20 Jun 2017
1. The months of May and June mark several key milestones in Thai history. There is June 1932 (the People’s Revolution) and June 1946 (the assassination of King Rama VIII), the two bloody crackdowns in May 1992 and 2010, and the coup in May 2014.
30 May 2017
Note: On 29 April, a university professor was arrested as part of a sweep of six individuals accused of committing lèse majesté by posting to Facebook. He has been denied bail, as most are in these cases. Last week, Yukti Mukdawijitra, an anthropology professor at Thammasat University went to visit him. What follows are his reflections on their conversation, which was first published in Thai in his usual blog column for Prachatai.—trans.
24 May 2017
Porntip ‘Kolf’ Mankhong, a former political prisoner, looks back at her more-than-a-decade of activism, arguing that the rise of ‘heroism’ among student activists is threatening solidarity and participation in Thailand’s democracy movement. Prontip gave this speech at the 2017 Asia Youth Leadership Forum For Democracy in Seoul. I’m lucky to have been an activist since the age of 16; it means I got to know myself early. I had time to try many things, to make mistakes and learn from them too.
17 May 2017
Last month, a photo of Saudi Arabia’s Girl’s Council became viral because of one peculiarity: the total absence of women and girls in it. Thousands of Thais – including many LGBTIs – must have sniggered at the image.
15 May 2017
Thailand’s military government hurriedly approved the budget to purchase three submarines from China, defending its decision as “strategically necessary” in the age of uncertain security situation in the region. However, the junta’s decision has been heavily criticised by the Thai public on the real need for the costly submarines at the time of the country’s economic downturn.
15 May 2017
Note: Jit Phumisak (25 September 1930 – 5 May 1966) was one of the foremost Thai Marxism thinkers of the twentieth century. His most well-known work, The Real Face of Thai Feudalism, was published while he was still a student in the Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn University in 1957. The Real Face, which was later translated into English by Craig Reynolds, offered an analysis of feudalism and its remnants in Thai society, politics, and law. The volume was swiftly banned and he was arrested later that year and accused of being a communist.
4 May 2017
When Ajarn Tum (Sudsanguan) Suthisorn was released from prison, Ajarn Charnvit Kasetsiri greeted her with a public message on Facebook that read, “Welcome back from the small prison to the large prison” (he did not use these exact words, but this was the gist). I gave my knee a loud slap when I read these lines. That is exactly right.
21 Apr 2017
On a Saturday night in mid-September 2013 I was sat at table in a deserted restaurant in an exclusive beachside resort in Phuket. My companions were graduate students and researchers from Chulalongkorn University and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto University.
21 Mar 2017
Between 21-24 March 2017, Ratchaburi Provincial Court will hold witness hearings for and against the criminal case of Taweesak Kerdpoka, 25, a Prachatai journalist.
10 Mar 2017
I took a taxi from Kuala Lumpur's bustling shopping centre at the Petronas Twin Towers in the heart of the city. It was taking me along one of the busy highways which cuts through the city to a tom yam restaurant. Thai food is very popular in Malaysia but what most people are unaware of is that most of the owners and workers of the thousands of tom yam restaurants across Malaysia are Patani Malays from across the border in Thailand's Patani region of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.
4 Mar 2017
Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit Thailand from 5-6 March 2017. This will be their first visit in ten years, mainly to strengthen ties between the two countries and for Their Majesties to pay the last respect to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
2 Feb 2017
I decided to write this letter for you, my little son, and for the many other children who may be confused when you hear the story of “Pai.” You may not understand the disappearance of the once-beautiful world. When you grow up a bit, you will come to be aware of more than your own life and comfort. Pai is a university student and activist.