Organizers and participants on the Workshop on “Democracy struggle in Thailand and its impact to ASEAN” denounce the illegal military junta ruling Thailand and call for the release of all political prisoners in South East Asia.
During the ASEAN People’s Forum (APF), 22 April 2015, Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia Support Group for Democracy in Thailand, Action for People’s Democracy, Thailand (ACT4DEM), Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Community Legal Education Center, Cambodia and Sedane Labour Resource Centre (LIPS), Indonesia, hosted a discussion on the fearful situation in Thailand and its impact on the ASEAN community.
Political freedoms have been held under siege in Thailand since the military coup in May 2014, and democratic space continues to shrink. The crisis in Thailand cannot be resolved while the military clings to power in collusion with conservative, royalist elites, with total disregard for the principle of democracy and choices of the people. The blatant dismantle democracy in Thailand can only pave the way for increasingly aggressive capitalist interests and further subjugation of the regular citizenry.
Participants of the Workshop expressed their solidarity with Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, the Thai labour activist, who has been imprisoned for 4 years, for standing and speaking out for justice, under Thailand’s draconian Lèse-majesté laws.
The workshop concluded that the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum must call for:
1. Junta-Free ASEAN;
2. An ASEAN free of political prisoners;
3. The ASEAN to re-considered the ASEAN’s ‘Principle of non-interference’, so that the voices and choices of the people can displace all forms of dictatorship and strengthen solidarity for democracy and social justice across the Region.