Likhit Dhiravegin Interview - Part 2: On the orchestration of a political vacuum
Mr. Suthep to “reclaim sovereign power” for “the people”
On the evening of Thursday, September 5, 2013, a group of Thammasat University students posted 4 posters on various notice boards around the Thammasat-Rangsit campus. The posters show students in uniform posing in heterosexual and homosexual acts.
Renowned historian Thongchai Winichakul gave a stinging critique of the Thai study of history at the opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian Studies Institute at Thammasat University-Rangsit on July 18, 2013. Thongchai blamed the insular Thai-style teaching of history for Thais’ ignorance and unjustified superiority complex in national history and spotty knowledge about their immediate neighbours. He contended that the extreme Thai-centrism in the study of history—the narcissistic attitude about the nature and source of the Thai identity—has been a major factor in the failure of Thai education. He calls for a more self-reflective, critical and integrated way of learning history and building knowledge, that places Thailand as a part of Southeast Asia—not a singular diamond of the region that sparkles only in the Thai mind.
Thailand may be heading to its first major constitutional crisis in history. Thai Constitution Court has performed an interesting exercise in semantics with one of the most basic words: the word “and.” Not that verbal gymnastics is foreign in Thai politics but this case is unusual as it happens in the judiciary, and the ramifications may be explosive and quite significant in the development of Thailand’s political system.
One of the things PM Yingluck Shinawatra has often been criticized for since she took office in August 2011 is her English. So much fuss was made about how she spoke English at her first meeting with Hillary Clinton in November 2011 that the substance of that meeting got lost in the fight between her critics and defenders about the state of her English.
“F” for the explanations of ridiculous O-NET questions This year’s ridiculous O-NET exam questions caused much kerfuffle which had the executives of the National Institute of Educational Testing Service (NIETS) come out to give their yearly explanation for their ridiculous exam questions.
Yesterday [1 Feb] someone posted an audio file on YouTube. The clip is cut from a call-in radio talk show called “Kid Dai Kid Dee” (English title: Talk News and Music) hosted by Mr. Veera Theeraphat. The caller asked the host about Nitirat (the group that’s been calling for amendment of Thailand’s controversial lese majeste law, or Article 112 of the Criminal Code).
Matichon published its interview of Dr. Somkit Lertpaithoon on 4 January 2012. Dr. Somkit Lertpaithoon is the rector of Thammasat University who also teaches public law. The entire interview covered several issues, mainly Kanthoop, lèse majesté law (Article 112), and the proposed constitution amendment.
So who is Kan-thoop? Kan-thoop is a name that is familiar to those who have closely followed Thai politics over the past two years, especially if they are embedded in the social media.