Amnesty bill & protest (UPDATE #4)

Amnesty bill & protest (UPDATE #4)

House deliberation of amnesty bill starts at 1pm with plans to pass first reading by 11pm. March to parliament called off after police opposition.

From left: Banyat Banthathan, Abhisit Vejjajiva and Chuan Leekpai lead supporters in a protest walk to parliament on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Update #4: Deliberation of amnesty bill resumes

The House of Representatives has begun to deliberate the amnesty bill proposed by Pheu Thai MP Worachai Hema for the second day.

MPs of all parties were in attendance when the debate resumed. Security was still tight, although there were no protesters gathering outside parliament.

Before the meeting began, Mr Worachai said he believed his bill would pass its first reading by 6pm on Thursday.

The Democrat Party is vowing to resume its mass rally once a government-sponsored amnesty bill reaches its third reading.

Thailand's stocks are falling at the fastest pace in Asia as parliament debates on an amnesty bill spurred protests in Bangkok and threatened to delay the country's biggest-ever infrastructure spending plan.

The SET Index, which rose 328% from October 2008 to this year's high on May 21, has since dropped 13%. Stock swings have almost tripled in the past six months while trading volumes fell 52%, the most among 45 emerging and developed markets.

Debate over the Pheu Thai Party's amnesty bill may delay approval of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's two trillion baht plan to build high-speed trains and highways.

Update #3: Petitions against ISA, rally rejected

The Constitution Court on Wednesday refused to accept for consideration a petition asking it to order the lifting of the Internal Security Act and to rule whether the cabinet had violated Section 68 of the charter by imposing the ISA in three Bangkok districts from Aug 1-10.

The petition also asked the court to ban the prime minister and cabinet members from politics for five years and dissolve the Pheu Thai and other coalition parties for the imposition of the ISA.

The court rejected the case, ruling that the cabinet had acted lawfully.

The Constitution Court also rejected a petition filed by Malairak Thongchai, core member of the People's Radio Media for Democracy, that it rule whether the People's Force for Democracy to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) had broken the constitution by planning to lay siege to parliament on Aug 7, and to order Pefot to call off its protest rally.

The court ruled that Pefot had exercised rights under the constitution to stage a peaceful rally and had not violated Section 68 of the charter.

Update #2: Five people were arrested on Wednesday for violating the Internal Security Act (ISA) by trying to break through a police cordon into a restricted area, the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) announced.

Police will remain in their current positions to ensure the security of parliament. Five roads in the vicinity of parliament will remain closed. 

After most of the Democrat supporters dispersed, about 200 continued to gather at the Ratchawithi intersection and some tried to provoke police into taking action, and to break through the police cordon into the restricted area.

Five of them were arrested and taken to Region 1 Border Patrol Police headquarters in Pathum Thani for detention and questioning.

About 400 protesters of the People's Force for Democracy to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) were still encamped at Lumpini Park peacefully and had not moved to anywhere.

Update #1: Democrat supporters disperse

The Democrat Party leaders decided to tell their supporters to disperse and return home after police refused to allow them to march beyond Ratchawithi intersection and accompany their MPs to the parliament.

The decision was made  about 12.10pm and Democrat MPs proceeded to parliament to attend the House meeting, which was scheduled to begin at 1pm.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Surat Thani MP Suthep Thaugsuban thanked them and asked them to go home.

Mr Suthep said the party still had a long battle to fight and promised to continue to be on the people's side.


Protesters marching to parliament


Online Reporters

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Wednesday morning led around 2,000 people in a peaceful march to parliament in protest against the amnesty bill.

The main opposition party’s advisory chairman Chuan Leekpai, former party leader Banyat Bantathan and former party secretary-general Suthep Thuagsuban were among the party’s core members joining the march.

The amnesty bill protesters planned to walk from Urupong intersection to Rama VI, past Ramathibordee Hospital to the Tuk Chai intersection, then past Dusit Zoo and onto the parliament building compound

Democrat MPs insisted before the walk began that if they come to a point where barriers are set up, they would negotiate to try to get through, but would tell their supporters to accept it and disperse if their requests were rejected

Mr Abhisit said before the march that his party and its supporters oppose the parliamentary deliberation of the amnesty bill, because it is a law that would destroy the country’s legal system.

The amnesty bill, to be introduced in its first reading to the House of Representatives at 1pm Wednesday, is aimed at whitewashing people who have violated human rights, he added, warning that any move to pass the law could lead to violence.

“I want Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to call off the plan to table the amnesty law to the House meeting for consideration today. If she does this, everything will end.

“The premier should instead open a stage for discussions involving all parties to discuss ways to move the country forward.

“She should also step in to hold talks with all sides because the current political conflict is caused by the efforts to push ahead with the amnesty bill, not because of a failure of political development. Therefore, political reform is not the solution,” he said.

Around 50 Democrat Party MPs, including Mr Abhisit, spoke last night at a "Stage of Truth'' rally at Urupong intersection in Bangkok. Around 2,500 supporters turned out.

At another rally site, in front of Lumpini Park, the People's Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) showed no signs of readiness to move to the parliament by mid-morning Wednesday. 

Pefot coordinator Thaikorn Polsuwan said Wednesday morning that the group would first observe the movements of police along possible routes to parliament.

The amnesty bill proposed by Pheu Thai MP for Samut Prakan Worachai Hema should be passed in its first reading with at least 299 votes, chief whip Amnuay Klangpha said on Wednesday.

Mr Amnuay said whips had been coordinating with coalition parties to make sure all government MPs attend the House meeting to consider the bill.

The meeting is set to start at 1pm.

He said he expected the bill to sail through its first reading with at least 299 votes by 11pm tonight.

Security officers are stationed along the road leading towards parliament. (Photo by Thanarak Khoonton)

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  • accompany: to go with someone - ไปกับ,ไปด้วยกัน,ไปเป็นเพื่อน
  • advisory: having the role of giving professional advice - ที่เกี่ยวกับการให้คำปรึกษา
  • amnesty: a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime - การนิรโทษกรรม
  • arrest: (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime - การจับกุม
  • attend: to go to an event, such as a meeting, a show, a sports competition, etc. - เข้าร่วม (ในการประชุม, งานต่าง)
  • barrier: a bar or gate that stops people, animals or vehicles from entering a place - สิ่งกีดขวางทางผ่าน
  • bill: a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย
  • break through: to successfully deal with something that is stopping you making progress; to force your way through something that is stopping you from moving forward - กระทำที่ทำให้อุปสรรคหมดไป; ฝ่าเข้าไป, บุกเข้าไปในแนวเขตของคู่ต่อสู้, เอาชนะให้ได้
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • cabinet members: the group of government ministers (or department heads in the US) that made and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • call off: to decide to stop something that is already happening; to decide that something will not happen - บอกเลิก
  • charter: a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ
  • coalition parties: the political parties making up the government - พรรคร่วมรัฐบาล
  • compound: an area in which a group of buildings stands - บริเวณ
  • conflict: an angry disagreement between people or groups - ความขัดแย้ง
  • consideration: giving careful thought to something before making a decision - การคิดพิจารณา
  • Constitution Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • cordon (noun): a line of people, especially police officers or soldiers, or some kind of barrier that stops other people from going somewhere - แถวของตำรวจที่มาปิดล้อม, สิ่งกีดขวาง
  • core: the most active or most important members of a group - แกนนำ
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • debate: a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject - การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
  • deliberate: to consider carefully, usually before making a decision - พิจารณา, ตรึกตรอง
  • deliberation: considering or discussing something - การปรึกษาหารือ
  • detention (noun): forced to stay in a place - การกักตัว
  • discussion: conversation; talk - การสนทนา, การอภิปราย
  • disperse: (of a crowd of people) to separate and leave in different directions  - สลายฝูงชน
  • dissolved: (of a group) ended - ยุบ (พรรค)
  • effort: an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม
  • encamped: have set up a camp - ตั้งค่าย, พักอยู่ในค่าย
  • ensure: to make certain that something happens or is done - ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
  • exercise your rights: to use your power or rights - ใช้สิทธิ
  • former: of or in an earlier time; before the present time or in the past - อดีต, แต่ก่อน
  • House: House of Representatives - สภา
  • House of Representatives: the main lawmaking body in Thailand - สภาผู้แทนราษฎร
  • human rights: the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน
  • impose: to introduce something and force people to accept it - กำหนด,บังคับใช้
  • imposition: the introduction of something such as a new law or new system and require people to accept it - การกำหนด
  • in attendance: to be present at an event -
  • in the opposition: of a political party that is outside the government and opposing it - ฝ่ายค้าน
  • index: a number that shows the price, value, or level of something compared with something else - ดัชนี
  • infrastructure: the set of systems within a place or organisation that affect how well it operates, for example the transport and communication systems in a country - ระบบสาํธารนูปโภค
  • insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
  • Internal Security Act (ISA): a special law which allows the country's top security agency, the Internal Security Operations Command, to impose curfews, operate checkpoints and restrict the movement of demonstrators Under the act, the military has the authority to search protesters for weapons and use force in case of any violence. - พรบ.ความมั่นคง
  • intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
  • lay siege to: to surround a place and prevent people or supplies from getting in or out - ห้อมล้อม ล้อมปิด
  • legal: relating to the law or lawyers - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
  • lift: to end a warning, a restriction, etc. - ยกเลิก
  • march (noun): a walk by a large group of people to a place to protest about something - เดินแถว, เดินขบวน
  • mass: large numbers - จำนวนมหาศาล
  • media: newspapers, television, radio, etc. - สื่อ
  • member: a person, a country or an organization that has joined a particular group, club or team - สมาชิก
  • negotiate: to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง
  • oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
  • overthrow: to force a leader or government out of power - ขับไล่ออกจากอำนาจ
  • pace (noun): speed -
  • parliament: the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา
  • party: an organized group of people who have similar ideas about the way in which a country should be governed, and who work together to try to persuade people to vote for them in elections - พรรค การเมือง
  • party (noun): one of the people or groups of people involved in a situation, an official argument or arrangement - คู่กรณี
  • pass a bill into law: to make a law proposed in a bill into a law -
  • pass a law (verb): when most of parliament votes for a proposed law (bill) and makes it into a law -
  • peaceful (adj): calm and quiet and not involving any violence - สงบ, ซึ่งมีระเบียบ, เงียบสงบ
  • petition: a request of someone in authority to do something - คำร้อง
  • premier (noun): prime minister - นายกรัฐมนตรี
  • proceed: to move or travel in a particular direction - เดินทางไปยัง
  • propose: to suggest an idea for a group to consider - เสนอ
  • protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
  • protest: a strong complaint or disagreement - การประท้วง
  • protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
  • provoke: to cause an angry or aggressive reaction - ปลุกเร้า
  • push ahead with (verb): do something with force that is difficult or that people are opposing -
  • question (verb): when the police asks a person questions in the investigation of a crime -
  • rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
  • reading of a bill: one of many times a law is read in front of parliament and voted on and debated, before being passed into law -
  • refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
  • reject: to not accept something - ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
  • remain: to still be present after the other parts have been removed, used, etc; to continue to exist - ยังเหลืออยู่
  • request: an act of asking for something in a formal or polite way - การขอร้อง
  • restricted: intended only for people who have been given special permission - ที่จำกัด
  • resume: to begin again after stopping for a period of time - ดำเนินต่อไปใหม่, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
  • rule: (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision - ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด
  • scheduled: planned to happen at a particular time or day - ตามตารางเวลา
  • security: a feeling of confidence and safety, or a situation in which you can feel confident and safe - ความมั่นคง, เสถียรภาพ
  • security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
  • set the stage for; pave the way: to make something possible or easier to be done - ปูทางไว้สำหรับ
  • set up: to create something or start it - ตั้งขึ้น
  • sponsor: to support a person, organization or activity by giving money, encouragement or other help - อุปถัมภ์, สนับสนุน
  • spur: to cause something to happen - ก่อให้เกิด 
  • step in (verb): intervene in a situation; mediate - เป็นผู้ไกล่เกลี่ย, เป็นสื่อกลาง, ไกล่เกลี่ย
  • supporter (noun): a person who helps and supports a person, organization or idea - ผู้สนับสนุน
  • table a bill (verb): propose a new law for discussion and possibly voting into law -
  • threaten: to put at risk; to put in danger - ทำให้ตกอยู่ในความเสี่ยง
  • trading: the activity of buying and selling things - การซื้อขาย, การค้าขาย
  • transformer: a piece of equipment that changes the voltage of a flow of electricity - หม้อแปลง
  • vicinity: an area near a particular place - บริเวณใกลเคียง
  • violate: to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
  • violate: to do something that is against the law - ละเมิดกฏหมาย
  • violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย
  • volume (noun): an amount of something - ปริมาณ
  • vow: a serious promise - สาบาน
  • warn: to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน
  • whitewash: to try to stop people from discovering the true facts about something, in order to prevent someone in authority from being criticised - ปกปิดสิ่งไม่ดี
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