A group of people under the name of the 'Administrative Reform Council (ARC) under the Democratic System' have staged a coup d'etat and removed power from a government elected under the constitution that was drafted by the people. Abolishing the constitution, harassing the media, and putting an end to the independent agencies are acts regarded as abolishing the system of parliamentary democracy. This act will lead to the same outcome as previous coups that had happened in Thai society.
The '19 September Network against Coup d'etat' consists of social activists, students and regular citizens who are opposed to the method of building democracy at gunpoint. There is no such thing as building democracy through destroying democracy at the same time.
We want to state that:
- We do not accept the political power of the military to intervene in the democratic system, by saying that they have intervene to solve the social conflict, since we see that the political conflicts and freedom of expression under the constitution are normal in democracy. The military's role is not to solve a political problem through a coup d'etat. Such an act reflects the lack of political awareness and is regressive for the development of democracy. Any process to solve the political situation should happen within the scope of law and the constitution, following standards of international democracy.
- We ask the military to return to their divisions and bases, and stop their involvement in the coup d'etat process. We ask them to stop intervening in the basic rights of the people - such as freedom of expression - and to return political procedures to how they were in the regular period before the 19 September 2006 coup d'etat.
- We would like people who oppose the coup d'etat to express their thoughts through:
- using the colour black as the symbol of opposition (wear black shirts, ties or armbands)
- turning on the headlights of their cars during the day
- organising talks and discussions on democracy within their family, company or organisation, among friends or at their school or university.
19 September Network against Coup d'etat
(issued: 20 September 2006 )