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Thailand’s chief campaigner turns spotlight on new consumer council

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Activist Srisuwan Janya on Wednesday called on the Justice Ministry to launch an investigation into the 152 consumer organisations that got together to form the Thailand Consumer Council (TCC) in December 2020.

“I suspect some of these organisations have only been set up to meet the quota required to establish the TCC,” Srisuwan said. “I have done a random check and found that 16 organisations do not have head offices in provinces listed in the documents submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office. When I interviewed local administrators and villagers in those provinces, they said they have never heard of these organisations.”

Srisuwan, who is vice president and secretary-general of the Society for Defence of Thai Constitutions, said he has also submitted evidence including photos and recordings of testimonies. Hence, he said, the Department of Investigation can start investigating these 152 organisations, which he believes may have violated Article 5 of the 2019 Establishment of Thailand Consumer Council Act.

Article 5 stipulates that organisations under the TCC should have been working on consumer protection in their respective area for at least two years and should be able to provide evidence of such work.

“Organisations that use fake evidence to join the TCC are also in violation of Article 137 of the Criminal Code, which says that anyone who provides false information that is likely to cause injury to a person or the public shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht or both,” he said.

Srisuwan added that if these organisations are found guilty, the establishment of the TCC should be deemed invalid and any decisions or legal actions taken by the body be nullified as well.

Published : July 14, 2021