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By Thanapat Pekanan |
Can the return of exiled politicians ignite hope for Thai democracy and reshape its political landscape? Thanapat Pekanan argues that Jakrapob Penkair, who recently returned to Thailand after 15 years in exile, could pave the way for the return of political refugees if he could reconcile with the establishment and ensure that the plight of those prosecuted by the royal defamation law is addressed.
By Prachatai |
Jakrapob Penkair, a former Thai Rak Thai MP and Red Shirt leader, has returned to Thailand after 15 years in exile.
<p dir="ltr">The veteran politician, closed-aid to ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra has lived in self-imposed exile for 6 years. In part 3 of the interview, Jakrapob Penkair talked about the conflicts among the Thai elites within the junta regime, the role of Pheu Thai Party, and his life outside the country.</p> <p></p>
<div>The veteran politician, closed-aid to ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra has lived in self-imposed exile for 6 years. In Part 2 of the interview, Jakrapob Penkair discussed the alleged violence of the red-shirt movement and prospect of Thai politics after the coup.&nbsp;</div> <p></p>
<div>Although Jakrapob Penkair may have disappeared from the Thai political scene many years ago, his name still resounds. This confirms his status as a 'political man' whose latest achievement is to co-found 'Seri Thai'--an organisation whose mandate is to fight the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) from outside the country. It is the task which has prompted another round of surveillance on him by the authorities.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Jakrapob has led a life of a great variety. </div>
<div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href=";section=00">Khaosod English</a> reported Tuesday: &nbsp;The ultra-nationalist Thai newspape ASTV Manager has published a "mock column" describing in graphic detail of how prisoners will gang-rape a fugitive anti-coup LGBT activist when she is finally arrested.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Published under the newspaper’s parody section, known as"Phujadkuan," the mock article describes how the the military junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will arrest and send the transgender LGBT and pro-demo </div>
<div>&nbsp;</div> <div> <div>A month after the coup, the first anti-junta group was set up on Tuesday. </div></div>
<p>Jakrapob Penkair, former minister under the Thaksin government and a red-shirt leader, has fled Thailand and been in exile after the Abhisit government's first crackdown on the red-shirt movement in April 2009.&nbsp; He was interviewed by Prachatai's special reporter on 31 May this year.</p>
<p>On 1 May, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk testified to the court that &lsquo;Jitr Pollachan&rsquo; was the penname of Jakrapop Penkair who wrote two articles which brought l&egrave;se majest&eacute; charges down on him.</p>
<p>In a cabinet meeting on 15 June, ICT Minister Chuti Krairoek reported about websites containing l&egrave;se majest&eacute; contents. He said that Jakrapob Penkair and Giles Ungpakorn are still active in conveying information through websites in Europe. Meanwhile, the Ministry of ICT found a group of 200 people that constantly posts LM messages online, which is against the law.</p> <p>Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has urged ICT Minister Chuti to negotiate with the people related to the websites according to the National Reconcilation Roadmap.</p>
<div>In his column in the latest issue of Red Weekly on 14 Aug 2009, Jakrapob Penkair criticizes some leaders of the Democracy movement, but without naming names.&nbsp;However, when he fled the country during the Songkran incident, it was reported that his split up from other leaders was not amicable.</div>