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    Defending the indefensible

    News, Editorial, Published on 19/09/2018

    » The conversion of Aung San Suu Kyi from human rights champion to defender of military violence has been painful to watch. The Myanmar leader capped her change last week. At a UN-sponsored conference in Hanoi, she sloughed off questions about the brutal expulsion of 700,000 Rohingya, who now are refugees. Shockingly, she defended the imprisonment of two Myanmar reporters by praising a law written by colonialists to intimidate and punish her own country's citizens.


    Rethink this London trip

    News, Editorial, Published on 18/09/2018

    » Just when it seemed the story had plumbed the depths, the unsavoury claim of a June 25 drugging and rape on already infamous Koh Tao has turned worse. Pol Maj Gen Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn has announced an imminent trip to London. There, he claimed late last week, he intends to interrogate the 19-year-old woman who claims to be the victim. Pol Maj Gen Surachate, the high-profile deputy chief of the Tourist Police Bureau, has quite loudly doubted the woman's claim she was a crime victim. He said his London visit could end up proving the rape claim was false.


    Time to lift rights bans

    News, Editorial, Published on 17/09/2018

    » The best thing that can be said about last week's action by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is that the all-male group understands it has created a problem. It has returned to the public a tiny bit of the civil and human rights it removed 52 months ago. On Friday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha used his extraordinary powers under Section 44 to give some small but important freedoms to political parties. While the order restores the right to organise party affairs, it falls lamentably short of restoring basic and constitutional rights to all Thais.


    Ban Plainern's glory under threat

    News, Editorial, Published on 16/09/2018

    » Ban Plainern, a residence of the late Prince Narisaranuvattiwongse -- the Great Craftsman of Siam -- is under grave threat from a gigantic condominium construction project on a nearby plot of land.


    T-shirt saga a witch hunt

    News, Editorial, Published on 15/09/2018

    » In what seems to be nothing other than a witch hunt against a small group of people who hold a political ideology seen as unorthodox in Thailand, the military junta has set a bad precedent and made an unjust move in slapping severe criminal charges against four people, who are alleged to have promoted the political concept through the distribution of T-shirts.


    Students must beat machines

    News, Editorial, Published on 14/09/2018

    » As he painted a bleak picture on Tuesday about how rising automation would affect Thai graduates in the future job market, Deputy Education Minister Udom Kachinthorn failed to illustrate a clearly mapped out plan to help them not only survive the onslaught but succeed in the age of technological disruption -- if the ministry has formulated one at all.


    Police stifle free speech

    News, Editorial, Published on 13/09/2018

    » It has happened again. the Thai police have forced the cancellation of a public forum by citing concerns over security, which is a broad and dubious term.


    Tiny steps for LGBTI rights

    News, Editorial, Published on 12/09/2018

    » Just about three months ago, the Justice Ministry's official in charge of the matter promised a new bill to improve the battered rights of same-sex couples. Since then, the government and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department in particular has been tight-lipped. A bill that demands public input and debate has received neither.


    Welcome the army pullout

    News, Editorial, Published on 11/09/2018

    » The army has revealed plans for its greatest change of strategy in public memory. Beginning in a year, it will close the bases and shift most Bangkok-based combat units to outlying provinces. The planned move includes most major units of infantry, cavalry and artillery -- troops, tanks and big guns -- as well as headquarters and support units needed to support them. Two well-known regiments are to be completely decommissioned and all their soldiers reassigned.


    Shared items with no sole 'owner'

    News, Editorial, Published on 09/09/2018

    » Over the past weeks, social media has buzzed with a number of Khmer netizens jittering over Thailand's registration of khon masked dance performance as intangible cultural heritage with Unesco.

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