With the current political climate in Thailand the latest meeting of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) look at Thailand and compare its security laws to that of the United States. The debate was interesting.
Chulalongkorn University was host to the seminar on the scope of the Internal Security Act of Thailand. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has argued that the scope of the Act was too wide and was not in line with human rights and democracy on an international standard. Roger Normand, the ICJ’s Asia-Pacific director stated that even though the Act was mild compared to what it looked like while being drafted it still was open to abuse as the language and scope had to be narrowed.
His argument was however well counted by none other than one of the original contributors to the draft ISA, acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn. His argument was clear and interesting as he stated that the ISA can very well be compared to the United States Homeland Security Act and that the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) of Thailand was nothing more than a Homeland Security Department.
His argument was rock solid and there was no real counter-argument that could stand against his. There would however appear to be fears of human rights abusers under that Act however this is not a Thai problem but an international one. For now, there is not going to be any changes to the ISA and none in the future by the looks of it. The arguments by the International Commission of Jurists was weak and with not much merit. It would, however, be interesting to see how this does playoff over the next few years as the economy recovers further and Thai politics settles back to normal.