Just this week, the Trump administration announced via its Nuclear Posture Review that it will be seeking to develop ‘useable’ nuclear weapons. The administration’s strategists are reportedly considering their potential use in a first or retaliatory strike in areas such as the Russian-Ukraine frontier and in a North versus South Korea / US conflict.
The Dao Din are Thailand’s best known student activist group, with one activist (Pai) in prison for lèse-majesté and others facing charges of illegal assembly. Started fourteen years ago at the beginning of the Faculty of Law of Khon Kaen University, the nascent Dao Din consisted of first year students who went into the field on a project-by-project basis to survey the injustices faced by villagers in the Northeast. The Dao Din mainly consist of Faculty of Law students, around 90%, with another 10% coming from Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Education, and Nursing.
With a new inheritance tax introduced last year and the Land and Building Tax Law coming into effect on January 1st, 2019, Thailand is taking steps towards addressing its reputation as the third worst country globally for wealth inequality. Still, the amount of additional income that is being raised is small, and the government’s position is that expanding the amount of state income obtained via more progressive taxation should be the task of the next parliament.
A post-Yingluck Shinawatra Thailand is not a reconciled Thailand, and nor will it be if her Pheu Thai Party ceases to exist. The political arena will remain as polarised as it has been for the past decade. Yet this predicament can be overcome through a strategy laid out in the well-known Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Longzhong Plan. The plan was to divide China into three realms of roughly equal power. Adapting that plan can lead to positive change that will help move Thailand out of the current deadlock.
Late last month, Private Noppadol Worakitpan died from cardiovascular failure soon after returning home. Allegedly, two other privates accompanying him informed his family he had been physically punished the day before, resulting in police investigations into the ninth such death within a decade. In addition to holding the perpetrators accountable for these crimes, it is time that Thailand replaced mass conscription with a national service programme to offer citizens a choice.
My name is Atipong Pathanasethpong and I am the Spokesperson for the Project for a Social Democracy. You may have heard of my colleague at the Project for a Social Democracy, John Draper, the PhD student in Public Affairs Management at Khon Kaen University in Northeast Thailand who just over week ago offered to organize a mass surrender to the Thai authorities for attending the International Conference on Thai Studies in Chiang Mai, in solidarity with five academics and students charged with illegal political assembly there.
On 19 July, 2017, Dr. Atipong ‘Tao’ Pathanasethpong, Spokesperson of the Project for a Social Democracy (PSD), and John ‘Special Circumstances’ Draper, member of the PSD Working Group, visited Mr. Khornchanok ‘Pob’ Saenprasert, Director of the Legal Centre for Human Rights in Khon Kaen and a representative of the Commoners’ Party of Thailand, and Mr. Tong, Co-ordinator of the Neo-Isan Movement, at the Legal Centre for Human Rights. The dialogue focused on the political future of Thailand.
With a secret military court again denying bail last week to Jatuphat Boonpattararaksa, a law student from Khon Kaen University in Northeast Thailand, the regime is adopting show trials targeting university students, human rights activists, and academics. In effect, it is engaging in cyberwarfare against its own people, cementing a surveillance state. In addition, the military state mentality presents a clear and present threat to Thailand’s overseas image and economy.
Far from costing governments’ and companies’ money to meet the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a major report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC), an alliance of business leaders, economists, trade unionists and civil society actors, details how businesses and governments can actually benefit. Asian businesses stand to obtain five trillion dollars in business opportunities from countries meeting the new ‘Global Goals’.
The ongoing debate on the organic law on the new Thai National Human Rights Commission focuses on the selection process and level of authority of the NHRC, i.e., whether it can advise the Constitutional and Administrative Courts. The regime’s official position is that the NHRC should be more diverse and should meet the international human rights Paris Principles, a somewhat paradoxical position given it was under the regime that the NHRC was downgraded according to the Paris Principles. Civil society also emphasizes greater diversity and that there should be a stronger emphasis on the NHRC investigating human rights abuses.