5 Jan 2017
The revised Computer Crime Act has introduced the novel offence of ‘distorted information’. Once the Act comes into force, any information which is transmitted online, like these articles, and which is deliberately false, can serve as the basis for a criminal prosecution.
23 Nov 2016
Years and years ago, when I was still trying to figure out who really ruled the world (I now know – it’s misogynistic, racist, bigoted braggarts with strange hair and an even stranger attitude to the truth), an unusual thing happened in Thailand. The civilian government of the day suddenly found a sliver of spine and tried to tell the military that their lethal-toys-for-the-feral-boys budget might not be as excessive as they wished. Predictable outrage from personages with starch-pressed uniforms and ditto minds.
13 Nov 2016
I assume we’ve all seen the video clip where Acharanat Ariyaritwikol drags an unresisting Kittisak Singto across Charoen Krung by the lapels, acting purely out of self-defence of course. He then punches him in the face 3 times because he thought he had a gun or a knife (a manoeuvre that is guaranteed to protect the puncher from being shot or knifed by the punchee). And finally he screams at him to kowtow to the broken tail light on his treasured Mini Countryman (which indeed cost a treasure) (And before we go any further, let me note the confusing names in this case.
4 Nov 2016
Perhaps I should take the opportunity of these troubled times to clear my conscience. It was the coronation of the person who has taken over the mantle of the longest-reigning monarch in the world. I was a pre-schooler still trying to figure out how the world worked. One thing that I couldn’t figure out was why, if I wasn’t old enough for real school, I still had to go to Sunday school. Only much later in life did I learn the delights of the Sunday afternoon naps that my father enjoyed while I was sent to The Schoolroom.
23 Sep 2016
A first-year Kasetsart University student was put in a coma after a near-drowning in a pond at the university’s Sri Racha campus. The university authorities strenuously denied claims on social media that this was part of a freshman hazing activity that went wrong. Anonymous posts (from, it must be said, suspiciously distant places) say that the freshman was ordered or challenged by senior students to go into the pond to wash himself after being muddied in other hazing activities.
20 Aug 2016
You have nothing to lose but your chains! Unless you vote to hang on to them of course, which is what the good citizens of Thailand seem to have done. Let’s move backwards through the process to see where it all went wrong.
26 Jul 2016
Ah, Ebbw Vale! That evocative name that conjures up the once biggest steelworks in Europe, the socialist ghosts of Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot, and the gross affront to common sense that is Welsh spelling. Then the steel industry collapsed and the coal mines were savaged by Thatcher’s anti-unionism. By the beginning of this century Ebbw Vale’s people suffered chronic unemployment and its land suffered the toxic legacy of its industrial heyday.
28 Jun 2016
Election Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn has attempted to put the kibosh on plans by the UDD to monitor the upcoming referendum. That much was entirely predictable. What was more surprising was the legal justification that he gave for saying that they couldn’t do it. He is reported to have said that the Referendum Act did not expressly permit it. But saying so you can’t do something if the law doesn’t explicitly permit you to do it – that’s complete bullshit.
8 Jun 2016
The future of Wat Ratha Dharma Nun has been cast into further question by the discovery of yet more grisly evidence of corpses of democracy and apparent links to the shadowy world of international dictatorship trafficking.
31 May 2016
In a police station in northern Bangkok So we’ve got the arrest warrant and that’s OK? Double checked. All the right signatures. No spelling mistakes. OK, good, so I think the way is clear, we just go in and … Hang on, have you seen the pictures on the front page? No. Why? They’ve parked two excavators right in front of the gates. So that’s put the mockers on that. How do we get in now? We’ll have to call it all off again. Pity.
16 May 2016
Well that was a right farce last Wednesday in Geneva, eh? Talk about a dialogue of the deaf. I am of course referring to Thailand’s starring role in the latest episode in the UPR saga of the UNHRC. And for those who don’t follow the arcane acronyms of international human rights (so how the hell did you get to this website?), let me explain that it was Thailand’s turn to sit in the naughty chair and face a barrage of questions and recommendations about how to improve its human rights record.
28 Apr 2016
But the newspaper article said this form was not mandatory. Who says so? It quotes Deputy Commissioner of Immigration Pol Maj Gen Chatchawan Wachirapaneekhun, whose name is also there as the person who ‘designed and arranged’ this form. Well, that’s right, it is not mandatory. But if you want to extend your visa or do your 90-day report, you are required to complete the form. Voluntarily. Because if I don’t, … You won’t get your extension and we will fine you for not doing your 90-day report. I see.