Thailand Gets Set to Bring Back The War on Drugs.
The newly elected Thai govt. has said they will restart the efforts of 2003's controversial war on drugs.
Newly elected Thai Prime Minister Samak Sunaravej has vowed to continue with pre-coup drug-war policies initiated by Thaksin Shinawatra, the still in exile former leader.
The official death toll of the 2003 war on drugs was 2500.
Samak has an alternative take on the killings, admitting that police did kill 59 people but that the remaining 2400+ were in fact killed by members of rival criminal gangs. When questioned on the deaths of innocents, he retorted, "If they were innocent, why were they killed?" Badgered by journalists, he added "Why are you journalists so concerned about the deaths of those drug dealers?"
Samak has the backing of his interior minister, who earlier this week told parliament that he will implement the renewed war on drugs, even if thousands of people have to die, expanding with "When we implement a policy that may bring 3,000 to 4,000 bodies, we will do it,"
Thai Dem. Senator Kraisak Chonhavan says that talk from the ministry on getting tough tends to get internalized by law enforcement "like giving the green light to police to use violence on drug dealers. This may prompt an urge to set up a 'kill record' to comply with the get-tough policy."
Human rights activists have expressed grave concerns over the week's inflammatory language. Activist Gothom Areeya said "it was a curse to have an interior minister who had disregard for human life and human rights. All murders are illegal, whether it is a case of criminals killing one another or police killing them," he added.