Triumph workers protest during Abhisit’s speech on human rights

Laid-off Triumph workers stood up and held banners in protest during a speech by PM Abhisit Vejjajiva on his government’s work on human rights.  The workers complained that the government had ignored their problems and police had abused their human rights. 

On 14 Dec, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva gave a speech on his government’s promotion and protection of human rights at a public forum held by the National Human Rights Commission to mark International Human Rights Day, which was on 10 Dec.  

Among other issues, he defended his government’s imposition of the Internal Security Act, saying that it did not affect people’s everyday life, and it was meant to facilitate the authorities’ work during rallies, to ensure safety for the people, and to prevent incidents like those in April from re-occurring.

During his speech, about ten former Triumph workers and students stood up and held banners to protest against the authorities’ abuse of human rights in labour rallies.  During one of their own rallies on 27 Aug, police employed a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) to disperse the crowd.  And later their leaders were issued arrest warrants for instigating unrest and blocking roads.

After the PM finished the speech, former Triumph workers Sawee Sudarak and Bunrod Saiwong approached him and handed him their statement on the abuse of their human rights and the government’s inaction regarding their problems.

Bunrod also said that the government spokesperson Panithan Watthanayakorn had promised them on 15 Sept to arrange a meeting between the Prime Minister and them on 7 Oct, but three months had passed already.

The PM turned to Panithan and asked him about it, and then told the workers that there had been a small problem about time.

When he asked if they were gathering at the Ministry of Labour, Bunrod said yes, and told him that he could meet them there.  Abhisit agreed.