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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Battle for Collective Political Memory Rages On

May is a loaded month for Thai politics. In 1992, from May 17 to 20, hundreds of thousands rose up against military dictator Suchinda Kraprayoon, who made himself prime minister, to demand the country be led by one elected by the people. Fifty-two people mostly drawn from the middle class, according to the official account, were mowed down and hundreds others injured, mostly by military gunfire. Suchinda granted himself immunity before resigning.

Trump’s Wake-Up Call to Thailand

Consider US President Donald Trump’s phone call last month to junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha a wake-up call, an alarm bell even. It served notice...

Bangkok Street Food Ban a Banal Assault on Way of Life

The irony of the debate on banning Bangkok’s street food was that it took foreigners – mostly Western media – to point out how unique and vibrant street food here was before the military regime backpedaled a tad.

Thai Free Press Sinking Into the Abyss

In a dictator’s wildest dreams, there will only be friendly journalists acting as de facto propaganda mouthpiece who will occasionally sing along in karaoke sessions. Those critical of the dictatorial state would be banned from practicing journalism.

Thailand Should Not Talibanize its Past

The mysterious removal of 1932 Revolution Plaque has opened up a Pandora’s box. The news about the removal of the brass plaque – marking the spot where the revolt which ended absolute monarchy in 1932 began with a declaration – led to debate. Not just over the merit of the historical object itself but over a re-assessment and rediscovery – particularly among younger Thais – of the Promoters, also known as People’s Party, or Khana Ratsadon, which overthrew absolute monarchy 85 years ago.

Note to Readers: Removal of An Article About a Palace Announcement

Khaosod English has deleted an April 18 article about a certain statement made by the royal palace.

Will Bangkok Prove Greater Than Those Who Would Remake it?

Walking through Thonglor in the heat of the day is a dreary experience, one few people have to endure as they drive by in cars, taxis or on motorcycle taxis.

Reconquering Our Collective Memory of Ayutthaya

Today, April 7, marks 250 years since the fall of the old capital of Ayutthaya. As a Thai, it’s a sober time of remembrance. After 417 years, the old capital was irreversibly sacked by Burmese invaders. A visit to Ayutthaya’s old ruins today harrowingly reminds Thais, myself included, of the ravages of war and sends us on a flight of imagining the glories of the old capital with its magnificent temples and palaces.

Unite to Defend Press Freedom Before It’s Too Late

Less than 12 hours after the suspension order of Voice TV for seven days for alleged biased reporting and causing divisions in society came into effect, I ran into one of its reporters by chance.

How ‘Are you Thai?’ Accuses and Deflects, Dangerously

If asked by a Thai who knows you are Thai whether you are actually Thai due to your political differences, expect something less than decent.

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