Friday, May 25, 2007

King Bumibol's Speech to the Administrative Court Concerning Dissolution of the Political Parties

Special: King’s speech


Unofficial translation of HM the King’s speech given to Supreme Administrative Court judges on Thursday evening and broadcast nationwide:

Thank you for presenting me with the gown of the administrative judge, which means that you have given me additional trouble, again. This is because an administrative judge has the power to rule only on administrative matters. And, the 1996 (1997) Constitution, which you have referred me to, did make the administrative courts, among others, to be the highest court, a ranking previously accorded to the Supreme Court.

The urgent matter at hand, and in the next few days, may not have anything to do with the administrative court. This is about the Constitution Court, whose decision has bearing on political parties. You are not supposed to talk about this matter because it is not under your direct responsibility. However, political parties also involve administrative matters. You all may not have the authority nor do I, to speak about some political parties which may continue to exist or not exist later. I mentioned that I will be in trouble because the gown given to me does not give me the authority to speak, the same as you.

Nevertheless, any decision that concerns the status of political parties must be considered as very important. You will also be in trouble, because political parties must exist. And if we say political parties must exist, you are in trouble because you have no decision (no power) on that matter. And if you are in trouble, then so am I. You are here because you are senior judges with many years of experience. You have the responsibility to decide, but not on the podium. You have to decide, for yourself, whether the constitutional judges make the right decision.

You have the duty to criticise, whether their decision is right or wrong. I also have no right to say what they decide is right or wrong, but only in my mind I shall have that answer. If they make the wrong decision, whether to disband or not to disband the concerned political parties, there will still be trouble.

I have my own judgment, but I cannot tell you because I do not have the right (to give my opinion). You also do not have that (legal) right. But you must have an answer in your mind whether the Constitutional Court’s decision is right or wrong. Whatever they decide will lead to trouble or damage, not only to you but me as well.

You must criticise in your mind whether the decision by the constitutional judges is right or wrong. You cannot do it officially, but privately. You will probably listen to the radio of the proceedings for a full two days and nights. You must think about how to protect your fellow judges. Meanwhile, remember that even the Supreme Court has no authority to say anything on this matter.

You must interpret what I say. Any judge must make the correct ruling. Otherwise the country will be in trouble.

The last time there was an issue, when I spoke at Hua Hin about a year ago, you took on the responsibility for what had happened and that responsibility caused people to make “noises” and there were even more issues. These issues have cause and effects. In the next few days we will all be very busy. You must be well prepared and be ready to make some comments, not as judges but in a private capacity or (perhaps) as experts. This is in order to prevent the country from sinking like in the past. Then someone may return (to power) and say later that we did nothing and did not try to solve the problem. That’s why we almost sank and will continue to sink.

So, you have the responsibility to prevent the country from further sinking or deteriorating by educating those people with some knowledge to have greater knowledge. And (you should) educate people without any knowledge, so they have some knowledge of the direction the political situation is headed.

You can do it. You can speak. You can think for yourselves because you have the knowledge. Therefore, I ask all of you to help improve the situation. Right now, the situation does not look good at all. When one listens to politicians speaking on the radio, they give their reasons, but sometimes those reasons are not correct. We… I say “we” because you have given me the gown. Then I am like another judge who has the responsibility to educate people about their duties, about the duties of civil servants or of judges, to enable the country to escape hardships. I would like to thank everybody who will help the country survive this crisis.

I would like to wish you all to have the ability to make good judgment, on behalf of all judges — administrative judges and all other judges. You will help to educate the public who may not be knowledgeable in legal matters. Every Thai citizen should be concerned about the country and not wish the country to sink any further. Thank you every (each) one for your determination to perform your duty. I give you moral support to perform your duty with courage, honesty and integrity so, in the end, the people can live happily.

In performing your duty, be mindful of your safety and be straightforward in what you do. I believe you are all determined to work for the sake of the nation. I wish you all to have good health and courage to carry out your tasks and thank you again for performing your responsibility as administrative judges. You will advise others to perform their duties to the best of their ability, especially all the judges. Finally, I wish you good health and spirit to successfully perform your duty for the happiness of the country and its people.

I have an opinion, but I am not going to say it, not because I don't have an opinion, because I do, and I think I have a right to express my opinion, but I can't, because if I do express my opinion, I will probably go to jail.

Like I said before in another blog entry, I don't think anything will happen in terms of there being a crisis that ends in violence, regardless if the political parties are abolished or not.

Even if Thai Rak Thai is singled out, nothing will happen. If nobody cared about an illegal coup that ripped up the 1997 Constitution, nobody will care about the legal dissolution of Thai Rak Thai.

This is not the 1970's when people actually cared about political freedom and the future of the country.


Unknown said...

Never mind the meaning of his words, why do they have to honour him with the gown at this moment?

Think about it.


hobby said...

Fonzi: You know the old saying, 'opinions are like a##holes - everyone has one'.

Personally, my opinion is the King's speech is perfect - calm things down but not interfere in the processes.