10 Nov 2015
Thai PBS recently carried a news story reporting on the Global Creativity Index, which seems to have been around since
2 Nov 2015
Paternalism is highly identified with the Thai system of rule, to the extent that the Sukothai-era King Ramkhamhaeng, a playable character in the massively popular game Civilization 5, possesses the unique ability of "Father Governs Children", which increases the level of loyalty to the ruler. The concept of paternalism in Buddhism dates back to the Indian Emperor Ashoka the Great (r. c238-c.262 BCE).
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),
15 Oct 2015
This column in about why Thailand’s Left (and Center) must treat the coming constitution drafting as a one-shot opportunity. If it does not, we know exactly what will happen because of the last constitution drafting process. The last draft constitution contained nothing for organized labour, nothing for pluralism and Thailand’s minorities, nothing for decentralization – in effect, nothing for a better version of democracy than the 2007 constitution.
7 Oct 2015
When the mainly military members of the Thai National Legislative Assembly voted on 6 September 2015 135:105 against the draft of the approximately 20th charter, there were very few commentators who spoke out against this decision. The proposed charter, after all, had been criticised by both major political parties, the Democrats and Pheu Thai, as well as by civil rights groups and the alternative media.
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.
11 Sep 2015
Much has been made of the National Council for Peace and Order’s attempts at political reconciliation and its voting down its own draft constitution in an act of political theater. In fact, everyone in ‘Amazing Thailand’ right now is engaged in a giant ‘democratic thought experiment’ – trapped in a giant, country-size military camp. As no one except General Prayut, the NCPO, and the National Legislative Assembly has any power in these ‘special circumstances’, the whole country has an ideal opportunity to collectively consider the nature of power and the absence of it – nautonomy.
1 Sep 2015
On August 26th Khon Kaen University was visited by a joint EU-French delegation consisting of Mrs. Luisa Ragher, Deputy Head of EU Delegation, and Mr. Pierre Colliot, Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation (Embassy of France), guests at a seminar to emphasize the importance of the upcoming 21st Conference of Parties Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11.
20 Aug 2015
The August 16 ‘Bike for Mom’ cycling event personally sponsored and led by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn set a world record – with 294,863 registered, of whom 146,266 cyclists nationwide (40,000 in Bangkok alone) successfully met the Guinness Book of World Records’ criteria, blowing Taiwan’s previous record of 72,919 out of the water.
10 Aug 2015
This week The Nation reported alleged intimidation and harassment of the parents of one of The Fourteen Students of the New Democracy Movement who have publicly protested the military dictatorship.
31 Jul 2015
Nattanan Warintawaret is a Thai high school student from one of Thailand’s finest public schools: Triam Udom Suksa. She is also an enemy of the state, with a school administrator accusing her of being ‘mentally ill’ for the past two years and even the Minister of Education, Admiral Narong Pipattanasai, accusing her of being ‘abnormal’. Her crime? Criticizing the fact that Thailand’s 12 Core Values have become a state ideology.
25 Jul 2015
A recent piece of investigative journalism by The Bangkok Post has provided evidence of Thailand acquiring an advanced electronic surveillance capability.