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Showing 31-40 of 247 results

  • OPINION

    Thailand's year of hunting normality

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 11/01/2019

    » Three related events that will shape Thailand's path this year and beyond are evidently the coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, the much-anticipated election, and the once-a-decade rotational chairmanship of Asean.

  • 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

    An ex-cop who has no fear of the generals

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 14/12/2018

    » Over the past four and a half years of military government, the Thai people have been physically cowed. Sure, there are many, possibly a silent majority, who may be waiting for the poll to have their say in opposition to the military junta that seized power in May 2014, led by then-army chief Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the incumbent prime minister. But few have been able and willing to stand up and stare down the ruling generals who routinely resort to intimidation and coercion, armed with guns and the law, which they sometimes interpret as they see fit. Just about everyone in Thailand is physically afraid of the junta in one way or another. Otherwise, there would have been more anti-junta demonstrations in public view.

  • OPINION

    Eastern Economic Corridor must continue

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 07/12/2018

    » As the election looms, the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will likely leave behind a very mixed legacy. Far from being a clean-up crew against graft and a technocratic team for effective policy performance when it seized power more than four years ago, this outgoing government has had its fair share of unaccountable corruption allegations and policy directions that merely served its own vested interests of staying in power after the polls.

  • OPINION

    China's Belt & Road needs to listen more

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 30/11/2018

    » In the aftermath of a tense Asean-led summit season, it is clear now that the United States and China are engaged in a great-power competition not seen since the Cold War. The US-China trade war, irrespective of negotiated talks in Buenos Aires between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, is set to deteriorate over the next two years and probably longer. The two superpowers may have fundamental and structural differences that cannot be resolved without a sweeping deal that realigns their geopolitical status and geoeconomic interests in a way that is acceptable to both, an unlikely prospect. So the confrontation will likely intensify.

  • OPINION

    Asean summit season ends with more risks

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 23/11/2018

    » The prominence and utility of Asean as a regional platform for peace and prosperity is demonstrated most vividly in a series of top-level meetings among its leaders and counterparts from other major powers, particularly the United States, China and Japan, among others. That Asean's summit season this year has ended with a whimper and acrimony bodes ill for what lies ahead. As the Asean Chair in 2019, Thailand should feel more pressed and incentivised to get its house in order with an elected government that can function effectively before major Asean meetings get under way next year.

  • OPINION

    Asean chairmanship has many limitations

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 16/11/2018

    » Just as all politics is ultimately local, all regionalism is mostly domestic. Such is the case with Asean. Whichever of the 10 member states chairs Asean, its role and performance tends to be domestically rooted. To envision and drive Asean forward requires deft leadership, bold ideas and smart diplomacy that must extend beyond and transcend parochial domestic concerns. No Asean member has shown this sort of farsighted regionalist ambition in recent years. Thailand appears on course to be no different when it chairs Asia's most durable organisation next year.

  • OPINION

    Facing up to Thailand's role as Asean chair

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 09/11/2018

    » As Thailand gears up to chair Asean next year, a sense of deja vu is setting in. The last time Thailand held its rotational turn at Asean's helm from July 2008 to December 2009, it was undermined by domestic street protests that ended up disrupting top-level meetings and abruptly sending Asia-Pacific leaders home prematurely. Owning up to what transpired, it has to be said that the Thai hosting of Asean-centred summits back then was an utter fiasco.

  • 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

    Debunking two myths of the 2014 coup

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 19/10/2018

    » As momentum towards the next general election gathers pace, the two main myths that underpinned Thailand's most recent military coup in May 2014 deserve debunking. Both are associated with the military's role in politics. Seeing through these two perpetuated myths leaves us with the reality that all players in Thai politics are in pursuit of power and vested interests. All pretence to the contrary is sheer falsehood, hypocrisy and political manipulation.

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