Everyone has been inviting me to watch the television series “The Crown”. Mr Pinyo Taisuriyatumma was the first person to invite me a little over two years ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I watched the first season. Strangely, it didn’t live up to the recommendations I’ve heard for the past two years. It could be because I’ve heard so much praise I ended up expecting too much. It’s not because I know so much about the British royal family that excited anymore.
Seed is often synonymous with food, while food for many people is the same as life. And yet an amendment recently introduced in Thai parliaments will take seeds out of the hands of women, farmers and indigenous peoples who have kept seeds, shared seeds and developed a wealth of local knowledge on plant varieties-- and put them instead in the hands of large corporations. Across the world, women have bred more than 7,000 species of crops for taste, nutrition, pest resilience, drought resilience, flood resilience, and salt resistance.
The announcement of the creation of a new “radical party” of younger activists has caused a stir and raised the hopes of many among the current generation of democracy activists. The party is the brain child of billionaire tycoon Thanathorn Juangroongruangki and law academic Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, who is a member of the pro-democracy Nitirat group. [See]. In a recent Facebook post, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul indicated that the party would model itself on the new left parties in Europe and would be opposed to neo-liberalism.
When “people who want elections” come out and call for them as scheduled, some voices say: “even if we have elections, the same faces and the same political parties will bring back the same old problems.” With this discourse, I think from some angles, the people who say this want to lessen the credibility of elections and say they are not a solution to the problems we complain about. But from other angles, I understand the issues that make them think in such a way.
I kept asking I was wondering Who should decide Sufficiency of living. Yes!
Basically, ordinary people might love to have the right to choose their own representatives to sit in the top jobs in the country. Therefore, elections matter. It is strange to see a certain group of people in Thailand has come out to show their resolve against elections, on the ground that the poll might not bring ‘good’ people into governance. While an election would not bring good people or even democracy to the politics, authoritarians in Southeast Asia indeed need elections to justify their governance.
In the past week, news broke that Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University and a member of Nitirat (a group of Thammasat law professors who offer academic legal advice to society), would take a step back from academia and into politics by founding a new political party with Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
Hara Shintaro compares 2 anti-social organisations: the Japanese yakuza and the Muslim Malay insurgents in Thailand's Deep South.
Japan’s diplomatic ambition to compete with China in maintaining its foothold in Thailand seems soon to fizzle out following the failure to reach a deal on a high-speed train project between the Japanese and Thai governments.
No matter who says that elections are only a tradition or full of corruption, before 1958 Thai elections gave necessary legitimacy to political power for 25 interrupted years, even though after that the army seized power and suppressed election after election for many years. However, after the 14 October incident, elections once again returned as the backbone of political legitimacy. The army used other methods to interfere in politics while accepting elections for example, by having a Senate with tremendous power but appointed, or pressuring political parties into supporting a prime minister from the army.