26 Jan 2017
A global report has ranked Thailand’s perceived level of corruption at 101st out of 176 countries, due to its undemocratic political climate and pervasive corruption. Though the junta has set the elimination of corruption as a policy priority, Thailand’s ranking has slipped down Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2016 from joint 76th in 2015 to joint 101st. Its score also dropped from 38 out of 100, to 35.
14 Dec 2016
A provincial court has detained three anti-junta activists accused of discrediting the junta’s referendum on its controversial draft constitution. Update: On 14 December 2016, Phra Khanong Provincial Court granted bail to the three suspects after Boonlert Wisetpricha, a lecturer from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, offered 200,00 baht as surety for each suspect. The suspects will be summoned again on 27 December to attend a reconciliation session and a deposition hearing.
10 Nov 2016
A military prosecutor in Isaan, Thailand’s northeast, has indicted 20 villagers accused of breaking the junta’s ban on political gatherings.
2 Nov 2016
A military court has indicted a man for allegedly participating in a campaign against the junta-backed draft charter in late June despite the fact that he merely observed the campaign. He was later released on bail without condition. On 1 November 2016, Rackchart Wong-arthichart was indicted for violating NCPO Order No. 3/2015, the junta’s ban on political gatherings of five or more persons, and the controversial Referendum Act.
27 Sep 2016
Nearly two months after the referendum on the junta-sponsored constitution, the police are summoning more people for violating the junta’s ban on political gatherings over a public seminar about the constitution.
15 Sep 2016
Thailand’s political landscape seems haunted by figures, events and images that once symbolised progressive change. Such change arguably has not come, yet the same symbols linger on, in newspapers, activist pamphlets and state media.
11 Sep 2016
With the north and Isan (northeast), the three southernmost provinces (Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat) are where the majority of the people rejected the draft constitution in the referendum held on 7 August 2016. It also must be noted that in 5 districts in the region, a majority of voters failed to cast a ballot (Khok Pho District in Pattani, Mueang and Betong districts in Yala, and Su-ngai Kolok and Sukhirin districts in Narathiwat).
29 Aug 2016
Public prosecutors have indicted a Prachatai journalist and four anti-junta activists over leaflets allegedly campaigning against the junta-sponsored draft constitution. At the Provincial Court of Ratchaburi Province on Monday morning, 29 August 2016, the prosecutors formally indicted Taweesak Kerdpoka, a Prachatai journalist, and four anti-junta New Democracy Movement (NDM) activists: Pakorn Areekul, Anucha Rungmorakot, Anan Loked, and Phanuwat Songsawadchai, a student activist from Maejo University, Phrae campus.
24 Aug 2016
Amid grim hope, student activists representing various groups have argued civil society can still take concrete steps towards repealing Thailand’s new constitution, even if the amendment process will be hard. At a public panel convened at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand on Tuesday, 23 August 2016, former and current student activists grimly acknowledged that the junta will likely remain in power for the near future.
17 Aug 2016
A Thai political expert has speculated that the junta’s charter draft will be enacted for only five years before being torn down again by another coup d’etat. Another expert said voters made their decision based on political purpose, instead of the draft’s content. At a seminar on Thursday, 11 August 2016, lecturers from Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science discussed the 7 August referendum results and the future direction of Thailand under the junta-backed constitution.
16 Aug 2016
Thai authorities should urgently release a student activist detained since August 6, 2016, for peacefully protesting the military junta’s proposed constitution, Human Rights Watch said today. Until his release, the Department of Corrections should transfer Jatupat Boonphatthararaksa, who has been on a hunger strike since August 7 at Phu Khiao prison in Chaiyaphum province, to a hospital where he can be under medical supervision.
15 Aug 2016
Although the August referendum was held under an oppressive atmosphere, a politician from the main opposition party said the political parties are to be blamed for the results, adding that parties need reform to sway voters from authoritarianism. At a public panel hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Clubs of Thailand (FCCT) on Friday, 12 August 2016, Suranand Vejjajiva argued that, in the leadup to the referendum, political parties critiqued the junta-backed draft constitution but didn’t make clear what principles should actually underpin Thailand’s gove