A young academic explains what Chulalongkorn University (CU) means to Thai society and why conservatives were so furious when a progressive activist was voted to be president of the university’s student council.
"It cannot be explained with words. When I was sick, he was a doctor taking care of me. When I was hungry, he was a cook for me. He is my husband, my friend and my teacher.
The decision by the junta’s lawmakers to drop consideration of a bill on torture and enforced disappearance is largely seen as a major setback by civil society organisations and victims’ families who are calling for answers and justifications.
"That week I could visit him only once. Pai asked me if I had changed my mind about him. He said like he is a prisoner already but he said I’m still young and still have a better future than this."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.