Saturday, February 17, 2018

Freedom of Assembly Wins, and the Courts affirmed their rights - 'We Walk...Friendship/Solidarity'

The people of Thailand inspires us into action to struggle and further promote our rights and  freedoms...People themselves need to act - time for dependency on politicians and political parties must end...
 
The' We Walk...Friendship/Solidarity' of the ordinary people of Thailand has concluded today(17/2/2018). Congrats to the people of Thailand in your quest for justice, human rights and democracy. - See their PUBLIC STATEMENT ISSUED 17/2/2018 below.

Of interest also, is the fact that the Courts stood strong and justly recognised the people's right to freedom of assembly. The Courts have spoken - and hopefully, the government will listen to the Courts, and drop all charges against the 8, and the many others involved in solidarity peaceful assembly in other parts of Thailand...
 
The Supreme Administrative Court has upheld the lower court’s ruling protecting "We Walk" marchers. The ruling, read by the Central Administrative Court on Thursday afternoon, instructs the police chief. to order the commanders of Police Regions 3 and 4 not to block or obstruct their gatherings and to provide them with conveniences and security until Saturday, the last day of the march. - Bangkok Post, 15/2/2018(Follow link to read full report)
 
See earlier relevant posts
  
 
Public Statement  
 
We walk Friendship Walk 
“A roadmap to democracy by the people”
17 February 2018  

To all comrades of ‘We walk Friendship Walk’, all of those who have walked on foot with us, the folk who have shown their solidarity with us, those who have expressed opinions, those who have asked about our wellbeing, those who have greeted us along the way, those who have brought us supplies and food, those who have offered us accommodation and money, we have eventually arrived at our destination.  

We have walked over 450 kilometers starting from 20 January until 16 February 2018, 28 days and more than 800,000 steps.  

Our start was plagued with obstacles. Surveillance has been imposed on us as if we were criminals. Charges have been pressed against us in an attempt to prevent us from exercising our constitutional rights. We were deprived even with places to sleep as the hosts had been subject to pressure from the authorities. But instead of deterring us, such obstacles have simply galvanized us making us even more determined and unwavering to nurture more friendship and to befriend more people on the road of friendship.

Our friendship walk has shown how democracy can still be relished on the road by the people. Amidst the callous crackdown, the looting of our voting rights, we were made aware that many friends along the way share with us the same ideas. And they shall rise up to uphold popular democracy; their voice shall never fade away from the road.  
 
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Legal actions have been maliciously taken against those gathering on the Skywalk in front of the MBK Shopping Mall in Bangkok of the MBK39 to demand elections. It has led to 39 persons being taken to court for violating the Head of the NCPO Oder no. 3/2558. Such a SLAPP case has also been brought against friends of the We walk Friendship Walk, the villagers at Doi Thevada Village, Tambon Sob Bong, Phusang District, Phayao. 14 of them have been charged for violating the Head of the NCPO Oder no. 3/2558 as a result of their showing solidarity with us. We, members of the We walk Friendship Walk, want to extend our solidarity and well wishes to all comrades who have taken to the street to uphold their rights and freedom of expression and public assembly. We want to demonstrate how such rights can be exercised under whichever ruling system we find ourselves in.  

This friendship walk is also a litmus test to Thailand’s judicial system under the military rule as we have been granted an injunction from the  Administrative Court. As a result, competent officers of the public assembly law are bound to provide us protection and to facilitate out walk for its entire route. The Court’s decision has surprisingly yield friendlier gesture from the police. We would like to thank our police brothers and sisters who have made their best to ensure our peaceful and uninterrupted walk. 

We, however, condemn interventions by other administrative officers, security officers and military officers who have been persecuting and harassing us all the way during the walk. Plainclothes officers have been dispatched to follow and monitor us. Such officers have concealed their identities and affiliations, unlike the police. Pressure has been put on sisters and brothers who have come out to show their solidarity with us. The officers have gone to their homes and threatened their families. Last but not least, we regret the role of Khon Kaen University which instead of offering a space to make voices of the community heard to serve the spirit of the university, has turned its back on the people and their community. 

Throughout the entire route and through every firm stem taken we left behind enduring hopes and inspirations 
 
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We aspire and dream of a society in which people from all walk of life, from cradle to grave, shall be accorded with basic welfares and rights, equally among themselves. All people should be entitled to health security and attain quality of living, equally. The universal healthcare scheme must be left intact and people must not be required to help pay for the medical bill.
 
Such noble scheme must not be desecrated and people must not be made downtrodden population who simply have to wait for a scrap of social relief and merit making. Everyone should be treated equal human beings and everyone must have access to some kind of security. It must be guaranteed that every one of us earns enough to provide for ourselves and our families and to live a dignified life in our old age.  

We aspire and dream of a government with policies that refrain from dismantling our food security and to provide for assurance that every people is able to live and rely on themselves. We shall not be enslaved by the food industry that has taken away our land, our plant varieties and our livestock, while promoting the use of chemicals in agriculture, illegal technologies and fishing tools that are destructive to natural resources. The food industry has also endeavored to develop marketing mechanisms and prowess that makes livelihood of small people vulnerable. Small scale farmers and ordinary people must be entitled to the right to preserve their plant varieties to grow their own food and to freely exchange and sell them to other people without being controlled and subjected to the monopolization of the investors and multinational corporations since all the plant varieties and natural resources belong to none, but us all.  

We aspire and dream of a peaceful life in which the environment and community right are not in peril. No laws shall be promulgated to make an exemption to the enforcement of city and town planning ordinances to pave the way for the construction of waste-to-energy power plants and the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) teemed with polluting factories that wreak havoc local people’s and community’s health and quality of life. Environmental protection laws must not be subjected to modification to pave the way to an onslaught of industrial development projects based on the change made on rules and regulations to allow Environmental and Health Impact Assessment to be approved so fast and without public participation. Eventually, people’s voices must be heard and they must be a part of the effort to manage their own community and resources.  

We aspire and dream of a society in which a democratic constitution is well established based on public participation. This should have led to an enabling environment in which people can exercise their rights and freedoms, can communicate, express themselves and participate in free and fair elections. It is our hope and aspiration to stand on our own feet and to live a dignified life. We shall press ahead with the effort to have all the repressive Orders and Announcements revoked including the Head of the NCPO Oder no. 3/2558, the Head of the NCPO Oder no. 64/2557, the latter of which has been used to forcibly evict the poor from the forest and their farmland.  
 
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It is our hope and aspiration to promote the four pillars that have prompted us to organize the ‘We walk Friendship Walk’. They are the four basic political and social necessities essential for building movements against projects, policies and laws that are unfair. The four basic political and social necessities permeate in all our actions.  

We look for connecting with each other since we all look forward to making possible a peaceful and sustainable society.  

We look for connecting with each other to unfold nascent political and social work which ‘deepens the connections of people and community in their political struggles’.  

Amidst the crises stemming from a government led by coup-makers, not an elected government, when absolute power has been relentlessly wielded without checks and balances, corruptions have been rampant, while scrutiny and accountability leave much to be desired. We live in a country where the rulers are being questioned, where doubts about their integrity are bountiful. Yet, none of the rulers have shown their responsibilities to address such doubts. Instead, they have made no intention to hide their desire to cement their power hoping to stay on in power for a long time. Still, we have the hope and the aspiration that with our two arms and two legs, we shall continue to walk on the road of friendship; this is just a first step of such long lasting friendship.

On behalf of the People Go Network Forum composed of five people’s networks including;  
    1. The people’s network for state welfare and people for universal healthcare  
    2. The alternative agriculture and food security network  
    3. The natural resource, the environment and community rights network 
    4. The network of academics and lawyers that monitors the Constitution, democracy, elections and violation of freedoms and rights 
    5. The Four Region Slum Network and network of the homeless  

Being concerned with and caring for the crises that wreaked the country, we have decided to start walking to show our power.  The “Friendship Walk” is an attempt to reclaim our right to participate in decision making and self-determination. It provides a chance for groups, organizations, and networks to make known to public their lack of security in life, how they have been deprived of rights and welfares, how they have been deprived of their rights to natural resources, how their food security is being compromised, how their political rights are restricted and most importantly, how their rights, freedoms and humanity are being denigrated.  

All of us are members of the We walk Friendship Walk. Through walking, we nourish friendship that connects us all among those whose opinions can be diverse. We invite us all to come and share your problems, to express yourselves, to enhance our mutual understanding and to have a free exchange without belittling each other. It is a walk to enhance our quality of life. It is a walk to assert people’s right and people’s participation in all fronts of national development.  

And we declare this is just a first step. Our hope and aspiration for a beautiful world are crystal clear. We shall collectively chart our future. We shall turn our backs to the center of power and move toward the rural sector. And to make their first step firm, we declare; 

“Power must belong to the people”. And we hope that a “second step” shall be taken everywhere since “democracy cannot exist without people”.

Last but not least, with our firm belief in the power and rights and freedoms of the people, Down with Dictatorship! Long live Democracy!  


With our trust in the power and rights and freedoms of the people 
 
The People GO Network Forum 
We walk Friendship Walk
17 February 2018

When Imposters and makers of false NRICs get away with serious crimes?

When a person comes to the polling station pretending that he is you, gets a ballot paper and votes = there are several serious criminal offences or offences that are committed here. Not just election offences - but CRIMINAL offences.

 Image result for malaysia election commission

When you later come to cast your vote - you may not even know that someone using your name had came before that and voted. What the election officer would do is just give you your ballot paper, for you to cast your vote - but the ballot paper given to you will be of a different colour or kind,  and when it comes to vote counting, these different coloured(or kind) ballot papers will simply be set aside and not be counted.This was in the past(and I am not sure whether this is still being practiced now). 

Alternatively, you will just not be allowed to vote, because on the record, you have already cast your vote - they gave the 'coloured or different' ballot paper in the past to avoid the 'disturbance' that may happen, when you find out that someone else had come earlier used your name and voted. Of course, anyone who is told that will be most angry - as your right to vote has been 'stolen'...and, you have wasted so much time and energy to come to vote ...and, you have just been denied your fundamental right.

The first person may certainly be an 'imposter' but to be able to get away with it, he/she would have needed also an Identity Card that could be passed off as a valid identity card.

HENCE, there are many serious offences committed here...

- Pretending to be some other;
- In possession of a false Malaysian identity card ( now, how he got that card, is a very serious matter - because manufacturing and producing such false Malaysian identity card is a very serious matter, that cannot be let go..)
- Identity Theft >> that would also be the new term for this today;
- Besides voting in your name, one with a very good 'false identity card' is capable of doing so much more...

Was the false identity card issued by the National Registration Department because they verily believed that the applicant was legitimate > that means someone must have hacked their system - because, now when they do check their records, a photograph of the real person will also emerge...Was the NRD in on it?

The ability to be able to make Malaysian identity cards and/or Malaysians passports that can convince the Election Commission is a matter of serious concern.

The crimes committed is not just an election offence - but even more a serious criminal offence that must be pursued by the police and/or other relevant enforcement agencies.

BUT then, I do not recall reading in the media that any such 'imposter', or any such persons involved in the production of false identity cards have been charged, tried and/or convicted.

 Image result for NRIC Malaysia

Neither, have I heard of any such investigations into such crimes.

WHY IS THAT? 

Surely, the Election Commission itself(or the relevant EC official at the particular polling booth and/or station and/or constituency, should have immediately made a police report allerting the police the fact of these serious crime/s. They would have furnished the police with the number of such incidences that happened, the name and the NRIC number used, and maybe even photo documentation of the 'impostor' and the 'real person' that used the same name and NRIC bearing the same number - and the police and/or the relevant enforcement agency would have speedily acted...and the suspected criminal would have been arrested, investigated and charged in court - the determination of who is the real person and who is the impostor will easily be concluded..

Considering the seriousness of the crime, the police could also post the photographs of the said criminal suspect in the media to get public assistance to catch the alleged perpetrator  - which is important as the police need him/her to get to the person who gave him the said 'false Malaysian Identity card' - which will lead to the people making these false Malaysian documents...

 Image result for malaysian general election ballot paper

NOW, WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED?

- The Election Commission, and/or the relevant Election Commission officials at the relevant polling station - never even bothered to make a Police Report about this crime - this is so very wrong, as anyone who suspects and/or witnesses a suspected crime has a legal and/or moral duty to report the crime - an action that gets investigation going leading to arrests, prosecutions and/or even convictions.

- Well, poling and counting agents may have simply passed on their report to the Candidate and/or their agent believing that the candidate and/or their agents and/or their political parties would have gone and made the relevant police report - BUT then, the candidate/agent/party were not bothered and did not make this police report. 


WHY candidates/political parties not bothered about making police reports? 
- maybe they won the elections, so they were not bothered to make a police report and/or lodge the complaint with the relevant authorities.
- OR maybe they lost so badly, and the number of such incidents was insufficient to be able to successfully challenge the final outcome of the elections...
- Or maybe they are only bothered about complaining to the Election Commission only - and did not bother to report to the police.

EITHER way, such candidates, their agents and/or their political parties did a serious wrong - and by so doing, they have let criminals get of scot free.

In Elections, our concern should never be just about winning or losing elections, we also have a legal and/or moral duty to report all crimes and suspected crimes to the police and/or the relevant authorities.

REMEMBER - the voter may not even had known there was a crime, if the Election Commission officer did not inform him, and simply gave him a ballot paper(of a different colour and/or kind, that will not be counted later). So, the voter may simply go home happy that he/she has cast his/her vote ...not knowing that the vote he/she cast will not even be counted.{Hence, the only person who KNOWS that a crime has been committed are the officers of the Election Commission, and the polling/counting agents of the contesting candidates who are monitoring - so the duty to make a police report falls on them.]

Now, if we have made such police reports, and the police seem to be doing nothing - well, we can then complain to the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission(EAIC), Public Complaints Bureau(Biro Aduan Awam), SUHAKAM(Malaysian Human Rights Commission), SPR, etc...

In any event,

If you are a polling agent and/or a counting agent, or the person affected who was not given a chance to vote because someone else had come earlier using your name, agent of the SPR, or a person who came to know that such things happened - Immediately go and make a police report, and get a copy of the report made...we certainly do not want such criminals to get away scott free...

At polling station, before the voter is given his/her ballot paper - maybe a photograph of the said person with the National Identity Card should be taken - a photo of the 2 persons with the same name and valid looking Identity hard will surely help get the criminal/s caught and prosecuted.

If such criminals, who use other people's names and who has a valid looking false National Registration Identity Card should never be allowed to escape.

If you have also provided the candidate, his/her agent or the political party with that information, I suggest that you include this fact...

We certainly abhor candidates and/or political parties that are simply interested in winning elections - but seem to not care about CRIMES that have been committed - and these are serious crimes...

WE WANT A BETTER MALAYSIA - AND WE CERTAINLY DO NOT TOLERATE CRIME - Imposters, Identity Thieves, Makers and suppliers of false NRICs.... 

##Coming early to vote reduces the chance of being deprived of your right to vote - a vote that will matter and be counted...because you may arrive before the 'imposter'...


 

Friday, February 16, 2018

CIMB selling 50% of CIMB Securities International Pte Ltd to to China Galaxy International Holdings?

CIMB group will be selling 50% in CIMB Securities International Pte Ld to a China's Galaxy International Holdings, and maybe even a further 25% to this Chinese company - well, this was what I read in Bangkok Post today(16/2/2018).

CIMB Group has announced it will sell a 50% stake in CIMB Securities International Pte Ltd, CIMBS's direct parent, to China Galaxy International Holdings. ...

Well, CIMB is important to Malaysians because it is a Malaysian government owned/controlled company. According to online information, about shareholding, it was revealed that the shareholding of Khazanah Nasional(27.3%), EPF(14%), PNB(9%), Kumpulan Wang Persaraan(6.5%) - That means Malaysian government and Malaysian government agencies have about 56% or more equities/shares in CIMB - hence, the ability to control the company. [Source - http://www.4-traders.com/CIMB-GROUP-HOLDINGS-BHD-6491205/company/]


Image result for CIMB
We know about the sale of Proton shares/equities to a Chinese company, who may now have real control of Proton, who also now have a Chinese national as CEO.

We have also looked at DRB-HICOM in an earlier posting and seen that this company may not be anymore a government owned/controlled company - but a company that is now really owned/controlled by private individuals/companies - Ownership of DRB HICOM by EPF/LUTH/KWAP was only about 13-14%. Khazanah disposed its shares many years before.

So the BIG question, how many of these companies, which we believed were Malaysian government owned/controlled, be it through government companies or government agencies like EPF,KWAP, LUTH and PNB?

Has the UMNO-BN government lost most of it? 

How much profits did the government get vide its ownership of these companies? EPF investments are for the benefit of EPF account holders only - workers having EPF accounts, LUTH profits similarly goes to LUTH account holders(saving money there to be able to later perform the Haj...) - If Khazanah or 1MDB or similar companies, then profits and monies flow back to the government for use for the benefit of ALL Malaysians...



Fitch takes CIMBS down a notch as institutional support fades


The downgrade reflects the view that there has been a decline in CIMB Group's propensity to support CIMBS, as the group has clear plans to reduce its stake in its securities businesses, the international... 

CIMB Group has announced it will sell a 50% stake in CIMB Securities International Pte Ltd, CIMBS's direct parent, to China Galaxy International Holdings. ...

The agency believes CIMB Group is likely to reduce its support as the sale agreement provides for the unloading of a further 25% stake to CGIH. ... Source: Bangkok Post, 16/2/2018 [https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/finance/1412967/fitch-takes-cimbs-down-a-notch-as-institutional-support-fades. ]
* Apologies - but you need to read the full report at the Bangkok Post website

Was this important news about CIMB reported by the Malaysian Media?

Prime Minister Najib, or the Finance Minister(oops...that is also Najib) need to inform and clarify whether it is true that we may have even lost CIMB or some of its companies control by reason of sale of shares/equities to Chinese or other foreign companies.

Such losses of companies, assets, property...of Malaysians must always be informed to the people by the government - especially, if it is a company that the Malaysian government owns(wholly or partially) vide government companies or government agencies like EPF,LUTH,KWAP, PNB...?

See earlier relevant posts:-

Najib and UMNO-BN should not be bothered with Proton(private company) - but rather workers who may lose jobs soon in Proton?



Thursday, February 15, 2018

We walk... a action to highlight injustices and concerns...still going??

We cannot simply sit back in the face of human rights violations and injustices, and hope that our government will do the needful to ensure that all is well for all persons. Sometimes, we need to ACT ourselves to highlight these wrongs, and hopefully get our government to ACT to ensure justice is done. YES - we cannot also just depend on politicians and political parties  - we need to ACT ourselves.
 
Now, the people of Thailand, having gotten together as Networks like the Health Security Watch group and People Movement For Social Welfare, Alternative Agriculture Network- Food Security, National Recourse Network- Community Rights, the Academic And Lawyer Network Who Observe On Constitution, Election And Right And Freedom Violation, slum dwellers, etc decided to highlight the 'wrongs' and their concerns - and the 'We Walk...Solidarity/Friendship' activity was done, a walk 45o kilometers from Bangkok to Khon Kaen - stopping along the way, talking to people, increasing awareness and lobbying greater support for the struggle for justice. 
 
When it started, there was police harassment - and actions were taken against 8 persons, in response, 52(now 53) organisation/groups issued a joint statement, which the media covered. 
 

Thailand charges eight activists as public frustration at junta grows (Reuters, 31/1/2018) - 'Wednesday’s prosecution was an “infringement of fundamental rights and freedoms,” 52 civil rights groups said...'

8 charged with defying regime ban (Bangkok Post, 31/1/2018) - '...The prosecution was an "infringement of fundamental rights and freedom," according to the 52 civil rights groups which are allies of the walk network....'

Thai activists charged as their frustration with the junta grows (Khmer Times, 1/2/2018) - '...Yesterday’s prosecution was an “infringement of fundamental rights and freedoms”, 52 civil rights groups said. “The royal police of Thailand and the government have done some wrongs in violation of these fundamental values, principles and human rights,” they said in a joint statement.“These actions need to be condemned.”...'

Yes, joint statements from groups all over the world matter. Our statement was also carried on other websites, FB Groups, Blogs,...ciculated to many. For the 'We Walk...Solidarity/Friendship' walkers and organisers, it is also most motivating...

Media plays a very important role in highlighting the issue - and once, it is highlighted, many more also join in urging on Thailand to do the right thing.

In this modern ICT age, people also have many options available to get their message in the struggle for justice brought to the notice of the masses - and, one of the tools used by the 'We Walk..." team and supporters is Face Book - Facebook live is continuously used  to let people know what is happening ...and even to be able to hear the talks/discussions...that focusses on the real problems of the community that led them to take this action.

In any such action, there is always RISKs - yes, the risk of being investigated, being arrested, being detained, being charged...being convicted and even being sentenced to jail, but we, the people, needs to be willing to take this risk in our struggle for justice...

Sometimes, these arrest and harassment of some of these human rights defenders has a tendency of shifting the focus from the original objectives of the peoples' action - let us thus not be too distracted by these arrest and persecutions(also an injustice that deserves our concern) but stay focussed and try to understand the grievances and concerns of the people who have commenced this action..

The walkers are approaching the end of their action, being the 17/2/2018, and our hope that the authorities do not further harass them, and we also hope that mainstream MEDIA will do their job, and highlight the real issues and concerns of the people that brought about this action - This highlighting by media will certainly give it the attention it needs, and may move the government to do the right thing to address all concerns.

Right to freedom assembly is important - but let's not forget the reasons or the objectives that moved so many ordinary people from all over Thailand to expend so much time and energy to this walk that is about 30 days. The sacrifice is great, for it means also absence from ordinary income generating activities, hacing to endure sleeping in tents/on the floor, being separated from family, etc...

Whilst these walkers of 'We Walk...Solidarity/Friendship' may not have seen further arrests, other arrest and police harassment continues in other parts of Thailand who are empowered and motivated by this 'We Walk..' action to do their own walks and protest action.

'We Walk...Solidarity/Friendship' has certainly empowered people ...and motivated others all over Thailand, and maybe also all over the world. 

Now, he hope is that the government of Thailand address each and every concern raised justly... and the 'violators of rights', many being corporations/companies stop doing this injustices. Companies may be just concerned with profits, but alas they are all made up of human persons - so, let's also be concerned about others and the environment. Deprivation of farming communities of land is wrong...Building a project that destroys the environment and affects the health of the community is wrong...and ....

You may want to visit the People Go Network Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/PeopleGoNetwork/  to see the action live, and also to read the comments. Now, with translation available, everyone can even read postings in Thai. Of interest, is the amount of views, shares and likes that are received...

 
 
 
Joint Media Statement – 30/1/2018
THAILAND MUST RESPECT AND PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS, AND END HARASSMENT AND SUPPRESSION OF RIGHTS OF “WE WALK…SOLIDARITY/FRIENDSHIP” PARTICIPANTS AND SUPPORTERS.
Revoke summons against HR Defender Lertsak Kumkongsak  and 7 others member  of People Go Network , and cease investigation and actions against others
We, the 53 undersigned civil society groups and organisations, and 2 others, are disturbed by the actions of the Thai  Military government, including the Royal Police of Thailand, that are trying to inhibit the freedom of expression, opinion and assembly by the “We Walk…Solidarity/Friendship ’ action of the people(20/1/2018 – 17/2/2018), being a walk of 4 person teams from Bangkok to Khon Kaen We are appalled by the recent summons issued against 8, including one of walkers, on the alleged crime of ‘Political gatherings of five or more persons…’, when clearly it is inapplicable to actions of less than 5, as in this case. They are summoned to appear before the relevant authority on 31/1/2018(Wednesday)
People’s right to participate in governance of their own country
It must be stated that it is a fundamental right of people in a country to be able to participate in the governance of the nation. This certainly includes the freedom the of expression and the freedom of opinion, which naturally must include the ability to lobby other people in that nation state, to support a particular view point and/or to make particular demands that will impact how the country is governed and administrated by the existing government.
Any good government, governs in accordance with the will of its people, and if the majority aspires for particular changes in polices, laws or governing practices, then the government in power must rightly bow to the wishes of its people – and, not simply ignore the people’s will and continue to govern the nation in accordance to what the existing leader or a minority in control of government wants.
As such, any government must never try to supress any personal views and the ability to lobby such opinions and ideas amongst the peoples of the country. This should be the principle applicable in all nations, including democracies, countries temporarily under military rule or even feudal regimes.
The government of Thailand, even though still not yet returned to a democratically elected government at this time following the military coup on  22/5/2014, have generally respected this freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and the freedom of peaceful assembly in this case when they allowed the ‘We Walk…Solidarity/Friendship ’ teams of 4 to walk since 20/1/2018 until 29/1/2018 (or now, if they are still walking).
However, the Royal Police of Thailand and the government had done some wrongs, in violation of these fundamental values, principles and human rights. These actions need to be condemned, and the assurance of the Thai government need to be obtained to ensure there be no further infringements of these fundamental rights and freedoms, and that the rights of people involved in this “We Walk…Solidarity” are protected hereafter.
‘We Walk…Solidarity’
On 20/1/2018, 3 teams of 4 persons, mostly women,  began to separately walk from Bangkok to Khon Kaen, some 450 kilometres, a journey that will take about 28 days.
The action, ‘We Walk…Solidarity’ is an initiative of an informal collaboration of a wide range of groups including the Health Security Watch group and People Movement For Social Welfare, Alternative Agriculture Network- Food Security, National Recourse Network- Community Rights and the Academic And Lawyer Network Who Observe On Constitution, Election And Right And Freedom Violation.
The objective of the Walk is to make visible the current situation in Thailand, in particular the insecurity and frustration with the increasing suppression of the right to freedom of expression, the  on-going and growing dominance of the military government over all aspects of Thai society, worsening standard of living, and the situation of human rights and justice.
The slogans of ‘We Walk…Solidarity/Friendship’ , such as ‘We Walk with friends. We Walk to meet friends. We Walk to open a space for those who have no other way to freely tell their stories or be heard.’ reflect the peaceful nature of the Walk that aims to increase awareness, build solidarity and develop a greater participation of people in Thailand in the affairs of their nation. To achieve this,  there are also community meetings planned for throughout the journey. People participation at all levels is fundamental and essential in any democracy and/or government.
This is a peaceful and democratic activity with each team consisting of just 4 walkers, so as not to  breach Thailand’s law that prevents the assembly or procession of 5 or more persons UNLESS there is government approval.
However despite all the care taken to comply with the  current law of the land, and also the extra  courtesy of informing the police even though not required in law,  the government of Thailand, in particular the Royal Thai Police, have done(and are still doing) certain things that are wrong, and in violation of the fundamental freedoms and rights of the people. They are as stated below:-
20/1/2018Preventing the walk to commence by about 7 hours
a) ‘We Walk…Solidarity’ teams of 4 walkers were prevented from leaving Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, Bangkok at the scheduled time of 9 am  by a police blockade. They were delayed for about 7 hours, but finally they were allowed  to commence walking at about 4pm, and they started the first leg of their 450km walk towards Ayutthaya. They will break their walk and rest at different points on their walk;
21/1/2018 – Harassment at wee hours of the morning, Arrest and Detention, Denial of Access of Lawyers
b) At about 4 am on 21/1/2018, the police woke the We Walk teams who were resting for the night in a temple in Ayutthaya. The police demanded the Walkers to produce their Identity cards for inspection. A Support Vehicle carrying food, water and basic first aid for the walking teams was stopped and searched without a warrant Not only was the search  legally questionable, the action  left Walkers without access to water for some time.
c) 4 members of the Support Team were then arrested and detained by the police for about 3 hours that morning. Immediate access to lawyers were denied. They were subsequently released.
 23/1/2018 – Summoning 1 Walker and 7 others for alleged breach of Peaceful Assembly law
d) Warrants have been issued under NCPO Order Number 3/2558 against 8 persons, including Pi Lertsak Kumkongsak, one of the persons walking. The other persons summoned are supporters of the ‘WE Walk…Solidarity’ initiative are  Mr. Nimit Tieudom, Mrs. Nutchanart Thanthong,  Mr. Jumnong Nupian,  Mr.Somchai Grajanseang, Ms. Sangsiri Teemanka, Assist.Professor Dr. Anusorn Aunno and  Mr. Ubon Yuwa. The 8 are human rights defenders, women human rights defenders, community human rights defenders, environmental rights advocates, health rights advocates and academic rights activists.
They are now being accused of allegedly breaching Order Number 3/2558 (3/2015) issued by, Prime Minister General Prayuth, the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), pursuant to  section 44 of the 2014 interim constitution created while Thailand was under martial law. Section 44 gives the NCPO and its head unfettered power to do almost anything.
Specifically, the alleged offence is a violation of Article 12 of Order 3/2558 (3/2015), which states,  "Political gatherings of five or more persons shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding ten thousand Baht, or both, unless permission has been granted by the Head of the NCPO. or an authorized representative." The 8 have been summoned to appear in front of the authority on 31st  January 2018 in Bangkok.
This means that Lertsak Kumkongsak, one of the walkers walking to Khon Kean, will have to abandon his walk mid-way, just to respond to this summons, and as such it can be seen as an act with a mala fide objective of terminating the right of the ‘We Walk….Solidarity’ walkers. It would have been more just and reasonable if such summons only asked for attendance after the current “We Walk…Solidarity” had ended.
Other Matters – Wrongful harassment of Temples and others who had already consented to allow the “We Walk…Solidarity’ participants place to rest and/or spend the night along their journey to Khon Kean, to withdraw their permission. 
Since the ousting of the democratically elected government, the military government now known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), have been changing laws, policies and orders that are affecting the existing rights of communities, including farmers and peasants, that has and will significantly impact the livelihood and rights of the people. Such actions of an interim military government, pending the return of a democratically people elected government of Thailand is wrong. When there is such a coup, the role of the military or military appointed government should be simply the maintaining of the status quo – and certainly not the usurping or eroding existing human rights of the people.
On 22/21/2018, four members of the protest – Lertsak Khamkongsak, Nattawat Uppa, Wasinee Bunthee and Nimit Tian-udom. Commenced a legal suit against the police for their alleged wrongful actions(The Nation, 23/1/2018). As such, the government subsequent action in issuing the summons under of Order 3/2558 (3/2015) seems to be a retaliatory action. Such retaliatory action by the government is abhorred, as it propagates a negative message deterring people to take action or file complaints against the authorities and police when they do wrong, for if they do, the authorities will thereafter come after them. That will only deter people from highlighting injustices, rights violations and even wrongdoings committed by the government, the military, the police and/or their officers. This is yet another reason why the summons against the 8 must immediately be withdrawn.
The Administrative Court issued an order on Friday night(26/1/2018) granting legal protection for the People GO Network to continue their long march from Thammasat University to Khon Kaen, which also included an order to the police to perform their duty according to the Public Gathering Act to provide the security the demonstrators needed until the march ends on February 17. Despite this, the summons against the 8 to appear on 31/1/2018 has not been withdrawn.
THEREFORE,
a) We call on the government of Thailand, including Prime Minister General Prayut, the head of the NCPO and the NCPO, and also the Royal Police of Thailand, to respect the rights of the persons involved in this legitimate “We Walk…Solidarity’ action;
b) We call for the immediate revocation of the Summons to appear issued against Lertsak and the other 7 human rights on 23/1/2018 to appear before the authority on 28/1/2018, for the alleged breach of the law on peaceful assembly;
c)  We call for the immediate removal of harassment and/or threats against Temples and others who graciously allowed the participants of the “We Walk…Solidarity” action place to rest and sleep along the road to Khon Kean
d) We urge that the authorities immediately discontinue all actions against participants and supporters of the  “We Walk…Solidarity”, and to forthwith apologize for any or all wrongdoings, and ensure that adequate compensation be paid to the victims.
e) We call for action be forthwith to be taken against the Royal Police of Thailand including Colonel Rittinan Puipanthawong and Maj-General Surapong Thanomjit (the officer allegedly in charge of the police that blocked the commencement of the walk in Bangkok on 20/1/2018), Maj-General Sommai Prasit (the officer allegedly in charge of the harassment and arrest on 21/1/2018 in Ayutthaya) and Lieutenant Colonel Prusit  Khalyhiran, the officer who allegedly caused the issuance of the summons to be issued against the 8 on 23/1/2018);
f) We call on Thailand to respect, protect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people in Thailand
Charles Hector
Selma James
Dean Kendall 
Ng Yap Hwa
For and on behalf of the 52 groups and 2 individuals listed below
All African Women’s Group, UK
ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
Association of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters- HRDP in Myanmar
ATRAHDOM Guatemala
Bangladesh Group Netherlands
Black Women’s Rape Action Project, UK
Christian Development Alternative (CDA), Bangladesh
Clean Clothes Campaign
Damn the Dams Action Group, Malaysia
Defenders in Dordrecht
Disabled People Against the Cuts, UK.
Drew Glover and Project Pollinate! Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Empower Foundation, Thailand
End Solitary Santa Cruz, CA, USA
English Collective of Prostitutes
Every Mother Is A Working Mother Network/USA
Family Farm Defenders, USA
Focus on the Global South
Global Women's Strike, Ireland 
Global Women’s Strike, UK
Haiti Action Committee
International Labor Rights Forum
International Wages for Housework Campaign, UK
Legal Action for Women, UK
MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
Manushya Foundation
Migrant Care
Momentum Oxford, Oxford, England
Monitoring Sustainability of Globalisation
National Family Farm Coalition (USA)
North South Initiative
Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM)
Payday Men’s Network – USA
Payday Men’s Network, UK
Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor & KL
Red Thread, Guyana
Rescue Alternatives Liberia (RAL)
Streets Kitchen, United Kingdom
Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy, Malaysia
Terai Human Rights Defenders Alliance (THRD Alliance), Nepal
The Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc.
USPROStitutes Collective, USA
WH4C (Workers Hub For Change)
WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities), UK
Women Of Color Global Women’s Strike, UK
Women in Saskatchewan of The National Farmers Union
Women For Justice And Peace in Sri Lanka
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) Santa Cruz, USA
Yayasan LINTAS NUSA Batam – Indonesia
SOAS Students' Union (London, UK)
SOAS UNISON  (London, UK)

CWI (Committe For Workers International) Malaysia

 
Art Mitchells-Urwin - individual
Margaret Prescod, journalist with Pacifica Radio Network USA - individual
Some Background Information
General Prayuth and the Thai military staged a coup on May 22, 2014, and created the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta. On March 31, 2015, the nation-wide enforcement of the Martial Law Act of 1914 was replaced with section 44 of the 2014 interim constitution, which allows General Prayuth as the head of NCPO the authority to do almost anything considered “necessary”. This exercise of power is not subject to administrative, legislative, or judicial oversight or accountability. Section 47 goes on to state that all such orders are “deemed to be legal, constitutional, and conclusive.” Section 48 further provides that NCPO members and anyone carrying out actions on behalf of the NCPO “shall be absolutely exempted from any wrongdoing, responsibility, and liabilities.”
Pursuant to the powers under this section 44, one the order the head of the NCPO issued was Order Number 3/2558 (3/2015) of the Head of the NCPO on Maintaining Public Order and National Security. Of concern here, is Article 12 of this Order, that states “Article 12. Political gatherings of five or more persons shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding ten thousand Baht, or both, unless permission has been granted by the Head of the NCPO. or an authorized representative.
Summons issued against 8  We Walk members- https://prachatai.com/english/node/7580.
The 8 are now summoned to appear before the relevant authority on 31/1/2018