Why No Mention of Human Rights Abuses?

Some extracts from a post at Thai Politico by Giles Ji Ungpakhon (i.e. not including the bits that may be illegal) (and possibly not the original source – he has a blog of his own somewhere as I recall):

What is the root cause of this crisis?

The root cause of this crisis is not the corruption of the Thaksin government in the past. It isn’t about vote-buying, good governance, civil rights or the Rule of Law. Politicians of all parties, including the Democrats, are known to buy votes. The elites, whether Politicians, Civil Servants or Military, have a history of gross corruption. Even when they don’t break the law, they have become rich on the backs of Thai workers and small farmers. The Democrat Party is stuffed with such millionaires.

Ironically, the Thai Rak Thai party was helping to reduce the importance of vote-buying because it was the first party in decades to have real policies which were beneficial to the poor. They introduced a universal health care scheme and Keynesian Village Funds. People voted on the basis of such policies. The Democrats and the conservative elites hate the alliance between Thaksin’s business party and the poor.

The Red Shirts, who are organised by government politicians, are the only hope for Thai democracy. They have now become a genuine pro-democracy mass movement of the poor. This is what is meant by “Civil Society”, not the PAD fascists. Thai academia fails to grasp this basic fact. But the Red Shirts are not a “pure force”. Many have illusion is ex-Prime Minister Thaksin. They overlook his gross abuse of human rights in the South and the War on Drugs. But these human rights issues are also totally ignored by the PAD and their friends.

So, my question today is, why do so many of Thaksin’s and Thai Rak Thai/People’s Power Party/ Puea Thai’s enemies ignore these ‘human rights abuses’? Bear in mind that several committees have sat to find evidence and not brought any prosecutions. Readers will be aware of the low level of evidence now required by the courts to hand out prison sentences and other punishments. So why nothing?


1)      life is cheap in Thailand and no one cares – the ‘War on Drugs’ for example was so popular (and some argue it was successful in getting methamphetamines out of schools, which is what people were really worried about) that the PPP government tried to bring it back twice this year alone.

2)      Thaksin is innocent or at least there is no smoking gun. It is illogical to argue that the government controls the police and the army when we have seen both police and military repeatedly to refuse to obey the orders of the government and Thaksin was, in any case, ousted by a military coup.

3)      Bringing prosecutions would reveal the complicity of a number of people whom the elites who now control the courts do not wish to see revealed. In this case, Thaksin may or may not be guilty.

Any other explanations (apart from conspiracy nonsense about Thaksin stooges controlling the world, possibly in the form of eight foot high lizards)?

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JW has been one of the first contributors to this blog before he gave up on it all in April 2010, during a time when Thai society got more and more polarized about political matters because of red-shirt protesters.

One thought on “Why No Mention of Human Rights Abuses?”

  1. Dear John,

    pssst! Please don’t mention the eight food high l*zards again on this blog, you know very well that this can bring us into trouble!


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