Thursday, November 14, 2019

Charter drafters ensure right to public assembly

Jun 30. 2015
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By KHANITTHA THEPPAJORN
THE NATI

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The Constitution Drafting Committee yesterday reworded an article in the draft charter to assure that "a public gathering" can be undertaken according to an intent addressed in previous constitutions.
Article 53 (Section 2) had stated that law enforcement to control the right to assemble could be for an assembly “within a public space”. The framers decided to broaden the wording to ensure that people can hold such an assembly anywhere, but that was also interpreted by some CDC members as meaning that law officers could enforce the public-assembly law restricting rights of assembly for the benefits of others.
The article-by-article deliberation entered its fourth day, with more than 50 articles having passed through the CDC’s close scrutiny. 
The CDC also discussed Article 50 regarding broadcasting and telecommunications ownership. It had simply stated that “a citizen” could own such businesses. That was changed to state more specifically that the owner of such a business must be a Thai national. 
The issue was not settled on Monday after the drafters debated for three hours before reaching a conclusion yesterday. Some said the wording should be left open-ended so that it would accommodate an Asean commitment that may open businesses to foreign nationals. 
The other view was that these businesses should be restricted to a Thai national, as the word “citizen” had already been removed and replaced with “a Thai national”, especially in the sections concerning people’s rights and freedom.
The CDC also finished revising Articles 51 and 52 governing academic freedom and the right to an equal education.

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