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…

‘Affluenza’ in Thailand

‘Affluenza’ in Thailand Early in the morning of Sept. 3, 2012, a 27-year-old driver named Voravut Yuwitthaya drove his speeding US$1 million Ferrari FF into the motorcycle of a Thai traffic policeman named Wichien Klinprasert, killing him instantly. Voravut dragged the dead policeman for more than 100 feet before he fled for his family’s mansion to hide out.…

‘Crooks vs Crooks’ Under Thai Military

‘Crooks vs Crooks’ Under Thai MilitaryAs Thailand’s current coup interregnum drones on, with the country in the clutches of a rapacious and restrictive military dictatorship, tensions are rising between Prawit Wongsuwan, the 70-year-old deputy prime minister, and the Privy Council, the primary provider of advice to the monarchy, with the military arresting a top Privy Council aide earlier this month.…

State Capitalism and the Threat to Democracy

State Capitalism and the Threat to DemocracyOver the past two decades, a renewed economic phenomenon has taken the global stage - state capitalism, in which sovereign countries pour huge resources into companies that come to dominate the fields they enter. It is particularly prevalent in Asia. Joshua Kurlantzick, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, has written State Capitalism:…

Christian Asylum Seekers in Thailand Face Persecution

Christian Asylum Seekers in Thailand Face PersecutionIn the face of relentless violence, discrimination, harassment and persecution, Pakistani Christians are migrating from their birthplace to an uncertain world for safety and security, with thousands of them washing up in Thailand where they face situation that is hardly any more secure. Christians make up Pakistan’s largest religious minority, with the total estimated at…

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…

NGOs Urge EU to Keep Thai Feet to Fire on Fishery Slavery

NGOs Urge EU to Keep Thai Feet to Fire on Fishery SlaveryA wide coalition of human rights, labor and environmental organizations is asking the European Commission to continue pressure on Thailand to end notorious abuses including outright slavery in the country’s fishing industry. The coalition, of 29 different organizations ranging from the AFL-CIO to Greenpeace to Human Rights Watch to international legal and other entities are…

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…