I know it's ultra dry but somebody needs to put the record straight. Here is the second of three (probably) Truethaksin watch articles.
It's worth stressing again that this is no defence of Sondhi. As it happens I find him to be a typical developing country's cop rather than a soldier. He is irrational and looks like he has had too many trips to Mr Doughnut.
Steps to Power by General Sonthi (here)
Bangkok , June 27, 2007: Excerpt from "Politic Team" Column of Thai Rath newspaper. Since General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, Chairman of the Council of National Security ("CNS") and Army Commander in Chief, announced to the public his 4 step plan, he claimed that the ousted government will not be able to return to power because the final day of democratic reform has already been set!
Two articles cite this conversation and yet if it really happened, it passed without mention in the English language media and went unhighlighted in the Thai media. Did it really happen or do we see the behaviour one often sees from a defensive man: facts made up on the spot?
Step by step, he laid down details of his plan:
Step 1: Political Party will be dissolved for the obvious guilt.
Well yes, it's true that there was obvious guilt but when do Sondhi proclaim this before the event? Reports suggested he seemed a little bullish about the trial but he never assured it would happen.
Step 2: The public will be made aware of more corruption and wrongdoing of last government.
Yes. This was promised and delivered.
Step 3: Political Parties will be ruined, ex-members of parliament will need a new party for next election.
This comment is nonsense. Maybe it loses something in translation.
Step 4: Then there shall be a final verdict. We will have the referendum on the new constitution and then the general election.
Yes. Two out of four, well done!
Obviously, it seems all is going well according to the steps he laid down, especially various actions were completed gradually by the AEC.
By necessity. It must be painstakingly hard to trace the trail of a man who held so much power over so many in government and bureaucracy. A smart man, too.
General Sonthi also mentioned about the set-up of new government post-election: "In the next election, we will see only 2-3 major political parties that will run the country. That also means any political party running against those major parties will not survive."
Seems more like a prediction rather than a dark pledge.
Our political analysis team views that from a national security standpoint, such statements about a 4 step plan and how to deal with the ousted government may be acceptable and understandable.
He may want to give the public peace of mind that everything is under control and we will have a general election real soon.
But if we look at it from a democracy standpoint, this revelation by General Sonthi really shakes the foundation of democratic society. Whether it is done we do not know.
But clearly, it indicates that somehow all the actions taken by the AEC, the Attorney General as well as the Constitutional Tribunal have been orchestrated by the Council of National Security!
If it was true, then yes it would. However, the actions orchestrated to the AEC required evidence. That evidence has been found. It is genuine and adduceable.
This may lead to new resistance because the people do not want dictatorship.
True. We can tell this article is quoted, because some of the commentary is actually agreeable.
Rule of laws in Thailand: New Development by Junta (here)
In any civilized country, citizens need to obey laws or they have to be responsible for consequences. The legislative power enacts the laws but the administrative power (normally from democratically elected means) ..........
That second clause is the only buffer from criticism of legislative powers. Of course, judges in Thailand are approved by HM The King.
............can also issue certain laws and orders but in any case within the scope of the Constitution.
In a state where rules of laws is respected, the Court will decide cases according to the laws, not demand or desire of any group of persons.
In Thailand, the Court not only have to apply the laws but, at the same level as the constitution the Court must also follow any order of the junta: Link to Democratic Reform Order No.3 Do you still believe there is a fair trial in Thailand?
The reform order combined with the rhetoric is deceptive. Even my grade nine students know Thailand's courts are modelled on western systems. There are courts of first order (civil and criminal, with some subdivisions) , appeals court and supreme court. The Constitutional Court stands alone legislatively and (ahem) constitutionally. Since the constitution was scrapped, it stands to logic - albeit coup logic - that the court can no longer function. So in fact, this order is allowing 80% of the judicial process to continue.
And and yes I do believe in fair trials. Look what happed to the slimy, cowardly ECC officials who tried to use every trick and trapping of power to be vitiated of their crimes.
In a state where rules of laws is respected, the Court will never allow any citizen to be punished by the laws enacted after the date of a crime. No retroactive laws will be accepted any where in civilized world but Thailand. Link to Comment on Tribunal Decision
Again not true. A quick check on wikipedia will confirm many countries use these laws although they are not popular and scarce. Again we see the polemics are geared towards judicial process, not abolition of guilt.
What's in it for these people to do all those things for the junta? Please see Section 208 and 300 of the draft Constitution prepared by group of junta lovers: Two of the Constitutional Tribunal appointed by junta get 9 years extension of their offices!
The first time ever the extension of terms of services of certain Judges be fully recognized in the Constitution! Link: Section 208 and 300 of the draft Constitution.
Too bad judge Issara Nithithanprapas who claimed he was "unsuccessfully lobbied" in the 2001 Thaksin assets concealment trial was already mandatorily retired. Surely a judge of that calibre would have returned a fair verdict?
Yet again, we need to notice that there is no argument against the constitutional courts articulate and precise ruling, only arguments that one judge was "rewarded".
In a state where rules of laws is respected, there will never be a law issued just to penalize and to be applied specifically to a particular group of individuals especially in case where all actions derived from political differences. Link to Democratic Reform Order No.30
And that law would be......?