23 Feb 2013
Regarding political conflict in Thailand, many years ago I proposed that the political system (relations of power) is unable to adapt and broaden itself to accept the expansion of a new group of people who I referred to as the lower middle-class. This group of people is vast and needs a space to politically negotiate within the system, because their lives, their worldviews, and their interests have changed.
13 Feb 2013
Japan’s Shinzo Abe administration had decided to raise the defence budget for the first time in 11 years. The government called for spending 4.68 trillion yen (US$52 billion) on defence, an increase of 0.8% from last year, in the new fiscal year which will begin this April.
8 Feb 2013
Ajarn Piyabutr Saengkanokkul made the observation that: "When we speak of French history, why is it that we only think about the French Revolution and the beheading and overthrow of the king? Really, there are many other interesting issues. Not every uprising in French history led to the overthrow of a king. It took a long time to set the system of political life in France. France had to deal with the king, and not until 1899 did it manage to bring him under control and move towards a progressive republic, after becoming a republic in 1870 and going through a gradual process and compromise with royalists.
7 Feb 2013
Burma in 2012 2012 was an important year for Burma, a Southeast Asia country with a population of approximately 60 million and also known as Myanmar, with significant and dramatic changes. The Military regime that ruled the country for many decades devolved. The undemocratic constitution, which was adopted by force and fraud in 2008, came into effect through the 2010 election, which placed the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in power. Burma’s democratic opposition is now working within the new political system. The National League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, has joined the Parliament through the by-election in April 2012. Ethnic politicians who boycotted the 2010 election have formed political parties and are prepared to stand in future elections. Workers are allowed to form trade unions and peoples are allowed to stage peaceful protest subject to advance permission.
6 Feb 2013
Craig J. Reynolds, a historian of Southeast Asia at the Australian National University, reviews Tyrell Haberkorn's book Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand, which was launched in late 2011.
5 Feb 2013
The sounds of pretty drum majorettes, cheerleaders and whimsical music were blaring. The colour of pink on the shirts of hundreds of students was being paraded from Chula to a stadium nearby, where the Traditional CU-TU Football Match was about to take place. The once-a-year event is seen by many students as a chance to show their pride, unity and loyalty to their institutions.
30 Jan 2013
The recent 11-year sentence against Somyot Prueksakasemsuk relating to lèse majesté and Thailand’s defamation laws has, once again, brought into focus questions that seek to fairly examine the current status of human rights and freedom of expression within Thailand.
25 Jan 2013
Japan has embarked on adjusting its foreign policy following the electoral victory of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which brought Shinzo Abe back to the premiership for the second time. After the Cabinet was formed on 26 December, Abe sent his deputy, Taro Aso, a former prime minister now in charge of the finance ministry, to Myanmar.
14 Jan 2013
Optimism is running high in Myanmar. After several decades under the military rule, Myanmar is now undertaking a series of political reforms. And so far, the move has been impressive.
11 Jan 2013
On 15 January 2013, the Philippine Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case challenging the constitutionality of Republic Act 10175, commonly known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which was adopted last September 2012. At least 15 petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court from various groups challenging this law. The question being asked now is whether or not the Supreme Court will uphold the Philippine’s tradition of free speech.
7 Jan 2013
Regarding Pitak Siam, Khun Nattawut Saikua opined that there is no clear signal that anti-democratic movements can function in a coordinated fashion. Consequently, it is unlikely they will upend the political field. But they cannot be underestimated.
26 Dec 2012
2012 is coming to an end. Soon, we will embrace what the New Year will bring. In foreign affairs, Thailand will, like in previous years, encounter a myriad of opportunities and challenges. This short article will identify key international events and ongoing domestic issues that could make an impact on the Thai foreign policy and the stature of the country on the global stage.