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By Kornkritch Somjittranukit |
<div> <div>Despite its efforts to regain mass support, the junta is facing a backlash for cracking down on anti-power plant protesters and a series of ham-fisted statements.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Southerners used to play an active role in the anti-election movement, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), that paved the way for the 2014 coup.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>However, over the past three years, the ruling junta has put in place various policies that have affected the livelihood of southerners, such as regulations on fishing and plans for coal-fired power plan </div></div>
<div> <div>The Thai cabinet has passed a bill allowing courts to try cases where the defendant is absent. A human rights lawyer argues that the measure aims to facilitate the prosecution of fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 13 September 2016, the cabinet approved a bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Code. </div></div>
<div> <div>The Justice Minister has justified the use of shackles on student activists, asking rights defenders what would they do if unshackled prisoners escape, while a junta spokesperson said the use of shackles depended on officials’ personal discretion. &nbsp;&nbsp;</div> </div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Although the seven activists from the New Democracy Movement were already released, they have left criticism against Thailand’s justice system as the pictures of them being shackled by chain were widely spread throughout the media. </div>
<div> <div>After shutting down red-shirt referendum watch centres, the junta has established its own nationwide system for the sake of a supposedly ‘peaceful, clean, fair, independent, and unbiased’ referendum while a red shirt leader said the junta’s centres were aimed at dictating the referendum result.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On Sunday, 3 July 2016, Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the junta spokesperson, said that the NCPO had launched ‘Peace and Order Centres’ across the country on 1 July, aimed at helping the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) facilitate the August charter draft refer </div></div>
<p>The Thai junta expressed reluctance about holding a public referendum for the new draft constitution, saying that it could lead to confrontations and political trouble. &nbsp;</p> <p>According to the&nbsp;<a href="">Thai News Agency</a>, Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, the deputy spokesperson of the Prime Minister’s Officer, on Thursday told the media that the government has to weigh the decision whether to hold a public referendum on the draft constitution carefully because it might stir up political turmoil. &nbsp;</p>
<p>In a bid to control communication in Thailand, the Thai junta has approved a plan to force all free Wi-Fi and prepaid phone users to register, claiming national security.</p> <p>Takorn Tantasith, the Secretary General of the&nbsp;<a href="">National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)</a>, revealed on Wednesday that the junta’s cabinet has approved an NBCT proposal to make the registration of pre-paid phone users and free Wi-Fi users the nation’s top priority. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
<p>The Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation officially approved the use of snipers during its crackdown on the red shirts in 2010, according to one of its own classified documents, despite the Army Chief&rsquo;s recent &lsquo;no snipers&rsquo; claim.</p>
<p>On 15 Nov, Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, former spokesperson for the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation, testified to police investigators on the deaths of 16 people allegedly killed by military troops during the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April and May last year. </p>
<p>On 27 June, Army spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd held a press conference at the Royal Thai Army Headquarters in response to media reports concerning an <a href="">article</a> written by an army officer about the crackdown on the red shirts in April and May last year.</p>
<p>A Chulalongkorn University lecturer has withdrawn his court case over the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation&rsquo;s &lsquo;Lom Chao&rsquo; (overthrowing the monarchy) chart after the CRES spokesperson told the court that people whose names appeared on it were not meant to be part of a conspiracy.</p>
<p>On 26 April, Thai army spokesperson Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd spoke on a Channel 3 news programme about military clashes on the Thai-Cambodian border in Surin, saying that the Thai army was not on the defensive, and it hit back harder every time Cambodian troops fired at Thai soldiers.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p>
By Pravit Rojanaphruk, The Nation |
<p>The military should withdraw armed soldiers from BTS Skytrain and MRT subway stations and lift immediately the emergency decree which has been imposed for nearly six months. The prolonged decree and soldiers' presence is militarising Thai society and creating fear among those who oppose the government, said Patchanee Kumnak, a committee member of Social Move, a fringe group of Thai leftists.</p>