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Thaksin invite creates a stir

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News that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been invited to the US for a talk on human rights is creating a big reaction here in Thailand. 

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Ministry hatches scheme for Thaksin's extradition

Attorney General needs to back request to US

Anucha Charoenpo
Aekarach Sattaburuth

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra

Thailand is setting the wheels in motion to pounce on Thaksin Shinawatra should he travel to the US to appear next week before a human rights commission.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry says it will seek the help of Washington to extradite the ousted prime minister if he turns up in the US.

Deputy spokesman for foreign affairs Thani Thongpakdi said yesterday it was very possible a request for Thaksin's return would be put to Washington as the two countries have an extradition treaty signed in 1983.

The process has to start with the Office of the Attorney-General which has not yet revealed its position.

"The Foreign Ministry is ready to use diplomatic channels to submit a request for the extradition of former prime minister Thaksin [to the US] once the Office of the Attorney-General signs the request and passes it on to us," Mr Thani said.

Thaksin, who was toppled by a coup in 2006, faces several outstanding charges. He was also convicted and sentenced in his absence to two years in prison by the Supreme Court for conflict of interest in relation to his consent for his then-wife to purchase a large block of land from a government agency.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe wrote to Thaksin on Nov23 to invite him to address a forum titled "Thailand: Democracy, Governance and Human Rights" in Washington on Dec 16. The commission asked him in the invitation to give his perspective on the human rights situation in Thailand including freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and the Thai government's efforts to calm the insurgency in the South.

The commission, set up to promote human rights, democracy and military cooperation, is made up of nine members from the Senate, nine from the House of Representatives and one member each from the departments of State, Defence and Commerce.

Mr Thani said the Foreign Affairs Ministry was not worried about the address to be given by Thaksin at the forum because it kept updating both the US government and Congress on the situation in Thailand. Thai ambassador to the US Kittipong na Ranong was also ready to rebut Thaksin if he wrongly criticised Thailand.

Thaksin's adviser, Noppadon Pattama, confirmed the former prime minister would go to the US, saying he would give his perspective on human rights violations in Thailand, especially the military dispersal of the red shirt protests in April and May which resulted in the deaths of 92 people and more than 1,400 being injured.

He would also raise problems of the lack of press freedom in Thailand under the emergency decree.

Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd yesterday shrugged off what Thaksin might say about the dispersal of the protests by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.

"He can do whatever he wants," Col Sansern said. "He has the right to give his account of events. But we have been confident all along that there were no human rights violations. Most people here and other countries know that.

"The clashes at the rally were due to the fact that the protest went beyond the law and authorities were bound by the law to carry out their duty, which did not violate human rights."

Human rights defenders in Thailand questioned the US commission's motives.

Angkhana Neelapaijit, chairwoman of the Working Group on Justice and Peace, said the commission should invite local human rights defenders, government agents involved and victims of human rights violations to take part in the forum to counter Thaksin's statement to provide fair and balanced information.

Thaksin has been accused of ordering the drugs war in 2003 in which over 2,600 drugs suspects were killed, and of overseeing the escalation of violence in the deep South since 2004 that has claimed about 4,000 lives.

stir – a lot of interest or excitement ความตื่นเต้น
hatch – to plan something new คิดวางแผน
scheme – a plan for achieving something แผนการ
extradition – sending someone accused of a crime back to the country where the crime was committed for trial or punishment  การส่งผู้ร้ายข้ามแดน
Attorney-General – the top legal officer in some countries, who advises the leader of the government อัยการสูงสุด
back – to support สนับสนุน
set the wheels in motion – to start something happening เริ่มต้น เริ่มทำ
pounce – to quickly jump on or hold someone or something มีปฎิกิริยาอย่างรวดเร็ว, กระโจน
appear – to go somewhere officially because you are involved in something, such as a trial or inquiry ปรากฏตัวอย่างเป็นทางการ
commission – a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
ousted – forced out of a position of power ขับออกจากอำนาจ
treaty – a written agreement between two or more countries formally approved and signed by their leaders ข้อตกลง, สนธิสัญญา
reveal – to let something become known เปิดเผย
diplomatic – relating to relations between countries เกี่ยวกับการทูต
channel – a way of communicating with people or getting something done ช่องทาง
submit – to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
topple – to make someone in power to lose their power  โค่นอำนาจ
coup (d’etat) – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
outstanding – not yet done, solved, etc  ยังคงเป็นอยู่,ยังไม่ยุติ
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
convicted – having been proven guilty of a crime by a court of law ได้รับการพิสูจน์ว่ามีความผิดจริง
sentence – (of a court of law) to give a punishment ลงโทษ
conflict of interest – a situation in which someone cannot make a fair decision because they will be affected by the results ผลประโยชน์ทับซ้อน
consent – to give permission to do something ยอมให้ทำ, อนุญาต
block – an area of land for building a house, etc. on
address – to speak publicly to a group of people  กล่าวปราศรัย
forum – a place where people can express their ideas and opinions การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น
governance – the activity of governing a country or controlling a company or an organization; the way in which a country is governed or a company or institution is controlled  วิธีการปกครอง
perspective – a particular way of considering something ทัศนคติ
expression – things that people say, write or do in order to show their feelings, opinions and ideas การแสดงความคิด, การแสดงออก
calm – to cause to be peaceful ทำให้สงบ
insurgency – an attempt by a group of people to take control of their country or the area where they live by force การจลาจล
cooperation – a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them  การร่วมมือกัน
update – to give the most recent information or news about something ให้ข้อมูลใหม่ๆ
ambassador – a senior official who lives in a foreign country and represents his or her own country there เอกอัครราชทูต
rebut – to show or say that something is not true โต้แย้ง, โต้ตอบ
violation – an action that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc.  การฝ่าฝืนกฎหมาย
dispersal – (of a crowd of people) the process of causing to separate and leave in different directions  การสลายฝูงชน
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
resolution – solving a problem, or to finding a satisfactory way of dealing with it  การแก้ไขปัญหา
shrug off – to show that something does not worry or upset you ไม่เอาใจใส่, ไม่สนใจ
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
account – a spoken or written report about something that has happened  รายงานข่าว
confident – being certain of your abilities or of having trust in people, plans, or the future มั่นใจ
clash – a brief fight between two or more people การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
bound – forced to do something by law, duty or a particular situation ถูกผูกมัด
defender – a person who says things in support of someone or something ผู้ปกป้อง
motive – a reason for doing something แรงจูงใจ เหตุผล
victims – people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc.
counter – to reply to a criticism or statement that you disagree with ตอบโต้
balanced – considering all arguments, opinions, or aspects fairly and equally ซึ่งไม่ลำเอียง, ซึ่งเที่ยงตรง
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
oversee – to watch or organise a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly คุมงาน,ควบคุม
escalation – becoming much worse or more serious, or to making something do this การทำให้เลวร้ายลง
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
claim lives – to kill people

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