Thitinan Pongsudhirak on the ASEAN Cambodia Meeting

Thitinan Pongsudhirak has in an op-ed in today’s Bangkok Post about the recent ASEAN meeting in Cambodia. He says: The post-mortems of the failure by Asean to agree on a hitherto routine joint statement after their 45th Ministerial Meeting are coming in thick and heavy. Recriminations and acrimony are crisscrossing the region, the shockwaves being […]

Thailand Police Chief Visits Thaksin in Hong Kong

Here’s a reminder — as if any were needed — of how influential (and controversial) Thaksin Shinawatra remains here in Thailand. Apparently national police chief Priewpan Damapong recently paid a visit to the exiled former prime minister in Hong Kong. Priewpan was reportedly on holiday and wanted to visit Thaksin — his ex-brother-in-law — on […]

Yellow Shirts Say They’ll Rally If Amnesty Bill Not Withdrawn

There are stories on this news today from The Bangkok Post: The yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has warned the government that it will stage a mass rally if the reconciliation bills are not withdrawn when the parliament reconvenes on Aug 1. …as well as The Nation: The People’s Alliance for Democracy Tuesday called […]

Fabio Polenghi Inquest Begins

The AP reported yesterday: An inquest began Monday into the death of an Italian photographer killed two years ago as troops quashed a protest by anti-government “Red Shirts” who had occupied a central Bangkok intersection for several weeks. The sister of slain photojournalist Fabio Polenghi was one of two witnesses to testify in the effort […]

Thein Sein in Thailand

Bloomberg says: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said her government was committed to seeing “concrete progress” in the development of the $8.6 billion Dawei port and industrial zone in neighboring Myanmar. Thailand and Myanmar agreed to hold ministerial-level meetings starting next month to push forward with the project, Yingluck told reporters in a joint briefing […]

Bangkok Street Life Inventions: Garbage Bag Poncho and Frond-Fashioned Napping Shade

I wanted to share two photos I snapped recently. They both demonstrate interesting Bangkok street life improvisations. First: It’s the middle of rainy season here, so what do you do when you’re caught in an evening downpour without an umbrella? Simple — make a poncho (with a cutout for your face) out of a plastic […]

Bloomberg on Thailand’s Constitutional Court Ruling — and What Comes Next

Bloomberg has a comprehensive story on the Constitutional Court verdict (previous posts on this topic are here and here and here): Thailand’s political calm hangs in the balance as Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ruling party decides whether to defy the nation’s highest court and proceed with an overhaul of a military-influenced constitution. The Constitutional Court […]

Thailand Constitution Court Verdict: Pheu Thai Not Dissolved; Complaints Against Govt Thrown Out*

Thailand’s Constitution Court ruled today that the charter amendment bill doesn’t represent an attempt to overthrow the country’s monarchy. The Pheu Thai party is not dissolved. *However, the court apparently says amending the entire constitution would require a referendum. Parliament can amend articles individually, though. The AP, in a story, calls it a “compromise verdict.” […]

Thailand Constitutional Court Verdict: Some Scene-Setters

Here are a few scene-setting stories to contemplate as we await the Thai Constitution Court verdict I mentioned yesterday. In an AFP story, Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak says: Thailand expert Thitinan Pongsudhirak, of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, said there had been a “systematic effort to undermine and subvert democratic institutions” in recent years. “In previous judicial […]

Thailand Constitutional Court Verdict: Coming Tomorrow

Thailand’s Constitutional Court is set to give its verdict tomorrow — yes, Friday the 13th — on the ruling Pheu Thai party’s proposal to amend the country’s constitution. Supporters say they want a new charter to replace the current constitution, which was drafted by a military-backed government in 2007 following former prime minister Thaksin’s ouster […]