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.
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.
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.
What are the dreams of families who migrated from Shan State and currently reside in Thailand? Many families hope to be reunited with family members in their home country; but there are many families who hope to begin new lives here, in Thailand. While Shan children have been growing up in Thai society and feel that Thailand is their home, how should the Thai policies on citizenship and the status of stateless people be adjusted to the needs of this cross-border population? These issues are addressed in the following report.
Sexual release is a basic human need but it has always been subject to social norms, law and morality. In Thai prisons, regulations place even the internal needs of inmates under the state’s vigorous control.But the state can never fully control the force of human desire. Sexual activities happen in the everyday reality of prison life, though consensual sexual activities are largely limited to partners of the same sex. Sexual activities in prisons occur both among lovers and as pragmatic commerce.
News of police scapegoating innocent victims has inspired public calls for police reform. But amidst announcements by the junta that it will push ahead with planned reforms to the police force, some believe the initiatives will only increase the regime’s grip over the nation’s law enforcers.
In October 2016, there was a minor news report that at an event commemorating the 40th anniversary of 6 October 1976 and coincidentally the 10th anniversary of the 2006 coup, a film named Democracy After Death: The Tragedy of Uncle Nuamthong Praiwan was shown with no real marketing. After that showing, there does not appear to have been any screenings or distribution anywhere else. There were only rumours that the organizing committee was warned by security officials that some of the film’s content might constitute a violation of the lèse-majesté law.
“We talked by phone. My little brother talked for me, I didn’t talk to her myself (laughs). After more than a week, I went to pick her up to live with me, and then I proposed to her. I can’t really pinpoint why she’s so nice. I like her for how hard-working she is, waking up early to do housework and taking care of the kids. When I took her to my uncle for him to look her over, he said I could have her if I want. Before, I took many girls for my uncle to look at but he said this one got up late, or was too lazy to wash the dishes. Once the meal was over they hid the dirty dishes. Lazy. But Sim is hard-working. She gets up to do laundry at 4 and 5 am. Uncle sneaked in to watch her.”
She would not let the death of her uncle be forgotten as insignificant and has braved legal, physical and psychological threats in her fight against military-backed torture. Prachatai introduces Naritsarawan ‘May’ Keawnopparat, our Person of the Year 2016.
Prisons in Thailand still fail to recognise the basic rights of female prisoners, depriving women of essential health services and goods from sanitary pads to bras. Overburdened prisons due to Thailand’s harsh drug laws aggravate the current situation. This report reveals the devastating condition of female prisons in Thailand, places where women detainees live without dignity.