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By Pravit Rojanaphruk, The Nation |
<p>Democracy is perhaps one of the most overused, abused and confusing terms in Thai politics. Coup-makers, corrupt politicians, ultra-royalists, die-hard supporters of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, vote buyers and sellers as well as the autocrats all claim that they're committed to democracy.</p>
<p>Aung San Suu Kyi&rsquo;s public address at the NLD Headquarters on 14 November 2010. (unofficial translation)</p>
By Freedom House |
<p>President Barack Obama&rsquo;s trip to Southeast Asia provides a critical opportunity to reaffirm the United States&rsquo; commitment to human rights and democracy in the region.&nbsp; His stop in Jakarta should be used to recognize the potential of Indonesia in particular as a long-term partner of the U.S. in promoting respect for human dignity throughout the region.</p>
<p>Famous Shan artists are today taking to the stage on the Shan-Thai border to officially launch a new VCD opposing the 2010 elections, already an underground hit in Shan State.</p>
By Chamnan Chanruang |
<p>One of the concepts of Dr. Somkiat Tangnamo, former Rector of Midnight University, which was repeatedly emphasized during our regular discussion was <strong>Deliberative Democracy</strong>. Members of the Midnight University see the problem of <strong>Representative Democracy</strong> as focusing on only the election which usually results in getting the persons who are not genuine representatives of people in the society.</p>
<p>&lsquo;<a href="">Thai E-News</a>: News about Thailand that you may not have read in the news&rsquo; is the slogan of one of Thailand&rsquo;s leading political websites. &nbsp;It has only content and no web board. &nbsp;It is unabashedly &lsquo;red&rsquo;, but red with a strange smell. &nbsp;It posts critical points of view from all circles.</p>
<p>The construction of Thailand&rsquo;s new 12-billion baht Parliament Building is scheduled to be completed in 2012. &nbsp;The design, which was chosen by a parliamentary committee from among 5 finalists, is said to represent the Thai identity. &nbsp;It focuses on the concept of Buddhist morality to govern mundane politics, according to the designers. However, Chatree Prakitnonthakarn, an architecture lecturer at Silpakorn University and expert on historical architecture during the post-1932 revolution era, questioned the relevance of the idea.</p>
By Pravit Rojanaphruk, Dayton, Ohio |
<p>It&rsquo;s 19 September, 2009. Three years after the coup - how time flies. Might some want to revel in nostalgic idealization of the past, of the complimentary-flower coup d&rsquo;etat which ousted Thaksin Shinawatra? Some may at least want to look at things on a bright side and at least thank these generals for their invaluable service to &lsquo;Thai democracy&rsquo;.</p>
<p>On 16 Sept,&nbsp;The Asia Foundation released&nbsp;findings from its first national survey of the Thai electorate. The survey, Constitutional Reform and&nbsp;Democracy in Thailand: A National Survey of the Thai Electorate, was conducted through face-to-face&nbsp;interviews with a random, representative sample of 1,500 voters from all regions of the country (except&nbsp;the three southern border provinces) between June 13 and July 5, 2009.</p>
By Julian Hopkins |
<p><em><a href="">Blogging and Democratization in Malaysia: A New Civil Society in the Making</a></em>&nbsp;is the first book to discuss blogging in Malaysia in detail. It draws upon a survey completed in late 2006, interviews and observations, and it is a unique record of the early moments of social-political blogging in Malaysia.&nbsp; There is also a timely postscript to the book that discusses the overall impact of blogging on the &lsquo;political tsunami&rsquo; of the Malaysian general elections in 2008.</p>
By Kevin Hewison |
<p>Kevin Hewison, professor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented his paper 'Thai-Style Democracy' at the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University on June 26, 2009. &nbsp;The paper is published here in full.&nbsp;</p>
By Pravit Rojanaphruk, The Nation |
<p>At a recent lunch meeting to update a Western diplomat on the state of Thai politics and democracy, this writer was asked what he thought of this and that general - and what were their relations with Army Chief General Anupong Paochinda?</p>