Dear TAHR members & colleagues from around the world:
First of all, let me thank all of you who have joined the Thai Alliance for Human Rights and helped to make our 2014 another productive year in fighting against politically motivated abuses of Thai citizens’ universal human rights. Thank you for all the encouragement, support, and shared determination to fight on. We also thank international agencies, especially Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, CICC/ICC, Asia Forum, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) for never leaving us, hopeless Thais, standing along against the oppressive military junta.
TAHR began 2014 with enthusiasm carried over from the 2013 involvement with CICC and ICC’s Assembly of the States Party at the Hague, the Netherlands. We held a seminar on issues related to Thailand’s ratification of the Rome Statute in January, 2014. However, due to the deteriorating political situations, we had to shift our attention to the civil and universal rights abuses committed by the PDRC during the Shut-down Bangkok period of almost six months, which led to the beginning of the army rule thanks to the 100-year-old Martial Law that was announced on May 20, 2014 and the subsequent May 22 coup staged by royalist army generals. Thailand has been under the dictatorial regime since then.
Gross human rights violations that have taken place since November 2013 have overwhelmed us within TAHR, and surely many Thais and foreigners following the situations. We still cannot believe that Thailand would slip to its bottomless abyss as we are witnessing today. What the junta and its networks are attempting to do to “reform” the nation seems to the informed eyes as building a platform for failure, and many fear a civil war may eventually break out soon. In that light, TAHR feels the several obligations . Therefore, the goals for 2015 are quite ambitious. We have set our goals for 2015 to do the following:
- Pressure Thailand to ratify the Rome Statute with the International Criminal Court and abolish Article 112, as well as returning to civilian rule democratically and peacefully;
- Profile all the human rights abuses in Thailand through systematic research and publications and pursue as many urgent, serious, and confirmed cases as we can.
- Campaign against the perpetuated culture of massacres and impunity;
- Encourage constructive dialogs among Thais in light of political and cultural conflicts and enable the target populations (i.e. youths) in all possible ways to think critically and transform themselves to be advocates of the universal human rights and democracy; and
- Collaborate with international friends around the world in pursuing human rights agenda beyond Thailand.
- Set up legal services center in Thailand and the United States.
- Expand TAHR’s networks internationally and domestically in the U.S.
The challenges ahead of us are immense, and we need a lot of support. We also need to recruit many highly qualified persons with commitment to human rights promotion and defense. Please come and join us, or help us in the ways you can.
Snea Thinsan, Ph.D.
Executive Directors & Co-Founder
March 22, 2015
To be continued…