Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge
Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge
Report 192 / Asia

跨越泰国政治的深刻鸿沟

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执行摘要

保皇派集团与前总理他信·西那瓦的盟党之间的争斗愈演愈烈,致使泰国政治两极化日益深刻。这种两极分化近来引发了日益激烈的政治对抗:草菅人命,近2000人受到伤害,国家精神受到巨大创伤。阿披实·为乍集瓦所领导的政府单方面提出了政治和解路线图,但若没有包括他信在内的反对派参与,路线图也只不过是死路一条。如果没有支持他信的红衫军参加,那么对暴力冲突的可信调查、持久的法律改革和妥善处理社会不平等等问题就不会取得进展。如果红衫军的领导者被拘捕、驱逐或是逃亡在外,那么这一切都不可能发生。泰国政治的首选是重新举行和平公正和被所有人接受的选举,通过选举可以探明这个国家是否已经步入正轨或仍在迷途不返。泰国应取消正在其大部分地区实行的紧急状态令,以避免进一步损害其民主制度, 阻碍迫在眉睫的和解,以及为未来致命冲突埋下伏笔。

2001年和2005年他信以压倒性支持率连续赢得选举,泰国政治因此发生了翻天覆地的改变。他信出身警界并曾是电信业大亨。由于贫困阶层从他所实施的平民主义政策中获益,比如低成本医疗服务,所以他信很快就深得人心,支持率迅速上升。但与此同时,他愈演愈烈的独断专行和腐败统治也激怒了城市中产阶级。保守党人担心他信日益上涨的声望会危及他们的地位。这些以国王枢密院以及军事和司法机构为核心的力量受到“黄衫军”的支持。他们共同致力于将他信从政坛中清除并削弱其影响。2006年初,他信政府先是受到人民民主联盟(PAD)大规模示威的挑战,紧接着其政权被军事政变所推翻。在他信流亡国外后,他的政党在2007年5月经法院裁决解散。同年不久,代理党接管政权,但后也被法院禁止。在经受着军事压力和未重新进行任何民选的情况下,一个由总理阿披实领导的新的民主党执政联盟走马上任。

尽管是以如此违宪的方式失去政权,他信从来都不是强弩之末。他的支持者团结在反独裁民主联盟(UDD)周围,并很快发展成为团体运动。“红衫军”的领导者身份不一,既有议会成员,也有被禁的政治家,甚至当红电台主持人,而其支持者则是城市和乡镇的贫民阶层。他们共同构成了一股举足轻重的力量,对垒于有军事支持和各种组织力量庇护的阿披实政府。二月末,法庭下令没收他信财产,反独裁民盟(UDD)又一次示威游行,要求进行大选。他们占据了曼谷的商业中心拉差巴颂(Rachaprasong)路口,并猛攻议会,最终致使泰国在4月7日宣布首都曼谷及其周边进入紧急状态,责令禁止示威,关闭媒体,无须起诉即可逮捕嫌疑人。严厉的法律保证官员免于起诉,其适用范围很快就在5月19日扩大到了24个省,相当于整个国家的三分之一。四月和五月间的两起冲突以及其他一些暴力事件导致90人被害,而之后示威游行则遭到大规模的军事炮火镇压。

镇压游行后,胜利的政府以为街头的秩序已经恢复,然而它低估了镇压所加深的政治鸿沟。要达到和解泰国所需要的不仅是一个“路线图”,而是一种各方都平等参与达成的政治共识。政府因此必须淡化激烈的言辞,包括不再使用“恐怖分子”来称呼他信和红衫军领导者。对反对派来说,他们应该公开声明放弃武力,拒绝武装人员,并呼吁他们的支持者也照此执行。而那些致力于和平抗议的人士也应该重获权利,从而扮演更积极的政治角色。过去和未来的犯罪行为都应该受到公平的起诉。

从长远来看,泰国需要深刻思考如何对其政府系统进行更广泛的政治改革,包括思考君主和军方所扮演的角色,财富共享,司法公正,权力下放。作为和解进程的一部分,政府应全面调查近期的暴力事件从而尽快进行新的选举。选举应在和解进程的开始就着手进行,而不是作为和解进程的结果。选举产生的新政府应有新的合法使命,在各方接受的情况下进行已达成共识的改革。为实现这一目标,目前的政府需要停止独断专权并转而选择开放、包容和民主的方式来解决泰国所面临的问题。

曼谷/布鲁塞尔, 2010年7月5日

Executive Summary

The protracted struggle between the royalist establishment and those allied with ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has left Thailand deeply polarised. It sparked the most violent political confrontations in recent times, killing people, injuring nearly 2,000 and inflicting deep wounds on the national psyche. The government of Abhisit Vejjajiva’s unilateral offer of a “road map” to national reconciliation will lead nowhere without the participation of its opposition, including his deposed predecessor. A credible investigation of the violence, enduring legal reforms, and properly addressing societal inequities cannot succeed without the Thaksin-aligned Red Shirt movement. This cannot happen if its leaders are detained, marginalised, or on the run. Fresh elections that are peace­ful, fair and accepted by all sides will be the first test to see if the country is back on track or has lost its way. Thailand should lift the emergency decree imposed over large swathes of the country or risk further damaging its democracy, hindering much needed reconciliation, and sowing the seeds of future deadly conflict.

Thai politics changed significantly when Thaksin, a former policeman and telecom tycoon, won successive election landslides in 2001 and 2005. His popularity rapidly rose among the poor who benefited from his populist programs, such as low-cost health care. At the same time, his increasingly autocratic and corrupt rule angered the urban middle classes. Conservative elites also feared that his growing popularity would challenge their dominance. These establishment forces revolving around the King’s Privy Council, the military and the judiciary were supported on the streets by “Yellow Shirt” protestors. Together they worked to remove Thaksin from politics and erode his influence. In early 2006, Thaksin’s government was first challenged by mass demonstrations by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) and subsequently ousted by a military coup. While in self-imposed exile abroad, his party was disbanded by a court ruling in May 2007. A proxy party took power later that year, only to be also banned by the courts. Under military pressure and without a fresh poll, a new Democrat Party coalition led by Prime Minister Abhisit took office.

Despite losing power in such an unconstitutional manner, Thaksin was never a spent force. His supporters rallied around the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) that soon became a movement larger than any one person. Led by a divided leadership of members of parliament, banned politicians and even popular radio hosts, the “Red Shirts” drew support from the urban and rural poor. They formed a pivotal force that rallied against the military-installed government and the establishment-backed Abhisit administration. After a court ordered the seizure of Thaksin’s assets in late February, the UDD again took to the streets demanding an election. Their occupation of Rachaprasong intersection in Bangkok’s business heart and storming of the parliament ultimately saw a state of emergency declared in the capital and its vicinities on 7 April, allowing authorities to ban demonstrations, shut down media, and detain suspects without charge. The draconian law, which grants officials immunity from prosecution, was later extended to cover 24 provinces by 19 May – one third of the country. Two major clashes in April and May and a few other violent incidents killed 90 before the streets were cleared in a hail of military gunfire.

In the wake of the crackdown, a triumphant government sees that it has restored order to the streets, but it under-estimates the deeper divisions this response has created. More than a “road map” to national reconciliation is needed; a new political consensus should be built with the equal involvement of all sides. Heated rhetoric needs to be toned down, including abandoning the use of the term “terrorist” to brand Thaksin and Red Shirt leaders. For their part, opposition figures should publicly renounce violence, reject armed elements, and urge their supporters to follow this lead. Those committed to peaceful protest should be given their rights back so they can again become politically active. Past and future criminal behaviour should be prosecuted in an even-handed manner.

In the long run, Thailand needs to think deeply about much broader political reforms of its system of government, including the role of the monarch and military. Wealth needs to be shared, justice delivered equitably, and power decentralised. The recent violence needs to be investigated fully as part of a reconciliation process that will allow new elections as soon as possible, with the polls being the beginning and not the end of the process. This new government, with the legitimacy of a fresh mandate and if accepted by all sides, would be the one to move forward with any agreed reform agenda. To get there, the current administration needs to turn away from authoritarianism and choose open, inclusive and democratic means to solve the nation’s problems.

Bangkok/Brussels, 5 July 2010

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