Eleven People’s Alliances and Ten of Thousands Activists Demand a Stoppage of Negotiation on Life-Cr

Eleven People’s Alliances and Ten of Thousands Activists Demand a Stoppage of Negotiation on Life-Critical Issues
Stop Privatizing Thailand, Stop FTA, Promote A Just Economy

As the Thai Prime Minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra told the press today “Our trade representatives do not view the agreement to our disadvantage. It is a trade-off thing. Discussion means both sides have to trade off their benefits. We may have to lose some, but the government is overseeing it. Any clauses that may affect us have to be taken care of. We have to make some judgment, and what is good for us should be pursued.”

The 11 people’s alliances comprising the Thai People’s Network Against Free Trade Area and Privatization, consisting of the Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the Alternative Agriculture Network, the Federation of Consumers (Lampang), the Federation for Northern Farmers, the 4 Regions Slum Network, the Council of People Organizations of Thailand, the Assembly of the Poor, the Student Federation of Thailand,  the Southern Community Forest Network, the Southern Land Reform for the Poor, Confederation of State Enterprise Labour Union and the FTA Watch, differ with the Thai PM. We deem that the government is trading off life critical issues and the survival of its people. In doing so, all concerned information should be disclosed as to who will benefit and why the liberalization of telecommunication sector has been excluded from negotiation, even though the issue is not at all critical to life.

The 11 people’s alliances demand the halt of the negotiation on FTA with the US, particularly, on the following issues;
 
1. Intellectual Property
1.1. Particularly pertaining drug patenting that the Thai government has agreed to extend protection duration of the patented products and to shrewd measures aimed to protect consumers, the actions of which are not warranted for in WTO’s binding agreements, or even under the US’s laws itself.   
1.2. Life patenting that affects biodiversity and local wisdom

2. Liberalization of agricultural market to pave the ways for the dumping of over-subsidized maize and soybean from US into Thai market and threatens the lives of thousands of small scale farmers

3. Liberalization of investment that guarantees National Treatment rights for US investors  particularly on public utilities enterprises including electricity, water and agricultural investment which may affect the nation’s food security.

The Thai government must provide credible assurances to public that none of the above life-critical issues will be included in this round of FTA negotiation; otherwise, the 11 alliances will do whatsoever means possible to halt the negotiation.

For more information, please contact Kannikar Kittiwetsakul 09-770-1872, Sajin Prachasan 06-771-0313, Nantha Benjasilalak 01-568-5670

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