Thailand is again in frenzy over coup rumors, perpetuated mostly by anti-government Red Shirts who need a reason to protest and by a media machine that needs a story. The top generals have denied that anything is amiss, words that mean little since they said the same thing before ousting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006.
This was a busy week on the frontlines of personal freedom, particularly in regards to free speech. Tying together several key events were government’s increasingly sophisticated restrictions on our human rights, and the efforts to push them back. For obvious reasons, freedom of speech is dear to this writer, and this week’s post addresses the past week’s developments.
(New York) - The government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva largely failed to fulfill its pledges to make human rights a priority, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2010.
On 12 January 2010, the Thai News Agency reported that the Prime Minister ordered the establishment of an Advisory Committee on National Security Cases Involving the Monarchy, with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice as chair. The Committee has the responsibility of advising the police, DSI and ICT Ministry on the careful, appropriate and fair conduct of lèse majesté cases
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told police that their priority was to protect the monarchy, while Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban raised Prachatai as an example of a subversive website to be tackled.