Civil society network calls for abolition of junta’s orders

22 civil society organisations have launched a project to collect signatures of Thai citizens in a bid to repeal the junta’s orders that violate human rights and democratic values.
 
On 15 January 2018, iLaw, a human rights advocacy group, and its network organisations launched a campaign to abolish over 500 orders of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). 
 
Organisations that joined the campaign today include the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand, the People's Health Movement, the student activist Democracy Restoration Group, and the Assembly of the Poor.
 
This campaign aims to submit a bill that will abolish all the junta's orders. According to Section 133 of the 2017 Charter, people can introduce a draft bill to the parliament by collecting at least 10,000 signatures. The network wishes to exercise their right under this section to propose a draft law titled “Abolition of NCPO Announcements and Orders that Violate Human Rights and Democracy.”
 
Since the coup in May 2014, the junta has issued 533 announcements and orders. The network said that there are 35 orders which urgently need to be abolished such as NCPO Head Order 3/2015, the ban on public gatherings of five people or more; NCPO Head Order 13/2016, the crackdown on influential figures; and NCPO Head Order 9/2016, the exemption from the EIA process for government construction projects.  
 
“In 2018, it is time to follow the roadmap of the constitution to move to elections and lead the country to democracy. But if the orders and announcements of the NCPO are still in effect, the upcoming election under the various mechanisms of the military is likely not to be a fair election,” read the network’s statement. 
 
According to iLaw, the participants also discussed the impact of the junta’s orders on their movement.  Baramee Chaiyarat from the Assembly of the Poor stated that his network had suffered from the National Forest Scheme which forcibly evicted members of the Assembly. The head of NCPO also issued a decree under the Section 44 of the 2014 Interim Constitution to seize lands allocated to the people under the government Land Allocation scheme and reallocated them to the private corporations.
 
Nutchanart Thanthong, a representative from 4 Regions Slum Network, said that her group has tried to push the issue of land for poor people but when they gathered or held meetings, they were accused of holding a political gathering under NCPO Announcement 7/2014. The impact of this announcement is a violation of liberty of poor people and makes it impossible for their problems to reach the public.
 
 
Members of the network read the statement (Photo from iLaw)