The countries of Southeast Asia are planning to integrate their region in 2015. Meanwhile, in the dynamic city of Bangkok, the government of Thailand seems to be heading in the opposite direction, as recent protests have entered a ”shut down” phase. This was the...
With popular singers belting out Queen’s “We are the Champions” and John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the enormous protests taking place against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra’s government have all the cultural luster of a progressive cause. Professional and highly...
The Bangkok meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ended this week, with no progress among countries to commit to increasing the level of emission reductions for this decade. Why are the climate talks stalemated and what should be done to break the deadlock?
Captured Redshirt leaders and militants are treated like POWs and the lower class Redshirt mass-base like an occupied country. No doubt about it, a state of civil war exists in this country, and civil wars are never pretty.
Thailand’s Red Shirt leaders surrendered to authorities, leaving their followers to fend for themselves.
Even before the military ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on September 19, Thai democracy was in severe crisis. The country had suffered a succession of elected but do-nothing or exceedingly corrupt regimes. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), which for all intents and purposes ran the country with no accountability from 1997 to 2001, further eroded the legitimacy of Thai democracy by imposing a program that brought great hardship to the majority. Thaksin stoked this disaffection with the IMF and the political system to create a majority coalition that allowed him to violate constitutional constraints, infringe on democratic freedoms, and using the state as a mechanism of private capital accumulation.
The military coup in Thailand is the second high-profile collapse of a democracy in the developing world in the last seven years. The first was the coup in Pakistan in October 1999 that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power. There are some disturbing parallels between the two events. Both coups have been popular with the […]
It is almost impossible to imagine, as we sit in a well-lit, fully functioning gas station on Main Street, USA, that a community blessed with oil riches under its soil could look as impoverished as Yenagoa in the Nigerian state of Bayelsa.