Human Rights NGO continues campaign against Sathirathai

Last week, we pointed out an open letter sent by the Asian Human Rights Commission to the Foreign Minister of Argentina about Surakiart Sathirathai. The Bangkok Post has reported on the meeting and its follow up:

Argentina understands Thailand’s position on human rights and has no problem with Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai becoming UN secretary-general, said an aide for Mr Surakiart. Sorajak Kasemsuwan said yesterday that Mr Surakiart had met with Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana, who, he said, had expressed understanding for the human rights situation in Thailand.

We wonder if the Argentinian Foreign Ministry has a statement?

In response to this news story, AHRC issued a statement. Excerpts:

The reason is that like Thailand, Argentina has had a long and terrible history of forced disappearances, killing, torture and other gross abuses of human rights, of which the foreign minister was himself a victim. But unlike Thailand, Argentina has passed through the period of worst abuses and is now working to give redress to the victims and belatedly prosecute alleged perpetrators. While there is still much for the country to do, when compared to anywhere in Asia it is far advanced in addressing and accounting for human rights violations.

Human rights begin at home. Anybody holding a high government office that has done nothing to address rampant injustices and abuses in his own country cannot seriously be expected to do the same for anyone else. Anybody holding a high government office who responds to legitimate and studied criticism with evasion and denial cannot seriously be expected to consider and address the causes for that criticism. The Asian Human Rights Commission is sad to say that the deputy prime minister of Thailand has still done nothing to answer the question, “What are your qualifications to be UN secretary general?”

4 Responses to “Human Rights NGO continues campaign against Sathirathai”

  1. tar Says:

    I am a frquent reader of ARHC and have followed its press releases, statements, and urgents appeals. Recently, I cannot help noicing that Thailand has continuously been singled-out, and that Dr. Surakiart has been attacked by ARHC.
    Of course, we read criticisms against Thailand’s human rights violations. But we are read news of Thailand’s record in promoting human rights. So why is Thailand being singled out? And why has its countryman, Dr.Surakiart who is a candidate for the UNSG been attacked by ARHC as being unfit for the post of UNSG. I DO NOT SEE the linkage between a country’s human rights record and the qualifications of its candidate for UNSG.
    I am beginning to question AHRC’s motives, and its role in prmoting human rights. I do feel that the ARHC is being very unprofessional. I hope that the ARHC would take a look at itself

    From a Disappointed Reader of ARHC

  2. Nung Ngamkasem Says:

    Dear all:

    My friends and I had a long discussion about AHRC’s letter on Surakiart’s candidature for UNSG. We all believe that the Thai newspaper just repeats what AHRC wrote. We wondered who wrote such a letter and expected high credibility, but we found that Mr. Basil is a national of Sri Lanka and it automatically reduces his credit. Although my friends are not very good at English, they feel so offended that they searched for more. We (they) found that Mr.Basil only bad things about Dr.Surakiart, our deputy prime minister, but never mentioned about other people who are running for UNSG position. Feeling so discriminated, they foeced me to write to all of you to please understand the situation. Mr. Basil thinks he is smart enough to fool all of you but doesn’t think that you can analyze his shallow move. We are also disappointed with some Thai newspapers because they do not analyze the situation before they published.

    Thank you for your considerations,

    Nung and friends form Thailand

  3. Nuch Pohai Says:

    To all readers of chapter 15:

    I fully agreed with Nung and his/her friends and would like to add a few points. First, Thai people should support Thai people. Second, Thais should not let others offend another Thai without good reasons. It is unacceptable that Basil keeps picking on Dr Surakiart. It makes me feel like Basil dislikes Dr. Surakiart personally, but I only suspect. But I don’t think they even know each other, so what makes Basil so unreasonably biased against Surakiart. I further suspect that he does it for his friend, Dhanapala, again only best educated guest. List of estimation goes on to include that Thailand is not a supporter of AHRC. Before I get unlogical, I will leave the comment with a question for Mr. Basil: would you be fair enough to consider our comments–compare all the candidates!!?

    Best Regards,
    Nuch Polai,
    Bangkok, Thailand

  4. Shashi lays out more ideas « Chapter15 Says:

    […] Chapter15 Looking at the race for the next UN Secretary General « Human Rights NGO continues campaign against Sathirathai […]

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