Opinion

28 Jul 2008
Almost all Thai rightists I interviewed for my recent research perceived that the threats to Thailand today are capitalism and America.  Even lifelong anti-communist ‘Phor’, an alias used for this research, who has tenaciously held the idea of national security being under threat from two strands of communism, sees that Thailand has to be cautious of the CIA interfering and agitating groups of Thai people to the point of being a threat to security.  Of course, they were well aware that the threats from capitalism and America are not one and the same as the communist threat.
25 Jul 2008
This week's takeover of a 10pm time slot on state-run NBT channel for a pro-government political talk show on the initiative of Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej was at best a gullible move by the administration.
18 Jul 2008
Are there any moderates left in the anti-Thaksin Shinawatra People's Alliance for Democracy? It may be wishful thinking to expect a few, or even one, given the daily bombardment of one-sided information and news the group prescribes itself. But if there are any left they should wake up, smell the coffee and recognise that the alliance is now doing too much damage to democracy. And they should do something to rectify it, instead of keeping silent and hoping that it's enough to simply be on the supposedly "virtuous" side.
18 Jul 2008
The killing of Yapa Koseng in a vehicle parked at an army base in southern Thailand has attracted interest among news media and human rights groups, particularly since a doctor speaking at a postmortem inquest hearing at the end of June indicated that his fatal injuries could have been caused only by savage torture.
4 Jul 2008
I received word from the villagers living in a village on the Thai-Burma border with Shan State.  They found five boys and girls crossing from one side into Thai territory. It looked like they were running from something. The villagers who found this group of children discovered that they were ethnic Wa.
3 Jul 2008
Mr. Suriyasai Katasila, coordinator of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), wrote an article entitled “New politics” of the PAD challenge in Manager Online, clarifying the proposed “70: 30” political system where 70 percent of officeholders are appointed while 30 percent are elected. Suree Mingwannalak has also written a Critique of Suriyasai Katasila’s “New Politics”, arguing that the PAD leadership are trying to raise the level of the struggle, but this won’t achieve it; in fact it will take the people backward. 
2 Jul 2008
The term “Carnival of Reaction” was first used by the Irish Marxist James Connolly when referring to the defeat of socialist politics in Ireland and the rise of reactionary Catholicism and reactionary Protestantism either side of the partition border.
1 Jul 2008
Cambodia does.  On June 15, 1962, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that, ‘the Court, by nine votes to three, finds that the temple of Preah Vihear is situated in territory under the sovereignty of Cambodia.’  The Cabinet of the time made a resolution and announced that Thailand, as a member of the United Nations, accepted the ICJ ruling.
19 Jun 2008
The depth of feeling grows for calm and reason to prevail so that Thaksin Shinawatra can get a fair hearing in Thailand's judicial system. A worthy sentiment indeed, but are we likely to see an end to the brooding political atmosphere?
18 Jun 2008
In brief, the issues of “poverty” and “the poor” (depending on the definition which may vary and is related to income, resource management and budget, etc.) have existed in Thailand since before it became a nation state.  They survive in all periods, whether pre-capitalist or capitalist, pre-modern or post modern, and affect various classes and/or groups that take over state power including powerful military regimes or political parties.
30 May 2008
On the hot and humid late afternoon of 25 May on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue near the Democracy Monument, people had gathered and were listening to public speeches by speakers of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).  The yellow of the shirts and diverse colours of the umbrellas which linked to one another like a floating raft made the afternoon uniquely more colourful than usual.  The spokesperson on the PAD stage continued to invite the public from their homes to show their stance against the “outlaw government which is trying to amend the constitution for themselves”.
28 May 2008
Here we go again. The talk of a coup d'etat is making the headlines once more. That's nothing to be surprised about in Thailand. The surprising thing is that most of the Thai media should treat the issue with a degree of casualness when asking generals and politicians about what may happen.

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