Alien Thoughts

10 Aug 2015
Thai education has been thrown into tumult by new regulations governing the siting of schools, colleges and universities. A ministerial order from the Prime Minister’s Office will ban any establishment from offering formal tertiary educational services within 300 metres from a military facility.  But this order, based on the Critical Thinking Prohibition Act, has not yet been published in the Royal Gazette and enforcement will not start until 30 days after that.
30 Jul 2015
Examination on Civic Leadership and General Sense of Superiority To be taken by Prime Ministers, Test Writers for Civic Duty classes, Administrators of Triam Udom Suksa School who are not psychiatrists but can still diagnose mental illness from test answers, and True Believers in True Thainess.
21 Jul 2015
Witness testimony has ended in the defamation case brought by the Royal Thai Navy against two fruit vendors in Phuket, with the verdict set to be delivered at the end of the next month. The case rests on a misspelled English sign, written in marker pen on a scrap of cardboard, which the defendants displayed on their fruit stall last year.  The sign read ‘Naval oranges cheep’. 
14 Jul 2015
Ladies and, er, … Start again. One hundred and nine gentlemen.  Captain Yu-er Phuct and his 218-member cabin crew would like to welcome you aboard this China Repatriation Airlines flight to Life Imprisonment.  We look forward to serving you in the best traditions of Chinese human rights.
6 Jul 2015
I got this cycling thing all wrong. Somehow I foolishly thought that the government and the BMA and everyone else who has been talking up the idea of cycling were thinking in terms of public transport. Silly, silly me. It now seems that cycling is an activity with a number of purposes, but none of them are related to using bikes to get somewhere. 
26 Jun 2015
Military claim ‘vicious harassment’, appeal to NHRC The military junta who have taken total control of Thailand have started to make public complaints of political harassment, claiming that ‘unscrupulous opposition forces’ are mounting relentless attacks that leave them humiliated, frustrated and barely able to administer the country.
19 Jun 2015
The extraordinary spectacle of crime re-enactment in Thailand has a new star.  Former Chamberlain of the Royal Household Bureau Montri Sotangkur, who worked for the erstwhile Royal Consort Srirasm (family name withheld for reasons of total confusion) but never for HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, has for days been ferried around town in what looks suspiciously like the same perp shirt to the scenes of his various nefarious alleged crimes.
12 Jun 2015
A call to summarily sack the Bangkok Governor over recent flash floods in the city has started an outpouring, nay, an overflow of similar calls. The Stop Global Warming Association called on Prime Minister and NCPO leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to use his powers under Article 44 of the Interim Constitution to sack Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra.  The Association blamed the Governor for the fact that a torrential overnight downpour caused widespread flooding on Monday morning, paralyzing traffic and deluging newspaper front pages with pictures of watery wastes.
3 Jun 2015
I have a theory about Thai society. Don’t worry.  This happens every 30 or 40 years or so and eventually I get over it. The last Georgian Thai Social Theory (c 1980) explained why Thais are described in the guide books as an extremely polite people and yet drive like homicidal maniacs, prefer push-and-shove scrums to orderly queuing, and politically vacillate between anarchy and autocracy.  (The pushing and shoving has since begun to fade with the introduction of new technology, i.e. queue tickets and yellow arrows on mass transit floors.)
25 May 2015
International pressure is building on Bangladesh and Myanmar to take urgent measures to save boatloads of stranded asylum seekers in danger of death by drowning or starvation in the Bay of Bengal.  The ramshackle boats, thought to be loaded with Riphab refugees from Thailand, are organized by people smugglers, who prey on the migrants, often selling them into virtual slavery if they manage to make landfall undetected. 
18 May 2015
Trial lawyers, so I am told, are warned to be careful about what questions to ask witnesses.  They are advised never to ask a question unless they are confident about what the answer will be. Not so journalists, so I don’t suppose we can berate the reporter who decided to ask Prime Minister and junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha if there was enough money for a referendum on the draft constitution.
8 May 2015
The discovery of a remote camp containing the graves of what are thought to be the remains of human rights has sent shockwaves throughout the nation and beyond.  The site contained 32 shallow graves but human rights remains have been found in only 26, indicating that it was expected that there would be more victims.


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