Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Rule of law now on slow approach to runway

Feb 15. 2019
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Re: “Court upholds sentence for 6 yellow-shirt leaders”, Front page, February 14.

I fully approve of the jailing without suspension of the six yellow-shirt leaders who seized Government House in 2008. This helps show that the rule of law is slowly coming to Thailand, because in 2015, 15 red-shirt leaders were sentenced to four years’ jail for the storming of the Asean Summit in Pattaya in 2009.

But we need rule of law – not rule by law. Under the former, laws have reasons supporting them, the rationale for each law is open to questioning and debate by voters’ representatives, and can be revised if the representatives choose. Laws apply to all equally, without exception.

Thus, for example, how can we have each junta declare itself innocent of the ouster of the government to which it had pledged allegiance? How, even if Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan had borrowed his 21 expensive watches from a classmate, are we expected to believe this friend lent them out of love? Since PM Prayut is running for office on an anti-graft  platform, how he handles this investigation is of paramount importance. 

Burin Kantabutra

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