27 Aug 2010
Sometimes, a short phone conversation can say volumes about the state a society is in. "Please don't mention my name because I might not be able to graduate," this writer heard a female voice pleading. The voice on the other end of the line was that of a red-shirt Chulalongkorn University student. She did not want to be identified, even though she had earlier called to report the incident when she and seven other fellow students ended up having their placards confiscated as soon as Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva arrived at the university to deliver a speech.
13 Aug 2010
At a dinner function last week, a senior public relations executive for former prime minister Anand Panyarachun's National Reform Committee, had a brief chat with this writer. In the chat, three interesting details came up. The female executive voiced concerns about the media's repeated "mistake" of calling the committee "government-appointed". She also wondered why Matichon newspaper, known to be sympathetic to the red shirts, did not portray the committee in a positive light like other papers did.
1 Aug 2010
Despite being under emergency rule for four months, many Bangkokians still believe their lives are "normal." However, there's nothing normal about living under the emergency decree. The "silent majority" should not complacently accept the emergency law as status quo because it not only violates their rights, but is also bad for democracy. Unless they want Thailand to become another Burma, they should seriously stop and think about the merits of this law.
25 Jul 2010
The government's media reform initiative is regarded by critics as either an attempt to control the media or a desperate move to buy more time by distracting the public from pressing issues such as the ongoing political crisis, or both. However, this hasn't stopped some from turning "the crisis into an opportunity".
16 Jul 2010
The old saying that the winning side gets to write history might be partially true because bookshelves are suddenly overflowing with tomes written ostensibly about an "evil red movement" and why they met a bad ending in May.
13 Jul 2010
Some 50 red shirts converged at Rajprasong intersection late yesterday [11 July] afternoon in defiance of the emergency decree and created a small commotion - repeatedly shouting "People have been killed here!" and "The military shot people!"
13 Jul 2010
The space on the Internet for dissenting political views is on the decline following the announcement by Prachatai, an online newspaper, that it will shut down its Web board by the end of this month, rights and media reform activists say. The decision "is indicative of the shutdown of free speech in Thailand under the ongoing state of emergency", the Hong-Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) stated on Thursday.
18 Jun 2010
The government yesterday initiated a brainstorming session for national reform in which more than 50 people were allotted two minutes each to say what they thought needed to be addressed the most.
8 Jun 2010
Two weeks after the May 19 military crackdown on mostly unarmed red-shirt protesters and the burning of more than 30 spots in Bangkok, it appears as if it all took place for nothing. Those who hate continue to hate, while those who wanted the red shirts to be punished got what they wanted. Yet there's been no reflection. Of the 89 killed since April 10, most were red-shirt protesters. The movement continues to be cracked down upon and intimidated with arrests under the emergency decree - all in the name of national reconciliation.
22 May 2010
As some hardline red shirts vowed to go underground to fight a violent war against the government and the old elite, other, pro-peace red shirts met to discuss how to carry on the struggle peacefully. Sombat Boon-ngam-anong, a key member of the red-shirt movement who led protests from a minor stage in the Din Daeng area for a few nights after the main protest site was cordoned off by the military before the crackdown on Wednesday, said he had met with some 300-plus red shirts on Thursday to discuss the future of a peaceful struggle.
20 May 2010
At 1.20pm, upon being told that red-shirt leaders at Rajprasong Intersection have decided to turn themselves to the police "in orderto save lives", those red shirts who gathered at Klong Toey delta became very upset at the young messenger on stage. "If you won't fight then get out!" a protester shouts at the man."We won't give up easily and if the leaders won't fight then we shall fight by ourselves. Anger burst out. One doubted if the speaker was a real red shirt or not as they refuse to believe what they heard.
18 May 2010
Pro- and anti-government radio stations pitched their voices against one another yesterday as a reflection of the fierce battles on the streets of Bangkok. The Samut Prakan-based FM101.25 radio station received calls yesterday morning from irate red shirts calling on the protesters to burn down the buildings where snipers were waiting to shoot down leaders and other civilians.