Shura Council Delegation
Meets Thai Consul General
Los Angeles: A Shura
Council delegation led by its Chairman Dr. Muzammil
Siddiqi met with Mr. Isinthorn Sornvai, the Consul
General of Thailand in Los Angeles, on Thursday,
October 28. Accompanying Dr. Siddiqi were Imam
Saadiq Saafir, Vice Chair of Shura Council, and
Shakeel Syed, a Majlis Member.
The meeting took
place following the tragic death of 78 people,
mostly Muslims from the Pattani province, Thailand’s
mainly Muslim south. The dead were among the 1500
protestors who were demanding the release of six
Thais who were earlier arrested on the charge
of stealing weapons from a naval base.
Shura Council delegation
led by Dr Muzammil
Siddiqui with the Thai Consul General
1300 people detained were handcuffed and piled
in five level human bodies in small trucks. Most
of the Muslims were fasting at the time. Army
deputy commander Maj-Gen Sinchai Nujsathit admitted
that “we had more than 1,300 people packed
into the six-wheel trucks” for a journey
to Pattani province that took five hours. 80%
of the victims died from ssuffocation and the
rest from convulsions. In addition to the 78 people
dying from suffocation, six others were shot dead
by the Police.
The Shura Council
recorded its deep concern on the brutality of
the law enforcement agencies in handling the protest
rally. The delegation handed a memorandum addressed
to the Prime Minister of Thailand that enumerated
the following points:
and independent” inquiry be immediately
initiated to investigate, (a) belligerent approach
of the law enforcement, (b) the inhumane treatment
during and after the arrest, and (c) ensuing murder
of 78 people and the consequent and perpetual
misery that it has brought to their families.
1. Those suspected
to have caused this mayhem should be immediately
suspended pending full independent investigations.
2. Those found responsible
(post-investigations) be fully held accountable
to the law and be relieved of the privilege to
serve their country.
3. Immediate release
of the remaining detainees.
and immediate apology by Prime Minister Thaksin
to the citizens of Thailand and the international
The Consul General
Thailand expressed his deep sorrow toward the
loss of life and assured the delegation that his
Government will thoroughly investigate the causes
of the tragedy. The Consul General also shared
with the delegation a latest brief from Thailand’s
Foreign Ministry. A copy of the brief was provided
to the Shura Council that says:”It is most
likely that the deaths were caused by the way
they were transported.”
Referring to the
brief, the delegation demanded that an “independent”
investigation by NGO Human Rights Groups such
as Amnesty International must be conducted rather
than by a Government-appointed commission.
The delegation also
advised the Consul General that unless political
grievances are addressed and a constructive dialog
is initiated, subsequent tragedies might reoccur.
The Consul General
thanked the Shura Council delegation for visiting
him and said that he and his Prime Minister, Mr.
Thaksin Shinawatra “deeply regret the heavy
loss of life and admitted that mistakes were made
as hundreds were crammed into trucks.”
The Islamic Shura
Council of Southern California is an independent
organization serving the Muslims of Southern California
since 1995. It promotes better communications,
understanding, cooperation, and coordination among
the leaders representing Muslim communities in
Southern California. There are over 60 Islamic
Centers, Masajids and Muslim organizations in
Southern California serving half a million Muslims.