Opinion

25 Apr 2016
There is little to be gained from further interpretation and evaluation of Meechai Ruchuphan’s draft constitution. The drafters felt no need for concealment or obfuscation concerning who they want to hold power and who they would prevent from gaining power. On these points it is the clearest of any constitution we’ve ever had, so clear that interpretation is hardly needed.   The contents of the draft are not as interesting as are its intentions and political objectives.
19 Apr 2016
  Part 1: Chronology    It is not unusual for Patani Malay Muslims to receive a bilingual invitation card printed both in Thai and Malay (in Jawi script) for a fund raising tea party, usually organized by a local mosque, aimed at collecting donations from well-wishers. These events, called ‘makae the’ (drinking tea) in the local Malay dialect, are often held as one of the most effective traditional ways of public fund raising in the community.
11 Apr 2016
My speech at a hearing on “Obstacles to Democratisation in Thailand” at the French Senate, Paris, 5 April 2016. I would like to focus mainly on current politics of Thailand, particularly on obstacles to Thai democratisation in the aftermath of the 2014 coup.  
7 Apr 2016
I have been detained and banned from travelling abroad for challenging militarisation. Those who refuse to kowtow to Thailand’s junta are paying the price
22 Mar 2016
Hara Shintaro observes ISIS fad in Thailand's restive Deep South, and gives very insightful views on the similarities and differences between the Patani freedom movements and the pan-Islamism jihadist movements. 
14 Mar 2016
A MARA Patani delegate looks back at the struggle of Patani independence movements. As Thailand and MARA are about to a reach mutual agreement which will kick start the official peace talks, Abu Hafez Al-Hakim says MARA will only have one demand.   
11 Mar 2016
When it comes to crackdowns on “influential people,” there are several reasons to worry. The first is that the people doing the crackdowns are usually acting in the service of “villains” at the top of the military and police.
10 Mar 2016
Today marks the 107th anniversary of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty. It will be remembered by those aware of the Treaty as the day Thailand colonized Patani. This isn't exactly true. Thailand or the Siamese Kingdom as it was at that time had already forcibly moved in to occupy the most northerly Malay State on the eastern coast of the Malay Peninsula much earlier.
9 Mar 2016
I was relieved to read Ajan Nidhi Eoseewong’s article in Prachatai English this past Tuesday, March 1st, about the rise of Islamophobia amongst Buddhist groups in northern Thailand. Ajan Nidhi’s article addresses the recent opposition to the construction of a halal industrial park in Chiang Mai on the part of a consortium of influential Buddhist groups. Sadly, this is only the most recent example of Buddhist objection to Muslim religious expression in the north.
8 Mar 2016
Hara Shintaro analyses weakness of the Deep South peace process and suggest ways to move forward productively. 
2 Mar 2016
This essay does not advocate support of coups. It does support more study of coups and the various international conditions that exist when coups are effected. Society needs to gain a more objective overview to understand the coup phenomenon more accurately and not automatically dismiss the sociopolitical realities that exist at the time coups are planned or effected. "The fault is not within the stars but within ourselves..."   ****************
1 Mar 2016
I was surprised and disappointed at a recent statement opposing plans to site a Halal industrial park anywhere in Chiang Mai. The statement was issued to the Governor in late January by a group of Buddhist monks and laity including the head of the Chiang Mai Sangha and members of the Association of Village Heads of Chiang Mai.

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