Although the Nitirat group uses the word ‘amendments’ to Article 112, its proposals, when looked in detail, are tantamount to abolition and a significant restructuring of the Criminal Code regarding national security, said Khamnoon Sitthisaman, ASTV Manager columnist, non-elected senator and Sondhi Limthongkul’s aide, in his column on 14 Jan.
‘I knew right away, when reading the proposals, what Nitirat had in mind. Nitirat is trying to continue the 1932 revolution to completion! They are proposing to bring the monarchy back to its status between 24 June and 10 Dec 1932,’ Khamnoon said.
He said that Nitirat wanted to go back to the People’s Party’s 1932 interim charter which was enforced three days after the revolution and lasted about 5 months as a basis for the writing of a whole new constitution.
In contrast to other anti-19 Sept 2006 coup groups including the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and the Pheu Thai Party, who have favoured reinstatement of the 1997 Constitution or for it to serve as a model for a new one, Nitirat, giving little value to the 1997 charter, wants to bring back all the People’s Party’s charters as models, including two in 1932 and another in 1946, Khamnoon said.
Khamnoon said that the 1932 interim charter was presented to King Rama VII on 27 June by the People’s Party who wrote it alone. Although the King might have objected to some of its provisions, ‘His Majesty’s highest wish was to prevent bloodshed’, so he conceded to sign it, but also wrote that this charter was just ‘interim’; as a consequence, a new permanent charter, written with his contribution, was introduced on 10 Dec in that same year.
The 27 June 1932 interim charter refers to the King simply as ‘Kasat’ as opposed to ‘Phra Maha Kasat (Great King)’ as in all subsequent charters, he noted.
And its first provision in Article 1 simply states that the supreme power of the country belongs to all the people, not mentioning ‘Phra Maha Kasat’ as in later charters, he said.
Importantly, this charter does not contain the important principle of protection of the monarchy which is included in all subsequent charters, such as Section 8 of the current Constitution which states, ‘the King shall be enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated. No person shall expose the King to any sort of accusation or action.’
This principle has an origin which shows the special characteristics of Thailand, and the inclusion of this principle in the constitution is the reason for the existence of Article 112 of the Criminal Code.
Without the existence of this principle, there would be no basis for Article 112, he stressed.
Of course, the 1932 interim charter does provide some protection for ‘Kasat’, but does not protect it as strictly as all subsequent charters up to the current one; its Section 6 states, ‘Kasat shall not be subject to any prosecution. it is the duty of the House of Representatives to make judgment,’ he said.
So, he said, this is not just about repealing Article 112 or restructuring the law, but certain groups want to bring the monarchy back to its status before the 1947 and 1957 [royalist] coups.
He asked his readers to help him add the last sentence after this article explained ‘what those people are thinking of.’