The recent disrobing of Venerable Sermsak Thammasaro or “Monk Ti” for his dwarfism has spurred discussion about Thai Buddhism and discrimination. According to liberal Buddhist monk Venerable Phramaha Paiwan Warawunno, Monk Ti was disrobed because ordination of the disabled is against the Buddhist Vinaya. According to well-known religious scholar Surapot Thaweesak, Thai Buddhism tends to rule in favour of the clergy, and under the power of the Sangha Supreme Council (SSC), does not allow other parties to pass judgement on cases or issues that crop up.
Buku FC, a football club in the Deep South with the slogan “football for peace and equality,” has created a space for women and girls to exercise and express themselves. The team is made up of Muslim women, men, and LGBT individuals.
Prejudices surrounding the physically disabled abound, not least society’s view of them as nonsexual beings. Ironically, while the disabled are often barred from sexual education, disabled women are 1.5–10 times more likely than abled women to be sexually abused. What’s more, disabled women are often forcibly sterilized, raising the issue of the degree of “rights” they have concerning their own bodies.
Analysing the predominant faith of the majority of Thais, an academic has pointed out that the version of Buddhism patronised by the Thai state promotes Thai nationalism and teaches people to be docile and accept their socio-economic status.
Cemetery of Splendour (Rak Thi Khon Kaen) is filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s love letter to his native province, as well as a subtly bitter political statement on Northeast-Capital relations.
The draft constitution going up for the referendum vote on 7 August degrades the issue of disability rights to an appalling level. It shows the junta’s point of view of the disabled as those who should receive public support but are deprived of guaranteed disability rights. According to experts, this situation will weaken the force of law for equality for the disabled.
Although Thailand is usually thought of as a recipient, not exporter of pop culture, Thai soap operas are making waves in mainland China.
Since the release of the draft constitution, the junta has formally and informally suppressed criticism of the draft as well as the referendum, scheduled to be held on 7 August, itself. Although it is obvious that Thais are not going to vote in the referendum in a free and fair manner, a group of red-shirt activists are determined to defy the junta’s rule by campaigning against the draft charter. They share with Prachatai how to mobilize campaign under such repression and what they've found about voters' attitude toward draft charter and politics.
A military-sponsored major production doesn’t even bother to conceal its political propaganda in the form of a weepy stage play. The show seems to be a response to the popular current of pondering the question, “What is the Military For?” from an article published by Nidhi Eoseewong.
Is it possible for a lakorn to paint a realistic picture of a rocky marriage? “Padiwarada’s” subtle yet major deviations from the usual soap fare shed a new light on Thai women and marriages.