January 10, 2014 (ATN) – Akanat Promphan is a spokesman for Thailand’s current protests. He has created a series of brief videos explaining the political conflict from the protesters’ point of view. Quite clearly, the message he is telling is different than what the Western press has attempted to claim.
In this video titled, “Thailand Protest 2013 – PDRC’s Spokesman answers to foreign medias on democracy,” Akanat enumerates the transgressions of the current regime of Thaksin Shinawatra that have brought protesters out into the streets – transgressions which include:
- Attempts by the regime to pass a sweeping amnesty bill that would have voided thousands of criminal cases, including those involving Thaksin Shinawatra. The bill was condemned by critics as encouraging impunity and condoning criminality. The damage it would have done in terms of undermining the rule of law in Thailand would have been immeasurable.
- Attempts to pass a constitutional amendment that violated the Thai Constitution itself. Thaksin’s regime attempted to change the partially appointed Senate to an entirely elected one – this would reduce checks and balances within the government by granting complete power over both the Parliament and the Senate to whoever controlled the electorate.
Shortly after Akanat made this video, the Constitutional Court would rule another amendment made by the Thaskin regime as unconstitutional, article 190 which involved shifting power from the Parliament to the office of the Prime Minster. In other words, all of the amendments passed by Thaksin’s regime involved consolidating power and dismantling the nation’s many checks and balances.
- The regime’s outright rejection of the Constitutional Court’s ruling regarding their unconstitutional attempts to amend the Thai Constitution. In a move that would be unthinkable in a nation ruled by law, Thaksin’s regime openly defied the courts claiming they had no authority to question the constitutionality of their attempted amendments. This illustrates the problem with Thaksin Shinawatra’s political machine in general, the impunity it believes to have merely because it’s won “elections.”
Akanat wold then address the distortions being made by the Western media regarding the protesters. The Western media has claimed protesters are “anti-democratic” and attempting to replace a democratic system with a non-democratic alternative. Of course this is not true.
He explains that elections are only being temporarily put on hold in order to pursue reforms. Elections will then be held once the power consolidated under the Thaksin regime has been decentralized and rampant corruption put in check (i.e. Thaksin Shinawatra running the country extralegally despite being a convicted criminal and not even residing in the country).
Finally, Akanat reiterates that protesters have a right, in a democratic system, to take to the streets and protest. Indeed they do, and the same arguments the Thaksin regime made to justify the violent occupation of Bangkok in 2010 that included 300 heavily armed professional mercenaries, 92 deaths, thousands of injuries, and mass arson, have now been turned on their head by the regime and its Western backers to condemn the so far massive, unprecedented, and peaceful protests taking place in 2013-2014.
It should be noted that these transgressions by the current regime are not merely signs of a “corrupt government.” They are the seeds of irreversible tyranny that have led nation after nation throughout history into absolute ruin. Akanat, like many others, believes now is not the time for appeasement or denial in terms of where Thaksin will inevitably lead Thailand should his despotism continue unchecked.