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Amnesia on Thai military junta

By – Suhas Chakma, Director of ACHR at the HRC, Geneva
“We are not the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister is not our boss,” – General Winai Phattiyakul, Secretary of the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) formed by the Thai military junta after the coup d’etat on 19 September 2006 while spelling out the way Thailand will be ruled. [1]
The ongoing second session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva reflects the amnesia on the coup d’etat in Thailand. Though international media has been covering the coup d’etat in Thailand, neither the governments nor the NGOs have found it important enough to make interventions. Only the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement following the request of the Asian Centre for Human Rights. It is as if the coup d’etat is a justified intervention against alleged abuse of power by deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. At the UN Human Rights Council, principles and morality no longer sell. The UN Human Rights Council has been failed.

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It’ll take 6 months

When I was a kid and we were travelling, we’d often ask my father how much longer it would be, and his inevitable (and enfurating) answer would be “half an hour.” Now, as a mom myself, I can probably understand how tired he was asking of hearing us ask that question – and how he wanted to avoid us whining if the real answer was more than half an hour (though we always suspected it probably was), though as a child it frustrated me to no end.
Apparently, the American authorities have come up with a similar answer to questions about the war on Iraq (and other wars for that matter). From Virginia Sen. John Warner (R) saying in Nov. 2005 that the next six months is the critical period to restore full sovereignty, to US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad saying in May 2006, that the next 3 to 6 months will be critical in iterms of this government’s image and impact on the Iraqi people, it seems that everyone has six months in their minds. Of course, like my dad’s half-an-hour, the six months come and go, only to have expectations last another six months – but hey, at least it’s an answer.
Endgame in Iraq? A six-month equation |

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