Opinion

15 Feb 2008
The following article is an edited transcript of the Opening Address of the International Conference on Compulsory Licensing: Innovation and Access for All, held in Bangkok, 21-23 November 2007, organized with the collaboration of the Health Consumer Protection Programme of Chulalongkorn University with the support of the National Health Security Office and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation.  Further papers from the Conference will be posted in Prachatai as they become available. 
6 Feb 2008
Those with power are likely to be able to set the rules. These words are not too excessive in the reality of how relations have worked from the past to the present. Rules are what are always referred to in order to claim legitimacy for any action.
1 Feb 2008
Leftists and pro-democracy people found it really hard to swallow the appointment of Samak Sundaravej, the right-wing, royalist politician, as the 25th Prime Minister.  But those who were most blissful—no, not Thaksin Shinawatra who handpicked Samak himself—were the ‘People’s Alliance for coup D’état’, which resurrected conservative, rightist royalism as the dominant force in Thailand’s politics two years ago.
1 Feb 2008
Well, after two years of derailment, here we are, back on the rusty tracks of "Thai democracy". And to pilot the country into the new era is our notorious new Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej who will most likely be joined by such well-matching personalities as Chalerm Yubamrung as interior minister and Plodprasop Suraswadi as environment minister.
31 Jan 2008
Thailand needs to re-think about the concept of Thainess before social unrest or an ethnic uprising similar to that in the Deep South spreads to other regions, academics said at a seminar yesterday on the "Concept of Thainess and the Southern Insurgency."
21 Jan 2008
Doctor Sa-nguan Nitayarumphong, or Doc Sa-nguan, to those that knew him well, was an entrepreneur who succeeded in making universal healthcare possible in this country. Most recently, he served a second term as Secretary General of the National Health Security Office.
15 Jan 2008
Acharn Chatri Prakitnonthakan is known for his writings on the political history of Thai architecture and are of interest to students of Thai politics and history, as well as architecture.  This paper was delivered to the 10th International Thai Studies Conference which was recently held at Thammasat University and is published with the author's kind permission
12 Jan 2008
Whilst much attention has been given to the celebration of the fortieth birthday of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), an equally important institution crucial to the building of an ASEAN community, the ASEAN Foundation, reached its tenth anniversary recently.
9 Jan 2008
Thai society is steeped in hypocrisy. We pretend to adhere to ultra conservative moral values regarding sex, marriage - and prostitution - while the actual way we live our lives is very different.
6 Jan 2008
In line with expectation about the election, it was almost unnecessary to wonder about the results that came out since the trend was visible from the constitutional referendum. At that time, if many people can remember, the north and northeast regions were so red that you could almost speak of the region as a block without being wrong. One interesting point is that even though the south was entirely green, the 3 southernmost provinces had the highest number of no votes in the south.
3 Jan 2008
Several days ago, I saw the "major motion picture" titled _The Life of Buddha_ --a Thai-made cartoon, that will doubtless define many of the assumptions about the historical Buddha for some time to come (at least within Thailand, if not beyond, as English-translation DVDs are available).
2 Jan 2008
I am not going to use this column to make any New Year wishes. New Year wishes are wishful thinking, especially if one were to wish that a new government, headed either by the People Power party or by the Democrats, would carry out the reforms so badly needed in our country to strengthen democracy, human rights and social justice; seriously combat all forms of corruption, while at the same time reducing the powers of the bureaucracy, the military and the mafia-type power brokers that patronise rural society.

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