(Tokyo, February 6, 2015) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should press Thailand’s junta leader to improve human rights and restore democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who chairs the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta that staged a military coup in May 2014, is scheduled to travel to Japan from February 8 to 10, 2015. According to his office, Prayuth will meet Abe to seek to boost Japanese investment in Thailand.
Thai military reportedly killed two suspected insurgents and arrested three suspects during a raid at a school in Thailand’s restive Deep South. However, there are reports that another woman was also killed at the scene. Nearly a hundred military officers surrounded an Islamic school in Mayo District in Pattani Province at around 3 am on Friday in an attempt to arrest suspects believed to be hiding in the school, according Wartani, a local media outlet based in the southern border province of Pattani.
The military ordered six rubber farmers to be detained in a military camp for ‘attitude adjustment’ after they campaigned for a rubber price subsidy. According to the Post Today Online, Maj Gen Kueakun Innachak, Surat Thani Army Chief, summoned Pairot Ruekdi, coordinator of the Rubber Farmers’ Federation of Bang Song Sub-district of Wiang Sa District in the southern province of Surat Thani, and five other leading members to report to a military camp on Tuesday.
Thailand’s military authorities must halt the alarming deterioration in respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, including ending the unprecedented use of the lèse-majesté law, Amnesty International said ahead of International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a bit of military flummery that nominally provides security for the monarch but in reality keeps the tourist dollars flowing. The sight of humans imitating automatons in ridiculous hats attracts the gawping attention of those in need of regular trivial mental stimulation. At 6 pm every evening a similar change-over occurs in police stations around the country. This attracts no attention at all and the mechanics of it are unknown to the general public. But perhaps they should be.
The military and police on Thursday evening detained four academics and three student activists for organizing and participating in a seminar about the end of dictatorial regimes in foreign countries after forcing the seminar to be stopped. They were released about 9.30pm. The seminar was a part of the political seminar series “Democracy Classroom”, organized by League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy (LLTD), a progressive Thammasat student group.
Since September 2013, the tension between villagers and Tungkum Co. Ltd., the mine operator, flared up when the villagers barricaded the mine entrance, blocking trucks, each of which normally carries 15 tons of cyanide waste, from passing through the villages. The villagers from six villages of Khao Luang district of the northeastern province of Loei claims that throughout 12 years of mining operations, they have suffered numerous environmental problems allegedly caused by the mine.
Female paramilitaries in the troubled Deep South are dubbed “Iron Flowers” by the military. They are assigned to use their soft side to connect with locals. This story explores whether they are successful and what obstacles they face.
The conflict over the mine in Loei is the first test of the junta’s policy to create reconciliation. The villagers say they have lost trust after the military intervened.
Hard day, dear? Hmmm. It’s been a Prime Minister day … Yes, dear, I know. You do? The suit and tie. That’s your PM uniform. Your peaked cap, scrambled egg and full medals is when you’re Army Chief and for Head of NCPO, if you can get away with it, it’s beret and starched fatigues. It’s not difficult to work out. Hmmm. Well I much prefer the fatigues. I just don’t feel comfortable in a suit. Politicians wear suits.