Sunday, June 13, 2021

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US Senate resolution backs Thai pro-democracy movement, urges end to govt violence


The United States Senate has introduced a resolution in support of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement. Issued on Thursday, the resolution “underscore[s] the United States’ commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Thailand”, according to the Senate press release.

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“The senators’ resolution follows recent demonstrations by Thailand’s pro-democracy movement, which have been met with violence and repression by the country’s monarchy and government,” it continues.
Thai-American senator Tammy Duckworth was among the nine members of Congress who introduced the resolution.
Another was Senator Bob Menendez, who said: “Thailand’s reformers are not seeking a revolution. They are simply yearning for democratic changes to their country’s political system, for freedom of speech and assembly, and for Thailand to be a part of the community of democratic nations.”
The resolution said the junta-drafted 2017 Constitution had ”served to erode Thailand’s democracy and constitutional protection of rights”.
It also noted that several independent monitoring groups had declared the 2019 election was deeply flawed and heavily tilted to favour the military junta, “whose party, headed by Prayut [Chan-o-cha], formed a new government with the support of the military-appointed and unelected Senate”. It went on to say the opposition Future Forward Party was dissolved and banned on order of the Constitutional Court “following a flawed legal process premised on spurious charges”.
The resolution also stated that the Thai government had failed to properly investigate to violent assaults against democracy activists and government critics, as well as enforced disappearances and killings of exiled Thai political dissidents across Asia.
It also said the government had responded to ongoing peaceful protests with repressive measures, including “intimidation tactics, surveillance, harassment, arrests, violence and imprisonment”, while noting Unicef had expressed concern about the potential harm to children at demonstrations. 
Senator Duckworth, a former US soldier, said: “As a Thai-American who fought to protect the right to peacefully protest here at home, I know that both the longstanding, strong relationship between the US and Thailand as well as every individual’s inalienable democratic rights are critically important to uphold and defend.
“Thailand is a strong partner with the US – both in terms of our shared national security priorities and economic relations – and the Thai people have a proud history of democratic reform. I urge Thai leadership to listen to the people and respect the democratic principles at the heart of the government they’ve worked so hard to form.”

 

Published : December 04, 2020

By : The Nation