ชัยภูมิ ป่าแส Chaiyaphoom Pasea

(A tribute by a member of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights; in Thai and English)

ชัยภูมิ เป็นเยาวชนตัวอย่าง ชาวลาหู่ในอำเภอเชียงดาว จังหวัดเชียงใหม่ รู้จักกันดี เขามีชื่อเสียงในฐานะนักกิจกรรมตัวยง มีผลงานของตัวเองทั้งหนังสั้น สารคดีและบทเพลงผ่านหน้าจอโทรทัศน์ และเว็บไซค์ยูทูป ทุกคนรู้จักเด็กคนนี้ในฐานะคนของสังคมที่เรียกร้องสิทธิให้กับชาติพันธุ์ของตัวเอง

Chaiyaphoom was a good role model for youth. He is Lahu (ethnic minority) and lives in Chiangdao, Chiangmai Province, Thailand. He has a reputation as a well-known, avid activist, having his own short films, documentaries, and music disseminated through TV, website, and YouTube. Everyone recognizes this boy as social person who demands rights for his own ethnicity.

ชัยภูมิ เป็นเด็กชาวเขา เผ่าลาหู เป็นไร้สัญชาติ พื้นฐานครอบครัวเป็นคนยากจน พ่อแม่ ป่วยเป็นโรคประจำตัว ชัยภูมิ ต้องทำงานหาเลี้ยงครอบครัวตั้งแต่อายุ 7-8 ขวบ ชัยภูมิ มีความประพฤติตัวดีมาตลอดและเป็นตัวอย่างที่ดีให้เยาวชน ขัยภูมิรักเสียงเพลงและเสียงดนตรี และรณรงค์ต่อต้านยาเสพติด.

Chaiyaphoom, was a Lahu hilltribe boy, and the Lahu are stateless. The family he came from was poor, his parents had chronic illness. Chaiyaphum had to work to provide for his family since he was 7 or 8 years old. His behavior was good all along, and he was wonderful example for the youth. He loved songs and music and campaigned for resisting drugs.

กิจกรรมเพื่อสังคมครั้งสุดท้ายก่อนชัยภูมิ จะโดนวิสามัญฆาตกรกรรม ในวันที่ 15 มีนาคม 2560 เขาได้กล่าวเรียกร้องผ่านสื่อและสังคม ให้ได้รู้ถึงปัญหากลุ่มชาติพันธุ์ และให้รัฐบาลคำนึงถึงสิทธิของชาติพันธุ์ของพวกเขา ที่โดนกีดกันและโดนดูถูกมาตลอด

Chaiyaphoom’s last activity for society before this extraordinary killing: on March 15, 2017, he announced to the media and society that they should get to know the problems of the ethnic groups and that the government should consider the rights of the ethnic groups, who are sidelined from society and always looked down upon.

ไม่มีใครที่จะเลือกเกิดได้ ณ. ตอนนี้ สังคมไทยต้องสูญเสีย เยาวชนตัวอย่างที่ดีไปอีกคนในสังคม ปัญหาเหยียดเผ่าพันธุ์ ปัญหาชนชั้น น่าจะหมด ไปได้แล้ว อีกกี่ขีวิตที่จะต้องมีจุดจบเช่นนี้ เมืองไทยช่างเลวร้ายที่สุดของ จากการกระทำของทหารและรัฐบาล สิทธิความเป็นคนหมดสิ้นลงไปทุกวันทุกวัน.

No one can choose their birth. Now Thailand society has lost a good example to other young people in society. Racist apartheid problems need to end. How many more lives must end like this?! Thailand is so terrible due to the actions the military and government, everyday utterly destroying the rights of humanity.

Rest in Peace, Chaiyaphum Pa-sae, age 17, Lahu Activist Extrajudicially Shot by Thai Army during Drug Operation

We at the Thai Alliance for Human Rights express our deepest sympathies and add our voices to those calling for an investigation: Here is the Human Rights Watch Report. The Thai newspapers seem to be even more outraged over this incident than Human Rights Watch. Here are two links to articles at The Nation.
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30309717

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30309727

TAHR Statement on the 9 Suspects Held in Relation to Weapons that Exiled Broadcaster Ko Tee Says Were Planted at His House

The Thai Alliance for Human Rights is very concerned about nine suspects captured and in military custody in relation to the weapons stash allegedly found at the former home of Redshirt exile Wutthipong Kochathammakun, or Ko Tee. The suspects who were raided and detained include Theerachai Utarawichian, Prathuang On-lamun, Palida Ruangsuwan, Wanchaichana Krutchaiyan, Aem-on Watkaew, Thossapol Ketkosol, Udomchai Nopsawas, Thanachot Wongjanchompoo, and Suriyasak Chatpitakkul. We want the judicial and other basic human rights of these prisoners to be respected and are watching to see that nothing accidental happens to any of them.

Ko Tee, who lives in exile outside Thailand, is a famous Thai activist who calls for establishment of the Thai federal state. He says, by an interview on a YouTube show by Jom Petchpradab, that the weapons were planted. It does seem odd that weapons were found almost three years after Khun Wutthipong (Ko Tee) had left the country. And other aspects of scenario seem suspicious, as Mr. Kochathammakun himself points out in the aforementioned interview.

Obviously, the Thai government has been trying to extradite Ko Tee from his country of exile for “lese majesty” (insulting the Thai King by calling for a federal state), which is not a crime outside of Thailand. The government has a motive to frame the nine suspects in Thailand in order to stop the broadcasts of Ko Tee (and to frame Ko Tee for a crime that really is a crime outside of Thailand in order to extradite him).

In this situation, it is feared that brutal army tactics are being used to torture these captured civilians. Thus, it is urgent and imperative that the nine suspects above be moved to civilian custody and be tried in a civilian court. Otherwise, they will never get a fair trial and their lives may be at risk. It is also important that their lawyers and family members be able to contact them while detained and they not be held at a secret military facility.

In almost the past three years since the coup, there have been several suspicious deaths of high-profile prisoners in military custody, and these deaths happened soon after the arrest.

We also recall the case of Ithipon Sukpand, a Thai pro-democracy activist and exiled broadcaster who last summer was abducted from Laos by a group of Thai men in camouflage, leaving behind only a motorcycle and one shoe. He has never been seen or heard from again. Incidents like this emphasize the need for impartiality, transparency, and respect for the human rights of suspects as this case proceeds.

The King and Pai, Part 6: “Friends”

by Ann Norman

They say, when something terrible happens to you, that’s you find out who your friends are. Pai Daodin has learned he has many friends.

Pai Daodin, age 25, has been frivolously charged with lese majesty and faces 3 to 15 years in jail if convicted, and all he did was share an ordinary BBC news article about Thailand’s new King on Facebook. If you live outside of Thailand, you can read the English version of the article here and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. There is a huge stigma associated with the charge of lese majesty in Thailand, and this draconian punishment for free speech is used politically to scare a whole population into silence. Those who want to believe in a just world (that is, most people) will assume that Pai Daodin must have done something to deserve a punishment so severe. The article Pai shared is now blocked from Thailand, so no one there can check the facts. So with no fear of contradiction, newspapers dutifully report that the BBC article is “controversial” and “goes too far,” and that, in sharing it, Pai may be considered a threat to national security. The government even claims to be “hunting” for the author of the article (an empty threat if the author lives abroad). While the government warns society to distance itself from Pai Daodin, his true friends stand up.

This week four of Pai’s friends were charged with contempt of court for continuing to protest in front of his prison.

Below another group of friend perform a “dab” move while wearing masks with Pai’s face to show that “We are all Pai Daodin.” Continue reading

Thailand Needs Equal Justice Under The Law

Members of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights share some important messages, March 2017

The Thai Alliance for Human Rights begs the Thai goverment: Please consider the innocent lives at Wat Phra Dhammakaya!

With regard to the standoff at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, the Thai Alliance for Human Rights repeats its statement that the siege of the temple using 4,000 military, police, and investigative officers is a dangerous overreaction. The stated goal is to charge one person, the honorary Abbot, with embezzlement and money laundering. This is a nonviolent crime and the money has already been returned. At the time of our first statement, one person had already died: a girl accidentally run over by a military vehicle. Now two more have died as a result of the standoff – one person near the temple hung himself in protest of Prayut’s use of Article 44 to siege the temple; and one woman, a layperson protesting within the temple, had an asthma attack, and because of the checkpoints, medical personnel could not reach her in time. So three have died despite the fact that officers carry no lethal weapons and have acted with restraint and the monks and laypeople also have vowed to be peaceful. Again, it is almost inevitable that an operation of this magnitude will have collateral damage (unintended damage to innocent people not the target of the operation). Is it really worth the Thai authorities’s dedicated resources so far? Add to this, the fact that the tens of thousands of temple members currently can’t use the beautiful temple they built with their own funds to practice their preferred brand of Buddhism. And the livelihoods of those living and working in the area suffer because they can’t get to work. The Abbot has almost certainly already escaped, so what is the point of continuing to surround the temple? Who is being punished now? It is not the abbot, but all the tens of thousands of temple members. It appears to be the harassment of a religion that is unpopular with many, including and especially those now in power.

People ask why the Abbot doesn’t turn himself in and avoid all this mess, and why he has his tens of thousands of supporters defend him. I don’t know why because this is not my temple and not my religion. But these are foundational beliefs and matters of identity for tens of thousands. It is a mistake for the government to be threatening, or to appear to be threatening, a huge religious group. It is playing with fire.

On the other hand, maybe I do understand the resistance. There has been so much blatant unfairness under this junta government. A temple is sieged with 4,000 officers to catch one man who MIGHT have embezzled, while blatant nepotism in the Chan-o-cha family is excused. When the rules say that a monk considered friendly to Wat Phra Dhammakaya is to be the next Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism, the junta government changes those rules, overriding the highest religious body, to appoint its own preferred Supreme Patriarch. The government brings seemingly frivolous charges against the former Prime Minister, Miss Yingluck Shinnawatra, and uses article 44 to freeze her assets. Many fear that the hunt for the Abbot is a pretext, and the ultimate goal is crushing and stealing the wealth of Wat Phra Dhammakaya. I know plenty of people who, when faced with summons from this junta government, fled the country. They had no faith that they would receive justice, and I can’t blame them. It is perhaps for similar reasons that Abbot is in hiding and that many (but not all) temple members appear to be OK with that.

If the government wants to build legitimacy and achieve reconciliation, it has to treat all groups equally. It can’t appear to be favoring one group of Buddhists and yet persecuting another. It can’t take its frustrations with one monk out on tens of thousands of laypeople. The Abbot has now been stripped of his rank by the new King. When and if he is found, he can have his day in court. But please show fairness by letting the laypeople go back to practicing their religion. And importantly, the government must vow that it will not use Article 44 to steal from the temple.

I keep hearing that this is about the rule of law, that all must see that no one is above the law. But if that is supposed to be the lesson, stop using Article 44! The application of ordinary laws would never have resulted in this huge siege with so many innocent bystanders affected. We are begging the Thai government to please consider the innocent lives, back away from this dangerous game, and create the conditions for the reconciliation of the groups in society which are currently so suspicious of each other.

Ann Norman, Executive Director
Thai Alliance for Human Rights
ภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน

The Disappearance of Jumpol Manmai: Held at a Secret Prison AT the KING’s PALACE?

 

Note: This story comes from, or by way of, Andrew MacGregor Marshall. The article is written by Ann Norman.

On February 24, Andrew MacGregor Marshall posted on facebook, “Concerns are growing in Thailand about the welfare of King Vajiralongkorn’s aide Jumpol Manmai, who has been confined to Aksa Palace for weeks by the mad monarch. Unconfirmed reports suggest he was murdered yesterday.” The concerns arose because Jumpol Manmai had suddenly dropped out of sight and his friends and family could not contact him. Jumpol Manmai had been a “Grand Chamberlain” in the King’s palace, which was a job title created specifically for him. In early February, reports that he was being investigated came out, but news agencies were warned not to report on the story until the police made a statement. His is accused of land encroachment, building a mansion in a national park in Nakhon Ratchasima Province.  Khun Jumipol was formally fired on March 2, at which time Andrew and others (independently of Andrew) already believed he was dead. However, to our surprise he showed up in court on the appointed day. However, here the story takes another surprising twist. The story of Jumipol led to the discovery of a possible secret prison at the King’s palace!

On March 3, Somsak Jeamteerasukal, posted the Thai-language documents you in this article, with this explanation in English: “Let me sum up the story for the benefits of your readers who couldn’t read Thai. First of all, the credit for ‘discovering’ this, belongs to a ‘friend’, not me. On reading the news of Chumpol yesterday, s/he noticed something odd. It was reported that, after appearing in front of the judge in Khorat, Chumpol was brought back to Bangkok to be put in a ‘Provisional Prison of Bhuddha Monthol, Thavi Wattana district’. Curious (because there’s no known prison in that area), s/he searched the Government Gazett and found that in 2012 (during Yingluck’s gov), there was an announcement by the Justice Ministry (which oversees prisons throughout the country) designating an area of 120 square meters in the Thavi Wattana district to be a ‘Provisional Prison of Bhuddha Monthol’. (It’s about the size of a townhouse, which could have more than one floor and the 120 sq.m could cover all floors). Now neither the announcement nor the map accompanied it mentions the Thavi Wattana Palace that belongs to the Crown Prince/ King. But there’s absolutely no doubt that that ‘designated prison area’ is INSIDE his Thavi Wattana Palace. So, in Chumpol’s case, he is in fact, even after the appearance before the police and the court, still in the King’s personal custody, i.e. kept inside a prison inside his Palace.”

This is bombshell news, and I didn’t want to be led astray a second time, so our group (Thai Alliance for Human Rights) translated the documents that Somsak Jeamteerasukal had posted, and I used Google satellite maps to find the location on the map drawn. Google does put the marker for that palace in the lower righthand corner of this square on the map. However a much bigger area looks like palace grounds and interestingly you can see two planes parked outside. The marker on the map does not fall directly on top of any building, but we can already see the hand drawn map is not exact. In any case, it is clear that the prison is either on or adjacent to the palace property. Our group has also translated the documents.

Here is the official authorization for the prison in Thai with the English translation: 

The hand-drawn map at the top of the page was attached. I myself translated the map (and so it may have errors because it was just my worksheet) and compared it to the satellite picture on Google. Google maps has the marker to the palace in the lower right-hand corner of the squarish shape on the hand-drawn map, which approximately corresponds to the satellite picture. However, it seems like the grounds of the palace are bigger. Interestingly there are two planes parked on these grounds. The King is famously into planes and is a pilot. Some people commented that the planes may be classic planes. I also independently found a reference in an Kaosod English article saying that Jumpol Manmai “Jumpol will be held at Nakhon Ratchasima’s provincial prison while cases are prepared against him. Srivara said the provincial prison may later transfer him to another jail in the Thawi Watthana district of western Bangkok.”

You can check it out yourself if you are outside Thailand. Interestingly, the link misdirects if you are inside Thailand. You can check it out on Google Maps here: https://www.google.co.uk/…/@13.7812271,100.34…/data=!3m1!1e3

Once again I will state that we have been told that ex-Princess Srirasmi (the King’s third ex-wife) and her jailed relatives who were jailed for lese majesty are not at the homes or prisons where they are said to be. We also feared they could be dead. Maybe they are still alive in a secret prison. The Thai Alliance for Human Rights would like to know who all is in the Provisional Prison on or adjacent to the King’s property.

Pai Daodin’s Letter from Jail, August 10, 2016

Pai Daodin wrote this letter from jail, on August 10, 2016, when he was in jail for recommending “Vote No” on the junta’s draft constitution. He was the fourth day into his hunger strike. His words are just as appropriate today as he awaits trial for the crime of sharing a BBC news article on Facebook:

ในระหว่างที่คุณฉีกกฎหมาย ผมเป็นคนผิดกฎหมาย
“While you tear the law, I become illegal.
ในระหว่างที่คุณอิ่ม ผมกำลังอดอยาก
While you are well fed, I’m starving.
ในระหว่างที่คุณนอนเตียง ผมกำลังนอนกระเบื้องสองแผ่น
While you sleep on the bed, I’m sleeping on 2 pieces of tile.
ในระหว่างที่คุณสร้างความจริง ผมกำลังพูดความจริง
While you fabricate truth, I’m telling the truth.
ในระหว่างที่คุณทำลาย ผมอยากสร้างสรรค์
While you destroy, I want to create.
ในระหว่างที่คุณสร้างความชอบธรรม ผมกำลังสร้างความยุติธรรม
While you create legitimacy, I’m creating justice
ในระหว่างที่คุณสู้ด้วยปืน ผมกำลังสู้ด้วยหัวใจ
While you fight with guns, I’m fighting with heart.
ในระหว่างที่คุณสร้างความเกลียดชัง ผมกำลังสร้างความรัก
While you create hatred, I’m creating love.
ในระหว่างที่คุณใช้อารมณ์ ผมกำลังใช้เหตุผล
While you use emotions, I’m using reason.
ในระหว่างที่คนทุกข์ยาก คุณกำลังมีความสุขอยู่
While people are suffering, you are happy.
ไหนบอกคืนความสุข
Didn’t you say you came to bring back happiness?
ความสุขนั้นเป็นของใคร
Whose happiness is that?
ใครเป็นคนทุกข์
Who are the ones suffering?
คุณมาคืนความสุขให้ใคร
Who are you giving the happiness to?
ขอฝากบอกทุกคน
I’m telling everyone,
ไม่เป็นไร เอาใหม่เก่งกว่า
“OK. Next time will be better.”

ไผ่ ดาวดิน
Pai Daodin
10 ส.ค. 2559
August 10, 2016

My humble opinion and analysis of the barbaric lese majeste (LM) law or Article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, by Narisara Viwatchara

(Article reprinted with permission; cartoon by Shucking Korn, also reprinted with permission)

กฎหมายหมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ (มาตรา 112 ) เปรียบเสมือนเป็นเซลล์มะเร็งร้ายในร่างกายคนเรา ที่ทำให้เราหยุดความคิดสร้างสรร หยุดการพูด การแสดงออก จนในที่สุดเกิดความกลัวจนเป็นอุปสรรคต่อความก้าวหน้าทางการงานและเศรษฐกิจของตัวเองและลามไปถึงของประเทศ พวกเราทุกคนจะต้องจัดการทำลายเชื้อร้ายตัวนี้ให้เร็วที่สุด ก่อนที่ประเทศชาติจะดิ่งลงเหวนรก

Lese majeste law (Article 112) is like a cancer cell in our body. It inhibits creativity in the mind and causes self-censorship and fear which ultimately become a drag to the nation’s economic progress. It must be removed quickly before the country sinks into the abyss!

ภายใต้กฎหมายหมิ่นใครก็ตามที่ถูกกล่าวหาว่าดูถูกดูหมิ่นกล่าวร้าย พระมหากษัตริย์ ราชินีองค์รัชทายาทและผู้สำเร็จราชการถึงแม้ว่าจะเป็นเรื่องจริง ก็ตามจะต้องได้รับโทษ อย่างน้อย 3 ถึง 15ปี ต่างกรรมต่างวาระ

Under the draconian lese majeste law, it is stated that no one shall make any negative remarks to 4 individuals regardless of whether it is based upon factual information, lest they spend up to 15 years in jail for each offense, if convicted.

เมื่อปีที่แล้วเกิดเหตุการณ์ที่แปลกมากๆผู้พิพากษาท่านหนึ่งได้รวมเอาสุนัขของกษัตริย์ร่วมอยู่ในหมวดของกฎหมายหมิ่นด้วย

In a bizarre legal brief in connection with LM case last year, a royal dog was included by a judge to be shielded from defamation!

กฎหมายหมิ่นหรือมาตรา 112 มีคำจำกัดความดังนี้

Article 112 of the Criminal Code purely states,

คำจำกัดความมาตรา 112ให้อ่านข้างต้นนะค่ะ

“Whoever defames, insults, or threatens the king, queen, the heir, or the regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

ตั้งแต่พลเอกประยุทธ์จันทร์โอชายึดอำนาจการปกครองจากรัฐบาลที่มาจาก การเลือกตั้ง ตามระบอบประชาธิปไตยเมื่อเดือนพฤษภา 2014 คดีเกี่ยวกับกฎหมายหมิ่นได้เพิ่มมากขึ้นเป็นอย่างมาก

After General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized control of the country in the May 2014 coup, the number of lese majeste (LM) cases have increased exponentially throughout the country.

ผู้ต้องหาส่วนใหญ่จะได้รับการกดดันโน้มน้าวให้ยอมรับผิดเพื่อให้ได้รับการผ่อนโทษ แต่ในประเทศที่เจริญแล้วทั่วโลกจะถือว่าผู้ต้องหาผู้นี้จะ ได้รับเกียรติเป็นวีรบุรุษหรือวิรสตรีค่ะ

Most defendants are urged to plead guilty in order to get a leniency from the judge. In the eyes of any civilized nation, all of the alleged defendants would be considered a hero!  Continue reading

Letter from Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to Pai Daodin (translated by Thai Alliance for Human Rights)

Dear Pai Dao Din,

In the era of darkness and black out, civilians live in terror and surrender under the illusion of peaceful tranquility for the lasting stability of the privileged people. Pai Dao Din, you are the candle that illuminates the darkness of the night.

The right to bail is a right in the justice system which the constitution stipulates, that in a criminal case a defendant shall be presumed not yet guilty before the verdict and shall not be treated as a criminal. Therefore your struggle is valuable in the fight for freedom and meaningful to Thai society–both in the matter of rights in the justice system and in freedom of speech of Thai people, which are rights we were born with.

I admire your courage and insistent fight for fairness, justice, liberty, and rights of Thai people for a new society that is good for everyone.

Somyot Prueksakasemsuk

January 12, 2017

ถึงไผ่ ดาวดิน

ยุคสมัยแห่งความมือมนและอนธการ ประชาชนมีชีวิตหวาดกลัวและยอมจำนนภายใต้มายาภาพของความสงบราบคาบ เพื่อความมั่นคงยั่งยืนของพวกอภิสิทธิ์ชนทั้งหลาย ไผ่ ดาวดิน คือแสงเทียนที่ส่องสว่างของคืนอันมืดมิด

สิทธิการประกันตัวเป็นสิทธิในกระบวนการยุติธรรมซึ่งรัฐธรรมนูญได้บัญญัติไว้ว่า ในคดีอาญาต้องสันนิษฐานไว้ก่อนว่ายังไม่มีความผิดก่อนคำพิพากษาถึงที่สุด จะปฏิบัติต่อบุคคลนั้นเสมือนผู้กระทำความผิดไม่ได้ การต่อสู้ของ ไผ่ ดาวดิน จึงมีคุณค่าในการต่อสู้เพื่อสิทธิเสรีภาพและมีความหมายต่อสังคมไทย ทั้งในเรื่องสิทธิในกระบวนการยุติธรรม และเสรีภาพในการแสดงความคิดเห็น ซึ่งเป็นสิทธิที่ติดตัวมาแต่เกิด

ขอชื่นชมกับความกล้าหาญและการยืนหยัดต่อสู้เพื่อให้ได้มาซึ่งความถูกต้อง ความยุติธรรมและสิทธิเสรีภาพของประชาชนไทย เพื่อสังคมใหม่ที่ดีงามสำหรับทุกคน

สมยศ พฤกษาเกษมสุข

12 มกราคม 2560