HE’S A SPY!-
Pineapple canner calls for jail and US$10 million damages.
|(pic-Andy Hall with Aung San Suu Gyi in|
being accused of being a spy.
by the EU sponsored International Management Group, is wanted on criminal and
civil libel charges and faces jail and and damages of US$10 million after
exposing the appalling treatment of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand.
issues, last year organized Aung San Suu Gyi’s trip to Mahachai on the Gulf of
Thailand – home to tens of thousands of Thailand’s population of 2.5 million
workers – many of whom have been exploited and some even murdered to save
as thousands turned out to greet her.
San Suu Gyi told them: “Don’t feel down or weak. History is always changing.
Today I will make you one promise—I will try my best for you. I came here first
because I want to see the condition of my children.”
to a damning report about immigrant abuse in Thailand’s pineapple and fresh
a Finish group which watches human and labour rights in companies supplying to
Finnish consumers, which reported that most of the labour in Thailand’s biggest
pineapple processing factory run by a company called Natural Fruit had been
trafficked from Burma, had few rights and were subject to abuse.
of South Thailand is linked to the opposition Democratic Party in Thailand.
There have been claims that local police, immigration, labour officials and
district officials, all colluded together to exploit the cheap Burmese labour.
contributor, but Hall is being pursued after providing information in emails
and giving a talk to the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.
which supplies the European fruit drink giant Refresco, and other companies
because I was attached to a Thai University. But I do not have an address in
Thailand any more so they have had trouble serving the papers. But they are
looking for me sure.
“I have not been served with any summonses as yet but I suppose I will.”
Interviews were carried out in secret, as workers reportedly feared acts of reprisal following their participation in the research.
|Rohingya’s in Thai waters – Royal Thai Navy|
|At the FCCT|
So Andy Hall has to face both a criminal libel court and a civil libel court for helping produce a report for Finnwatch – and then later talking about its findings at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand.
Yet no action is being taken against Finnwatch or any of the other contributors.
Apparently representatives of Natural Fruit filmed Mr. Hall’s presentation to the FCCT and that is on what they appear to base one of their cases.
That in itself can be qualified as threatening behaviour.
But how ridiculous launching a US$10 million court case after the Finnwatch report and Mr. Hall’s promotion of it.
Let me see what did a British father get when he and two of his children were gored by an elephant – one gored to death – at a tropical farm outside Pattaya. About 2 million baht- one million of which he had to pay out in costs! And it took him years.
He was told by the judge. ‘I am sorry these are the sort of damages awards we give in Thailand’.
Does somebody see the rank hypocrisy here?
And if he is found guilty will anybody believe the verdict? Of course none of the Burmese labourers employed at Natural Fruits will give testimony against their employees. Bang goes their meagre income and possibly their health
There have been too many atrocities against Burmese citizens in Thailand, from the factories to the fishing fleets for anyone to believe Natural Fruits. That may be unfair to them. But its something they will have to live with.
But this latest action smacks of old fashioned Thai feudalism. You take on the bosses at your peril. So sad to see how slowly Thailand is moving into the 21st century. Whatever happened to the people’s movement?
* In hiding? Actually he is going about his business normally but avoiding people clutching official looking bundles of papers.