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  • THAILAND

    Vote prospects in Thailand's long transition

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 05/08/2016

    » Thailand's second-ever referendum on its second consecutive military-inspired constitution in 10 years should be a foregone conclusion. The government of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha that seized power in May 2014 has deployed all instruments and organs of the state from village headmen and upcountry teachers to the entire bureaucratic apparatus and official media propaganda to ensure the charter's passage. The Referendum Act, a law that effectively prohibits open and inclusive debate and public discussion, has been enacted for good measure to keep the draft constitution on course. Yet what appears like a one-way state-sponsored campaign for referendum approval may boomerang into a rejection owing to several factors.

  • THAILAND

    Mekong mainland coalesces after Asean rift

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 29/07/2016

    » Although it was established 49 years ago, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) as we know it has been around only since 1999 when Cambodia joined Southeast Asia's premier regional organisation as its 10th member state after Laos and Myanmar had entered two years earlier. Asean was originally set up on different rationales and for different purposes than what it has become today as a loosely structured grouping of a diplomatic community with ambitious regionalisation plans that require a central strategic role in Asia.

  • THAILAND

    Myanmar in Aung San Suu Kyi's hands

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 04/12/2015

    » After her massive electoral sweep of more than 80% of legislative seats on Nov 8, Aung San Suu Kyi now stands at a crossroads between her country's past and future amid her own leadership aspirations.

  • THAILAND

    Clip exposes gamut of inconvenient truths

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 19/07/2013

    » The controversial audio clip that has reverberated around Thailand over the past two weeks refuses to go away. On it, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and current Deputy Defence Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa held a wide-ranging conversation which ran the gamut from mutual acquaintances and personal virility to military promotions and Thaksin's homecoming drive through an amnesty decree.

  • THAILAND

    Sputtering populism turns up political temperature

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 26/07/2013

    » As it approaches the midway point of its four-year term next month, the Yingluck Shinawatra government's broad policy platform appears to be sputtering.

  • THAILAND

    Thailand's stalemate and uneasy accommodation

    News, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Published on 15/02/2013

    » Thailand has regained relative calm and stability over the past year. After the worst floods in half a century subsided in early 2012, on the back of political crisis and turmoil that date back to 2005, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government has some breathing space to roll out its consumption-driven "populist" policy agenda.

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