Suthep writes to Obama, affirming non-violent campaign

national January 25, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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People's Democratic Reform Committee secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban has sent a letter to US President BarackObama, affirming non-violent campaign of the PDRC to fight against a corrupt and "dictatorial" regime.

Suthep said in the letter that the PDRC is a pro-democracy movement and he wrote the letter to respond to questions of the international community.

He alleged that the Yingluck government had obtained power by violations of democratic principles – by buying votes and manipulating electoral system.

His letter says:

"Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to you today in response to a number of questions raised by the international community regarding the political protests that are ongoing in the Kingdom of Thailand. My name is Suthep Thaugsuban, and I am leading this movement through the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Please let me assure you that the PDRC is not conducting an anti-democratic uprising. In fact, the PDRC is a pro-democracy movement intent upon removing the dictatorial regime led by Yingluck Shinawatra, who has been empowered through and directed by her elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra. For the past 13 years, the Shinawatra family has governed Thailand by a combination of tyranny, corruption, bribery, theft, and a complete disregard for human rights. While both Thaksin and Yingluck were both elected by the people of Thailand, both their elections and their governance represent the gravest of violations of democratic principles - including vote buying and electoral manipulation by the state - and over the past several months, millions of people representing the whole of Thailand have risen up to object.

The PDRC strategy is based on non-violent civil disobedience. While many of Thaksin’s supporters have objected strenuously to our use of civil disobedience, please let me remind you that throughout the world, people have claimed their rightful independence, received recognition of civil rights, fought apartheid, and defeated Communism through this same civil disobedience. I will argue that Thai citizens are morally responsible to rise up and demand removal of both Yingluck and the influence of Thaksin, then define and implement the reform necessary to ensure that the Kingdom of Thailand remains free from unjust and corrupt leaders in the future. Most importantly, a reform that will bring about free and fair elections and a truly representative government.

The people of Thailand want and deserve democracy, and I am confident that the PDRC will help achieve and maintain the democratic process that this great country has long deserved.

Most respectfully,

Suthep Thaugsuban

People’s Democratic Reform Committee"