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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hara Shintaro analyses weakness of the Deep South peace process and suggest ways to move forward productively.
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..." ****************
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.