This article looks into the US perception toward Thailand’s political divide. For the United States, traditionally, the benefits of preserving the pro-establishment forces position have been manifest. It permitted the bilateral relationship to become more predictable and less disruptive because of the elites’ continued domination of political power and foreign policy making process. Governments may come and go, but the traditional elites denoted a permanent feature of Thai politics.
It is true that most of the political opposition and many others across the country are now unsympathetic to the idea of bringing Mr Blair to Thailand. Yet his premiership saw a historic accomplishment in ending over thirty years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, and a near equivalent to the challenge of the Thai reconciliation process in attempting to heal profound societal divisions. Although an immediate significant breakthrough seems unlikely, the approach that Mr Blair brings to the table may well prove instructive.
What can we say about the situation in our country that hasn't already been said? What ideology do we possess that hasn't already made its way across the pages of our history books? There is a very popular video making its way around youtube and facebook speaking of our need to understand our history. (The video's laughable use of euphemisms over regicide, genocide, and executions is so vulgar it verges on pornography.) The video tells the story of the sacking of Ayudhya in an attempt to say that the divisions we have today are similar to the rifts that occurred back then, divisions which ultimately led to the early Kingdom's downfall.
Here we go again. Not content with telling us what we can and cannot do (I thought we had a government to do that) Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha takes time from his undoubtedly busy schedule to explain Thai society for us.
It’s been a bad week for the scam artists. Sorawan Sirisuntarin, who markets under the name ‘Pa Cheng’, has been charged with violating the Pharmaceuticals Act. She had been peddling a panacea called Maha Bambad at 1000 baht a wee bottle and an eye lotion called Jiaranai Petch.
The massacre of 31 journalists in Maguindanao, the Philippines, on 23 November 2009, most graphically illustrates the violence and impunity that threaten journalists not only in the Philippines, but throughout the region.
It was rather naughty if the Bangkok Post to list Thailand’s initial offer of $20,000 in emergency relief to Haiti directly underneath the $50,000 that Cambodia was giving, both dwarfed by the $1 million from Indonesia. This was hitting the Foreign Ministry, who authorized the payment, right where it hurts – in their image.
It’s 19 September, 2009. Three years after the coup - how time flies. Might some want to revel in nostalgic idealization of the past, of the complimentary-flower coup d’etat which ousted Thaksin Shinawatra? Some may at least want to look at things on a bright side and at least thank these generals for their invaluable service to ‘Thai democracy’.
As country after country abandons its use of judicial state killing, Amnesty International deeply regrets the resumption of executions in Thailand after a six-year hiatus.
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is writing to you following the inquest findings of a court in Thailand issued on 29 May 2009 that the deaths of 78 men in Narathiwat in October 2004 was a result of suffocation while being carried in vehicles. The findings clear the way for prosecutions of the persons responsible for this heinous crime, which attracted and continues to attract global attention and bring Thailand into international disrepute.