Senators lash PM over speech
A group of 58 senators has called on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to apologise to the public over her controversial speech in Mongolia.
- Published: 3/05/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra sits with Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj after her speech to the democracy forum at Ulan Bator on Monday. (Reuters photo)
They will also ask her to explain the issue to four Senate panels _ committees on foreign affairs; religious affairs, morals and ethics; human rights, freedom and consumer protection; and a committee monitoring corruption and building good governance.
The group of senators are led by Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn, MR Wuthilert Devakula and Keerana Sumawong.
The group said Ms Yingluck's speech was misleading and had created divisions in society.
Ms Yingluck told a democracy conference in Mongolia on Monday that anti-democratic regime elements still exist in Thailand.
She said the 2006 coup had derailed democracy in Thailand and overthrown the government of her brother Thaksin _ who was the elected prime minister at the time.
Ms Yingluck also criticised independent organisations set up by the military-backed 2007 constitution. She said the organisations abused their authority against the will of the people.
The military-sponsored constitution, drafted after the 2006 coup, contains mechanisms which restrict public rights and freedoms, she said.
The senators yesterday said her speech was inappropriate and has political implications given that the government is pushing for charter amendments and amnesty bills, which have been viewed by some as an attempt to exonerate Thaksin and red-shirt leaders.
The government MPs are also challenging the authority of the Constitution Court, which recently accepted a senator's petition against the charter amendment for consideration, they said.
Democrat list-MP and spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said yesterday the party had sent a letter to the Mongolian president to dispute the content of Ms Yingluck's speech.
He said the letter points out that corruption and interference in independent organisations and other alleged abuses of authority were widespread during the Thaksin administration.
Mr Chavanond said Thaksin created conditions that led to confrontation between people before the military stepped in to stage a coup.
The letter also provides information about the prosecution of Thaksin, who was sentenced to two years in jail for conflict of interest over the purchase of state land by his ex-wife in Bangkok a decade ago.
The letter also explained that a court has ruled that the red-shirt demonstration at Ratchaprasong intersection in 2010 violated the constitution and the rights of other people. Ms Yingluck was also among the red-shirt protesters at the time, Mr Chavanond alleged.
Meanwhile, more than 100 red shirts yesterday gathered at the head office of the Thai Rath daily newspaper on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and laid wreaths in protest against the newspaper's cartoonist Somchai Katanyutanan, alias "Chai Ratchawat", for a Facebook comment which they said insulted Ms Yingluck.
Somchai posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday: "Prostitutes are not evil. They just sell their body. But an evil woman sells the nation."
About 100 red-shirt protesters gather at the Thai Rath daily newspaper on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road to protest against its cartoonist Somchai Katanyutanan, alias ‘Chai Ratchawat’, for comments he posted on his Facebook page about Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday. PAWAT LAUPISARNTAKSIN
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- Writer: Post Reporters
- Position: Reporters