Pheu Thai Party, Democrat explain their stance to the UN
January 30, 2014 00:00 By THE NATION, DPA
POLITICIANS FROM the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties have separately written to the UN explaining their sides in the current political conflict.
Noppadon Pattama, former foreign minister under the Pheu Thai-led government, wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, while Kiat Sittheeamorn, chairman of the Democrats’ foreign affairs panel, addressed his letter to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Southeast Asian regional office.
In his letter, Noppadon said the anti-government protests led by Suthep Thaugsuban were not “non-violent civil disobedience” as Suthep has repeatedly claimed.
Suthep and his supporters tried to disrupt advance voting last Sunday through “uncivil” actions, including chaining the doors of several polling stations, forbidding voters to enter or leave the stations and threatening to use force and inflict bodily harm, Noppadon said.
“Such actions are criminal offences and violate both the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human RightsThe PDRC actions destroy the democratic process,” he said.
Meanwhile, in his letter to the UN human rights agency’s regional representative Matilda Bogner, Kiat said that it was necessary to give the domestic and the international community a factual account of the current people’s uprising in Thailand the violence and the misconduct of this government over the past two years had triggered the popular protests.
The targets of the recent attacks were members of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the Student and People Network for Thailand’s Reform, innocent protesters and volunteer guards.
The Democrat Party and its key members were also subject to attack, the letter read. The law-enforcement authorities failed to arrest the culprits or prevent any recurrence of such violent acts.
Kiat described the caretaker government as one of the most corrupt in the country’s history, both in terms of the numbers of projects formulated to enable systemic graft and the amount of money concerned.
Separately, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who was in Jakarta yesterday, called on Thailand to uphold democracy as political violence escalated ahead of an election. “This is a matter for the people of Thailand, but I hope their political leaders will find a way,” he said. Ten people have been killed and more than 570 injured since PDRC took to the streets.