The contrast could hardly have been starker: On Monday, a major news agency won the Pulitzer Prize for their work exposing Thailand’s involvement in the trafficking of Myanmar’s oppressed Rohingya minority through what it called a “tropical gulag”. On Thursday, two journalists running a small, independent website in Phuket were formally indicted for criminally defaming the Royal Thai Navy by quoting part of the award-winning report.
It is difficult for outsiders to imagine a democracy unable to escape from the futile iteration between feudalism and kleptocracy that seems to define modern Thai society.
The Songkran Festival seems to have gone on forever this year. There are definitely an awful lot of city people who slipped away for a “long weekend” about 10 days ago who haven’t been heard of since.
The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) is appealing to the world community, citing the values of freedom, human rights and democracy. This is good PR, and good PR will get you some good loving in this world.
It’s great news that The Guardian and the Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize. As citizens of the world, we congratulate the papers, or actually that 21st century Deep Throat Edward Snowden, for exposing the US National Security Agency’s creepy tentacles of unlawful surveillance. It’s great that Mr Snowden gambled it all and it’s great that journalism can still rock, or at least embarrass, an almighty government accustomed to impunity.
Scandals involving misbehaving monks have become so common they are no longer shocking.
Recent suggestions that Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda should step forward as an arbiter and mediator in the current impasse of Thai politics is impractical.
Both houses of the US Congress have voted unanimously to prevent Hamid Aboutalebi from entering the United States. Iran has appointed Mr Aboutalebi as its next ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) in New York. But the White House has indicated that Mr Aboutalebi will not be issued a US visa, even though the president has yet to sign the bill into law.
As the name itself suggests, the main task of the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (Capo) is to enforce the Internal Security Act to ensure peace and order in areas covered by the law -- Bangkok, Nonthaburi and parts of Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani.
Bangkok turns 232 this year, marking the time when our beloved city was established as the capital of Thailand. To celebrate, the Ministry of Culture will organise three days of historical and cultural events at Sanam Luang this weekend (Apr 19-21). While that’s all fine and educational, we want to do our part to showcase the coolness that Krungthep has achieved in its 232 years of existence. However, since we were too lazy to come up with 232 reasons why Bangkok is awesome, here are 10 instead:
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