Thai PM slams agencies for abusing power

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday heated up the ongoing confrontation between the government - backed by its MPs and supporters - and the Constitutional Court. In an unprecedented action, she assailed independent agencies, accusing them of abusing their power.

The PM has never publicly made such strong remarks against coup leaders or independent agencies.

Yingluck said Thailand had headed downwards after her brother, ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra, was overthrown in a military coup in September 2006.

"Thailand lost track and the people spent almost a decade regaining their democratic freedom," she said in her speech at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

The prime minister said she had raised the matter for the benefit of the country, and not just her family.

"Many who don't know me say, 'Why complain?' It is a normal process that governments come and go. And if my family and I were the only ones suffering, I might just let it be. But it is not," Yingluck said.

"Thailand suffered a setback and lost international credibility. Rule of law in the country was destroyed. Projects and programmes started by my brother's government that came from the people's wishes were removed. The people felt their rights and liberties were wrongly taken away," she said. Yingluck also said that despite her political party's election victory in 2011, "it is clear that elements of the anti-democratic regime still exist. The new Constitution, drafted under the post-coup government, put in mechanisms to restrict democracy."

She pointed her finger at independent agencies. "The so-called independent agencies have abused the power that should belong to the people, for the benefit of the few rather than for Thai society at large," she said.

Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday said Yingluck should clarify her roles as Thaksin's sister and Thailand's prime minister.

"She should clearly distinguish her roles as a sister and the prime minister. She may feel sorry for her brother being overthrown from power, but that's a personal matter. It is also not right to defend her brother, who is a fugitive wanted by the Thai authorities," said Democrat Party chief Abhisit.

He said Yingluck omitted the fact that Thaksin violated the law and she failed to mention the good points of the post-coup 2007 Constitution. He added that the PM also tried to mislead people about problems in Thailand, including the provocation by protesters rallying in front of the Constitutional Court office that were spreading inaccurate information.

Meanwhile, tension rose at Thailand's Constitutional Court yesterday as a group of demonstrators appeared in support of the court's judges, in opposition to a red-shirt group that has been rallying for nine consecutive days demanding the judges resign.

About 100 members of the Motherland Protection Organisation and Network came to the Constitutional Court to provide moral support to the nine judges.

The demonstrations were led by Wirat Ratanachart and Wanthongchai Chamnarnkit.

The group arrived at the court from the back of the Ratchaburi Direkrit Building, which is the office of the Constitutional Court inside the Government Complex, to avoid conflict with the red-shirt group protesting against the court in front of the complex. Wirat read from the statement that his group wanted to encourage the nine judges to continue working to defend justice so the community could bank on them.

The Pro-Democracy People's Radio Group, on the other hand, insisted the nine judges must resign immediately. The group, led by Pongpisit Kongsena, has been camping in front of Government Complex for nine days after the court agreed to review the constitutionality of the bill to amend Article 68. The amendment would prohibit the Constitutional Court from receiving petitions from the public directly, requiring petitions to be channelled through the attorney-general.

Pongpisit said the protest would continue until the nine judges resigned. He said his group would today campaign for Thais to wear black shirts with the words "shameful judges" printed on them.

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 3 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 4 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 11 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.