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.
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
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.
Thailand’s junta has shown itself unwilling to reconsider the inclusion of capital punishment in its Organic Act on Political Parties.
Facebook has published a report revealing that the junta requested access to personal information on three Facebook users during the first half of 2016. Photo courtesy of
Thailand’s newly amended Computer Crimes Act will jeopardise the junta’s ‘Thailand 4.0’ policy of developing the country’s digital economy, says an organisation leading Thailand’s financial technology industry. Allowing authorities to access the personal data of internet users will force businesses out of the country. On 16 December 2016, Thailand’s junta-appointed legislature, the National Legislative Assembly, unanimously voted to pass an amendment to the controversial Computer Crimes Act.
Despite the protests of over 300,000 Thais, the junta’s lawmakers have passed the controversial Computer Crimes Bill to provide the state with heightened online surveillance and censorship powers. On 16 December 2016, the National Legislative Assembly, the junta-appointed law-making body, unanimously passed an amendment to the controversial Computer Crime Act.
The leader of Thailand’s junta has congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump on being elected, saying the junta would accept anyone elected by the people. On 9 November 2016, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Thailand’s Prime Minister, said the Thai government would have accepted whoever emerged as victor in the 2016 US election since either would have had the mandate of the people, reported the Thai News Agency. Prayut heads Thailand’s junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (N
Thailand’s Justice Minister says that 'social sanction' is the best way to protect the monarchy, adding that Thais should do the same with lèse majesté offenders living abroad. Meanwhile, the junta has urged people to use the legal process rather than violence. On 18 October 2016, Justice Minister Paiboon Kumchaya was asked by the media for his opinion about the vigilante attack against a soy milk seller in Phuket accused of lèse majesté that occurred three days earlier.
The junta head has said that pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was not detained by the Thai authorities, but was rather just ‘flying over’ Thailand, adding that there is no difference between sending the activist to Hong Kong or Mainland China since both are the same country. On 5 October 2016, Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and PM, said Thai immigration officials did not detain or arrest Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, a key leader of the Umbrella Revolution.