Bribes are unavoidable for businesses that operate in the grey market. Sex businesses must forfeit considerable sums of money to the authorities to persuade them to turn a blind eye to sex work, especially if their businesses operate in tourist districts. June (pseudonym), a 39-year-old ‘bar girl’ from Ao Nang in Krabi Province, recounts that each week the ‘bar’ owner provides a list of sums of money to be given to various government departments.
Although the Constitution supposedly guarantees the right to bail, it is as if that right does not exist for a lèse majesté suspect. In the case of Jatupat “Pai” Boonpattararaksa, the court seemed to improvise the reason for revoking bail beyond what the law allows, an expert says.
Apart from the problem of interpreting the legal meaning of the term ‘defame’ in Article 112, the other problematic term is ‘heir-apparent’. This has been a delicate issue for many years. Documents that will confirm this issue in fighting a case be used for the defense are extremely difficult to access. What is strange is that this is still the case even when we have entered the reign of King Rama X. Prachatai has compiled lèse majesté cases that deal with the status of Crown Princess Sirindhorn.
On the fourth anniversary of the clash at Ramkhamhaeng University and Rajamangala Stadium during the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PRDC) campaign, there is no progress in the legal cases to report. The father of a Ramkhamhaeng student hopes to learn who shot his son.
Though no Thai government has ever conducted a formal survey, UNAIDS estimated in 2014 that some 123,530 sex workers operated in Thailand, with the sex industry contributing 10 per cent of the revenue that the country generates from tourism. Another study in 2003 estimated that Thailand’s sex industry generates an annual US$4.3 billion dollars. While the sex industry is evidently a pillar of the country’s economy and touches the lives of a great number of people, sex work remains outlawed in Thailand.
The Gender Equality Act of 2015 was enacted by the junta almost three years ago now. Although the name is seemingly progressive and rosy, one of its articles contains a worrying loophole that states that actions implemented for national security or religious purposes do not constitute gender discrimination.
In what follows below, I offer a concise picture of the dynamics and significance of Article 112 over the preceding decade. Some of the sources cannot be fully cited as it may harm those who provided information or defendants in ongoing cases.
The authorities are still pushing an energy policy that ignores local interests and the environment, even after February protests temporarily halted a coal-fired power station in Krabi.
Forming political alliances, securing military influence, creating extra-parliamentary mechanisms and establishing dominant ideology are things that the ruling junta has learnt from the 2006 wasted coup, says an academic.
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.