1. +N+V - ed P
Reds unfazed after ICC says it can't help
UDD examines other avenues to sue Abhisit
The red shirt movement is vowing to continue its fight against the government despite being told by the International Criminal Court that it could not help the group in an action to sue the Abhisit administration over alleged violence against its critics.
United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship chair Thida Thavornset said yesterday the movement could pursue other international avenues after representatives of the ICC indicated the court had no jurisdiction to decide on "political crimes" in Thailand.
Ms Thida and Jatuporn Prompan, a Puea Thai Party MP and leading member of the UDD, met the ICC's second vice-president, Hans-Peter Kaul, yesterday to discuss the scope of the court's authority in relation to the political situation in Thailand.
The meeting took place against the backdrop of a major rally by the red shirts in which tens of thousands gathered at Ratchaprasong intersection in the early afternoon before moving to the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. Traffic was paralysed on Petchaburi Road and in nearby areas.
The red shirt leaders announced they had agreed to hold rallies just once a month, instead of the two they have been staging.
Mr. Kaul told Ms Thida and Mr Jatuporn that Thailand did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Netherlands-based court as Bangkok had yet to ratify the treaty it signed in 2000.
He also explained how the ICC worked and showed the UDD leaders a book of guidelines. He refused to discuss Thai political issues.
Ms Thida and Mr. Jatuporn tried to explain the underlying problems that led to the violence that claimed 93 lives in April and May last year as red shirt protesters sought to overthrow the government. German ambassador Hanns Heinrich Schumacher also attended the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of an ICC conference on the protection of human rights in Bangkok.
"We were told it was unlikely the ICC would be the relevant adjudicator for the case of the crackdown against the red shirt protesters," Ms Thida said.
"But we are not discouraged by the technical limitations. We can pursue other international avenues for bringing the government to justice."
Red shirt sympathisers had hoped the ICC would accept a case against the government.
Shopping malls around the Ratchaprasong intersection were open as usual during yesterday's red shirt rally, police said. Mr. Jatuporn said the red shirt leaders planned to address the demonstrators at Ratchadamnoen Avenue until midnight before dispersing.
National police chief Wichean Potephosree has spoken to senior police via video-conference on ways to prevent potential bloodshed between the UDD and the rival People's Alliance for Democracy.The PAD will hold a demonstration tomorrow at Makkhawan Bridge near Government House and some police fear red shirts could turn out to confront them. Senior police have been ordered to keep demonstrators from the two camps away from key government offices and parliament.
1.Who was involved in the news?
- red shirt
2. What happened?
- The meeting took place against the backdrop of a major rally
3. When did it happen?
- on January 24,2011
4. Where did it happen?
- at Ratchaprasong intersection
5. Why did it happen?
- to continue its fight against the government
By Bangkok Post
Published on January 24,2011 at 12:00 AM