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NEWS - Equal rights for all Thais s
- Subject: NEWS - Equal rights for all Thais s
- From: Rangoonp@xxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 21:38:00
Subject: NEWS - Equal rights for all Thais sought
The Nation - May 18, 1999
Equal rights for all Thais sought
THE Constitution Court was yesterday urged to help enforce the
to ensure equal rights, dignity and freedom for all Thais.
At a seminar marking the one-year anniversary of the Constitution,
at the Public Relations Department, representatives of non-government
organisations called on the Constitution Court to curb human rights
violations of less-privileged groups, suspects, prisoners, women and
Kulphol Pholwan, special attorney to the Office of the Attorney-General,
said although the Constitution has guaranteed equal rights for all
practice the dignity and the rights of some members of the public
to be violated. For instance, police continue to be empowered to
suspects who are not yet convicted for up to two years instead of fining
''Some suspects become crippled because they cannot stand the harsh
conditions of over-crowded police station cells. Some women suspects are
in the same cell along with male suspects,'' he said.
Kaewson Athipho, a former draftsman of the Constitution Drafting
said the Constitution Court should ensure the government provides health
care, education and protection to children. ''It is extremely important
children receive free compulsory education because education gives them
foundation,'' he said.
He urged lawyers and legal experts to help enforce the Constitution by
assisting people who want legal consultation over their constitutional
''The public must be given access to official information. The
must allow the people to take part in the administration through
public hearings on any important projects,'' he said.
Rossana Tosittrakul, secretary-general of the Foundation for Health,
one case which proves that not all Thais are treated equally before the
is the fact that politicians are not subject to a Bt100,000 fine if they
petition to impeach other politicians while other members of the public
forced to pay the fine should the charges be dismissed.
She said although the present Constitution is believed to be very
and well-written, only its enforcement will make it beneficial to the
''There is a saying that Thailand is modern but not developed. The
we are facing now is how we are going to enforce the Constitution which
believed to be one of the most modern statutes,'' she asked.