22 May 2015
The world is aghast at the fact that up to 8000 members of the Rohingya people of Myanmar have ended up adrift in leaky overcrowded boats having to fight for food and being forced to drink their own urine. They have been shipped from port to port while the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh argue over who is responsible for them and the government of Myanmar acts as if the problem is nothing to do with it. The real scandal is that almost 1 million people can be denied their right to citizenship in Myanmar and held in what are effectively prison camps under armed guard.
16 May 2015
May 2015 is a significant month for Thailand, but perhaps not for the right reasons. On May 19, it is exactly five years since the Thai military, at the order of the then government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, launched brutal crackdowns against the red-shirt protesters, who demanded him return power to the Thai voters and called for a fresh election. Abhisit was accused of taking power illegitimately; he was only able to form a minority government with the backing of the army. The crackdowns resulted in 99 protesters being killed and over 2,000 injured.
12 May 2015
In May 2014 Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha stated that he wanted “to create an enabling environment that would facilitate the holding of elections” which “ will be free and fair, so that [it] can become a solid foundation for a complete Thai democracy”. Unfortunately in practice the human rights situation in Thailand is moving in the opposite direction and every action by the military government seems to have the specific purpose of silencing dissent and eliminating any effective opposition.
8 Apr 2015
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014.
2 Apr 2015
The adulation of Lee Kwan Yew on his demise is expected. Throughout his rule he had the support of a completely inhibited press.
17 Mar 2015
The concept of “national security” is manipulated at the hands of the military
16 Feb 2015
Panitan Watanayagorn is currently adviser to General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister.
13 Feb 2015
Note: This piece was a response to the 10 February release and dismissal of charges against Jaruwan, Anon, and Chat, three people accused of creating a Facebook book page with l
11 Feb 2015
Translator’s Note: The fable below was originally published in Thai on Prachatai in four parts in October, December, January, and February.
9 Feb 2015
It was the artist Tran Luong and a red scarf. It does not take more to make the Vietnamese police raid the German cultural center in Hanoi. An interrupted installation in a space that is actually protected by diplomacy. I saw Tran Luong’s performance in full, uninterrupted, in Berlin, far away from the country he was from my interpretation commenting on by throwing a red scarf around, playing cheerfully with until the scarf tied his hands behind the back and he was unable to move.
6 Feb 2015
In contemporary history, Thailand has experienced more military coups than any other country. But the one that took place in September 2006 when the Thai military staged a coup d'état against the elected government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has divided people into two main groups; the yellow and red. Now in 2015, the country is under military rule again.
2 Feb 2015
Translator’s Note: The fable below was originally published in Thai on Prachatai on 14 January 2015. The first part was published in October, in Thai here and in English here on Prachatai.