Thailand Is At High Risk Of Becoming A Failed State

Statement of The Organization of Free Thais For Human Rights And Democracy

Upon The First Anniversary Wednesday, June 24, 2015

“Thailand Is At High Risk Of Becoming A Failed State”

Since Thailand’s political crisis has arisen around the year 2005, with the undemocratic network of Thailand deliberately destroying our young democratization on several fronts, and particularly the self-legitimized military takeover on May 22, 2014, Thailand as a state member of the United Nations deteriorates politically, economically, and socially. Cores of democratization have been undermined. People’s rights have been violated and abused. Long-term visions of the country cease to exist, as political short-sightedness and petty revenge come to replace. In short, Thailand risks becoming a failed state, in the midst of global and regional challenges that put Thailand in a state of leadership or at least a significant player. Linkage politics, or the state of domestic determinants affecting foreign policies, of these anti-democracy elements, are bringing Thailand down. It is incredibly unfair to our citizens, whose grittiness and determination to engage in the world remain strong, to have a dictatorship regime blocking their opportunity. Thus, the Organization of Free Thais For Human Rights And Democracy is founded exactly one year ago on June 24, 2014, stating that we the Thai people do not take this situation passively or for granted.

We regard the risk of becoming a failed state is Thailand’s major crisis. No matter which ideological group wins. No matter which colour is of advantage. The failure of the state of Thailand will be the ultimate end game to all Thais in Thailand and outside. We thus announce that the main strategy to prevent a failed-state status is the total elimination of Thailand’s dictatorship network. Our past struggle against dictatorship had confirmed that we the people stopped short of transforming a few past victories into the restructuring of the state of Thailand to rid ourselves of such dictatorial elements. Thailand’s dictatorship network still hides behind the facade of democracy, with continual effort to regain the upper hand. The battle for Thailand’s democracy must always bring us back to the revolution of 1932, as Thailand’s dictatorship network had grabbed that opportunity since then to battle with the people’s side until the present.

Our organization realizes how gigantic this task is, and how much we must pull all kinds of resource to turn it into the reality. However, we must give it a start now, with the following 3 immediate goals in mind:

1. Abolish the Privy Council. In the past 10 years or so, most Thai people have witnessed with their own eyes that enormous political influence and subsequent interference of the Privy Council’s President and some of its members have been visibly exhibited, as if to show that the Privy Council were the de facto government of Thailand and not the elected parliament and government. Thailand’s ongoing political crisis stems from the negative  and anti-democracy existence and role of the Privy Council all along. The Privy Council must not be allowed as an alternative to power struggle any longer.

2. Thailand’s armed forces must withdraw from the role of personal army of Thailand’s dictatorship network, and regard all Thai citizens as equal human beings. The actual status of Thailand’s armed forces as state within the state reduce them to the service of Thailand’s privileged class, which is actually the minority who enjoys so much power in the Thai society. We understand that most members of the armed forces are not in agreement with the service for a family or a few privileged groups, but they are forced in the strictness of military disciplines. We pledge to work along with these democratic cells of the armed forces to transform them into those of the people. Crucial military positions must be closely monitored, so must the usage of military personnels and weaponry. The management of other resources, from the budget to military “prohibited” areas, must be administratively watched. Military tribunal must not exceed the powers of the Judiciary, except in a time of war. All these measures are only the beginning. In due time, the Thai public must participate in the process of democratizing Thailand’s armed forces.

3. Thailand’s Judiciary must be beyond the political interference and influence of the dictatorship network. Not many Thais today believe that justice can be granted through the current state of the Judiciary, especially as a solution provider of ongoing political crisis. Quite a number of judges have close ties with the dictatorship network, and are firmly under their patronage. In 2007, during a democratic rally at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, there was a disclosure of an audio clip showing some judges and a government official planning their political strategy. As in Thailand’s armed forces, most judges, associate judges, and court officials wish for true and complete democracy, meaning that the Judiciary be regarded as free and unquestionably honourable. We also wish to work with them at an appropriate time.

The organization of Free Thais For Human Rights And Democracy, in its first anniversary today, pledges to continue the effort in furthering Thailand’s democratization. On operations and networking, we have expanded to 51 provinces in Thailand and 18 other countries around the world, and will achieve more in due time, including a public coordinating office. Our organization intends to do what is right and not always what is temporarily popular. Thailand’s fate of not becoming a failed state is the most serious matter, as well as the state of democracy around the world. This mission requires absolute seriousness and prudence all through.

Dated: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Charupong Ruengsuwan

Secretary-General

The Organization of Free Thais For Human Rights And Democracy

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