จดหมายจากเครือข่ายนักศึกษาและประชาชนปฏิรูปประเทศไทย (คปท.) ถึงสถานทูตอเมริกา
February 28, 2014 Honourable Ambassadors, and respected foreign correspondents in Thailand.
Atthe 4-month anniversary of the resistance of Thai people against the most corrupt and most brutish regime of Thaksin and Yingluck, we, on behalf of the active citizen which for a number of times peaked up to 2-3 million, would like to reaffirm our strong belief in and full support of democracy while resolute against the crimes of Thaksin regime.
Despite our untiring efforts and endurance,misperception and misunderstanding still prevails among your excellencies and respected journalists about what happening in Thailand over the past 4 months and the thinking behind them.Allow us to share with you the following facts and logics to further enhance your functions and contributions as friends hoping the best for our country and Thai people.
1. In the not so distant past, the world has witnessed western powers supporting thenon-elected or rigged-elected regimes of Lon Nol, Suharto, Marcos, Zia-ul-Haq, Ngo dinh diem, and Park Chung-Hee praising them as selfless freedom-fighters. While we in Thailand has been facing Thanksin-Yingluck governments being elected but also severely plagued by populist policies like the rice pledging scheme which has been proven undermining the long term sustainability and security of both Thai economyin general and rice farmers themselves in particular. At the very same moment, western powers are fully supporting resistance against democratically elected governments in Ukraine and Venezuela acclaiming them as pro-democracy simply because their fights best serve western interests, while condemning us as anti-democratic.It is therefore key to point out that our goal has always been and will continue to be the fight for democracy and the fight against the most blatantlycorruptregime Thailand has ever encountered – the Thaksin regime.
2. For the past 10 years, Thaksin has turned public authorities and machineries designed to serve the benefits of the people in this country into his own private power bases. Through existing loopholes and outright exertion of power, he put his kinand cronies not only in the cabinet but also in the Upper House, the Police Force, the Defense Ministry,the Office of the Attorney General and also in many of the independent organizations designed for check and balance. He also controlled many rogue elements in the armed forces and made use of gangsters and mafia groups in various parts of Thailand. Most ex-communist cadres and ex-Marxists were under his payroll. He shamelessly exploited state owned televisions and radios to the benefit of his Pheu Thai party. He bought his influence into printed media via Ads &events campaigns using state budgets. These despicable abuse of powerresulted in :
(a) The most overt embezzlement of state funds into Thaksin& co.’s coffer in probably the grandest scale ever happened in world history (the rice pledging scheme alonecost Thailand at theminimum around $150 billion, ten times more than President Marcos and Suharto’s fortunes and alarmingly dwarfedthe $54 billion world bank aids to the whole of Africa in the past four decades). It is worth pointing out to you, honourable ambassadors and respected foreign correspondents, that groups like Citigroup, HSBC, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell helped those dictators in Asia, Africa amasstheir wealth. We don’t know the collusions of Thaksin and those Banking groups but we recall that in 2004 he and his coteries were saved by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the case of buying 26 CTX machines forSuvarnabhumi airport from GE InVision’s which paid the fine of $800,000 to the US Authority in exchange not to reveal the name of Thai officials involved in the bribery case.
(b) Thaksin’s control of the rogue elements in the Armed Forces and his deployment of gangsters resulted in the killing of many young men in the South in the case of Krue Sae and Tak Bai which undoubtedly escalated the internal conflicts. Such indiscriminate use of forces also resulted in the atrocious crimes against drug dealers and sellers with about 3,000 deaths.
This explained the continuing unidentified and unchecked armed attacks on the Thai people’s protests since 2008 (among them were more than 50 grenades and M79 attacks causing hundreds of deaths (including, most tragically,small children and women) and thousands wounded. It is worth noted that none of the attacks were ever on the “red shirt” demonstrations.
3. We describe Thaksin’s crime as “Patrimonicide” a new term used to denote “State theft” and “State destruction”. Firstly Thaksin created cleavage in country’s unity, solidarity and trust. Secondly his and Yingluck’s populist policies severely impaired Thailand’s economic performance.Thirdly the check and balance system of Thailand collapse almost completely under Thaksin regime. Why Thaksin could cause so much damage to the country could only be explained by specific (but not exceptional) historical, social, and cultural reasons i.e. the traditional clientele system, profound disparity of income and lifestyle between the cities and the rural areas in Thailand.
Your ready-made, simplistic and reductive equating of election = democracy when applied to Thailand has become an inequality
Incidentally, the US former presidential candidate, presently US Secretary of State John Kerryrecently stated unambiguously that the widespread protest in the world today are “a reflection of this incredible yearning for modernity, for change, for choice, for empowerment of individuals that is moving across the world, and in many cases moving a lot faster than political leadership is either aware of or able to respond to,” and “A democracy is not defined solely by an election,” and “You can have a democratically elected government, but you don’t have democratically-instituted reforms that actually give you a democracy, a full, practicing, functioning democracy,” Finally he concluded that “And what you have in many places is a general election, a popular election, absent reform, present with great corruption, great cronyism and a huge distortion of democratic process.”His remarks said it all and clearly affirm the cause of our hard struggle with sacrifices of many lives and casualties in the past 4 months.
Student and People Network for
Thailand’s Reform (STR)
Koefele-Kale, Ndiva. ““Sed quis custodiet ipos custodies?” (But who will guard the guardians?) The case for elevating official corruption to the status of a crime in positive international law” In Annual Survey of Int’l & Comp. Law, Vol. 19 (2003), p. 3.