Thaksin Rolls Dice in Bid to Check Thai Military

Thaksin Rolls Dice in Bid to Check Thai MilitaryThe sudden reemergence of Thai former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to take on the junta that took over the country in 2014 is an attempt to thwart its secret plan to stay in power for at least a decade or more, sources in Bangkok say. “His plan is to raise the alarm against the draft…

Thai Junta Threatens Exiled Critic Pavin’s Family

Thai Junta Threatens Exiled Critic Pavin’s FamilyAs political tensions have risen in Thailand over what many think is the approaching end of the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the military has begun attempting to intimidate exiled opponents of the regime by threatening their families. One of the most outspoken is Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a former member of Thailand’s foreign service. He was…

Cats Fighting Under the Blanket in Thailand

Cats Fighting Under the Blanket in ThailandThe emergence of the deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra after a long period of silence and self-imposed exile to escape prosecution suggests that events in Thailand are gathering momentum. In a media briefing in Singapore – itself an interesting venue given that Thaksin was long resident overseas, mostly in Dubai – he denounced the draft…

Opinion: Epidemic of Top Thai Cop ‘Suicides’ Continues

Opinion: Epidemic of Top Thai Cop ‘Suicides’ ContinuesOn Feb. 12, a Thai police spokesman announced that a high-ranking official, Lt. Col. Chan Chaisawatra, had committed suicide. We believe he didn’t commit suicide. We believe he was murdered, the latest in a long series of “suicides” that began last year in what amounts to a reign of terror within the Royal Thai Police.…

An Open Letter to the President of the United States

An Open Letter to the President of the United StatesMy name is Prachuab Charoensuk. I am a naturalized US citizen, born in Thailand. I am one of the founding members and Executive Director in charge of International Affairs Department of RED-USA, a human rights organization advocating human rights, equality and democracy in Thailand. Our membership consists of approximately 20,000 professionals from all walks of…

Human Rights Groups Bullied for Detailing Thai Torture

Human Rights Groups Bullied for Detailing Thai TortureThree Thai human rights groups have jointly released a 120-page report detailing torture by military and paramilitary personnel in the south of the country, only to be accused of fabricating the reports and warned of a possible defamation suit.   The 120-page report, by the Cross Cultural Foundation and Duayjai and Patani Human Rights Organizations,…

Thailand’s Missing Activists

Thailand’s Missing ActivistsAt least 82 political activists and others have disappeared in Thailand since 1980 including the respected human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapajit, according to the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, who urged the government to take “decisive and sustained efforts to investigate” their whereabouts. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also called…

Thailand in 2016: More Crackdowns, More Corruption

Thailand in 2016: More Crackdowns, More CorruptionOn Aug. 7 last year, a Thai military court broke all records both for proportionality and irrationality by sentencing Pongsak Sriboonpeng, 48, to 60 years in prison for posting six messages and pictures deemed to have defamed King Bhumibol Adulyadej on social media.  Because Pongsak was arrested during martial law, there is no appeal to…

Park Statue Scandal Puts Thai Junta on Defense

Park Statue Scandal Puts Thai Junta on DefenseThailand has undergone an extraordinary paroxysm of repression in recent weeks, with actions that include the arrest of a 27-year-old factory worker for insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s dog Thong Daeng; the worker faces up to 37 years in prison.  In a major breach of diplomatic protocol, US Ambassador Glyn T. Davies has been threatened with…

Top Thai Investigator in Rohingya Case Runs for his Life

Top Thai Investigator in Rohingya Case Runs for his LifeThe sudden departure of Thailand’s chief human trafficking investigator, Police Major General Paween Pongsirin, for Australia, apparently in fear for his life, raises the question of who and what he was afraid of when he fled. The top ranks of Thai army and law enforcement have been wracked with behind-the-scenes scandal for weeks, including suicides,…