Thailand’s Notorious ‘Da Torpedo’ Goes Free

Thailand’s Notorious ‘Da Torpedo’ Goes FreeThe freeing of political prisoner Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, better known as Da Torpedo, and two other lese majeste prisoners in Thailand over the weekend from prolonged sentences to Thai prisons masks the fact that hundreds of prisoners have been pushed through military courts with almost no rights since the 2014 coup that brought the National Council…

Junta Wins Thailand’s Farcical Election

Junta Wins Thailand’s Farcical ElectionAlthough Thailand’s junta won the Aug. 7 referendum on a draft constitution with 62 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results, any idea that this was a democratic election that validates the army’s hold on power is specious. It is highly unlikely that the result, being welcomed by the junta as a triumph, is…

Thailand Awaits a Rigged Referendum

Thailand Awaits a Rigged ReferendumOn Aug. 7, Thailand’s 40 million-odd voters are scheduled to go to the polls to vote on a draft constitution that the junta has attempted to rig so thoroughly that it thinks it can’t lose, although it might anyway. The goal of the draft constitution – the country’s 19th since the military staged its first…

Thai Junta’s Charter Referendum in Doubt

Thai Junta’s Charter Referendum in DoubtDespite the Thai junta’s extraordinary efforts to quell opposition to its Aug. 7 referendum on a new constitution – more likely to be a referendum on the junta itself – it may not pass or the military might be forced to withdraw it, according to sources in Bangkok. The document has been in the making…

Thai Junta to Crack Down Harder on Internet Users

Thai Junta to Crack Down Harder on Internet UsersThe Thai junta, which already administers one of the world’s toughest measures against supposed misuse of computers, appears on the verge going to frantic lengths to stiffen the law even more with, among other things, an amendment that could give the government the ability to force internet users to decrypt their transmissions. The military has…

Thailand: Making Merit While Escaping the Law

Thailand: Making Merit While Escaping the LawIn October of 1973, amid a storm of nationwide protest, Thanom Kittachikorn, the Thai field marshal who appointed himself the commander in chief of the army and ran a deeply repressive government from 1963, was forced to flee a student uprising. For three years, he remained in exile in the United States, finally returning in…

Thai Facebook Users Under Threat

Thai Facebook Users Under ThreatFacebook has successfully monopolized the social media space in Thailand for more than a decade. Among Thailand’s 67 million people, 28 million are on Facebook. In 2012, reportedly, Bangkok topped the “Global Facebook City List,” having some 8.68 million users, more than any other major city such as New York or London. Now that Thailand…

Thai Junta to Prosecute Corruption Protesters

Thai Junta to Prosecute Corruption ProtestersIn November of last year, the junta that took power in Thailand in May of 2014 was faced with an embarrassing scandal, not only because of the corruption involved but because it involves the inflated price of construction of a park to venerate the country’s seven Chakri Dynasty kings from the Sukhothai era to the…

Latest Thai Constitution Draft a Non-Starter

Latest Thai Constitution Draft a Non-StarterIt is a measure of the Thai junta’s distrust of the country’s wider populace that the National Council for Peace and Order, with the aid of the country’s election commission, has banned public criticism or the ability to campaign against a referendum on the latest version of the Constitution promulgated by the junta’s drafting committee.…

Thai Junta Turns Law Enforcement Over to Soldiers

Thai Junta Turns Law Enforcement Over to SoldiersThailand’s junta – the National Council for Peace and Order – has pushed through a new directive that essentially puts army second lieutenants in charge of the entire criminal and civil code, giving them the power to summon, arrest and detain suspects without search warrants and without court oversight. The order was issued on March…