UNITED NATIONS (TRNS) – Amidst the growing violence, The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR), said in a statement that they have “been alarmed to see individuals at protest sites with weapons”. They are urging all sides in the conflict to abstain from violence and carrying weapons, as many of the non police protesters are resorting to. No such violence is being attributed to law enforcement officials, which the OHCHR was quick to recognize. Law enforcement officials were encouraged to ensure that those responsible for the violence are met with the appropriate legal repercussions. The OHCHR also says that such situations must take into the consideration the human rights of all; that preventing people from voting or suppressing their right to express an opinion cannot be condoned.
As confidence in the Thai regime is being lost, the petition to nullify the nation’s election last week was turned down by the countries ombudsman, or public advocate. The petition was sent out to nullify the results of the nations most recent election, on the grounds that the elections were invalid due to the mass disturbance caused by the same protesters sending forth this petition. The disturbances were a result of a small population that were unhappy with the Prime Minister and her rice subsidizing program which is destroying the rice market and lives of the farmers it was set up to help.
Although this first petition was shot down, another one is still pending. This petition was filed with Thailand’s Constitutional Court and was submitted by the country’s Democrat Party. This hard blow to the government opposition is coming at a bad time for them, when attendance at their rallies is decreasing and the New York Times reported how there is weakness amongst the movement.
But while this petition struggles to make its way up the legal ladder, the country’s Election Commision has begun to set up the polls again for those unable to partake in voting due to poll closures.This repolling is to begin in the coming days, and can be seen as a major setback to the protesters and their attempts to nullify the vote.
Although, there have been talks of a coup, and the protesters would surely appreciate one, the likelihood of us seeing one anytime soon is slim. While it may be damaging to the protesters movement, the Thai media interpreted a statement by the Thai head of the army to be that he would not stage a coup. There have also been plans leaked about placing a military general in charge but that plan was discarded when the head of the army refused to go along with it.
Hopefully this conflict can all end before any more lives are lost. But even more so before Thailand loses its democracy, as it is being threatened now. Considering the military, while they have made several remarks, is standing idly by watching the chaos before them, not stepping in to defend the democratic process of the election with the head of the army saying “I would rather not say whether I approve of the election.”
As things begin to move slowly, this past week, UNICEF reported, that on Monday night, the 3rd of February, three young boys were killed by gunfight. Reports are saying that the children’s parents have been injured but have not been fatally wounded. In a statement by UNICEF, they said they were “deeply concerned” about the violence towards children and that they ‘strongly condemn this attack”. They called for both parties to do the best to their abilities to ensure any of the violence that occurs is not directed towards children.