Former red-shirt leader seeks new probe into 2010 political deaths

Former red-shirt leader seeks new probe into 2010 political deaths

Dr Weng Tojirakarn, former co-leader of the  red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, and relatives of those killed during the 2010 political violence arrive at Pheu Thai Party headquarters on Tuesday to submit an open letter calling 
for an independent committee to reinvestigate all the deaths. (Photo: Dr Weng Tojirakarn Facebook)
Dr Weng Tojirakarn, former co-leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, and relatives of those killed during the 2010 political violence arrive at Pheu Thai Party headquarters on Tuesday to submit an open letter calling for an independent committee to reinvestigate all the deaths. (Photo: Dr Weng Tojirakarn Facebook)

A former co-leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) has called upon the ruling Pheu Thai Party to form an independent committee to reinvestigate the violent handling of street protests in April 2010, which resulted in scores of deaths.

Weng Tojirakarn was joined in his call by relatives of those killed during the political violence that rocked the capital at the time.

He said the committee should comprise representatives of families who lost loved ones in the violence, human rights activists and politicians from all parties.

Dr Weng on Tuesday led the families to submit an open letter containing this and other related requests to Pheu Thai, the UDD’s closest ally, through Chusak Sirinil, the party’s deputy leader.

The cause of death in all cases during the 2010 violence must be clearly proven, he said. How 62 people died during this time had yet to be properly established. 

Dr Weng also encouraged Pheu Thai to push to amend all laws seen by the UDD as hindering efforts to bring to justice those involved in the killing of innocent people during the turmoil, and bring all military suspects to be judged in a civilian court.

Pheu Thai is also being asked to push for Thailand to make a declaration accepting the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over incidents specifically connected with the since disbanded Centre for Resolution of Emergency Situations.

The centre was set up by the government on April 7, 2010, to contain the UDD-led anti-government protests.

If Pheu Thai responds positively to these calls, Dr Weng said, he believes the ruling party will definitely win more support from not only the UDD but also all other groups fighting for real democracy in Thailand.

Dr Weng said he believes Pheu Thai does have a clear stance against the military using force against the people and a strong determination to end such conduct.

To prove this, the party should push for a new amnesty bill for all parties involved in past violent political incidents.

Dr Weng said that in 1980, then-prime minister Prem Tinsulanonda issued PM's Order 66/2523 granting amnesty to even those who had killed soldiers during the communist insurgency.

“The PM (Mr Srettha) should be as brave as Gen Prem,” said Dr Weng.

Dr Weng said he and the families planned to submit a similar petition to the opposition Move Forward Party on Wednesday.

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