BANGKOK — Thailand's Constitutional Court on Friday deferred ruling for a week on an incendiary charter amendment case that could lead to the dissolution of the ruling party.
The court heard evidence in a case centering on claims that plans by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's party to amend the constitution are a threat to the deeply-revered monarchy.
I believe Yingluck has no intention of placing the Thai monarchy in a demoted position. The Thai culture is such that the monarchy is part and parcel of the institutionalized social governance. The Constitutional court seem bias to this factor, despite the assurance of their Prime Minister.
The complaint, brought by the opposition Democrats, has the potential to tear open the kingdom's bitter political rifts.
The Democrats are up to no good, as usual. Seems even the Yellow Shirts nowadays treat the blue-colored Democrat Party as the black-sheep, after the crackdown in 2010, the inability for Abhisit to improve the national economy, and is presently more interested to climb the ladder of power despite the absence of a majority.
They also accuse Yingluck's Puea Thai party of seeking to redraw the country's charter to enable the return of her divisive brother Thaksin, who was ousted from power in a coup by royalist generals in 2006.
After two days of hearings Wasan Soypisudh, president of the Constitutional Court said it will deliver its ruling next week.
"The hearing today has finished," he said. "The court allows both sides to submit its closing statements in writing on Wednesday and the court will rule on Friday 13 (July)."
Puea Thai officials deny designs to undermine the monarchy.
"There is no action or intention to do anything as it (is) claimed in the complaint," Noppadon Pattama, Thaksin's legal advisor and a member of Yingluck's Puea Thai party told reporters on Thursday.
If court judges find that the amendment plans threaten the monarchy, it could lead to the dissolution of the party -- although would not necessitate Yingluck's departure -- risking a potential fresh wave of unrest in the volatile nation.
Political tensions in Thailand have spiralled since huge anti-Thaksin rallies helped topple the tycoon, who draws support from rural and working class "Red Shirts" but is reviled by the Bangkok-based elite and military.
Two pro-Thaksin premiers were forced from office in 2008 in judicial rulings, making way for the Democrats -- who have not won an election in 20 years -- to take power in a parliamentary vote.
Puea Thai swept to power last year on a wave of Thaksin support following deadly 2010 Red Shirt street protests.
Over 90 people died and over 2,000 people were injured. The confrontation was between the people and the military.
Amending the constitution, which was drawn up under the post-coup junta in 2007, was a key plank of the party's election campaign.
Any suggestion of a return for Thaksin, who now lives in self-imposed exile to avoid a jail term for corruption, is hugely controversial in the deeply divided nation.
Democrats have stymied previous legislative attempts to engineer his return, while the monarchist Yellow Shirts took to the streets.
Last month Yingluck's party was forced to postpone a parliamentary vote on controversial "reconciliation" proposals strongly opposed by opposition MPs and the Yellow Shirts, who fear they will be used to grant an amnesty to Thaksin.
Dapur Jalanan, a volunteer-based soup kitchen service operates every Sunday at Jalan Panggong, in Kuala Lumpur. The program (https://twitter.com/DapurJalanan) offers free food and drinks to the homeless and marginalized in the city. On 20th September 2015, I was able to capture some moments with the volunteers at work and their clients.
Thank you for your courage. Thank you for making an attempt to improve the situation in what is now called the United States. Thank you for your commitment to peace and non-violence. Thank you for the sacrifices you are making. Thank you. There's just one thing. I am not one of the 99 percent that you refer to. And, that saddens me. Please don't misunderstand me. I would like to be one of the 99 percent... but you've chosen to exclude me. Perhaps it was unintentional, but, I've been excluded by you. In fact, there are millions of us indigenous people who have been excluded from the Occupy Wall Street protest. Please know that I suspect that it was an unintentional exclusion on your part. That is why I'm writing to you. I believe that you can make this right. (I hope you're still smiling.) It seems that ever since we indigenous people have discovered Europeans and invited them to visit with us here on our land, we've had to endure countless '-isms' and…