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Rice and rights: Yingluck Shinawatra’s trial
From the beginning, the trial of Yingluck Shinawatra over her rice pledging scheme has lacked a clear legal basis. What will be the legacy of prosecuting a politician, not for breaking the law, but simply for bad policy?
Are Thai NGOs tools of the junta?: Pinkaew Laungaramsri
Tools of the state. Political opportunists. Foes of democracy. These are all rather harsh descriptions of NGOs. But for Pinkaew Laungaramsri from Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Social Science, they are truly the roles many NGOs have played in recent Thai political history.
3 years under the junta: rural perspectives
Three years after it staged a coup, Thailand’s junta is subjecting rural people to harassment and prosecution, but pleasing investors, according to local NGOs. The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has been repeatedly criticised for its failure to solve economic problems and for the slide back to authoritarianism.
Absolute monarchy in disguise?
Seminal historian Thongchai Winichakul argues that Thailand’s many constitutions have progressively torn power from the people to be placed back in the hands of the King — a process seen most clearly in the latest charter.
Rule by law, not rule of law, in Thailand today: Thongchai Winichakul
1. The months of May and June mark several key milestones in Thai history. There is June 1932 (the People’s Revolution) and June 1946 (the assassination of King Rama VIII), the two bloody crackdowns in May 1992 and 2010, and the coup in May 2014.
15 years hike of defence budget
Despite a growing deficit, Thailand’s junta-appointed parliament has voted unanimously in favour of a draft government budget that allocates an extra 8.8 billion baht to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2018.
Comparisons are odorous Much Ado About Nothing, Act 3 Scene 5
A bomb goes off at Phramongkutklao Hospital and 25 are injured. The Prime Minister next day says that if such things go on, the election (in the most optimistic scenario at least 18 months away) may have to be delayed.
The Prison outside the prison
When Ajarn Tum (Sudsanguan) Suthisorn was released from prison, Ajarn Charnvit Kasetsiri greeted her with a public message on Facebook that read, “Welcome back from the small prison to the large prison” (he did not use these exact words, but this was the gist). I gave my knee a loud slap when I read these lines. That is exactly right.
Love Missions: junta’s new soapie reflects military fantasy
This month, Thai television station Channel Seven — with ample members of the military in attendance — held a press conference announcing a new military-themed series named ‘Love Missions’. The show marks the military’s most explicit intervention in the country’s soap opera or lakorn industry yet.
22 Jun 2017
A changing Mekong, changing lives in Ubon Ratchathani
Dams constructed by Chinese government along the Mekong river are forcing villagers in Ubon Ratchathani into lives of uncertainty, even as they reap no benefits from the dams themselves.
12 May 2017
Frequencies: Public goods not owned yet by the public
It’s been more than 24 years since the media reform began in Thailand, but the state still refuses to give up its ownership of public frequencies. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commissioners, over half of whom are military and police officers, has allowed state agencies to continue to own frequencies, and ignored the recommendations from an internal committee. To make matters worse, the NCPO recently made an order allowing state agencies to retain frequencies for further five years. Currently, the military still owns over 100 frequencies.
7 May 2017
Legalization of marijuana in Thailand: possibility or just wishful thinking
We have surveyed the concept of ‘marijuana legalization’ from its status as a narcotic that must be suppressed to a medication. We have talked to representatives from the state sector and civil society about the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Thailand, who would gain and who would lose.
10 Apr 2017
Why are conservatives so obsessed with Netiwit?
A young academic explains what Chulalongkorn University (CU) means to Thai society and why conservatives were so furious when a progressive activist was voted to be president of the university’s student council.
19 May 2017
May ‘love last forever’: a talk with the love of a missing Karen activist
"It cannot be explained with words. When I was sick, he was a doctor taking care of me. When I was hungry, he was a cook for me. He is my husband, my friend and my teacher.
18 Apr 2017
Calls for justification after bill against torture withdrawn
The decision by the junta’s lawmakers to drop consideration of a bill on torture and enforced disappearance is largely seen as a major setback by civil society organisations and victims’ families who are calling for answers and justifications.
30 Mar 2017
‘A better future than this’: a conversation with the love of Pai Dao Din
"That week I could visit him only once. Pai asked me if I had changed my mind about him. He said like he is a prisoner already but he said I’m still young and still have a better future than this."
17 Feb 2017
15 years hike of defence budget
Katherine A. Bowie: Khruba Srivichai: From Sacred Biography to National Historiography