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Peasant group's 1932 revolution commemoration disrupted by authorities

The Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT) online forum was disrupted by the authorities on 24 June. They called for a new constitution to replace the 2017 junta-led version.

A banner from SPFT commemoration the 1932 revolution

On 24th June, the Southern Peasants Federation of Thailand (SPFT), a peasant movement based in Surat Thani/Krabi Province, southern Thailand, together with the People’s Movements for Democracy of Thailand, organized an online public forum to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the 24 June 1932 revolution, which saw the country transform from an Absolute Monarchy to become a Constitutional Monarchy. 

The public forum was organized in Khlongsai Pattana Community, Chaiburi District, Surat Thani Province from 9.30-11.00am. The event, which was live-streamed on Facebook, discussed the situation of the peasants under the current regime, the problems of access to land and resources, and the dangers faced by women and men Human Rights Defenders. The group also proposed that to achieve democracy, the current constitution needs to be amended. The SPFT statement was also read out. 

Officers who came to check the online forum venue.

Before the forum ended, at around 11.36 am, two members of the authorities, who came with a car with license plate ขจ.1703, from the Chaiburi District Office, came and inquired about the activities and SPFT. The officers, who identified themselves as being from the Volunteer Defense Corps, claimed that the District Chief Sukit Meepring asked them to check on the group’s activities and report back to the District Office. After about 10 minutes of inquiry, they left the community. 

On June 25 morning, the District Chief Sukit Meepring and four other official staffs have visited in Khlongsai Pattana Community, a member of SPFT. District Chief Sukit Meepring stated that it was a regular visit to the community. This is a first time that he pays a visit to SPFT community. 

Southern Peasant Federation of Thailand (SPFT) Statement 

In Commemoration of 88th Anniversary of 24 June 1932 Revolution From Absolute Monarchy to Democracy 

. “At this place, at the dawn of 24 June 1932, the KhanaRatsadon ("Peoples' Party") created the Constitution that would uphold the nation’s prosperity” 

From that day until this day, it has been 88 years since the plaque of Democracy was marked, creating the new form of society which replaced the old regime of absolute monarchy. 

In that revolution, the People’s Party had put forward 6 pillars, namely, Independence, Security, Economy, Equal Rights, Freedom, and Education in that first People’s Party Declaration. The People’s Party aimed for the people to have democracy and better lives. 

In the past 88 years, the 6 pillars, as announced by the then People’s Party, have not truly been achieved. The elite class has tried to obstruct changes towards Democracy through coups and mutiny, which happened 13 times since the 1932 revolution. 

For example, the principles by the People’s Party on security aim to uphold Rights, Freedoms and Safety of the people’s lives and assets. But the fact is that we see in all generations that Movement leaders and those who struggle for Democracy continue to lose lives until now, including through enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. This included Mr. Tiang Sirikant, Mr. Chamlong Daoraung, Mr. Tawil Udol, Mr. Intra Phuriphat, and at least 35 leaders of the Peasant Federation of Thailand, who were killed by those working for the Dictators from 1973 to 1979. 

At present, there are many leaders struggling for Land Rights and Democracy, and enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings still continue. Those more recent examples include 4 members of the SPFT( two HRDs and two WHRDs ), Mr. Den Khamlae, Mr. Billy Pholajee Rakjongjaroen, Mr. Wuttipong Kotthammakhun, Mr. Surachai Darnwattananusorn, Mr. Chatchan Boophawan, Mr. Kraidet Luelert, Mr. Choocheep Cheewasut, Mr. Kritsana Thapthai, Mr. Siam Theerawut, and most recently, Mr. Wanchaloem Satsaksit. Since the Revolution of 1932, many of those who came out and fought for Democracy have been brutally killed and/or suffered enforced disappearances. 

During the times of Dictatorship, there has been much suppression of people who demand Democracy, including those involved in the People’s Revolution of 14 October 1973, the student massacre of 6 October 1976, the May 1992 uprising, and the Red Shirt crackdown in 2010, which resulted in hundreds being killed and thousands more injured and/or disabled. 

At present, the people are governed by the military regime, which derived its power from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). People are deprived of their Rights and Freedoms 

through repressive laws and policies, including policies that limit the Rights to Access Land and Resources for the peasants. The Constitution, pushed for by the NCPO which was drafted without people’s participation, and the over 600 repressive Laws and Bills enacted by the NCPO, continue to violate people’s Rights and Freedom. 

This obstructs democracy for the past 88 years, and also do exploit economic benefits from the nation’s resources and wealth. This has caused a loss of economic opportunities and development for the country that would have benefited the majority of people. 

Obstruction and resistance to Democracy is the path paved by the dictatorship, so that the ruling class can continue to exploit the people, and suppress the people’s Rights and Freedoms. It merely aim to change slaves serving masters, to now become slaves of the Capitalist and ruling class. They never allow people to truly exercise their Freedoms and Liberties to live their lives. 

On the 88th anniversary of 24 June 1932 revolution, we would like to invite those who cherish Democracy to come together to push for a New Constitution to replace the NCPO Constitution of 2017, and demand that the government return power to the people. The people then can have the opportunity to push forward to achieve complete democracy as declared by the then People’s Party. 

Down with Dictatorship, Long Live Democracy! 

Declared on 24 June 2020