Opinion

21 Mar 2018
Although the emergence of new political parties has brought excitement, controversies and hope to Thai politics ahead of the long-awaited election, the overall freedom of expression remains at a concerning level. For almost a month after the registration of new political parties began, Thai politics has immediately become very vibrant as it is heated with the fire of passion of the new generation. The emergence of left-leaning parties has brought hype to the Thai political scene.
13 Mar 2018
The announcement of the creation of a new “radical party” of younger activists has caused a stir and raised the hopes of many among the current generation of democracy activists. The party is the brain child of billionaire tycoon Thanathorn Juangroongruangki and law academic Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, who is a member of the pro-democracy Nitirat group. [See].   In a recent Facebook post, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul indicated that the party would model itself on the new left parties in Europe and would be opposed to neo-liberalism.
13 Mar 2018
When “people who want elections” come out and call for them as scheduled, some voices say: “even if we have elections, the same faces and the same political parties will bring back the same old problems.”   With this discourse, I think from some angles, the people who say this want to lessen the credibility of elections and say they are not a solution to the problems we complain about. But from other angles, I understand the issues that make them think in such a way.
9 Mar 2018
I kept asking I was wondering Who should decide Sufficiency of living.   Yes!
8 Mar 2018
Basically, ordinary people might love to have the right to choose their own representatives to sit in the top jobs in the country. Therefore, elections matter. It is strange to see a certain group of people in Thailand has come out to show their resolve against elections, on the ground that the poll might not bring ‘good’ people into governance.    While an election would not bring good people or even democracy to the politics, authoritarians in Southeast Asia indeed need elections to justify their governance.
6 Mar 2018
In the past week, news broke that Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, Thammasat University and a member of Nitirat (a group of Thammasat law professors who offer academic legal advice to society), would take a step back from academia and into politics by founding a new political party with Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
2 Mar 2018
The movement against the ruling junta has been reignited after the recent protests calling for elections at the MBK department store and the Democracy Monument, but the public seems to be overlooking one of its primary goals, which is to stop the junta from staying in power.   Since late January, the group of activists called the Democracy Restoration Group (DRG) have staged three political activities, which have led to the prosecution of over 70 individuals.
28 Feb 2018
News item: National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Wallop Raksanoh has “pledged to go after those who are financially supporting pro-election activists”.  General Wallop pledged to “hunt down those who are the backers of the group,” saying that the “activists would not pose such a major problem if people were not egging them on.” The scene:  A meeting room at the National Security Council, where the Egging On Investigation Team is reporting its findings. So, have you interrogated all the suspects? Yes, sir.  59 of them.
27 Feb 2018
Hara Shintaro compares 2 anti-social organisations: the Japanese yakuza and the Muslim Malay insurgents in Thailand's Deep South. 
26 Feb 2018
Japan’s diplomatic ambition to compete with China in maintaining its foothold in Thailand seems soon to fizzle out following the failure to reach a deal on a high-speed train project between the Japanese and Thai governments.
23 Feb 2018
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.
22 Feb 2018
No matter who says that elections are only a tradition or full of corruption, before 1958 Thai elections gave necessary legitimacy to political power for 25 interrupted years, even though after that the army seized power and suppressed election after election for many years. However, after the 14 October incident, elections once again returned as the backbone of political legitimacy. The army used other methods to interfere in politics while accepting elections for example, by having a Senate with tremendous power but appointed, or pressuring political parties into supporting a prime minister from the army.

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