3 Apr 2017
Thaksin Shinawatra has urged Thailand’s ruling junta to stop blaming him for political violence, adding he wants no place in the military government’s ongoing reconciliation efforts. On 31 March 2017, the exiled former Prime Minister condemned the junta on his Facebook page for its failure to handle the country’s economy.
17 Mar 2017
While the ruling junta is showing its commitment to human rights principle at the UN’s ICCPR review in Geneva, NGO workers said the such superficial commitment is just to avoid further humiliation from international communities. Between 13 and 14 March 2016, Thailand sent 46 delegates to attend the second periodic report on implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
10 Mar 2017
Communication devices and the media have been banned from provincial consultation forums held by the junta to discuss political reconciliation, leaving the public no means to check whether reconciliation policies will reflect the people’s wishes. On 6 March 2017, the junta held the first of three provincial forums in Nakhon Sawa
1 Mar 2017
Thailand’s junta leader has called for the Thai people to be flexible about the country’s ‘roadmap to democracy’, suggesting that a postponement of elections would not be a big deal. On 27 February 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, delivered a speech reaffirming the importance of the country’s ‘roadmap to democracy’.
23 Feb 2017
Senior journalists have denounced the junta’s controversial Media Bill, arguing the junta wishes to entrench itself in power rather than promote truth and responsible media. On 22 February 2017, a panel of senior journalists and media officials at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand warned that severe new media regulations proposed by the junta represent the military’s ambitions to maintain an influence in Thai politics even after the country transitions to a democratic system. Thepchai Yong, the President of the Thai Broadcas
3 Feb 2017
Thailand has again been ranked by Freedom House as 'Not Free' due to chronic human rights violations, suppressed freedom of expression and a military-sponsored draft constitution. On 2 February 2017, Freedom House published its annual report titled Freedom in the World 2017: Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy, an annual review of freedom worldwide.
3 Feb 2017
Thai authorities have requested Lao PDR to extradite a group of five to six Thais for producing radio programmes deemed defamatory to the Thai Monarchy, even though this would be forbidden under the extradition treaty.
31 Jan 2017
As a model for its ongoing reconciliation efforts, the Thai junta will follow the amnesty programme for communists implemented during the Cold War. The Thai government has made political reconciliation a policy priority, to resolve chronic unrest between different political movements. Plans include a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by various political parties and movements in acknowledgement of a promise to build peaceful relationships with each other.
24 Jan 2017
According to a recent political survey, the Thai public believes that the country is in need of political reconciliation. However, it is divided over whether reconciliation can be achieved under the military regime.
17 Jan 2017
A commission tasked by Thailand’s junta with achieving political reconciliation will be dominated by military appointees, even though military interference in politics is itself a prime source of conflict. Last week, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy junta head, revealed the military government’s national reconciliation plans, receiving both criticism and support from politicians. The plans include political amnesties and Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) between all
13 Jan 2017
Thailand’s junta-appointed parliament has passed amendments to the constitution, after the newly crowned King Vajiralongkorn requested changes to the section on royal prerogatives. On 13 January 2017, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved an amendment to Article 2 of the junta’s 2014 interim charter. The changes were passed unanimously with 228 votes in favor and three abstentions.
12 Jan 2017
Thailand’s junta has shown itself unwilling to reconsider the inclusion of capital punishment in its Organic Act on Political Parties.