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Ex-MP gets 2.5 yrs for lese majeste

Posted by pakin On December - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced a former Pheu Thai Party MP to 30 months in prison after finding him guilty of lese majeste.

Prasit Chaisrisa, a former MP for Surin province, was convicted under Section 112 of the Criminal Code for remarks he delivered at a May 7 speech on a stage at the Imperial World Lat Phrao department store. Parts of the speech, entitled “Stop Overthrowing Democracy,” were deemed insulting the monarchy.

Prasit initially denied the lese majeste charges, but later submitted a handwritten statement to the court recanting his statement and confessing to the charges.

The Criminal Court found him guilty and sentenced him to five years in jail.  The jail term was reduced to two years and six months due to his confession.  However, the court reasoned, because of the seriousness of the offence and his status as a former MP who should exercise better discretion than other people, there was no reason to suspend the jail term.

Prasit was arrested on May 29 and has since been detained without bail. The former MP has not shown any intention to appeal.  He so far has served six months in jail.

EC will speed up probes into Yingluck, Yaowapa cases

Posted by Rattana_S On March - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Election Commission (EC) will speed up its probe into allegations against caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and key Pheu Thai Party member Yaowapa Wongsawat, a commissioner said Friday.

Six petitions have been filed against Yingluck for allegedly using state funds to campaign for votes in the North and Northeast as well as to provide compensation to the family of a police officer killed in a clash with protesters, EC member Boonsong Noisophon said.

The EC has interrogated four witnesses against Yingluck and will listen to four more testimonies, he said, adding that the commission would try to complete the probe soon.

Yaowapa, who is Yingluck’s older sister, was accused of providing free transport to polling booths during a by-election in Chiang Mai, he said.

Four members of the EC were ready to issue a verdict in Yaowapa’s case, but the fifth member, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, needed more time, he said.

Boonsong also said the EC needed more information to back the allegation commissioner Somchai made against some key members of the Pheu Thai Party who appeared on a TV show during the election campaigning period. He said the EC needed to find out if appearing on TV was really against the election law. If party executives violated election laws, then the party would have to be dissolved, he said.

BANGKOK, March 5 – The Network of Students and People for Reform of Thailand (NSPRT) protesters today rallied at the ruling Pheu Thai Party headquarters against some party members’ alleged support of separatism.

The anti-government protesters mobilised following the remarks of Jarupong Ruangsuwan, Pheu Thai Party leader and caretaker interior minister, who earlier showed support for a call by some pro-government supporters to separate Thailand’s North and Northeast into a new country.

Protesters led by Nitithorn Lamlua and Uthai Yodmanee left their Chamai Marchet Bridge site to Pheu Thai Party headquarters on Phetchaburi Road, to campaign against the separation of the country.

They tried to remove the word “Thai” from the ruling party’s headquarters’ banner, claiming that the party has not done for the country, but instead, for the benefit of themselves.

As the removal failed, they covered the party banner with the new one which reads “Stop Separating the Country”.

Before leaving the compound, Mr Uthai said he would continue following caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, as well as all Pheu Thai ministers.

They later moved to the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning to urge civil servants to stop working for the caretaker government. (MCOT online news)

Rice row could see Phichit leaders join Bangkok protest

Posted by Rattana_S On January - 23 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

UPSET AT THE breakdown of the rice-pledging scheme, local leaders in Phichit are considering joining the People’s Democratic Reform Committee’s anti-government protest to pacify farmers who have not been paid for their crops.

Payments to farmers participating in the ruling Pheu Thai Party’s flagship populist programme have been delayed repeatedly for months.

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has said the government has not yet approved an additional budget for the scheme, so it cannot pay the hundreds of thousands of farmers who have pawned their paddy. In Phichit alone, more than 40,000 farmers have gone unpaid.

Nearly 100 kamnans and village heads gathered at the BAAC’s Phichit branch to demand updates on the scheme’s payment and ask that the branch refrain from pressing farmers for repayments of loans they had to take out to cover expenses while waiting for their income from the scheme.

Some 300 kamnans and village heads also rallied in front of Phichit Provincial Administration Organisation. Many were discussing the idea of supporting the PDRC, which has staged mass demonstrations against the government for a couple of months, hoping to implement reform ahead of elections.

Kittisak Rattanawaraha, chairman of the Northern Farmers Network, said separately that farmers from five provinces would converge on Bangkok to rally against the government. “We will use 100 farm vehicles per province,” he said.

In Angthong, more than 400 farmers submitted an ultimatum to Governor Pawin Chamniprasart to facilitate the payment for pledged rice by January 27.

“If there’s no positive response, farmers across the province will stage a big demonstration,” said Songpon Poonsawas, chairman of the Angthong Farmers Confederation.

Police have recommended that public prosecutors indict Kittipong Saenworakul for alleged embezzlement in the rice-pledging scheme.

The Public Warehouse Organisa-tion under the Commerce Ministry has accused Kittipong of failing to deliver more than 1,260 tonnes of rice to the scheme. Corruption has reportedly plagued the scheme, which has incurred huge losses.