Monday, June 02, 2014

Malaysians call on Thailand to end martial law and restore DEMOCRACY

JUNE 2, 2014

Gen. Prayuth Chan-Ocha

National Council for Peace and Order


H.E. Mr. Krit Kraichitti
Royal Thai Embassy
206, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur,
50450, Kuala Lumpur, WP Kuala Lumpur,


We the undersigned civil society organizations, trade unions and democratic movements in Malaysia demand that the military rule in Thailand be immediately ended and democracy be restored. The political crisis in Thailand should be resolved in a democratic and peaceful manner where the people of Thailand will be able to participate in the fullest sense in determining the future of the country.   

We have seen that all experiences with military juntas all over the world have spelled the death of democracy. Military rule and repression is not the solution to resolve the current political impasse in Thailand, but rather to fuel it further, at the expense of all Thai people, especially the workers, farmers and other working people.  

Since the announcement of the martial law on 20 May and the military take over on 22 May, the constitution of Thailand has been suspended. This effectively gives the military unlimited powers to restrict human rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the constitution and replace them with martial law provisions. Under the martial law, the military can prohibit any activity, censor the media, outlaw meetings and assemblies, search and seize any item, occupy areas, and detain people without charge for up to seven days. We are extremely concerned with the massive human rights violations that are taking place now and this certainly does not help to improve the political situation in Thailand.  

Press freedom has been severely undermined by the military regime with the soldiers taking over television and radio stations, censorship of print media and threats to close down social media. While this is not only preventing the Thai people to access information crucial on the political development in Thailand and to make an informed decision, it is also censoring information and news reporting that are critical of the military takeover and the monarchy that plays a pivotal role in  Thai politics.   

There have been mass arrests as well and these included wide sections of Thai civil society and political parties. Among those arrested are trade unionists, mass organization leaders, political party leaders from both the contending political parties, journalists, academics, ex-political prisoners and even the families of current political detainees, such as the wife and son of Somyot Phueksakasemsuk, who were convicted for lese majeste. As most of these detainees are held at undisclosed locations and have no access to their families and lawyers, this raises grave concerns on their well-being given that they are totally at the mercy of the military and the action of the military cannot be challenged under the martial law. We condemn these arbitrary arrests and the incommunicado detention.

Furthermore, all protest and peaceful assemblies have been banned and clamped down by the military, including those critical of the military coup. The Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, General Prayuth Chan-ocha has warned that stricter action will be taken against those that continue to defy the military orders.     

In addition, the military junta has issued orders for lese majeste cases to be tried in a military court instead of civil court. Violation of the junta’s orders will also be tried in military court. This severely undermines the right to independent and fair trial of the Thai people, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.   

Such a wide net cast over the Thai peoples is clearly indicative of the military regime’s intention to silence all critics of the military coup and the monarchy. 

We reject the military junta’s justification that the coup is to restore peace and order. This is totally unacceptable and we as members of the international community and members of ASEAN demand the following:

1. Repeal the martial law immediately, and all soldiers should return to their barracks and the elected government should be restored.

2.  Reinstate the Constitution of Thailand and rights and fundamental freedoms of the people

3. Release all political detainees, including those held under the insidious lese-majeste law and stop the arrests of all political dissidents and people calling for democracy and justice.

4. Respect press freedom and allow the media to operate freely without harassment and censorship.

5 The two sides of the political divides in Thailand to return to political negotiations in order to find a solution to the political crisis.

6. ASEAN governments to urge the military regime to end the coup in Thailand.

7. Global civil society and trade unions to oppose the military regime and support the restoration of democracy in Thailand.

We stand in solidarity with all the people, inside and outside Thailand, who continue to stand and struggle for democracy in Thailand.

End Martial Law, Restore Democracy!

Endorsing organizations:
1. Malaysian Support Group for Democracy in Thailand
2. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
3. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
4. Damn the dams
5. Peoples Green Coalition
6. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & KL
7. Selangor and KL Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section 
8. Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS)
9. Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
10. Dignity International
11. Asia Floor Wage Alliance
12. Pax Romana ICMICA
13. North South Initiative
14. Women’s Aid Organization (WAO)
15. Jaringan Orang Tertindas (JERIT)
16. Writer Alliance for Media Independence
17. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
18. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
19. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia
20. Tenganita
21. Malaysia Youth & Students Democratic Movement (DEMA)
22. Civil Rights Committee of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall
23. Malaysia Trade Union Congress (MTUC)
24. National Indian Action Team (NIAT)

Suaram: Thai military coup only fuels political crisis

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has admonished the military takeover of Thailand, saying it will not resolve the current political impasse, but rather, will ”fuel it further”.
The human rights watchdog was part of a protest in front of the Royal Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur today, in which it submitted a memorandum urging the military junta to step down and restore democracy in the neighbouring country.
The memorandum, signed by Suaram along with 24 other civil society groups, trade unions and democratic movements in Malaysia, claimed that the suspension of constitution following the military coup d’etat on May 22 has led to a series of human rights violations.

“We have seen that all experiences with military juntas all over the world have spelled the death of democracy.

“Military rule and repression is not the solution to resolve the current political impasse in Thailand, but rather to fuel it further, at the expense of all Thai people, especially the workers, farmers and other working people,” read a copy of the memorandum sent to Malaysiakini.

The 25 organisations also expressed concern over the repression of the media in its coverage of the ongoing political crisis, saying this would prevent Thai people from accessing information crucial and from making informed decision.

Among others, the groups are urging an immediate repeal of martial law in the nation, for political detainees to be released, including those held under the “insidious lese-majeste law” and for the media to be allowed to operate freely.

The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Marginalised People's Network (Jerit), Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia, Tenaganita, and the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) are among those that co-signed the memorandum.- Malaysiakini, 2/6/2014

M'sian NGOs demand for restoration of democracy in Thailand

KUALA LUMPUR: A coalition of 24 Malaysian NGOs gathered in front of the Royal Thai Embassy to submit a memorandum demanding for democracy restoration in the Siamese state.

The demands, among others, were to repeal the martial law immediately, to reinstate Thailand's constitution and to release all political detainees.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Yap Swee Seng said the coalition was very concerned over the political situation surrounding Thailand and it must be resolved in a more democratic way.

"Military rule won't resolve the problem. They will just sweep everything under the carpet. Citizens won't be able to voice out their problems," he said to reporters in front of the Thailand embassy.

"There should be freedom of expression to discuss problems faced by the country. A democratic process will ensure a more sustainable and long term political solution for Thailand," he added.

The memorandum was directed to Thailand's National Council for Peace and Order General Prayuth Chan-Ocha who led the recent military coup.

Yap, who led the coalition, condemned all acts of democratic oppression by the military junta as it denied the basic human rights.

"Military rule and repression is not the solution to resolve the current political impasse in Thailand," he said.

The memorandum was accepted by Minister Counsellor of Royal Thai Embassy Biyapak Sricharoen.

Biyapak said the Thai government is in the midst of resolving the internal conflict.

"A lot of people who have been arrested are being released and measures against news organisations and media has already been relaxed," he said.

"We will convey the message to Bangkok. This will be taken into consideration by the Thai government," he added.

Biyapak said the bilateral ties between both countries will not be severed by the change in government. - The Sun Daily, 2/6/2014, M'sian NGOs demand for restoration of democracy in Thailand

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