16 Feb 2017
The recent announcement that the Ministry of Commerce is pursuing 20 billion baht in allegedly ‘fake’ rice deals in terms of compensation from six senior individuals, namely former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom; his former deputy Poom Sarapol; Manas Soyploy, a former director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade; his former deputy Tikamporn Natvorathat; and Akrapong Theepvajara, ex-director of the Foreign Rice Trading Office, makes one wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes.
3 Feb 2017
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is the Thai junta’s least favourite international human rights non-governmental organization, just below Amnesty International (AI). HRW’s 2017 report, covered in this recent Prachatai English news report, which includes some choice quotes from Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, is quite damning.
24 Dec 2016
As reported in this excellent ABC News column drawing on a Matichon Online story, the Royal Thai Military has begun the systematic militarized indoctrination of kindergarteners. Systematic Military Indoctrination of Thai Kindergarteners Begins
9 Dec 2016
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. IQ Redux
24 Nov 2016
The McNamara Fallacy: The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK as far as it goes.The second step is to disregard that which can’t be easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can’t be measured easily really isn’t important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can’t be easily measured really doesn’t exist. This is suicide.
1 Nov 2016
"All so that it would be a stronger world A strong, though loving, world To die in" John Cale
21 Oct 2016
This column was first published as a lead op ed on October 14, then was overtaken by events. It asks the key question about Rama IX’s legacy, the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. Unlike Bhutan’s Buddhist-economic-based theory of Gross National Happiness, the PSE has made no progress internationally. The Prayut Administration controls the message regarding the PSE domestically. Whether it actually cares about the PSE can therefore only be measured by whether it makes the PSE work internationally. Gentile or Jew
13 Oct 2016
In the past months, dozens of multilingual signs have been installed across Khon Kaen province in Northeast Thailand. Part of an innovative cultural maintenance and revitalisation project, the signs bear messages in three languages - Thai, Isaan (Thai Lao) and English.
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.
26 Sep 2016
The finding guilty of human rights activist Andy Hall for defamation and violation of the Computer Crimes Act was lauded by the plaintiff, the president of Natural Fruit. After hearing the verdict, the president stated to the press that "No foreigner should think they have power above Thai sovereignty". Because Natural Fruit’s president has invoked Thai values, it is worthwhile examining the case through official normative Thai values, the Twelve Core Values of Thai People.
15 Sep 2016
In Thailand, there is a long and distinguished tradition of citizens and non-citizens being able to petition the reigning monarch. This tradition leads dates back at least to the time of the King Ram Khamhaeng stele. Given the circumstances, this open letter to General Prem Tinsulanonda, Head of the Privy Council, is an exercising of that right. CC HRH the Heir Apparent Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn General,
5 Sep 2016
This analysis of the recently released Project for a Social Democracy’s Statement of Purpose, available in full below, attempts to put Social Democracy in context in the Thai Situation. As can be seen, there is a significant emphasis on philosophy, or political ideology, as well as on human solidarity, worker’s rights, internationalism, and economic, social, and cultural rights as well as civil and political ones. This is new for Thailand and should be welcomed.