Under the junta, media and the Internet are censored. Eating sandwich and reading 1984 in public are forbidden. While expressing disapproval to the coup is very difficult, a media campaign was created to present another side of truth of live under the coup called "Resurgent Truth."
The UN Committee Against Torture last week reviewed Thailand’s record on torture and inhumane treatment, and expressed concerns about Thailand’s prisons which house the 6th highest prison population in the world. The issues of the prevalent use of torture in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces and conditions in refugee detention centres were also scrutinized by the panel of 10 experts. This review taking place in Geneva is the first since Thailand became a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture in 2007.
It was the same spot where this 71-year-old man held a 45-day long hunger strike in 1992 to protest against General Suchinda Kraprayoon, then Prime Minister who came from a coup he led in 1991. The protest led to Black May, a people’s uprising in Bangkok which toppled the military regime and paved the way to a more democratic government for Thailand.
The involvement of a controversial monk Buddha Issara as an anti-government protest leader sparks fierce debate on the function of Buddhism in this turbulent country.
Thailand’s general election has ended with some trouble spots in Bangkok and the southern provinces, where anti-government protesters caused disruption.
In many countries, an expression of political will through voting, is seen as fulfilling civic duties, but here in Thailand, voters who fought obstructions and risk their safety to cast the ballots last Sunday were given different labels: “traitors”, “buffalos” and “the uneducated.”
The Rector of Thammasat University (TU) has been condemned by a group of TU lecturers who claim his order to close down the university for 3 days was unreasonable. The order was said to show support for the anti-government group who had called for a strike by the public sector to cripple the government.
Prachatai talks to various red shirt factions -- progressive activists, former political prisoners as well as prisoners currently jailed as a result of the 2010 political conflict -- about their opinions on the blanket amnesty bill, which is scheduled to be considered by the Senate next week.