Despite a growing deficit, Thailand’s junta-appointed parliament has voted unanimously in favour of a draft government budget that allocates an extra 8.8 billion baht to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2018.
Not even a month after the summary killing of Chaiyapoom Pasae, a 17-year-old Lahu activist, on 17 March 2017, paramilitary officers and soldiers shot dead two insurgent suspects in the restive Deep South. The authorities claimed that the two resisted arrest and exchanged gunfire with the officers. However, the sister of one of the slain insurgent suspects said they were unarmed and shot point blank after they were asked to step out of their car.
The junta’s lawmakers has proposed a new version of the controversial Computer Crimes Bill which will allow the authorities to block online content directly and pressure service providers to censor themselves.
Despite talk from the junta about land reform in the form of a progressive land tax to tackle disparity and increase public revenue, research ironically shows that the Thai military is one of the country’s biggest landowners.
Thanks in part to the prospect of a return to elections, the junta-sponsored draft constitution has been approved by a majority vote via the controversial referendum. The attached question of whether an unelected-senate should be allowed to join the house of representatives in selecting the Prime Minister was also approved.
While the Thai junta insists their primary mission is to reform the country, a year has lapsed since the National Reform Council (NRC) presented 505 reform proposals to the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA).
Ethnic parties in Myanmar elections (Infographic: Myanmar Now, Prachatai) See large image here
Myanmar Now gives an overview of important events leading up to elections on Nov. 8, billed as Myanmar’s first free and fair national vote in 25 years.
The vote of the National Reform Council (NRC) for or against the draft constitution on 6 September 2015 is a pivotal point for Thai politics. At the end of the line, however, people will be given two main choices: whether to prolong the life of the Thai junta; or to have an elected government by late 2016, which will be lorded over by a ‘Crisis Panel’, a Thai style ‘Politburo’.
Gen Prayut has before said that he is a funny guy. Prachatai has collected some interesting 15 suggestions from the junta leader on expensive seafood, expensive lime, drought, low rubber price, to bikini!