Civic group slams cancellation of seminars on charter

The group that calls itself the Public Referendum Website Network comprising Ilaw, online news agency Prachathai website and Mahidol University's Human Rights and Peace Studies held a press conference, opposing restrictions on them in holding two seminars about the charter draft at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) yesterday.

The network said it was informed on Thursday that the seminars were deemed a political activity and hence could be violating the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) ban. They were told they must seek the NCPO's permission before holding such event. The BACC then cancelled the events to be held by the network.

The network said public participation in the charter-drafting process is critical to the success of the charter. Blocking public participation in the charter-drafting process would only make the charter lack legitimacy from the start. The group insisted that they would stick to their principles and hold such an event again.

Jon Ungpakorn, director of Ilaw website, said his group had no intention to convince the public over whether they should vote to reject or accept the charter draft but only to allow members of the public to air their views about the content of the draft.

Source URL: The Nation