A full account of Chanoknak Ruamsap, the latest lèse majesté suspect on the moment she learned about the charge and why she decided to flee Thailand.
Sulak Sivaraksa, a renowned Thai social critic, reflects on his latest lèse majesté case and his experience petitioning to the King.
Former Prime Minister-turned-fugitive Yingluck Shinawatra was spotted, on a London high street on January 4, for the first time since she fled Thailand prior to the reading of her verdict. Yingluck was sentenced in absentia to five years in prison for mishandling a rice subsidy scheme which allegedly cost Thailand at least $8bn. Her recent appearance in public immediately lifted morale among some of the red shirts in Thailand.
A story about the family of a young Muslim Malay man killed by a motorcycle bomb in Yala market by Soraya Jamjuree and Kamnoeng Chamnankit
“Democracy without dharma is a Gross Domestic Product catastrophe,” a well-known monk just recently posted on their Facebook page. Many people probably wonder, “What about dictatorship?” No matter which, a system of government that allows one individual or group to use absolute power without scrutiny or consultation from anyone would need dharma or a deterring tool much more than democracy.
If you asked me if the decision by a military prosecutor to drop the lèse majesté charge against renowned historian and social critic Sulak Sivaraksa is good news, I’d say, ‘yes it’s good that the old man does not have to spend time in jail’. But if you asked me if this is a good sign for the state of freedom of expression in Thailand, I’d say ‘no, it’s not.’
Since ISIS has made headlines in international media, many analysts have linked the insurgency of Thailand’s three southernmost provinces to the transnational jihadist groups. Hara Shintaro, an expert on the Deep South conflict, argued that the struggle was more distinguishably nationalistic since it was led by the local elites and was strongly influenced by the atmosphere of post-World War II decolonisation.
The political struggle in Thailand can be seen as the unfinished democratization project. Although we have already had the revolution for establishing the democratic regime since 1932 by a group of democrat bureaucrats and military, there were military-led 13 coup d'etat, and the constitution has been changed for 20 times during the "85 years of solitude" of Thailand politics.
"During the past three years, my despair about my country has never reached the depth it did when I learned of the judgment in the case of Pai Dao Din," said Nidhi Eoseewong. Nidhi Eoseewong (file photo)
On May 22, 2014 the Thai military, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, staged a coup d’état to end several months of political and civil chaos in Thailand. At its very basic level, the chaos was caused by an on-going conflict between the so-called ‘red-shirts’, followers of the government of Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party and comprising the rural voters forming a majority of the electorate, and the ‘yellow-shirts’, an alliance between the military, the Thai elite, and the middle-class Democrat party of Abhisit Vejjajiva with a strong following in Bangkok.