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<p dir="ltr">Tools of the state. Political opportunists. Foes of democracy. These are all rather harsh descriptions of NGOs. But for Pinkaew Laungaramsri from Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Social Science, they are truly the roles many NGOs have played in recent Thai political history.</p>
By Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang |
<p>Under Thailand’s new constitution, the military does not have to carry out a coup d’état; the coup has already been written in to law.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Last Saturday, the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) concluded its duties, releasing the second and final draft of Thailand’s constitution.</p>
By Harrison George |
<p>The draft constitution proposed by the Constitutional Drafting Committee has now been disclosed to all sorts of people, with the exception of the vast majority of the citizenry who will be expected to live under it.&nbsp;</p>
By Human Rights Watch |
<p><span>(New York, March 12, 2015) –&nbsp;</span><a href=";RE=MC&amp;RI=4369775&amp;Preview=False&amp;DistributionActionID=73763&amp;Action=Follow+Link" target="_blank">Japan</a><span>’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should press&nbsp;</span><a> </a></p>
By Harrison George |
<p>The many and various oversight mechanisms of the new constitution became ever more tangled over the last week with the revelation that the National Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an investigation into alleged irregularities at the National Ethics Assembly after a petition by members of the Senate. &nbsp;In turn, the Senate announced it would pursue impeachment proceedings against the National Ethics Assembly in response to a report from the National Anti-Corruption Commission looking into unethical behaviour by the ethics watchdog.</p>
By Kongpob Areerat |
<p>On Thailand’s Children’s Day in January, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai junta leader, said in a TV program that ‘knowledge and morality will lead us to the future’. Using the concept of morality as guidance, the junta is striving to make Buddhism a state religion and convincing children to follow the moral guidance of the King and love the nation, religion, and monarchy. The junta is looking to apply its definitions of morality to holders of political posts and civil servants. The junta’s Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has now laid out plans to create a ‘National Virtue Assembly’, a supra-governmental body which could determine the moral or ethical standards of public officials.</p> <p></p>
By Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang |
<p>In January 2015, the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) began drafting the new Thai constitution with the promise of&nbsp;<a href="">significant changes</a>&nbsp;to return true democracy to the country. Yet, as the drafting continues, there is growing concern that it will never deliver on its promise. Thailand’s clock will turn back at least two decades to the pre-1997 era, which was characterized by weak and chaotic government and by the unchecked power of unelected elites.&nbsp;</p>
By Human Rights Watch |
<p>(Tokyo, February 6, 2015) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should press Thailand’s junta leader to improve human rights and restore democratic civilian rule, Human Rights Watch said today.<br /><br />Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who chairs the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) junta that staged a military coup in May 2014, is scheduled to travel to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Japan</a>&nbsp;from February 8 to 10, 2015. According to his office, Prayuth will meet Abe to seek to boost Japanese investment in Thailand.<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-42ce5bcc-de06-e49f-b022-001845e234cd">Thai Army TV banned a student activist from a talk programme after she raised questions about the legitimacy of the May 2014 coup d’état with a member of the junta’s appointed National Reform Council.</span></p>
<p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-4f3e28af-7187-f576-b35f-6d582b085b45">No anti-coup student activist participated in the junta’s national reform forum organized to collect students’ opinions on reform; they say that they do not want to be part of the apparatus of the military government. &nbsp;</span></p>
<p>Half a year after the coup d’état in May, martial law is still in place and all kinds of political expression against the junta, no matter how peaceful, are still not tolerated by the military regime. Similar to people who swiftly reacted against the military during the first few weeks after the coup with rallies, raising three-fingered salutes taken from the Hunger Games, or holding blank sheets of A4 paper, the paranoid military regime still arrests and detains people for ordinary actions.</p>
<div> <div>The Northern People’s Reform Committee of Thailand and other northern civil society organizations urged the junta to lift martial law to guarantee that people could truly participate in the national reform process.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>About a hundred representatives from the Northern People’s Reform Committee of Thailand together with 33 civil society organizations based in Thailand’s North gathered in central Chiang Mai on Friday morning to discuss the new constitution and the junta’s reform plans.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the meeting, the group pointed out that under ma </div></div>