief Pol Lt-General Watcharaphol Prasanratchakit; Metropolitan Police Commander Pol Lt-General Asawin Kwanmuang; Dusit Police Station Superintendent Pol Col Prachai Jaicharnsukkit,. The main topic of discussion was ways of dealing with the demonstration. The meeting ended after an extensive one-hour discussion.
Mr. Meechai proposed to the police officers that the demonstrators be driven out of the parliament building so that the meeting could continue by 1.30 pm, but there was a feeling that this could lead to more dissatisfaction and greater conflict. Therefore Mr. Meechai decided to convene a press conference calling for the indefinite postponement of the session.
During the press conference, Mr. Meechai Ruchupan expressed sorrow at the disturbing situation which occurred in the morning and guaranteed that the NLA meeting would be postponed indefinitely.
However, he said that the NLA had to continue its role of in examining the laws as cited in the constitution. The NLA has the mandate to carry on its work until the beginning of the new assembly. He mentioned that in the past there has not been a case of trying to pass certain specific laws. In response to the demand for the NLA to resign, he said it will have an impact on the new government, because the NLA has obligations under the constitution. But if the people feel that there are certain laws that they are unhappy with, the new government can abolish or amend those laws.
1 Day ‘Closure of the Assembly' Successful
As the demonstrators continued to protest, Mr. Meechai called an end the meeting for the day. The demonstrators then returned outside. Mr. Jon declared on the stage in front of the parliament that civil society had been successful in pressuring the NLA to postpone its meeting today. However, this is not the ultimate success because the role of civil society is ultimately to end the role of the NLA. However, the people had learnt today that we cannot accept atrocious laws and this is a historic event where they had been able to get into the assembly chamber.
"The Chairperson of the SLA (Shameless Assembly) stated without shame that the role of the assembly is to continue examine the laws even though he was not elected by a single person. The chairperson can continue serving dictators in every government. Therefore we will meet again. There will be more mass demonstrations. This victory should be presented in all media in the nation. If there are laws that violate people's rights, we cannot accept that", Mr. Jon said.
Mr. Jon also said that the resignation of NLA members will show who is standing side by side with the people, and who is supporting dictators. At least, the resignation of Assoc Prof Surichai Wan'kaew shows that he stands with the people. However, it shows that those who continue to stay as NLA members have dictatorial hearts and we will continue our struggle.
News reports also said that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Development and Human Security Mr. Paiboon Wattanasiritham, and Minister of the Prime Minister's Office Mr. Thirapat Serirangsan would invite Mr. Jon to a meeting at Government House on 13 December, since the government fears that the demonstrations might escalate into violence and could be affect the upcoming election on the 23 December.
Translated by Pokpong Lawansiri
Last edited by GWR; 14-12-07 at 11:48 AM.
http://thainews.prd.go.th/newsenglis...d=25501214000114 December 2007
NLA will not submit to demonstrators
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has avowed to press on with its duties despite heavy opposition by non-government organizations and citizens network that have rallied in front of the Parliament for several days. The NLA stated that it would not submit to pressure and accusations of infringement on rights as it is only performing its duty.
The assembly stated that as the bills to be discussed had already been through the legal processes to be brought up, the group would have to consider them during their meetings. As for bills that had already been passed the assembly said demonstrators were free to dispute them and bring their issues up through the correct channels. The NLA also reminded that after the election it will no longer be responsible for the making and amending of laws.
A bill that was heavily criticized by the demonstrators was the Internal Security bill. Prime Minister General Surayud Chulanont though has stepped up on the issue, saying he felt the bill was an important part of the nation’s security and that he was confident it was a beneficial act.
Reporter : RTI-Reporter01
Last edited by GWR; 14-12-07 at 12:00 PM.
14 December 2007
This is confusing.
We have an interim legislative body, not elected but appointed by a military junta. That's not very democratic.
This group of generals got the authority to appoint this legislature not through any constitutional means, but by force of arms. That's not democratic at all, but hey, they're generals, what would they know?
The temporary legislature was given the major task of getting a new constitution written and approved. In the meantime, it would keep the engine of government ticking over until an elected parliament could take up the reins. Not really democratic, but as long as they behaved themselves, it was probably the best we could hope for.
So we have a referendum to approve this constitution but it's held partly under martial law, and the military refuse to explain what happens if the ‘no' votes win. People supporting a ‘no' vote get harassed and the provinces that vote ‘no' suddenly find themselves back under martial law. That sort of looks sort of democratic, but once you scratch the surface, it's not really.
So now we've got a constitution and, despite the shady characters and the likely vote-buying and the one-sided military memos and the relentless picking on the PPP to the point where I'm in danger of feeling sorry for Samak, an election campaign of sorts is underway. So what does the National Legislative Assembly decide to do in the last sunset days before its demise? They go into hyperdrive and start passing laws at a rate never before seen in Thai legislative history.
This is not nuts and bolts stuff without which the taps would run dry. Nor is it minor stuff that will do pro tem until an elected parliament can look at it properly. Nor is it short-term stuff that can be reversed as soon as it looks iffy.
The NLA is busy drafting legislation that seriously affects people's lives. It will make water the property of the state so they can charge farmers for using it. It will make the airwaves the property of the state so that the state can control more easily what news we can get. It will give the Ministry of Agriculture its long-cherished goal of being able to tell farmers what to grow. It will give university administrations, overriding the wishes of the teachers and students, a form of autonomy that will let them fire the teachers and increase the students' fees.
And in the form of the Internal Security Bill, it goes a long way to neutralizing that pseudo-democratic decision that was made back in August when the constitution was approved in the referendum. It's not much use having a constitution protecting rights and freedoms if you then put a law on the books giving Internal Security Operations Command the power to ignore those rights. And immunity from any punishment for doing so.
The NLA already has a track record for trampling on rights and freedoms. They passed a Cyber Crime Law that has Prachatai nervously glancing at the windows, wondering when the goons will start piling through.
Now this is seriously un-democratic.
So on the morning of 12 December a group of people decided to do something about it and tried, peacefully, to shut down the NLA.
Enter Meechai Ruchupan, who must hold the world's constitution-writing record, a man who has served both democratically-elected governments (though he doesn't bother getting elected himself) and dictatorships.
Scurrying back from an interrupted health check-up (I just hope he wasn't in the middle of a proctologic exam when he heard the news), he denounces this attempt to stop an undemocratic Assembly doing some decidedly undemocratic things.
The protestors, he says ‘don't understand the democratic mechanism'.
Which democratic mechanism was that exactly? The one that appoints car dealers to parliament just because they have thrown a nice bit of business the way of a constitution-shredding general? The one that conducts a referendum in a blatantly partisan manner to get a constitution passed that ISOC doesn't have to bother about anyway? Or the one that prefers to bulldoze laws through at the rate of 5 a day in preference to waiting just a couple of weeks for a democratically-elected parliament to take over?
It's all very well for a Privy Council President to tell us that this man's an ‘ace legal expert'. But he's obviously working from his own novel definition of democracy.
Perhaps "bow to popular sentiment"?:
20 December 2007
Demonstrators agree to disperse
Demonstrators from the Citizens Network, led by Jon Ungpaporn (จอน อึ๊งภากรณ์) have agreed to disperse to alleviate pressure on the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). The group though, affirms that it will not leave the issue of 8 bills which the group feels may impede on freedom and rights.
The group have vowed to return until the NLA desists from meeting on the 8 bills which are projected to be discussed by December 27th. The demonstrators stated that if the 8 bills pass, they will seek out 10,000 names to petition to revocation of the laws.
The protestors agreed to disperse to bog down sentiment, but have vowed to return.
Reporter : RTI-Reporter01
Last edited by GWR; 20-12-07 at 04:46 PM.
The Perils of Democracy without Freedom and Liberty
Column COmmonsense by Thawee Mee-Nguen
Prachachat Thurakij - 20 December 2007
After readging "The Perils of Democracy without Freedom and Liberty" by Farish Zakaria, it hes helped me to clearify my puzzle and frustration from those Highbrow Thai intellectuals at the university level.
Those Highbrow Thai intellectuals at the university level keep PARROTTING that "Dictator government is NO good - Thaksin Governemtn sill have more legitimacy than the unelected Government of Surayut and Big Bung since Thaksin has been elected by People!"
Farish Zakaria has pointed out Democracy is NOT good at itself, contrasting against the veiwpoints of those Highbrow intellectuals.
Furthermore Zakaria has pointed out that Democrary must be applied alogn with Liberalism under the rule of constitution. This implied that election ALONE is NOT enough for good democracy. Real Democrarcy is Democracy with Freedom and Liberty whcih RESPECT right and liberty of people with functioning mechanism to limit state power from being ABUSED to harm the liberty of people.
This definitiion of democracy by Zakaria also implied that Thaksin government is just democracy WITHOUT Freedom and Liberty - ONLY having 4-second liberty to vote ...adn the our soverign have been LOST to those politicians with power whcih do NO GOOD at all!
How can those intellectuals consider themselves as protectors of Democracy when they have cooperated with those politicians who advocated democracy WITHOUT Freedom and Liberty?
5 Years fo Thaksin Regime has raised the question whether we have REAL democracy at all. The leader who REFUSE to participate the parliamentary sessions to EXPLAIN governemnt's policies and give the Answers to those representatives is considered as a DICTATOR since he did NOt give a DAMN on hte Democracy process.
Fruthermore, the frequent cabinate shuffles to avoid the censure are the obstractive measures prevent public scrutinies on the government.
The series of systematic abuses not ONLY showign the disrespect of democratic process but it also denied the chance from the government and national assembly to make a joint discussion to find the way to break the deadlock without askign Army to beark the deadlock.
If the Government had paid more respect to the National Assembly to allow a
chance to discuss and listen the reasons each other, the coup would be ABORTED at the first place.
The further list of ABUSES can be shown as follows
1. The Governemtn Practice of Cronyism and Nepotism by sending their kinsmen and cronies to control independent agencies as well as bureacratic systems and Armed Forces. Furthermore, the governemtnb keep protecting the croneis and kinsmens even though tey RAPE and PILLAGE people with IMPUNITY!
2. Cabinate Dissolution to avoid censure alogn with snap election on 2 April 2006.
3. Hiring the thuggish and mecenary Caravans of the Poor to fight AGINST PAD as the way to COW people from criticizing government.
4. Media interference through the threats of pulling out the advertising money from the media with independent minds who dare toe criticize the government.
These abuses symtoms from the "Democracy without Freedom and Liberty" virus whcih come to sicken and KILL the people whcih nobody care.
Society will be plagued with disunity since "Democracy without Freedom and Liberty" allows governemtn to ABUSE mroe and more people and people will eventually take Civil War in theri own hand even though it will lead to failed states ....
How Temerity the highbrow intellectuals to support the Democracy without Freedom and Liberty. Are they goign to let people die without propered treatment?
This a warnign that Democracy is NOT just going to case the ballots ... We need to keep monitoring those electioneers to prevent them from ABUSE freedom and liberty of people.
It would, of course, almost certainly be far too much to hope that the ISA will be primarily used to keep future Thaksin's in check. Historical example demonstrates, in dollops, that it will also be used as an implement of oppression against almost anything - major or minor - that disrupts the cosy monopoly of the military/business elite. We only need to look to Malaysia, where this article originated, to see numerous examples of an ISA being abused to maintain the easy lifestyle of the few.
With regard to the previous post, isn't it more a case of THEM Vs THEM (the gentrified cut-and-thrust of the military academy's endless rivalries) with US on the sideline (fit only to fence in bloody elections & civil wars)? Doubtless Thaksin had his own ISA in mind, once/if he had managed to clear ISOC of its die-hard royalists:
Non-specific link:Thai's NLA Overwhelmingly Passes Internal Security Bill
BANGKOK, Dec 21 (Bernama) -- Thailand's military-appointed National Legislative Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to approve the much-criticised Internal Security Bill amid outcries from protesters gathering outside Parliament demanding that the NLA not to pass the bill as there are only two days left before the December 23 general election.
Thailand News Agency (TNA) reported that with a speedy deliberation, the bill sailed through with 105-8 votes and two abstentions.
Hundreds of protesters who earlier dispersed, however, vowed to collect at least 10,000 signatures to amend the law.
Rights advocates and critics voiced concern over Thailand's Internal Security Bill which confers sweeping powers to the military to take very wide-ranging actions with little accountability, warning that the measure could violate international human rights standards as well as further jeopardise human rights in the country.
The new law empowers the prime minister as head of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) and the Army commander as deputy chief of the top national security body to bar public gatherings, restrict citizens' freedom of movement, place anyone under house arrest and close down roads or transportation routes.
The legislation was proposed by the interim government of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont installed after the then army commander Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin staged a bloodless coup last year to oust elected then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who had been accused of corruption and abuse of power.
Last edited by GWR; 22-12-07 at 12:12 AM.
After I talkk with my sister in law, she had told me that those instructors in SWU (Sri Nakharintharawiroj University Prasarnmitr campus) is brainwashing their students to keep Blaming the Military government with Black May VCD, Ocotber 1973 VCD and October 6 VCD, without making ANY dseeep analyses on the event ...
ANy strdents who write the opinions NOT inlione with left wing instructors will get F, no matter how good they are writign the paper!
This is a clear sing that many of those Octoberists have to turng the new generation into the foot soliders of the left wing dictators to counter right wing dictors whcih also run by theri fellow octoberists weho DISAGREE with them, a clear sign that octoberists people turn theri back to the REAL Democracy (Domocracy with Liberety) by turning to suppport Democracy WITHOUT Liberetry instead. Such a kind of action weill turn Octoberists tpo be histiorical derelics.
Now, Manager Daily Columnistssaid Unless the Old Ginger have made a quick reform of itself ... after 15 month failture of Surayut, it will be derelic pieces of History by self-destruction in the same way as Ai Maew who was defeated by self-destructive process.
Now PPP hoped to become single government due to the predicted 256 seat out of 480 by Exit Poll of Suan Dusit
UDD men are goign to Sanam Luang after gettign the final results
Ai Liab said he is going to get a coalition for 300 seat of MP to ensure stability ... wghile asking Demoicrat NOT to set up a shadow government.
Ekkayut and Co Weekly News Analyses: Ai Maew is baling that BMA taking side with Democrat too much and Pap Prem is takign side with Democrat.
BTW, Ai Yongyut and Ai Chaloem are also askign Papa prem to retire from Political areana (Privy Council) since he takes side ewith Democrat.
... durign the Speech at Sanam Luang ... a scheme to kick Ai Samak Upstair for sure ...
PApa Prem's and Surayut's power are at the waining stage after the stock holdign scandal wehich force Big Aree Wongaraya to resign - losing mechanic to control the votes in rural area ...
Ai Maew Rapping AGAINST Pap prem via Your Tube
Joemsak said even PPP is winnign the election, AI Samak may not be able to run the country due teh pending case of Nominee and violating election rules aloign with the pending case Libel Suit against Ajarn Samart.
Even those Octoberists within PPP should think about takign power for themselves since it would be a Betrayal to their fallen comrades by Ai Samak during 6 Ocotber 1976 Massacre.
Evne Ai Samak is tryign to whitewash himself alogn with 111 TRT men, they would be surprised by the His Majesty's Vetoes -> refusing to sign the bills that whitewash TRT men.
If His Majesty refuses to approve Ai Samak and his cabinate, they would lose the legitimacy tro run the county!
Intellectual said othjere partioes wiiol abandon PPP.
Last edited by Wisarut; 23-12-07 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Updating
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/brea...ewsid=30060493Jon to face criminal action for Parliament intrusion
The police are preparing to take criminal action against activist Jon Ungpakorn and his supporters for intrusion at Parliament House on two occasions and trying to interrupt the National Legislative Assembly sessions earlier this month.
Deputy Bangkok police chief Major-General Jate Mongkholhatthee said about 15 per cent of the evidence, mostly images from security cameras and media footage, had been compiled against Jon and 18 supporters. Charges of trespassing on government property are being prepared.
Jate said the police were being careful with the case because it was a sensitive matter and could subject the force to public criticism over freedom of expression.
Jon led 400 people into the Parliament House compound on December 12 and 14 to pressure the NLA to stop legislating and leave the job to elected members of the House after the general election.
It finally turned up two days later on another site. Oh well! I suppose it will make a nice change from the more normal sexual misdemeanors of ex-senators:
http://www.prachatai.com/english/news.php?id=474Police prepare arrest warrants on 4 charges against 6 NGO leaders of invasion of NLA: Jon readies legal defence
11 January 2008
9 Jan 2008 At Metropolitan Police Headquarters, Deputy Metropolitan Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Jate Mongkolhattee, in his capacity as leader of the investigating team, called a 2-hour meeting to follow up on progress in the case of the group who climbed the fence of parliament on 12 December 007 to call for the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to halt deliberations.
Pol Maj Gen Jate said that investigators had collected clear evidence in the form of documents, pictures and witness statements. This was sufficient to seek the court's permission to issue arrest warrants on 14 January on 4 charges against the leaders of the group. These are: trespass using violence by collaborating with more than 21 persons to commit an offence; gathering with more than 10 persons to use force to create a public disturbance; gathering more than 5 persons to force others to act against their will; and illegal detention. The maximum punishment is 5 years imprisonment.
"For the remaining persons involved, we have to wait for additional investigation of the evidence before we can make arrests in this case," the head of the investigation team said.
News reports said that it was expected that the list of the leaders who would be served with arrest warrants at this time included Jon Ungphakorn, former Senator for Bangkok.
Former Senator Jon Ungphakorn and other leaders of the group said that they thought they should be served subpoenas rather than arrest warrants since before arrest warrants are issued, the accused must be summoned to hear the charges and make a statement. If the Royal Thai Police proceeds in this way, the accused have a team of lawyers ready to contest the charges. None of the group has fled and they are prepared to face the accusations and fight the case.
Last edited by GWR; 11-01-08 at 11:14 AM.
http://www.prachatai.com/english/news.php?id=483Police call up 11 activists
15 January 2008
Pick to Post
Police yesterday summoned activist Jon Ungpakorn and 10 fellow activists to hear charges related to their forced entry into Parliament House in December to disrupt the National Legislative Assembly as it deliberated several laws.
The 11 have been charged with six criminal offences including trespassing and coercion. They are required to meet police next Tuesday at 9.30am at the Metropolitan Police Bureau to acknowledge the offences. They will face arrest if they fail to show up, said deputy MPB chief Jate Mongkholhatthee.
Jate said the 11 were entitled to their opinion and freedom of expression under the new constitution, but their intrusion onto government property and disruption of the NLA session were criminal offences and a violation of other people's rights.
Among the 11 are Media Reform Campaign head Supinya Klangnarong, Customers' Network leader Saree Ongsomwang and state enterprise labour union leaders Sawit Kaewwan and Amnart Phalamee.
Non-specific link:NGO protesters hear charges against them
(BangkokPost.com) – Ten NGO protesters led by leading NGO activist Jon Ungphakorn have appeared before the Special Branch Police Chief to hear five charges against them.
All ten of them were charged for storming into parliament building at the end of last year, forcing the NLA to adjourn its session. The protesters called on the NLA to stop passing controversial bills which they claimed were a violation of human rights and could lead to social deterioration.
The bills include plans to give three state universities autonomous status, a bill on water resources and a bill on radio and television broadcasting.
Mr Jon and nine other NGO’s denied all charges against them insisting that they were merely exercising a basic constitutional right. They expressed readiness to co-operate with interrogators.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2008...s_30068494.phpProsecutors to decide Parliament break in case in June
Public prosecutors will announce its decision on June 5, whether to indict Jon Ungpakorn and nine others for breaking into Parliament building on Dec 12.
Police charge Jon and nine political activists with staging an intrusion by force, assembling to cause unrest, detaining others against their will and using loudspeakers without permission.
The other nine are Sirichai Mai-ngarm, Supinya Klangnarong, Saree Ongsomwang, Sawit Kaewwan, Pichit Chaimongkol, Anirut Khaosanit, Nussor Yeema, Amnart Plamee and Pairoj Polphet.
Nititorn Lamlua, lawyer of the ten suspects said he had already submitted a letter to the Attorney General seeking justice reasoning that the suspects exercised the constitutional right to peaceful gathering.
They trespassed on the parliament building to stop the legislators from passing laws, which they argued was not the job of the interim parliament with an election pending, he said.