In Thailand 2008 will go down in history as a time of change and unrest. Patriots did what they had to do to defend their country and the Monarchy from people who looked to take it for themselves. But holding true that there are always casualties in any battle, the casualties in a court of law are at best uncomfortable for both sides.
The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) must some day face their day in court. The facts surrounding the PAD and what they did can be viewed from many perspectives. Connecting the Dots does not want to pass judgment, but simply put all the cards on the table, and allow people to come to their own conclusion as to what may happen.
The events that may be a problem for the PAD are very limited. One being the raid on a government run broadcasting facility, occupation of the Government house, and occupation of Suvarnabhumi airport. In this case each must be seen as separate and not connected. Any other issues are essentially minor.
Other considerations are that a state of civil war technically existed, but was not publically mentioned or acknowledged by the government. Non the less is existed. When a country is at war, many of the laws become inert at best. Laws are meant for peacetime, and with the government lobbing weapons strong enough to kill and dismember at protesting civilians, one has to seriously consider that the declaration of civil war was deliberately withheld.
First on deck is the raid on a government broadcasting facility. This raid went south from the word go. It was mostly seen as a blunder on the part of the PAD. Although the reason behind it was to silence the propaganda of the government, the methods were questionable at best. The consideration here is that only the active participants in the raid may have broken the law by trespassing, damaging property, and loss of revenue. At the time of the event, civil war did not exist so laws would apply. PAD leaders that were not at the raid may not have a problem with this in court. Non the less, this event must be decided in the court.
The occupation of the Government house is a bit more complex. Essentially people are allowed to visit, it is just the huge number in question. At the end of January 2009, protesting farmers actually did exactly what the PAD did. They broke through steel fences and occupied the area around the Government house. The reason was the same, they wanted something from the government. Although they did not actually enter the complex, the complex was locked down achieving the same results as the PAD. The situation now becomes complex in that both the farmers and the PAD must be treated the same. There may be some arguments that a court order was issued, or the duration of the occupation was not as long as the PAD, but for what it is worth the law calls out no time or size of the mob to be considered in violation. So a single person or a mob of thousands is seen exactly the same.
Continued in Part 2