Thailand’s national human rights body says rural people don’t know anything about human rights

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In a televised debate last week, head of Thailand national Human Rights Commission, Ms. Amara Pongsapitch, said that the Redshirts protesters in 2010 were rural folk who don′t know anything about human rights. The commission is under pressure from a public, that mostly see the commission as serving the Thai elite establishment. For example, Secretary of Student Federation of Thailand (SFT) and 20 other students gathered at the government complex on Chaengwattana Road this morning to protest against the commission. The group charged that the report from NHRC about the military crackdown on the Redshirts protesters in 2010 was distorted and biased. Mr. Suphat Asasri, the secretary-general of the SFT, said that the report implied that that the government under then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva could rightfully use the military force against the protesters. They also criticised how the committee members were chosen by the junta-backed government in the wake of the military coup in September 2006. “Obviously, they are obstructing the progress of democracy in Thailand,” Mr. Suphat said. Mr. Suphat continued, “The work of the NHRC is widely unacceptable because they apply double standard.  We are asking the committee to resign, and we would like the next committee board to come from a public election.” After a while, Mr. Khanchai Konsane, the secretary of the NHRC, came out to meet the protesters. The group then read their statement before tearing the report on 2010 unrest to pieces.  The student also performed a short skit depicting how the military personnel shot dead civilians in 2010 before dispersing peacefully. “It seems like the report from NHRC killed those deaths twice” said one of the protesters explained during the skit. Some of the banners proclaim that “The National Committee Protecting the Privileges Rights”, “Quit NHRC! You abused the dead” and “What are they telling us? NHRC knows nothing about Human Rights” – the last one is a reference to the remark of Ms. Amara Pongsapitch, the chairwoman of the NHRC. (Source)

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