3 Nov 2016
Romadon Panjor, editor of the Deep South Watch website, presented his Master’s Degree thesis at the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University, on how the Thai state has created a large number of terms over the past 12 years’ of violence in the Deep South that obfuscate the political intentions of the Patani liberation movement and deters international intervention. On the other hand, the insurgency has also created terms that Thais have never heard before and that challenge the mainstream Thai discourse.
26 Oct 2016
Recent ‘witch hunts’ as Thailand mourns its late King are the consequence of hyper-royalism, a culture of impunity and political polarisation, says a Thai sociologist. He speculates the hunts will last until celebrations for the new throne are completed.
25 Oct 2016
Recent ‘witch-hunts’ as Thailand mourns its late King are the consequence of hyper-royalism, an impunity culture and political polarisation, says a Thai sociologist. He speculates the hunts will last until celebrations for the new throne. The term ‘witch-hunts’ has been widely used on Thai social media since the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death on 13 October. It refers to acts of vigilantism against those accused of lèse majesté or those who do not comply with nationwide mourning regulations.
7 Oct 2016
On his visit to Thailand during the 60th Anniversary year of Thai-New Zealand diplomatic relations, the Right Honorable Jim Bolger, Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1990 to 1997, granted the following interview to Prachatai, facilitated by the Project for a Social Democracy. The interview covers development in Khon Kaen, Thai-New Zealand relations, the AEC and aid, cultural rights promotion, the TPP, corruption, the state of Thai politics, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the Deep South.
3 Oct 2016
Puangthong Pawakapan, a scholar in the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University and member of the organizing committee for the “40th anniversary of 6 October: ‘We do not forget’” events gave an interview to Prachatai about the deeply-embedded culture of impunity in Thai society. In her view, the 6 October 1976 massacre is a profound wound and a primary metaphor of this culture, which is nourished by the connections woven across the ruling class. Even after four decades, the families of those killed on 6 October continue to live in fear while the ruling class does not comprehend the anger that continues to drive the people into the streets.
15 Aug 2016
The Thai word “ja” has become popular in Thailand as a criticism of the police, following the arrest of an activist’s mother in early May on a lèse majesté charge. The case against her is seen as politically motivated and has sent Thailand’s human rights record to a new low. No evidence has been unveiled to the public other than the word “ja,” non-committal, colloquial ‘yes’ Thai, she said during a Facebook conversation. Assistant Professor Sawatree Suksri, expert on criminal law from Thammasat University, and core member of Nitirat, explained whether this could really deemed lèse majesté.
13 Aug 2016
In an interview with Prachatai following the constitutional referendum, Nidhi Eoseewong maintained that the results were due to the lack of free and open debate and criticism. Many people consequently made what seemed the easy choice giving the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) a sort of split legitimacy: While Thais may accept the results, it will be difficult to claim legitimacy with the international community where the process has been seen as unjust from the start. Despite the referendum result, he holds out hope for democracy future.
10 Aug 2016
People from various backgrounds who voted ‘yes’ in last Sunday’s referendum revealed to Prachatai that they want the country to move “forwards” even though they have read very little, if anything, of the actual draft.
6 Aug 2016
The embattled politician from the Pheu Thai Party believes that no matter what the referendum result is, elections must be held by 2017 but in any event democracy will not return to Thailand in the near future. What is the future of Thailand’s politics ? Why do some Thais decide to ‘vote yes,’ while some go for ‘vote no,’ and some decide not to go to vote at all? Most importantly, what is the possible result of the referendum?
19 Jul 2016
Under the junta’s climate of fear and intimidation where politicians, academics, and civil society are silenced, a high school student, Parit Chiwarak, withstands the pressure and actively protects the right to free education from the junta’s attempts to abolish it.
3 Jul 2016
Citing arms race in Southeast Asia as a primary reason, the Thai junta has embraced a plan to equip the Royal Thai Navy with submarines. However, many wonder if the extra 36 billion baht in military spending could be a burden to the struggling Thai economy when it could be spent on other necessities.
30 Jun 2016
The liberation movement engaged in armed struggle for the independence of the three southernmost provinces has always cited Thailand’s assimilation policy and its discrimination against the use of local Malay language as one of the main reasons of the armed struggle. The policy of language discrimination in Thailand dates back at least 80 years ago. These decreed that Thai nationals, whatever their ethnicity, must speak Thai, learn Thai in school. This greatly affected people in the Deep South whose first language is Malay.Due to this uncompromising assimilation policy, the state of Malay in Patani has become very weak and marginalized. Hara Shintaro, an expert in Malay and and fierce critic of Deep South politics discusses how the language, Malay identity and violent conflict are intertwined