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Govt wants to destroy Thaksin with war-on-drug probe: lawyers

  1. Heretic.Ape.
    Govt wants to destroy Thaksin with war-on-drug probe: lawyers

    Published on August 26, 2007

    Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's team of lawyers Sunday alleged that the government had the ulterior motive of politically destroying him in setting up a committee to investigate his war on drug policy that led to more than 2,500 deaths.
    Prakiat Nasimma, Wichit Plangsrisakul and Nikom Chaokittisopon slammed the government for setting up an independent investigative committee to look into alleged systematic humanrights violations carried out by members of the Royal Thai Police in connection with the deaths during the war against drugs campaign initiated by Thaksin in 2003.
    Prakiat said his team analysed the motivation and believed the government wanted to harass Thaksin for his drug policy.
    "This policy during the Thaksin administration wiped out drugs and influential people related to it, including dirty money derived from the drug trade. I have unconfirmed report that drugs have returned to the northeastern region with the support of bureaucrats and powerful people. Society has to keep a watch on the rise of drug problems and how they use money from drug trade," he said.
    Wichit said he felt the move to set up this panel is not justified. "I am worried the committee may mislead the public that the Thaksin administration must be held responsible for any damage," he said.
    He questioned why this committee was established only six days before the public referendum on the constitution even though this government has been in power for more than a year. "Is this committee set up to allow the military-installed government to cling to power?" he posed.
    Nikom urged the Election Commission to summon National Legislative Assembly member Chai-anan Samudavanija, a staunch critic of Thaksin, to give information about his statement that more than Bt30 billion is expected to be used in the next general election by politicians who want to be in power and whitewash themselves.
    The lawyer also urged the government to stop the move to ratify treaties with foreign countries as it would be unconstitutional. Article 186 of the new Constitution says the Cabinet must inform the public to seek their opinion and announce to Parliament before any treaties can be ratified.
    The lawyers said they are keeping a watch on the government move to sign up to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Convention Against Corruption.
    The Nation



    http://nationmultimedia.com/2007/08/26/politics/politics_30046564.php

Comments

  1. lulz
    This is a good example of political machinations backfiring.

    A few years ago, the Prime Minister promised to make Thailand "drug free". Almost immediately dealers started to "kill each other". If successful, this would have won him a huge amount of political capital, because meth was apparently becoming an epidemic in the country.

    The reality:

    I remember reading a BBC article written by a reporter who was in Bangkok at the time, and had just been informed of a police shootout between a dealer. When the reporter got there, the dealer was dead, face down, shot a number of times in the back. He had obviously been running away from the police, not engaged in a shootout.
  2. Expat98
    LOL, I would so dearly love to see Thaksin locked up for this! That would be soooo sweet!! :laugh: :crazy
  3. Nagognog2
    I believe hanging is the punishment for premeditated murder in Thailand.
  4. Pomzazed
    o_O *glares wideeyes from the firecat who is thailand native*

    Huh? Thailand uses no hanging anymore!
    The death penalty is done via injecting KCl along with other agents.

    Well, anyhow this is quite outdated news for us Thai though. Since the Thaksin policy on drug wars, what really happen is a little drop on supply of meth and vasely drops on the supply of cannabis (which skyrocketted the price among streetdealers), however it can be found everywhere, still, as he announce the "win" of the war last year. Now the situation stayed the same like that except for the new drugs called 4x100 that leaks from the southern area.
  5. lulz
    I think that future generations will look back on the lethal injection as an atrocity.

    Since obviously nobody recovers from it, there's no data on what the experience feels like. But this also means that if the execution is performed incorrectly, the death could be excrutiatingly painful.

    A barbituate is used to knock the patient out. In theory this is fine, but if the dosage level is incorrect, or the prisoners metabolism/brain chemistry/whatever is abnormal, it's possible that they may retain some consciousness during the rest of the procedure.

    Next a chemical is injected which paralyses the body. I have no idea what the logic behind this is, but I presume it's for the benefit of observer's and the people carrying out the execution.

    Finally potassium chloride is injected to actually kill the prisoner. The logic is that it will stop his heart. But if the barbituate hasn't put the prisoner fully unconscious, he'll still be somewhat aware of what he's feeling, however he'll be unable to signal this to anybody else since the second injection has paralysed him. This is where the potential atrocity lies. If the prisoner is still semi-conscious, his last few seconds alive will be spent in unimaginable agony, because that much potassium chloride being injected into you will make you feel like your whole body is burning, and you aren't even able to scream.

    Why the fuck is this how they perform a lethal injection? There are a thousand other ways that would involve no such risk. One example: inject the prisoner with a massive amount of insulin, and he'll just feel like he's falling asleep. Or a massive dose of some anaesthetic. Etc. They're already killing the guy, why don't they do it the most humane way possible?
  6. Expat98

    What kind of drug is that? Never heard of that.
  7. lulz
    Apparently it's a kratom-based substance.

    I can't link to the full article, because it's located on some kind of DEA affiliated government website. But if you google:

    It's the 4th article down.
  8. enquirewithin
    I'm sure the current Thai government do want to destroy Thaksin with his involvement in a disastrous drug war, but he surely deserves it.

    I am curious about '4x100'. Anyone read Thai?
  9. Pomzazed
    The firecat is Thai feline :p
    So let the firecat will help translate this! Sorry for some vocabulary misuse :p someone's firecat is not a native english speaker.

    ==========================================
    Article : (from the above post)
    The Yellow box says :
    The Other Part (black text in white background) says :
    (! = Firecat's additional information as what he knows)

    [Paragraph 1]
    [Paragraph 2]
    [Picture of red stem Kratom]

    [Picture of green stem Kratom]

    [Paragraph 3]
    [Paragraph 4]
    [Paragraph 5]
    [Paragraph 6]
    [Paragraph 7]
    [Paragraph 8]
    [Paragraph 9]
    [Paragraph 10]
    [Lists of Refs]
    ==========================================

    Hope this will help :)
  10. Expat98
    Here's a follow-up article.

    http://news.monstersandcritics.com/.../Thailand_looks_back_in_anger_on_war_on_drugs

    *******************************************

    Thailand Looks Back in Anger on War on Drugs

    By Peter Janssen Aug 29, 2007, 12:21 GMT


    Bangkok - In 2003 Thailand's former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra launched his War on Drugs, a police-led campaign to staunch a flood of methamphetamine pills made in illicit labs along the Thai-Myanmar border into the kingdom.

    The three-month-long war claimed 2,500 victims of extra-judicial slayings, supposedly drug traffickers, and immediately placed Thailand in the international dog house for gross human rights violations.

    Thaksin, deposed by a coup on September 19 may still go to court for masterminding the slayings. A special commission has been set up to determine his culpability, with results expected within 10 months.

    'There are at least 80 cases that have been thoroughly reviewed in which it's been proven that the victims had nothing to do with drugs,' said Kraisak Choonhavan, a member of the commission. 'There was a huge injustice done to Thailand in the name of the war on drugs.'

    Worse still, it didn't even solve Thailand's methamphetamine problem.

    Methamphetamines, also called yaa baa, or crazy drugs, were made illegal in Thailand in 1996, about the same time that crime syndicates operating the heroin trade out of northern Myanmar started switching to synthetic stimulants.

    Thailand, Myanmar's neighbour to the south, became the chief market and transit route for the new drugs.

    In 2000, Thai authorities estimated the methamphetamine production in the Shan State of Myanmar, at 1 billion pills, based on the 100 million seized in Thailand.

    Thaksin, a populist politician elected prime minister in 2001, decided heavy-handedness was the best solution to the problem.

    The mass slayings of suspected methamphetamine pushers did reduce abuse, for a while, but it hardly eliminated demand for drugs among Thai youths, the main market for the stimulants.

    The crackdown also gave rise to a surge in abuse among Thailand's neighbours, Laos and Cambodia.

    'The traffic route essentially shifted away from Thailand into Laos and down the Mekong River in Cambodia,' said Jeremy Douglas, the Bangkok-based regional project coordinator for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 'So you see this huge surge in abuse in those two countries, simultaneous with the war on drugs.'

    Methamphetamines are now readily available again in Thailand, with many of the pills being imported across the border from Laos and Cambodia, according to drug authorities.

    But the damage done by the war on drugs to Thailand's reputation abroad and to Thai society remains.

    Since Thailand made methamphetamine use illegal in 1996, the number of young people imprisoned has doubled. Last year, for example, some 51,457 Thais were arrested on amphetamine-related charges, or 75 per cent of total drug arrests made.

    Prior to 1996, methamphetamines were available legally as a stimulant popular among truck drivers and students cramming for exams.

    'If you look at it from a societal public health point of view it's a complete disaster,' said one foreign expert who has been studying the impact of the crackdown on methamphetamines in northern Thailand. 'It's a catastrophe because you have all these young people going into prison where they will be exposed to high-risk behaviour like tattooing, rape and whatever,' said the foreign health worker, who asked to remain anonymous.

    A good place to check out the societal impact of Thaksin's war is Klong Toey slum in Bangkok, once the reputed hub for the capital's booming methamphetamine trade.

    At least 10 alleged methamphetamine dealers in Klong Toey were killed during the war, but Father Joe Maier, a Catholic priest who has been running the Mercy Centre in the slum for 37 years, opined that only four of the victims were genuine drug dealers.

    'The sin here was heavy-handedness,' said Maier. 'And secondly, no one really wanted to stop the drugs because everyone knows that if you want to stop drugs you have to have pride in the community.'

    'There was no money put in to better schools, better drug rehabilitation programmes and that sort of stuff. That's my anger,' said Maier.
  11. Triple7
    If SWIY didn't know, then SWIM can tell that Thaksin is a former cop. SWIM believes dirty tricks made him wealthy.

    Before this crack down, cops used different methods to extort money. For example by picking a local prostitute and junkie, keeping her few days in jail, letting her out and threatening to put her back if she doesn't cooperate as informer. She then sold drugs to tourists, and then informed the police about who were her buyers. Once a while tourists got searched and had to pay hefty bribes to the police to get out of trouble. One tourist for example got searched by a single police man. The Guest House owner knocked at the door, and stepped in, seeing both the tourist and the police smoking ganja together. The policeman left after a few hours... when the tourist had paid tens of thousands of dollars in bribe. The bribes, are usually shared with their informers.

    SWIM also has experiences with bribes. One time a cop fucked with SWIM just because he could. There was nothing illegal in his bag and there was nothing that should put him in trouble, but SWIM had to pay a bribe for him to go away. In another case, SWIM had a picture of a illegal plant on a lighter. SWIM had to pay 200$ to get out of trouble. SWIM also has experiences where cops give SWIM drugs and they have party together.

    Thais are scared of informers and whitnesses. For example if a woman is raped, they make sure to kill her. Just think of all of those who accepts bribes and are very money hungry.. what did Thaksins war make??? People get 99 years for trafficking drugs. Partners were killing each others, evil police men were killing to hide their past and motives. All the senseless mess.. just for "letting them kill each others".
  12. enquirewithin
    Thanks for the translation.:)

    Adding mosquito repellent sounds like a very bad idea! It seems that if one had fresh leaves the alkaloid content is higher and that chewing makes the onset of kratom much faster.
  13. Pomzazed
    Yea, all knows its the bad idea, but 4x100 widespread in the south where some crazy terrorist got their powers there.
  14. ~lostgurl~
    Thailand Coup Anniversary

    Thailand Coup Anniversary
    (one-year anniversary on wednesday, september 19)

    18 September 2007
    Scoop Independent News
    Column: Richard S. Ehrlich


    BANGKOK, Thailand -- One year after the military toppled Thailand's elected government in a bloodless coup, this Buddhist- majority ally of America now suffers splits over its failure to put ousted officials on trial for alleged corruption and extra-judicial killings.

    While coup-empowered generals continue to play politics in Bangkok, and melodramatic musical chairs with military promotions, Islamist guerrillas in the Muslim-majority south fight for independence, targeting Buddhist civilians and Muslim moderates with bombings, arson and beheadings. "It may be another generation," before Islamist insurgents are defeated, Army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, the coup leader, said last week.

    Elsewhere, a rise of crafty, powerful, anti-coup politicians -- who hope to take power if democracy is restored -- are evoking worry that revenge prosecutions against junta officials may soon wrench this Southeast Asian nation.

    "He [Gen. Sonthi] needs assurances that he will not be a target of revenge by the old power clique, which appears to be staging a triumphant political comeback unless something is done to halt the advance," warned the English-language Bangkok Post newspaper's deputy editor-in-chief, Veera Prateepchaikul.

    The military said it may allow a nationwide election on Dec. 23 for a new prime minister, but also hinted at a possible bait-and- switch strategy to delay polling until 2008.

    Their Sept. 19, 2006 coup kicked out billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra from the prime minister's office, and banned 111 of his political party stalwarts and cronies.

    Mr. Thaksin, self-exiled in England, denied all charges of wrongdoing, and is currently battling lawsuits and arrest warrants aimed at him and his relatives, filed by the junta's tribunals and investigators.

    The junta said it is sending a delegation to London to demand Mr. Thaksin's extradition, but legal analysts said that ploy may collapse due to a lack of evidence and other legal hurdles.

    The junta's generals spent much of the past year strengthening their domination over this capitalist country's political, economic and social life, after awarding themselves amnesty for actions committed during and after their coup.

    With half the country under martial law, the military oversaw the writing of a new constitution, narrowly approved by voters on Aug. 19 indicating a major split in support for the coup's goals.

    The new constitution allows about half of the senate to be appointed, and increases the power of appointed judges, while diminishing the ability of large political parties to run the type of arrogant, power-block government Mr. Thaksin wielded.

    Throughout Thailand, people suffered a sharp downtown in the economy after the junta's confused policies crippled the stock market, dented tourism, shocked foreign investors and swelled unemployment.

    Thais are now eyeing the upcoming election, and watching the rise of Samak Sundaravej, a fearsome, "ultra-rightist" politician who recently became leader of a new People's Power Party (PPP) sheltering many of Mr. Thaksin's politicians.

    Mr. Samak, a former Bangkok governor now in his 70s, has an extremely combative history within Thailand's brutal and murky political landscape. He threatens to be a bare-knuckles prime minister if his party and coalition partners win enough votes.

    Outspoken and willing to mix things up, Mr. Samak has challenged the junta by promising to cancel their five-year banishment of Mr. Thaksin's 111 political colleagues, dissolve the regime's anti- corruption Assets Scrutiny Committee tribunal, and invite the manipulative fugitive to return home from England.

    Mr. Thaksin's former spokesman, Jakrapob Penkair, has also become a top enemy of the junta, and recently spent several days in jail for leading an anti-coup protest. "In my opinion, coup-making should be punished by death," Mr. Jakrapob said in an interview on Aug. 29. "We would be proposing a death sentence for coup-making. And we may start with this bunch," Mr. Jakrapob said, referring to the junta.

    Mr. Jakrapob is a top leader in a Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship -- also known as the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship -- which has attracted thousands of supporters.

    The junta meanwhile alleged Mr. Thaksin's government was responsible for a horrific "war on drugs" in which 2,500 Thais died in "extra-judicial killings" during 2003. "Those who accused Thaksin of ordering the killings definitely supported the drug trade," Mr. Samak said on Sunday (Sept. 16), defending his ally.

    Boosters of the coup, and opponents of Mr. Thaksin, voiced dismay that the junta has not put Mr. Thaksin on trial for the drug-related killings, or for alleged massive corruption committed during his five- year reign.

    Human rights groups and journalists have also complained about the military's severe restrictions on Thailand's access to text and video Web sites. "The culture of fear is widespread, more than ever before, especially in cyberspace," wrote columnist Kavi Chongkittavorn on Monday (Sept. 17), one week after being honored by the Washington- based National Endowment for Democracy for preserving press freedom overseas. "Online users are now subject to police harassment," Mr. Kavi said. Looking at Thailand's emerging political parties, he predicted, "a new vicious circle is in the offing."

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0709/S00311.htm
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