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  • OPINION

    'My country's got' these socio-political ills

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 02/11/2018

    » The explosive Rap Against Dictatorship music video that has taken Thailand by storm has raised myriad socio-political questions and issues. Known in Thai as <i>Prathet Ku Mee</i>, the sensational music video has been viewed on YouTube more than 25 million times in just 10 days in a country of 69 million people, a feat in its own right and a record for its artistic kind in Thailand. How this five-minute rap song in the Thai language has done so much says a lot about where Thailand has been and where it is going.

  • OPINION

    Thai geopolitical balancing compromised

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 06/07/2018

    » Thailand is demonstrably famous for its foreign policy balancing. From the era of imperialism and two World Wars through the Cold War, Thailand's gifted geography and diplomatic finesse and skill shepherded the country's sovereignty and independence through the thick and thin of geopolitical headwinds. Whatever happens out there, the Thais (and their Siamese forebears) had a way to diplomatically navigate and geopolitically balance their national interests to stay out of harm's way.

  • OPINION

    Global turmoil and Thailand's political reset

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 21/12/2018

    » As the world moves into 2019, there is a consensus that the roughly seven-decade-old rules-based liberal international order no longer works. Either it has to be fundamentally revamped to suit new realities and the international distribution of power and wealth, or it will be increasingly violated and marginalised. In a remarkable parallel, Thailand's hitherto political order that lasted about seven decades also requires adjustment and recalibration.

  • OPINION

    Global disarray as institutions falter

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 17/08/2015

    » The international system as we know it is unravelling. Rules and institutions that were set up seven decades ago no longer hold the same weight and authority as they used to. As we grapple with an exacerbating global disorder, established powers and players and old rules and institutions need to be revamped and reinvented to accommodate new realities. Otherwise global tensions will mount, most probably accompanied by confrontation and conflict.

  • OPINION

    Semantics and Thailand's political divide

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 25/09/2015

    » Language can be about power as much as communication. It can tear societies apart or bring them together, depending on its design and application.

  • OPINION

    Underpinnings of a Thai mass shooting

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 14/02/2020

    » Thailand's worst apolitical mass shooting on a Buddhist holiday last weekend left a trail of deaths and injuries with one lasting question that will be hard to answer. As the country reels from the shocking tragedy and loss, the Thai government needed to respond by pulling the country together in a healing process, coming to terms with the situation and drawing the right conclusions to prevent this sort of mindless killing from ever taking place again. Instead, the authorities from the prime minister to the army commander-in-chief focused too much on themselves and failed to show sufficient empathy with the people and provide a way forward for Thai society.

  • OPINION

    The global politics of the coronavirus

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/02/2020

    » It is not surprising that the deadly coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in China's Hubei province has become a contentious issue in international politics. While the number of fatalities has reached 565 and more than 28,000 have been infected in China to date, the issue has become politicised and polarised because it emerged in an Asian superpower that is aggressive in its pursuit of global supremacy.

  • OPINION

    Thailand's prospects and risks in 2020s

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 31/01/2020

    » Notwithstanding recent worldwide celebrations to mark the arrival of 2020, Thailand should be seen as having entered not just a new year but a new decade. Since World War II, Thailand's journey over the ensuing decades meandered through ebbs and flows, overcoming critical bumps and barriers along the way. When 2030 arrives, this country of 70 million predominantly happy-go-lucky people will have faced a prolonged reckoning. While its near-term prospects are likely to worsen, Thailand's long-term future will be either better compared to the past two decades or bad for the long term.

  • OPINION

    Government's competence in question

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 24/01/2020

    » It's just about official. Despite having a government, Thailand is rudderless. Approaching six years under more or less junta rule and military influence, irrespective of an election last year, this once up-and-coming country has degenerated into an authoritarian-bureaucratic state that is unsuited and unfit to address public grievances and demands of the 21st century. Yet Thailand's biggest problem is that this government, a motley coalition propped up by a crooked constitution and led by former junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha, intends to stay for the long haul despite its growing incompetence. Unless the Thai people's world-famous patience and tolerance are boundless, political tensions will likely mount in the foreseeable future.

  • OPINION

    Concentric Mideast wars and prospects

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 10/01/2020

    » Nothing captures attention in an age of media saturation like the talk of war. The recent decision by US President Donald Trump to assassinate a top Iranian official, Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, has conjured up the spectre of a wider conflict encompassing not just the Middle East but the broader world, as Iran's top leaders deemed it "an act of war" and vowed "severe revenge". Although Iran's military and its proxy militias and client states in the Middle East and elsewhere are poised to exact retribution for their loss, we are unlikely to see a world war in the immediate aftermath of this killing.

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