Message from จรรยา ยิ้มประเสริฐ Junya Yimprasert

4 สิงหาคม 2560

August 4, 2017

ภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน

Thai Alliance for Human Rights

สวัสดีพี่น้องในภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชนทุกท่าน

Hello Brothers and Sisters in the Thai Alliance for Human Rights.

ก่อนอื่นก็ต้องขอร่วมแสดงความยินดีในวาระครบรอบ 5 ปีของการก่อตั้งองค์กร ที่ทำงานเพื่อรณรงค์เรื่องสิทธิมนุษยชนและประชาธิปไตยในประเทศไทย จากสหรัฐอเมริกา

First off, I’d like to express congratulations on the 5th Anniversary of the organization that works for the pursuit of human rights and democracy in Thailand from the United States of America.

ประเด็นเรื่อง “ทางเบื้องหน้าสู่อนาคตประเทศไทยที่เคารพหลักสิทธิมนุษยชน” เป็นหัวใจสำคัญของทุกผู้คนที่สนใจพัฒนาการอย่างยั่งยืนของประเทศไทย ที่สนใจจะร่วมคิดวิเคราะห์และร่วมสร้างให้เกิดขึ้น

The issue of the way forward to a future for Thailand with respect for human rights is the heart of the matter for every person interested in Thailand’s permanent and stable development of Thailand, who is interested in coming together to analyze this issue and bring it about.

Continue reading

RED USA ขอนำเสนอคำปราศรัยอันลือลั่น ของ Martin Luther King Jr. ให้สังคมไทยได้อ่าน

RED USA ขอนำเสนอคำปราศรัยอันลือลั่น
ของ Martin Luther King Jr. ให้สังคมไทยได้อ่าน ได้เรียนรู้ ได้จดจำและร่วมกันนำมาประยุกค์ใช้เพื่อให้ประเทศไทยคืนกลับสู่ความเป็นมนุษย์ บนหลักการประชาธิปไตย ด้วยความเสมอภาคและความเป็นธรรม

มาร์ติน ลูเธอร์ คิง จูเนียร์ เป็นคนดำชนชาติอเมริกัน
เป็น “ศิษยาภิบาล” ของศาสนาคริสต์นิกาย American Baptist เกิดเมื่อวันที่ 15 มกราคม ปี ค.ศ.1929 ถูกลอบสังหารเมื่อวันที่ 4 เมษายน ปี ค.ศ. 1968 เมื่ออายุประมาณ 39 ปี สาเหตุมาจากการรณรงค์ เรียกร้องความเป็นธรรมและความเท่าเทียมกันระหว่างคนผิวขาวและคนผิวดำ

มาร์ติน ลูเธอร์ คิง จูเนียร์ นอกจากเป็นศิษยาภิบาลแล้ว เขายัง เป็นนักเทศน์ นักพูด นักกิจกรรมและผู้นำด้านสิทธิพลเมือง เรียกร้องเพื่อความเท่าเทียมกัน

เมื่อวันที่ 28 สิงหาคม ค.ศ. 1963
Martin Luther King Jr.ได้ปราศรัยครั้งสำคัญที่ประวัติศาสตร์แห่งมวลมนุษยชาติจะต้องจดจำ… I HAVE A DREAM

มาร์ติน ลูเธอร์ คิง ฝันว่า :
สักวันคนในประเทศนี้จะลุกขึ้นและดำเนินชีวิต ตามความเชื่อที่ว่ามนุษย์ทุกคนเกิดมาเท่าเทียมกัน
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.” Continue reading

Statement of Support for Pai Dao Din as He is Sentenced to 2.5 years for Sharing a BBC News Article on Facebook

By Ann Norman, Executive Director of the Thai Alliance for Human Rights

From the international community, and the community of human rights workers, and the community of parents of young people, and the community of people who are civilized, I send my support to Pai Dao Din who just confessed to the meaningless charges of lese majesty in order to get a shorter sentence and a chance to ask for a pardon from the King. We you and value your feedom above all else. Whatever you need to do, we back you 100%!

TAHR’s 5th Anniversary & Annual Meeting, August 6, 2017 Bellflower, CA

TAHR’s 5th Anniversary & Annual Meeting, August 6, 2017 Bellflower, CA

Conference in LA is this Sunday, August 6!!! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE

YOU ARE INVITED to the Fifth Anniversary Conference of Thai Alliance for Human Rights
การประชุมครบรอบห้าปีการก่อตั้งภาคีไทยเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชน
Ways Forward for Thailand’s Future with Respect for Human Rights
ทางเบื้องหน้าสู่อนาคตประเทศไทยที่เคารพหลักสิทธิมนุษยชน

Aztec Mobile Estates, 9530 Alondra Blvd, Bellflower, CA, 90706

10:00-10:30 – Doors open for TAHR members
เปิดต้อนรับสมาชิกภาคีฯ

10:30-11:45 – Annual Meeting of Thai Alliance for Human Rights
การประชุมประจำปีของภาคีฯ

11:45 – Doors open for public conference
ต้อนรับผู้บุคคลทั่วไปและสมาชิกเข้ารับฟังการเสวนา

12:00 -1:00 – Food, Exhibitions, Social hour
รับประทานอาหาร ชมนิทรรศการ และสังสรรค์
1:00 to 2:30 – Panel Discussion on “Ways Forward for Thailand’s Future with Respect for Human Rights” การเสวนาในหัวข้อ “ทางเบื้องหน้าสู่อนาคตประเทศไทยที่เคารพหลักสิทธิมนุษยชน”

Panelists: ผู้ร่วมเสวนา มีดังนี้

Anake Chaichana, Chair, TAHR’s Board of Advisors
Piangdin Rakthai, Chair, TAHR’s Board of Directors
Charupong Ruangsuwan, Secretary-General of Organization of FreeThais for Human Rights and Democracy
Chupong Theethuan, TAHR’s Board Member
Sukit Sabaneksanti, Voice of Thailand
Angela Cheney, Member, TAHR’s Executive Committee
Ann Norman, TAHR’s Executive Director

3:00-6:00 Karaoke & Social Hours (คาราโอเกะ และสังสรรค์)

More on Thai dissident Ma Noi or Ko Tee, who was disappeared on July 29, 2017

So more sad details about the abduction and probable assassination of the Thai dissident Ma Noi or Ko Tee from the country neighboring Thailand on July 29. AND READ OUR OFFICIAL STATEMENT HERE. As I said the Thai dissidents in this country knew they were being hunted and they were warned that they should move. Ma Noi wouldn’t move because he was worried about his dog. His dog needed a yard to run in. So he stayed to care for his dog and days later he was abducted. This is a picture of Ma Noi and his dog Tuek. Ma Noi had a hard life. He began life as a baby rescued from a trash can where he had been tossed. Here is a list of the main incidents that made Ma Noi famous from a Prachathai article of May of this year: “Ko Tee, the junta’s most wanted radical red shirt”: Ironically, his lese majesty statement, which Thai newspapers treat as unspeakable, is easily found on the internet. You can see it in the video below at minute 15. He blamed King Bhumibol for supporting the Yellow Shirt protests and the series of coups in Thai politics. For this he was driven out of Thailand and was finally hunted down and probably suffocated to death. SHAME ON HIM FOR IMPLYING the monarchy is running things from behind the scenes! I guess he learned his lesson as he was executed by royalist thugs jumping out at him from the shadows.

Statement on the Abduction and Possible Assassination of Ko Tee or Ma Noi

On July 29, Ko Tee (Wuttipong Kochathammakun), a famous Red Shirt, federalist and so-called “lese majesty suspect,” was extra-judicially abducted in Laos by 10 Thai men (they were reportedly speaking Thai) and possibly assassinated. According to two witnesses, who at the time were tied up, gagged, and heads covered with cloth, it seems Ko Tee was suffocated because he shouted “I can’t breath” before going quiet. He is probably dead, but may still be alive. Please demand answers from the Thai government.

This enforced disappearance is way too similar to that of Ithipon Sukpand, or DJ Zunho, another exiled Thai pro-democracy activist. In our last letter, we mentioned that this young man, whose only crime was broadcasting a prodemocracy show from exile, was abducted from Laos by a group of presumably Thai men in camouflage, leaving behind only a motorcycle and one shoe. He has never been seen or heard from again and is presumed dead.

The abduction of Ko Tee is especially sinister because it was done mafia-style a day after July 28, the birthday of the new King, Vajiralongkorn. Thais following Ko Tee and his federalist message are hyper-aware of this date and read this as a warning from the Thai junta and monarch to exiled dissidents throughout the world.

Thailand has repeatedly claimed it is in the process of getting cooperation from foreign governments to extradite the lese majesty suspects from abroad. These announcements are made to unnerve the exiles, even though no foreign governments will ever cooperate on this matter. It was immediately after one of the failed attempts to get Ko Tee extradited for lese majesty that a stash of weapons was discovered at his house back in Thailand, three years after he fled the country. This looked very much like a set up and a pretense to try again to get him extradited.

In fact we have known for a long time that Ko Tee and other dissidents in exile are being actively hunted. Political Prisoners in Thailand quotes Kaosod English, as saying “A member of the Thai dissident community living in Laos said they were warned by Laotian authorities last week that they were ‘being hunted down’ by those from the other side of the border, a reference to Thai authorities.”  Our own organization had posted an March 24, stating: “Dictators have used all means to hunt and eradicate members of the pro-democracy movement, especially core leaders of the Organization for Thai Federation, such as Ma Noy, aka, Ko Tee, or Mr. Wuttipong Krotdhammakhun. Ma Noy has been issued an arrest warrant with a reward of at least 30 million baht. Recently he faced with a failed attempt to capture and murder him. He escaped it miraculously.”

Now what we all fear has happened.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who has been ruling Thailand since he overthrew the elected government in a coup in May 2014, claims to know nothing about this operation. But it was obviously carried out either by the junta government, or by direct orders of King Vajiralongkorn. It is not plausible that independent vigilantes loyal to Vajiralongkorn carried this out because the new king is not at all popular. This new king rules by fear.

Many are distancing themselves from this incident both out of fear of crossing Vajiralongkorn and others because they objected to Ko Tee’s sometimes violent rhetoric. Those who are happy to sacrifice Ko Tee are missing the point. We don’t get to choose who is and who isn’t worthy of human rights. And equally important, we can’t condone a state-sponsored assassination carried out in a foreign country in order to scare Thai dissidents throughout the world. Both the King and this junta are breaking their international human rights commitments with complete impunity and infringing on the sovereignty of foreign countries because they think no one will be brave enough to object. Indeed, almost no one officially objected to the previous assassination of Ithipon Sukpand, or DJ Zunho.

Please demand answers from the Thai government in this case. Ask Laos to ensure the safety of the refugees who have fled there and to give them documents so they can travel.  UNHCR needs to step in right away to protect these unfortunate prodemocracy ‘Thai activists in their neighboring countries. Please also help pressure the Thai government to pass laws against enforced disappearance, a practice widely used in Thailand to eliminate political activists and dissidents.

The King and Pai, Part 17: Thailand guilty of crimes against humanity?

Why is Pai Daodin’s case taking so long to decide? It took six months to go to trial and if history is any indication, it will drag on at least that long again before there is a verdict. He admits to sharing the Thai version of THIS BBC news article on Facebook, and left it up on his wall even after the lese majesty charge, saying he had the right to do so. Here is the Thai lese majesty law:

“Whoever, defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

So the only legal question that must be decided is: “Is it an insult to share biographical information about a King who happens to be living a really sleazy life ?”

For obvious reasons, the Thai government does not want this question debated openly in court. And they also do not want the international news story to be that Thailand convicted an innocent boy to 15 years in prison on a clearly ridiculous pretext (and, oh yeah, speaking of lese majesty, have you seen the video of that crazy Thai King at the mall?). They would rather the story be that a man pleaded guilty to insulting His Majesty the King (don’t mention his name and the world will guess it’s beloved King Bhumipol), who then graciously pardoned him so that he will be out of jail soon. (Don’t worry international community! Nothing strange and twisted going on over here!)

To get this desired result, the authorities will conspire to drag out the proceedings, which will be held entirely in secret, all the while pressuring Pai to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence. Continue reading

The King and Pai, Part 16: I’ll take this $40-60 Billion. You people worry about your “social contract”

by Ann Norman, first posted on Facebook, July 20, 2017

This is what tyranny looks like. The new King of Thailand, loathsome Vajiralongkorn, just grabbed control over the 40-60 Billion dollars that he inherited from his father. You will recall that his father the late King Bhumipol was beloved by a majority of Thais in large part because he seemed to care for his subjects, including the poor. So the argument that the King didn’t really OWN $40-60 billion worth of royal assets, but only managed them on behalf of Thailand, was remotely plausible. Now this fiction has been removed. The junta-appointed legislature just passed a law (published July 2) allowing Vajiralongkorn to appoint all the managers of the assets, and the law explicitly “prohibits any effort to take away any part of the royal assets without the king’s approval.”

Where are the protesters in the streets, demanding to know what this supposed “constitutional monarch” is doing with the assets Bhumipol was supposedly managing on their behalf? This story is getting very little coverage in Thailand due to the draconian lese majesty law.

Knowing that Pai Daodin is in jail for just sharing a mainstream news article about the king’s life, and was just charged again for “discussing the constitution,” imagine what will happen to someone who stands up and says:

“Hey, why does this horrible king keep changing our constitutional monarchy? It looks like he’s trying to be an absolute monarch.”

Besides the public is distracted with other nonsense, and this is completely deliberate.  Continue reading

Happy Birthday to King Vajiralongkorn. Where is ex-Princess Srirasmi?