Chalerm, reds stand against TRCT report
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung and prominent red-shirt leaders yesterday loudly opposed the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand's final report on the 2010 crackdown.Chalerm dismissed the TRCT's conclusions as just the opinions of a committee that had no legal binding.
Robert Amsterdam, who now works as legal counsel for the red-shirt Democratic Alliance against Dictatorship (DAAD), slammed the TRCT for suggesting in its report that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra end his political activities.
He questioned the TRCT's credibility and its ability to stay neutral, especially since it had been set up by a military-installed government. He also denounced the report as counter-productive and provocative because the victims of the crackdown would refuse to accept anything less than accountability.
"The victims will not accept this report and will not accept the false equivalence the report attempts to draw between an army firing upon unarmed protesters and their civic right to protest for democracy against a coup-appointed government," he said.
IT'S PERSONAL OPINION: THIDA
Meanwhile, DAAD chairwoman Thida Thavornseth said the report, which states that Thaksin was the root cause of the national divide, was merely TRCT chairman Kanit na Nakorn's personal opinion. She added that comments like this would not bring about national reconciliation but would instead anger people.
Separately, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith demanded that Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, then director of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation, be held responsible for the death of taxi driver Phan Kamkong.
The Criminal Court ruled this week that Phan had indeed been shot dead by soldiers.
Abhisit responded to the DSI chief's demand by saying that Tarit too was a member of the CRES and had taken part in the centre's policies and decision-making. He said it was unusual for Tarit to conclude that he and Suthep committed a crime without going through the proper justice procedure.
Chalerm, however, defended Tarit's comment, saying that only the CRES director should be held responsible.