A post-Yingluck Shinawatra Thailand is not a reconciled Thailand, and nor will it be if her Pheu Thai Party ceases to exist. The political arena will remain as polarised as it has been for the past decade. Yet this predicament can be overcome through a strategy laid out in the well-known Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Longzhong Plan. The plan was to divide China into three realms of roughly equal power. Adapting that plan can lead to positive change that will help move Thailand out of the current deadlock.
Three elderly red shirts face seven years’ imprisonment for allegedly putting up banners calling for the separation of the northern region from Thailand. On 30 October 2017, Chiang Rai Provincial Court held the preliminary hearing for Ot Suktako, 66, who was indicted under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, the sedition law, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR).
Families of the victims of the 2010 military crackdown have called on the authorities to revive charges against those responsible for the deadly crackdown, saying the case is not over yet despite a recent Supreme Court ruling.
The police have arrested two anti-establishment red shirts in Isaan (northeast Thailand) for joining a red shirt demonstration seven years ago. On 7 September 2017, police officers from the Department of Special Investigation took Somphon Chaikong, 49, to the public prosecutor of Udon Thani Province. He was accused of joining an illegal assembly of more than 10 people and blocking a public road in Udon Thani on 25 April 2010 in parallel with the red shirt demonstrations in Bangkok.
The Appeal Court has dismissed charges against an anti-establishment red shirt accused of preparing explosive devices to bomb several locations in Bangkok in 2014. On 7 September 2017, Min Buri Provincial Court read the verdict of the Appeal Court in the case of Amporn ‘Khru Khaek’ Jaikon, 57, a supporter of the anti-establishment red shirts from Chiang Mai Province, accused of procuring and making explosive devices in order to bomb venues in Bangkok in March 2014. The Appeal Court dismissed the charges, citing insufficient evidence.
“Today, the struggle is not over yet. This mother will struggle until the end...I believe that the perpetrators will not get away,” said Payao Akhad, mother of Kamolkate Akhad, a medic who was killed during the 2010 crackdown on red-shirt protesters. She spoke while lighting incense for her late daughter at Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok on 31 August 2017.
The Thai Supreme Court’s dismissal of criminal charges against a former prime minister and his deputy for their role in the deadly crackdown on “Red Shirt” protesters in May 2010 is a serious setback for justice in Thailand, Human Rights Watch said today. International human rights law makes clear that official status cannot justify immunity from criminal responsibility for serious human rights violations.
Family members of the victims of the 2010 crackdown on red-shirt protesters have denounced the Supreme Court verdict to dismiss murder charges against former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, his former deputy.
After five years of legal struggle, a court has confirmed a ban on a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’, which touches on sensitive historical topics. On 11 August 2017, the Administrative Court maintained a ban on ‘Shakespeare Must Die’, a political film with references to the 6 October 1976 student massacre and the political violence during the red shirt demonstrations in 2009. The leading character of the movie, called ‘Dear Leader’, is believed to be based on the controversial former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Supreme Court has handed a two month suspended jail term to a prominent red-shirt activist. On 9 August 2017, the Dusit District Court in Bangkok read the Supreme Court’s verdict for Sombat Boonngamanong, leader of the Red Sunday red-shirt group, who was accused of failing to report to the junta.