KHON KAEN, THAILAND — When business started to sag a year ago at the shoe factory where she and her husband work, Nui Kalathai began to borrow money from relatives in her village in Khon Kaen, one of the largest provinces in Thailand’s northeastern plateau. She has been careful to…Full Article THAILAND: WHY LOYALTY TO THAKSIN REMAINS SO STRONG
ROBERT BORN WRITES– Sunday, March 24, marked the first time in five years that the Thai government allowed an election years after promising one. In 2014, a military coup removed the government of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s party–then headed by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Since then, the military junta…Full Article THAILAND: Free and Fair Elections? Not So Fast – OR TOO SLOW?
KATRINA CROSBY WRITES- Thailand’s political stability may be rocked in the upcoming week. With the trial of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra awaiting its final verdict, the nation’s Supreme Court decision could lead to to a divisive emergence of the current political forces swirling under the surface of this otherwise…Full Article THAILAND: THE TRIAL OF YINGLUCK
TOM PLATE WRITES – I have been traveling to Asia and writing about it in various newspapers and journals for two decades, and I have visited China enough times to know it closely. My observation about China is substantially different from most of the written accounts I read or video-view…Full Article BEIJING: THE QUESTION OF CHINA’S IMAGE
THE INDEPENDENT NEWS SITE ASIAN CORRESPONDENT WRITES – Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has criticized attempts by the ruling military junta to push forward a constitution, calling it “crazy” and part of a strategy to avoid a long overdue election. Speaking to the Financial Times in Singapore recently, the…Full Article THAILAND: WARNINGS FROM FORMER ELECTED PRIME MINISTER THAKSIN
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – The famed Land of Smiles could be mistaken for the Land of Scowls as the color-coded political strife continues. On November 3, junta leader and present Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha prescribed a Thaksin-detox for the media to remedy Thailand’s conflict. […]Full Article THAILAND: History is ‘Rewritten’ by the Victors
“The United States is an Asian-Pacific nation, and we take our enduring interests there very seriously. We know that America’s security and prosperity are closely and increasingly linked to the Asia-Pacific.” So spoke John Kerry, that peripatetic American diplomat. And so finally, if but for one excellent speech, the secretary…Full Article THAILAND: Generals Should Defend But Not Rule Their Countries
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – A Yellow-shirt “boy’s club” has Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, in its cross hairs. Democrat party leaders and public spokespersons air Yingluck’s dirty laundry as a further attempt to delegitimize her and undermine the February 2nd snap election. Khao Sod daily newspaper released a video of Somchai…Full Article THAILAND: A Clean Sweep
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – Thailand’s Democrat Party leaders are using momentum from the country’s current protests to further their own, longstanding cause: The overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinowatra and the dominant Pheu Thai Party. Protests first erupted between royalists (locally coined as “yellow shirts”) and those loyal to Thaksin (the…Full Article THAILAND: Might Equals Right?
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – Donning a “Red shirt” may soon be a political faux pas due to the highly contested Amnesty bill before Parliament. After 2010’s violent political strife, Thailand finds itself navigating the retributive versus restorative justice debate. Deep political rifts between the Red and Yellow shirts have done…Full Article THAILAND: Political Trend Alert – Red is Out
ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – It seems as if George Orwell’s 1984 has become a reality in this technological age — anyone could be listening or doctoring conversations. Two weeks after Yuthasak Sasiprapa was appointed Deputy Defense Minister, a YouTube clip was released on July 6 of two voices: one allegedly…Full Article THAILAND: Did I Hear That Right?
On 5 January The Straits Times of Singapore published as its lead opinion essay a review of ‘Conversations with Ban Ki-moon,” the new book on the United Nations Secretary General that is featured as part of the ‘Giants of Asia’ series. The reviewer Asas Latif, a visiting research fellow at…Full Article SINGAPORE: Book on UN Secretary General Reviewed
It seems that Thaksin the Educator – a man reviled at home as a virtual political anti-Christ – has become something of a star celebrity everywhere else but in Thailand. This appears to be especially true among university students, by nature intellectually curious and open-minded. Fresh off of his recent…Full Article THAILAND: Thaksin — On the University Lecture Tour!
Thaksin Shinawatra (pictured left with his sister, Yingluck, the current Thai prime minister) is undoubtedly the most controversial politician ever to become prime minister of Thailand, an oft-ignored country in Southeast Asia with a population and landmass greater than Britain or Italy. (But who besides a Thai knows this?) Elected…Full Article THAILAND’S CONTROVERSIAL THAKSIN VISITS LOS ANGELES — AND LMU
Former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, loved and loathed across his homeland, makes for a fascinating target of former Los Angeles Times columnist Tom Plate’s professional – and always gracious, although sometimes fawning – curiosity. Unsurprisingly, Conversations With Thaksin: From Exile to Deliverance – Thailand’s Populist Tycoon Tells His Story is unavailable in the kingdom, though not yet subject to an official ban.Full Article ASIA BOOK CORNER: In Review of the New Book “Conversations With Thaksin” by Tom Plate