Section 44 of 2014 Interim Constitution
31 Mar 2016
Soldiers last night were granted sweeping authority to conduct warrantless searches of homes, seize assets and detain civilians without charge. On the order of junta chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, a wide range of powers usually reserved for civilian police were bestowed to members of the military Tuesday night, ostensibly to carry out the junta’s policy of rooting out underworld influences and unduly “influential people” in the economy and society.
28 Mar 2016
Military officers cited absolute power to abduct a Pheu Thai party politician and reportedly threatened to arrest his family. Matichon Online reported that on Sunday, 27 March 2016, Watana Muangsook, a key leader of the Pheu Thai party, sent a message via the Line chat application to a reporter at 6:08 pm, saying that military officers in two military vehicles visited his house in Bangkok while he was not at home.
8 Mar 2016
Thai police have confiscated banners of textile workers rallying on International Women’s Day and checked their identification cards to see if the workers are Thai.
25 Feb 2016
Thai police have threatened environmental activists demanding revocation of recent junta orders to weaken regulations on power plants and industries with the junta’s ban on political gatherings. Meanwhile the activists have vowed to persevere with their rally despite the risk of arrest. Police from Nanglerng Police Station in Bangkok on Wednesday, 24 February 2016, issued a letter banning a protest by an environmental group called the People’s Network for Sustainable Development (PNSD) which was planned for 25-28 February in front of the United Nations headquarters in Bangkok.
22 Jan 2016
Thai junta leader has used his absolute power to scrap regulations on the construction of power plants and factories in a bid to secure energy needs and woo investors. Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, on Wednesday, 20 January 2016, issued National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Orders No. 3/2016 and 4/2016, using his authority under Section 44 of the Interim Constitution, which gives him and security officers absolute power to maintain national security.
14 Dec 2015
Plainclothes officers have reportedly arrested from his sickbed one of the activists calling for a probe into the Rajabhakti Park corruption scandals to face lèse majesté and sedition charges. At about 12:10 pm on Sunday, 13 December 2015, two officers in plainclothes reportedly arrested Thanet A., a 25-year-old activist who was one of more than 30 activists detained last week en route to Rajabhakti Park, a royal theme park constructed by the military and plagued with corruption allegations.
2 Dec 2015
A network of people from marginalised communities countrywide has urged the military government to halt plans to establish Special Economic Zones (SEZs), claiming that the plans violate the rights of the poor. A network of seven organisations from different regions including the Love Mae Sod Group, the Sa Kaew Environmental Protection Network, the Northern Development Foundation, the Citizen Council of Chonburi Province, and the Community Leaders Network on Monday, 30 November 2015, submitted a petition addressed to Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister.
4 Nov 2015
The cabinet under Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, has given the green light to a proposal to shorten the EIA process by half to speed up mega construction projects. According to the Thai News Agency, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, the junta’s chief economic advisor, said on Tuesday, 3 November 2015, that the cabinet has approved a plan to cut short the process of conducting Environmental Assessment Impacts (EIA) on PPP (Public and Private Partnership) mega projects.
26 Oct 2015
Authoritarianism as a form of government has been analyzed in some depth by the political scientist Juan Linz, and the relevant Wikipedia page provides four qualities of such governments according to Linz: (1) "limited, not responsible, political pluralism"; that is, constraints on political institutions and groups (such as legislatures, political parties and interest groups),
24 Sep 2015
This column is not an attempt to draw parallels between General Prayut Chan-ocha and Adolf Hitler nor to compare Thailand at present with Germany post-1933; it is an attempt to understand the similarities in how the present Thai and the historical German dictatorial models began.
22 Sep 2015
The Thai junta leader has urged the relevant authorities to speed up a special economic zone project in northern Thailand despite opposition from local people who are to be evicted. On 18 September 2015, Prachachat News reported that Suttha Saiwanit, Deputy Governor the northern border province of Tak, revealed that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, has ordered him to speed up plans to construct a special economic zone (SEZ) in Tha Sai Luat Subdistrict, Mae Sot District.
10 Aug 2015
Thai education has been thrown into tumult by new regulations governing the siting of schools, colleges and universities. A ministerial order from the Prime Minister’s Office will ban any establishment from offering formal tertiary educational services within 300 metres from a military facility. But this order, based on the Critical Thinking Prohibition Act, has not yet been published in the Royal Gazette and enforcement will not start until 30 days after that.