Civil society workers boycott junta

Various civil society workers have vowed not to legitimise the military government by cooperating with it, saying the junta’s national strategic plan favours only investors.

On 20 November 2017, 72 civil society development workers issued a joint statement vowing not to legitimise the military government by taking part in any mechanisms of the regime.

The group points out that the 20-year national strategy plan of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was designed to prolong military rule, adding that the plan was structured to facilitate the interests of investors while excluding proper public participation and interests.  

“Any other participation with the military government by civil society groups, such as membership of national strategy planning committees … is consent to participation in the mechanisms of the military government, which is indifferent to community rights,” reads part of the statement.

The group concluded that in the last three years the NCPO has used its absolute power under Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to issue orders to please investors, such as the order to establish Special Economic Zones along the country’s borders and ease regulations at the expense of local communities and the environment.  

Among the 72 signatories are Prasitchai Nunuan from the Save Andaman from Coal Network, Lertsak Kamkongsak from the Network of Public Policy on Mining and Surachai Trongngam, of EnLAW.

A farmer working in a field right next to the Thai-Myanmar Bridge across the Moei River in Tha Sai Luat Subdistrict of Mae Sot, which will directly connect the Special Economic Zone with Thailand’s neighbour (file photo)