Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-s8fcc Total loading time: 0.396 Render date: 2022-12-01T20:16:09.545Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true
Bangkok, May 2010 Bangkok, May 2010
Perspectives on a Divided Thailand

Book contents

22 - The Strategy of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship on “Double Standards”: A Grand Gesture to History, Justice, and Accountability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2015

Get access

Summary

The day 10 May 2010 may come to stand out as one of the most significant dates in Thailand's legal history. It was the day that the National United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) issued its defiant demand: no amnesties. An amnesty would forgive the perpetrators of the violence of a month earlier, 10 April, when twenty-one UDD protestors — largely unarmed, according to their leaders — were killed in a government crackdown on their protest. On that latter date, then, the UDD made a clear choice: to risk going down on terrorism charges in exchange for the possibility that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban would go down for murder.

Historically speaking, such a call for government accountability is quite rare in Thailand. But it does echo a long-lost past challenge issued by a young member of a Thai parliament that had been abolished by a military dictatorship, a spirit who for the sake of justice and truth called a coup by its real name: rebellion, an illegal overthrow of a popularly constituted government. That man was Uthai Phimjaichon. He was, with two of his colleagues, sentenced in 1972 to ten years in prison for the insolence of speaking the truth.1 His actions forced those in power to justify their actions. Uthai thus opened the logic of dictatorship for public scrutiny. It was only after fifteen months that the full import of his heroic deed became clear, as the diminishing legitimacy of the dictators, the exposure of their machinations, finally led to their great tumble from power in the face of the popular uprising of October 1973.

10 May marked the turning point of what might have started as a struggle for former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and a call for new elections that was transformed instead into a call for justice and equality under the law.

10 May was the one-month mark, at which finding legal recourse to the perceived brutality of the government became the rallying call. 10 April had redirected the protest's main aim from a call for new elections to a demand for government accountability. UDD protestors up-country distributed CDs portraying the bloodshed of that night, and huge posters of gruesome scenes of the dead hung silently over the continuing protest in Bangkok.

Type
Chapter
Information
Bangkok, May 2010
Perspectives on a Divided Thailand
, pp. 274 - 286
Publisher: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
Print publication year: 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×