Jatuporn, Suthep Battle Over 2010 Crackdown: Thai Charter Amendment
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Posted 2012-02-25 05:02:28
War of words hampers debate again
Jatuporn, Suthep battle over 2010 crackdown; doubts over 'hidden agenda'
BANGKOK: -- Turmoil disrupted the second day of parliamentary debate on charter amendment when Pheu Thai MP and red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan and Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban started exchanging heated words about the 2010 political unrest.
In fact, the two sides got so worked up that Senate Speaker General Teeradej Meepien, who was chairing the meeting, ended up having to call a 10-minute break. The MPs and senators were in the midst of discussing the amendment of a clause needed to establish a new Constitution Drafting Assembly.
The debate kicked off with Pheu Thai party-list MP Watana Muangsook saying that the current Constitution gave more power to the judiciary and destroyed checks and balances among the three branches of power. He explained that only the legislative and administrative branches of the government could be checked, while the judiciary remained untouchable.
He also suggested that the new charter should reform the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office so politicians facing criminal charges were given the right to appeal to a higher tribunal. At present, the ruling of this court is final for political office holders.
"Will you leave it like this and allow this mess to continue? Are you telling the global community that Thailand is uncivilised and has laws that are opposed to international principles?" he asked.
Watana also said that the law lacked clarity and left the door open for misinterpretation, which caused conflicts.
Meanwhile, Opposition chief whip Jurin Laksanavisit said the objectives of charter changes were not clear and questioned if the ruling Pheu Thai Party had a hidden agenda. Though he did not mention the name, Jurin repeated Pheu Thai MP Weng Tojirakarn's quote that once the charter is amended, ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra would be able to return gracefully. As for concerns that charter amendment can affect the status of the monarchy, Jurin said the draft clearly states that this issue would not be touched.
In response to Watana's comment that the current charter obstructed the country's administration, Jurin asked if the new amendments would help the government run Thailand any better and solve problems such as floods and inflation.
Meanwhile, Phatthalung Senator Charoen Phakdeewanich suggested that all senators and members of charter-sanctioned agencies resign as soon as the new charter is implemented so new people can be appointed under new rules.
Senator Surachai Liengboonlerschai, meanwhile, said the plan of setting up a new CDA went against the current charter because this Constitution only allows the charter to be amended, not rewritten.
Pheu Thai MP Khajit Chainikom then brought up the fact that the 2007 Constitution allowed the previous government to use military force to suppress protesters and even cause deaths. Suthep, who was deputy PM then, responded by saying that force had not been used against the people but against terrorists who were using weapons. He explained that the government was just doing its job of protecting people and maintaining law and order. Suthep went on to say that he was being investigated on the issue.
That's when Jatuporn spoke up, saying the people who died did not hold any weapons and that Suthep was doing everything he could to hold up the investigation. When Suthep asked for permission to respond, Teeradej urged the MPs to return to the issue at hand, charter change. However, Suthep and Jatuporn continued arguing about the April-May 2010 crackdown for another 20 minutes, before Teeradej was forced to call for a break.
When the meeting started again, Jatuporn said the government whip had agreed to order an investigation into the protest-related issue.
-- The Nation 2012-02-25
Posted 2012-02-25 06:03:15
Charter amendment bills sail through after emotion-charged debate
BANGKOK: -- After two days of heated and emotion-charged debate, a joint parliamentary sitting late on Friday night voted in support of the three bills seeking to amendment the Constitution.
MPs and senators voted 399-199 to pass the three amendment bills, with 14 abstentions.
The voting was done by a roll call and each of the parliamentarians present voted verbally.
The three separate drafts, proposed by the Cabinet, the ruling Pheu Thai Party, and the coalition Chart Thai Pattana Party, seek amendment to Article 291 of the post-coup 2007 Constitution to allow establishment of a constitution drafting assembly.
At least half of the members of the two Houses, or 324, were needed to pass the motion. The government managed to do it with support from many senators and some opposition MPs from the Bhum Jai Thai Party.
However, Bhum Jai Thai MP Chai Chidchob, formerly the House speaker, abstained, citing "neutrality", and party spokesman Supachai Jaisamut was absent during the voting.
Most of those who abstained are senators. Many other members of the Upper House voted either for or against the three bills. Government MPs cheered from time to time when a senator voted for the bills.
Many of the senators who voted against are those from the "Group of 40 Senators", including Bangkok Governor Rosana Tositrakul, Wanchai Sonsiri, Somchai Sawaengkarn, Somjet Boonthanom, and Sak Korsaengruang.
Opposition MP General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led the 2006 coup to overthrow the government of Thaksin Shinawatra when he was the Army commander-in-chief, was not present during the voting.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Pheu Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit, who is a deputy prime minister, did not take part in the debate but they voted in support of the three bills.
After the vote, a 45-member vetting committee was appointed to prepare for the next readings of the amendment bills. The panel consists of 10 senators and 35 MPs - 19 from Pheu Thai, 11 from Democrat Party, two from Bhum Jai Thai, and one each from Chart Thai Pattana, Chart Pattana, and Palang Chon. The first committee meeting was scheduled for next Wednesday (Feb 29).
The government whips proposed that the vetting would focus mainly on the Cabinet draft.
Pheu Thai MP Cholnan Srikaew proposed that the vetting complete its work within 15 days, but Democrat MP Boonyod Sukthinthai suggested that the time should be extended to 30 days. Cholnan later agreed to drop his proposal.
The meeting's chair, Parliament president and House speaker Somsak Kiartsuranond, declared the meeting closed shortly after 1 am on Saturday.
The second and final day of the parliamentary debate on Friday was largely peaceful despite a heated debate and some protests. It was marred by two brief suspensions ordered by the meeting's chair, Senate speaker Thiradej Meepien.
The first suspension took place in the afternoon after Pheu Thai MP and red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan and Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban started exchanging heated arguments about the 2010 political unrest.
The second suspension was ordered at night after turmoil when Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung interrupted opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva's closing speech and Chalerm was accused by Democrat woman MP Rangsima Rodrasami of attending the meeting while drunk. Chalerm denied he was drunk and joked that he was just "intoxicated by love".
-- The Nation 2012-02-25
Posted 2012-02-25 06:33:09
PTP and the PM is working hard to get their big boss (brother) back home from Dubai, but doing nothing to achieve reconciliation.
Posted 2012-02-25 06:55:55
k. Wattana needs to realise that the Supreme Court needs to remain untouchable simply because they are the SUPREME Court. That encourages politicians who appoint the judges to aim for those with the highest moral character and knowledge of the law.
It also tends to make them difficult to bribe, and unacceptable in a Thaksin democracy.
Posted 2012-02-25 08:10:40
Yet another lie from Jatuporn.
Posted 2012-02-25 08:13:51
Is she EVER there?
Posted 2012-02-25 08:44:30
In the lead article photo, it looks like Jatuporn is being told to calm down and stop running his mouth.
A rare picture indeed as most show him at full rant.
Posted 2012-02-25 08:51:16
It's better to not show up for work and appear to be an incompetent than to go to work and remove all doubts.
Posted 2012-02-25 08:57:24
If that is so; I challenge you to post a photo of a red shirt who has been shot dead with a weapon in their hands. There are hundreds of photos of red shirts shot dead unarmed.
Posted 2012-02-25 09:03:58
Thousands armed, not shot dead...
Armed includes all offensive weapons, sticks, batons, knives, guns, RPGs, etc... In the midst of an unarmed populace, right?
Edited by Reasonableman, 2012-02-25 09:07:32.
Posted 2012-02-25 09:06:48
Oh...they just shot the unarmed ones.
Posted 2012-02-25 09:13:01
There are hundreds of photos of a few red shirts that were shot dead. They weren't armed when the photos were taken.
Posted 2012-02-25 09:17:38
Back to the article please.
I have little knowledge of the Thai Judicial system but
What is the 'higher tribunal' that the article refers to?
Posted 2012-02-25 09:23:42
One that will get them off.
Posted 2012-02-25 09:26:14
You have proof that people died did not hold any weapons? The medics in the Wat?
Posted 2012-02-25 09:28:21
Coincidence is a funny thing isn't it.
Posted 2012-02-25 09:39:48
There were photos of maybe a 5 - 10 red shirts that were shot. Some of the photos of these red shirts were taken after everyone else had cleared out. There were also photos of red shirts that were armed. It not beyond the realms of possibility that any guns that these people had were taken before the photos were taken.
My personal belief is that in a group there were 1 or 2 that had guns and were firing at the army. Often it was the unarmed people in that group that were shot. I mean, why would a group of people move up on an army location if they weren't armed with something to attack the army with?
Posted 2012-02-25 11:31:23
Your personal beliefs carry as much weight as a toenail. The facts are that the authorities shot and killed unarmed civilians.
Posted 2012-02-25 11:46:59
And the facts also are that there were armed protesters shooting at the army.
Posted 2012-02-25 11:53:13
So where is the evidence of authorities shooting those armed protesters? Although they would dearly love to have such evidence they simply don't.
Posted 2012-02-25 11:54:22
Since you stopped the quote just before the bit that says "but they voted in support of the three bills" suggests that they were.
Posted 2012-02-25 11:54:54
How about a couple of hundred injured soldiers?
Posted 2012-02-25 11:55:20
The fact is that Thailand could import a completely robust and strong constitution from another country, word for word, but the won't because it will make corruption much harder for ALL sides. Virtually this entire long mess goes back to the judiciary acquiting Thaksin of wrongdoing when his maid has the shares.
The judiciary essentially bows to the whim of the day, it is not independent, and it does not attempt to achieve fairness for all. Thus it is corruptible, and thus you have the mess that Thailand is in today.
Posted 2012-02-25 11:56:52
Spot on and here is one of them. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Posted 2012-02-25 11:57:51
Here is your evidence.
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