Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New red-shirt village in Songkhla met with fire

A roadside pavilion at a newly-established red-shirt village in Songkhla's Chana district has been torched in the latest show of local disapproval of red zones.
Relatives of prisoners charged under the lese majeste law and red shirt activists gather in front of Government House to demand the government amend the law.
Police were alerted to the fire in front of the house of Adeenan Buhas in tambon Kae about 2am yesterday.
The fire broke out just hours after Tida Tawornseth, chairwoman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), presided over a ceremony celebrating the establishment of the red-shirt village at the same pavilion.
The UDD claimed the aim of establishing the red-shirt village was to promote democracy and people's participation in government policy.

Ms Tida condemned those who started the fire and said she suspected a political party was behind protests against the red-shirt movement in the southern provinces.But the move has angered many people in Songkhla province, where at least 10 villages have been set up in three tambons.
"The red-shirt village has been set up with support and consent from local villagers. This act of arson won't scare us away, but will backfire on those who were behind it," she said.
Democrat MP for Songkhla Sirichok Sopha yesterday said the Pheu Thai government should stop backing the establishment of red-shirt villages as it would fuel conflict in society.
He also wondered if the government was spending money from the state budget to support this red shirt activity.
Meanwhile, some 15 relatives of victims of the April-May 2010 political clashes yesterday turned up at a meeting of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission (TRC), urging it to push for fair and speedy compensation.
Sommat Chuaypimai, whose son went missing during the 2010 red-shirt protests, said she had visited many state agencies, including the Royal Thai Police and the Prime Minister's Office, but none cared enough to search for her son.
Avillage pavilion in Chana district of Songkhla province was set on fire and destroyed early yesterday. The pavilion is in Khae Nua village, which has been recently unveiledasared-shirt village. Police are investigating. WICHAYANTBOONCHOTE
A 45-year-old woman, who gave only her first name as Salee, said her daughter, Rattana, went missing after the clashes at Kok Wua intersection on April 10, 2010. Ms Salee herself was injured and is seeking compensation.
Ms Salee said she also contacted several agencies, including the Pheu Thai Party and the UDD coordination centre, but there has been no progress in the case of her daughter's disappearance.
Other relatives have complained about unclear compensation criteria.
Under its 2 billion baht compensation scheme, the government will pay families of those killed 7.5 million baht, 4.5 million for disabilities, 1.125 million for severe injuries and 675,000 for moderate injuries.
The government said it would start the compensation payouts today.
Kanit na Nakorn, TRC chairman, said the government should not place the burden of proof on claimants, who are required to verify how they were affected to get the compensation.
He also said a government's condition that eligible recipients must drop civil lawsuits against the government is wrong.
Suing the government and receiving compensation were separate issues and people had the right to pursue both options, he said.
Human Rights Watch yesterday called for full disclosure of those culpable for the deaths during the 2010 political violence.
"Despite well-documented atrocities that took place in the full view of cameras and witnesses, no Thai soldier or official has been held accountable," Brad Adams, Asia director for the New York-based group, said. "The Yingluck government came to power promising justice to victims of political violence. It should resist pressures to engage in a whitewash," Mr Adams said.
He added that current efforts to pass an amnesty law for serious abuses committed by government forces and armed protesters would be an affront to victims.