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Pattaya Daily News

13 December 2010 :: 12:12:28 pm 47580

CSCE postpones meeting; Thaksin continues to gather information on human rights violations

BANGKOK, Dec 12 – Thailand’s ousted and fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has postponed his visit to the United States to testify to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), earlier scheduled in Washington this Thursday, on alleged human rights violations in Thailand after the agency postponed its session until next month, Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin’s legal advisor, said Sunday.
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Mr Noppadon told a press conference that he spoke with Mr Thaksin by telephone last night that the CSCE, also known as the US Helsinki Commission, had postponed its meeting for a few weeks as the US Congress had elected new members which might cause changes of some commission members.

Mr Thaksin is said to have said that postponement of the hearing would allow him ample time to seek a visa to the US and gather more evidence on human rights violations during Thailand’s political turbulence in April and May.

As many as 91 people were killed and more than 1,900 wounded during the confrontation between security personnel and the ‘Red Shirt’ protesters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

Mr Noppadon quoted Mr Thaksin as saying he was confident that once the truth is revealed to the public, social divisiveness in Thailand could be healed and national reconciliation restored.

In 2008, Mr Thaksin was sentenced in absentia to two years imprisonment for abusing power to facilitate a land purchase deal in Bangkok by his then wife from the Thai state.

Meanwhile, ‘Yellow Shirt’ politician Suriyasai Katasila, said he did not understand why the CSCE invited Mr Thaksin to brief its commissioners on the March-May Bangkok confrontations when the US agency’s mandate is limited to European affairs.

As secretary-general of the New Politics Party, the party which sprang from the ‘Yellow Shirt’ People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the UDD Red Shirts’ arch rival, and comprised of veteran Yellow Shirt activists, Mr Suriyasai said thousands of people were killed in human rights abuses such as Mr Thaksin’s so-called war on drugs when he was in power.

“The US must answer why Mr Thaksin has been invited and on what capacity,” Mr Suriyasai said. “The US knows fully well that Thaksin was behind the demonstrations of the Red Shirt people.”

He urged the Thai government urgently strip the police rank of Mr Thaksin, a retired police lieutenant-colonel, as demanded by the public a long time ago. Although ousted in a bloodless coup in September 2006, Mr Thaksin has not had his police rank removed.

Reporter : Warina Punyawan   Category : Politics News

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