A distraction from Thai politics last week has been the incident at Wat Sing School. The intrusion into the school outraged many and ignites a debate about how Buddhism should be practised.
On 14 February 2019, the Constitutional Court of Thailand accepted the request of Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) to rule on the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) Party. In other words, 9 judges will decide the fate of the 2019 Thai general election.
On 7 January 2019, after the Thai authorities had a change of heart in regards to the 18-year-old Saudi asylum-seeker Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn, the Thai Immigration Police chief, told reporters: “Thailand is the Land of Smiles. We will not send anyone to die.”
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“Article 12. Political gatherings of five or more persons, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht, or both, unless permission has been granted by the Head of the NCPO or an authorized representative.”
With the ban on parties engaging in political activity still in place, a group of pro-junta politicians is forming a political coalition to support junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in the upcoming general elections. The coalition will target the Northeast, the stronghold of the Pheu Thai party.
In June, a conference on measures to avoid pre-verdict detention, held at the Miracle Grand Hotel by the Department of Corrections, Ministry of Justice. The participants were Pol. Gen.
Several prisons certified as ‘model prisons’ by the Thai Institute of Justice (TIJ) fall short of international standards, as found by Prachatai English in a visit to several prisons, and according to a group activists and researchers, including former lèse majesté prisoner Pornthip Mankhong.
Despite close ties with the military government, an anti-election hyper-royalist monk has been detained for criminal association, extortion and counterfeiting a royal emblem. The incident has raised the question of whether the junta is still in full control of Thai politics.
The mass media reform plan is preparing to push forward a media control law by the end of 2018, and appoint the nine members of the professional council to set media ethics standards, control media that do not wish to become members of any professional organisation, as well as increase measures to criminalize online and social media that disseminate content affecting security and the nation’s core institutions. <