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  • OPINION

    Thailand's lessons from the Prem years

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 31/05/2019

    » In a galloping world of communications instantaneity, Gen Prem Tinsulanonda's passing earlier this week is likely to be framed by popular expectations and grievances so far in the 21st century rather than the conditions and circumstances of the 20th century where most of the late elder statesman's life was rooted.

  • OPINION

    Royal transition explains military's grip

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 13/10/2017

    » Hindsight will look back at Thailand's prolonged political interregnum after the military coup on 22 May 2014 with perplexity and astonishment. It will be remembered as a time of junta rule in a country that had overthrown military dictatorships repeatedly in 1973 and 1992. This time, the self-styled strongman from the barracks was Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who would end up in office for longer than most elected leaders before him. There will be many questions and criticisms of Gen Prayut's tenure and rule but undergirding them will be his unrivalled role a year ago today, on 13 Oct 2016, with the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The consequent royal transition is likely to be viewed in posterity as the principal reason why the Thai people have had to put up with Gen Prayut.

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