Category Uncategorized

Corruption under the junta

We don’t always agree with academic Sungsidh Piriyarangsan’s politics, but his research on corruption is usually pretty good. We found these bits of a report in The Nation worth quoting for readers: Sungsidh Piriyarangsan said his “cautious estimate” put the damages at between Bt50 billion and Bt100 billion for 2018 alone. He based his estimate […]

Updated: Lese majeste on the way out?

Readers will have seen the several stories about and appeals court dropping lese majeste charges against six persons who allegedly burned public portraits of the previous king and the current one. They might also recall that PPT pointed to a change in the lese majeste wind: There has been some social media discussion of the […]

Business and The Dictator

PPT has said some things about academics, who should know better, having international conferences in Thailand. Business, of course, is different. For all the talk of stuff like “sustainability,” “corporate social responsibility” and “human rights,” most business people really couldn’t give a fig and just look to the bottom line. Dealing with dictators is not […]

King changes graduation ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies in Thailand are important for more than those who celebrate their years of studying. For one thing, since the 1960s, the palace propagandists has recognized that having a royal hand out the certificates is a great way of having the then increasingly Sino-Thai middle-class graduates tied to the monarchy in a ceremony that […]

Seethe against the military junta

Punk fans and anti-Fascists rejoice! Tonight is the time for “BNK44: Four Years Later and All We Eat is Fortune Cookies,” will start at 8pm on the rooftop of The Overstay, an underground venue in the Pinklao area that hosts punk and reggae shows. Entry is free. Recall that several punk bands involved in this […]

Judiciary, military, impunity

Under the military dictatorship the judiciary has been less interventionist that it was when it opposed elected governments. The royalist elite charged the judiciary with drawing lines in the political sand and protecting it against uppity elected governments. But the loyal servants of monarchy and military on the bench can still be quite royally repugnant when […]

2006 as royalist coup

It is 12 years since the military, wearing yellow tags, rolled its tanks into Bangkok to oust Thaksin Shinawatra, the Thai Rak Thai Party government and to wind back the Thaksin revolution. Thaksin had a lot of faults and made many mistakes. His War on Drugs was a murderous unleashing of the thugs in the […]