Military intimidates activist calling for probe of submarine deal

Soldiers have visited an activist calling for an investigation into the junta’s controversial submarine deal with China.  

On 8 May 2017, soldiers visited the house of Srisuwan Janya, Secretary-General of a political group called the Association to Protect the Thai Constitution (APTC).

“At 2:30 pm, [they] missed me and paid a visit,” Srisuwan posted on his Facebook account.

The visit was made after Srisuwan that day submitted a letter to the Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand, urging it to use its authority under Article 231 of the new Constitution to ask the Constitutional Court to rule whether the 13.5 billion baht submarine contract of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is unconstitutional or not.

The letter states that the procurement might have violated Article 23 of the 1959 Budget Procedures Act which states that a public agency about to cause public debt must win approval from the cabinet within 60 days after an annual fiscal act comes to force.

Under this law, the procurement plan should have been approved by the cabinet between 1 Oct and 30 November 2016, but the RTN proposed it to the cabinet only on 18 April 2017.

He added that the deal could also violate Article 178 of the Constitution, which requires public hearings and consultation with parliament.

The RTN on last Friday officially signed a deal with a Chinese state ship-building company to make the first instalment of 700 million baht on the submarine purchase.   

Srisuwan submitting a letter to the Office of the Ombudsman on 8 May 2017

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