Duncan McCargo: Trends in Southeast Asian Politics: Mediated Populism, Electoralism, Authoritarianism? By Prof. Duncan McCargo (The School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds) Moderator: Asst.Prof. Prajak Kongkirati, Thammasat University
The Thai political crisis has shown no sign of subsiding. Indeed, the rise of political violence becomes more evident. And since Thailand is an important part of the regional economy, its protracted crisis has produced far-reaching effects on the country’s partners. Japan, a major economic partner of Thailand, has felt the political heat too.
Fuadi Pitsuwan, son of Surin Pitsuwan, former foreign minister, former ASEAN Secretary-General and a member of the Democrat Party, wrote an article, appeared in an online journal, PacNet, dated 8 January in response to what he saw as the “tyranny of global commentary.” Fuadi is currently a fellow at the Asia Centre at the prestigious Harvard University.
While critics and apologists alike sift through the pronunciamentos of Suthep Thaugsuban, founder, leader, ideologue and sole spokesperson of the Civil Movement for Democracy, in a desperate search for something that is both practical and constitutional, there is one demand of his that deserves study.
Those readers with no interest in Premier League football may be in ignorance of the controversy surrounding the sudden appointment of Italian Paolo Di Canio as manager of Sunderland. The team’s owners hope that with 7 games to go, he can save them from relegation (they are currently 1 point above the danger zone).
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing to you to request urgent intervention in accordance with your respective mandates in response to the case of Darunee Chanchoengsilapakul, and also with a view to wider concerns about steadily declining freedom of expression and increasing politicization of the judiciary in Thailand.
The forum will be held by Chulalongkorn's Institute of Security and International Studies. Speakers will include President of the FCCT, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (Thailand), representative of JBIC and the Ambassador of Argentina. Details are below for those interested.
At a recent lunch meeting to update a Western diplomat on the state of Thai politics and democracy, this writer was asked what he thought of this and that general - and what were their relations with Army Chief General Anupong Paochinda?
Thailand, the land of politeness and smiles, is also famous for kickboxing. The street battles in Bangkok this week were a window into the country’s pugilistic side, an outpouring of frustration by protesters who say they feel injustice and discrimination in the workings of Thailand’s troubled democracy.
Thai authorities have issued arrest warrants for 13 protest leaders and the man the protesters support, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.