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Speech Controversy

Senate panels to grill Yingluck

Some 100 red-shirt supporters, led by former PM

Some 100 red-shirt supporters, led by former PM

Democrats write to Mongolian leader accusing PM of lying

Fifty-eight senators yesterday issued a statement denouncing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's Mongolia speech and said they planned to summon her for grilling by four Senate panels.

The senators called themselves "Senators Who Love the Country". They announced that Yingluck would be summoned to explain her speech to the Senate committee on foreign affairs, the Senate committee on religions, ethics, arts and culture, the Senate committee on human rights and consumer protection, and the Senate committee on corruption and good governance.

In a statement read at a press conference, the senators accused Yingluck of causing the international community to misunderstand Thailand and creating further rifts.

The statement also accused Yingluck of telling only part of the story when she said former PM Thaksin Shinawatra was politically victimised.

They called on Yingluck to take legal action against all officials at the now defunct Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation if innocent people were killed by security officials during the crackdown on red-shirt protesters, as she claimed in her speech.

The 58 senators include Wutthilert Devakula, Rawiwan Jintakan, General Somjet Boonthanom and Somchai Sawaengkarn.

In a related development, the Democrat Party yesterday sent a letter to the Mongolian president alleging that Yingluck had told lies in the speech delivered to a conference on democracy in Ulan Bator on Monday.

Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the letter explained that Yingluck had distorted information in her speech, which they said harmed her own motherland.

In her speech to the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies, Yingluck claimed that Thaksin, was a victim of a group of anti-democracy elements. She said the 2006 coup was a setback for democracy and that the red shirts had spent a decade fighting for democracy with their lives and blood.

Chavanond said the letter disputed Yingluck's speech and pointed out that all the political problems stemmed from Thaksin himself.

The party pointed out that alleged massive corruption during the tenures of the Thaksin government led to political conflicts that ended in the coup.

The letter alleged that Thaksin had abused his power as premier and had allegedly interfered with the work of independent organisations, violated people's rights and intimidated those with different opinions. The letter pointed out that the coup was staged after the Thaksin government had dissolved the House and was only a caretaker administration pending an election. It also claimed Thaksin himself set conditions that led to the confrontation of two sides, prompting the military to intervene.

The letter said that cases against Thaksin had proceeded according to a due justice process and that red-shirt rallies were illegal.

Meanwhile, Nicha Hiranburana Thuvatham, wife of General Romklao Thuvatham, posted a message on Facebook saying: "As [a member of] one of the families of the Army officers killed in the May 2010 incident, I don't want to be [identified] with those 91 deaths which the PM claimed were lost in defending democracy. In fact, my husband did not fight for democracy, since it already existed at the time, but tried to restore the rule of law.

"According to the report of the Truth for Reconciliation Commis-sion of Thailand [TRCT], evidence was found that the men in black who engaged in violent attacks on the authorities using M79 grenades and rifles, caused my husband's death, [and] had received support from red-shirt security guards.

"Therefore, the people who remain in jail who are said to be political prisoners must be tried by the judiciary, not released as the prime minister insists," she wrote.




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