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Sunday, December 4, 2022
Chakrapong "Anne" Chakrajutathib, CEO of JKN Global Group, poses during a press conference on Oct. 27, 2022.

Opinion: Miss Universe, Miss Grand Pageants and Thailand’s New Soft Power

Thailand has become a beauty-pageant organizing superpower over the past few years and decidedly with late last month’s purchase of Miss Universe brand by a tycoon and transgender activist Chakrapong “Anne” Chakrajutathip. Chakrapong paid 20 million U.S. dollars and is now in control of Miss Universe Organization (MU), which was partly and formerly owned by Donald Trump.
Exterior of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Facebook.

Opinion: Do Foreigners Have the Right to Criticize Thailand’s Foreign Policy?

Well, if you are still undecided, here is the answer by foreign ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat nearly two weeks ago after a group of foreign Twitter users criticized Thailand’s foreign policy towards Russia following my column on Thailand’s vote to abstain during the recent U.N. General Assembly from condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories.
Weerawit Rungruengsiriphon, left, attacks activist Srisuwan Janya, middle, outside the Central Investigation Bureau on Oct. 18, 2022.

Opinion: When Members of Pro-democracy Camp Support Violence

In a long drawn out struggle for a truly free, equal, and democratic society, sometimes we forget what we stand for and what are our cherished principles.
Video monitors show member nation vote in the United Nations General Assembly in favor of a resolution condemning Russia's illegal referendum in Ukraine, Wednesday Oct. 12, 2022 at U.N. headquarters. Photo: Bebeto Matthews / AP

Opinion: Should We Be Proud of Thailand’s Abstention in UN Vote?

I was asked by an up-and-coming journalist from a neighboring country earlier this week why Thailand chose to abstain from voting to condemn Russia for its annexation of Ukrainian territories in a shambolic referendum during the latest U.N. General Assembly emergency special session in New York on Wednesday.
Relatives and friends leave flowers during a ceremony for those killed in the attack on the Young Children's Development Center in the rural town of Uthai Sawan, north eastern Thailand, Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

Opinion: Nong Bua Lamphu Massacre Should Not Be Met With Knee Jerk Reactions

The collective shock unfolding in Thailand in the aftermath of Nong Bua Lamphu mass shooting by a drug-addicted ex-cop which resulted in 38 deaths including the assailant, who committed suicide, led to much soul-searching but also kneejerk reactions.
In this July 16, 2019, file photo, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures after a group photo with his Cabinet members at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand. Prayuth said Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 he is not quitting despite facing mounting criticism for failing to properly take his oath of office. Prayuth led members of his Cabinet to be inaugurated in a ceremony presided over by the Thai king on July 16. However, he omitted a phrase while taking the oath where he was supposed to pledge that he will uphold every aspect of the constitution. The omission has raised questions over whether the inauguration was legally valid. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

Opinion: Prayut’s Return as PM Comes With Many Unanswered Questions

Less than twenty minutes after he was let off the hook by the Constitutional Court, which ruled on Friday that he can still be PM for two and a half more years because the eight-year limit stipulated under the charter should only be counted when the junta-sponsored constitution came into effect in April 2017, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha made it clear he is planning to stay on to do more ‘great things’ for Thailand.

Opinion: Why Ekachai Hongkangwan Is a Formidable Political Activist?

Anti-junta-cum-monarchy-reformist Ekachai Hongkangwan has emerged as one of the most persistent opponents to the conservative powers in Thailand over the years.
Protest at Mahidol University Salaya Campus in Nakhon Pathom province on Feb. 25, 2020.

Opinion: Lest We Forget: The Movement Changed, The Struggle Continues

I was a part of the movement calling for democracy that began two years ago, in the midst of the ill-advised dissolution of the opposition Future Forward Party back in February 2020.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul reacts during news conference Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, at the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi, Thailand, after signing a measure that drops cannabis from his ministry's list of controlled drugs. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

Opinion: Anutin, Marijuana, and Thai Politics

The future of the de facto use of marijuana for recreational purposes, a by-product of the decriminalization of marijuana for medical purposes, is now hanging in the balance.
A slum along Khlong Prem Prachakon in Bangkok on Sept. 10, 2022.

Opinion: The Poor Are Getting Poorer and That’s a Ticking Time Bomb

The recent increased price of instant noodle from six to seven baht per pack was nothing short of a big blow for working-class Thais, particularly poor people, who lead hand to mouth existence.

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