Thailand

A week after the Thai regime issued an emergency decree banning gatherings of more than five people, Peter Boyle reports the Free Youth student-led democracy movement has been staging nightly mass gatherings around the country.

The growing wave of student-initiated democracy protests sweeping Thailand since February are shaking the military coup-installed regime, writes Peter Boyle.

Green Left speaks to Kanyanatt Kalfagiannis, a Thai democracy activist currently studying in Australia, about the growing pro-democracy movement in Thailand.

Peter Boyle reports that at the conclusion of a 30,000-strong rally in Bangkok, the young organisers of a new democracy movement called for a general strike on the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising that brought down the Thanom Kittikachorn military dictatorship.

Thousands of students rallied on August 10 at Thammasat University in Bangkok, an iconic place in Thailand's long history of pro-democracy struggles, in the largest of a string of student-led protests since July 18, reports Peter Boyle.

Left and progressive groups are concerned for the safety of Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai political dissident who has been living in exile in Cambodia, and are calling on the Cambodian government to act immediately to launch an investigation into his abduction, locate him and ensure his safety.

This Australian-made film dramatises the experience of a 14-year-old Cambodian boy who is tricked into boarding a fishing vessel, where he is enslaved.

Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun, an associate professor at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University, has since 2014 been branded an 'enemy of the state' by Thai authorities. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle.

Paris protest against Prayut

As Thailand's military dictator, Prime Minister and former General Prayut Chan-o-cha visited Europe last week in a desperate attempt to woo more foreign investment, Thai democracy rights protesters rallied in Paris, London and Bonn, calling for his arrest for crimes against his own people. They also called upon European governments to put human rights before profits.

The pictures of thousands of Thais crying and wearing black after the death of King Pumipon might lead a sane person to conclude that most Thais were political half-wits with a slave-like mentality. That would be a wrong conclusion.

We have to factor in the royalist military repression. Anyone criticising the king can be jailed under the draconian lese-majeste (insulting the monarch) law. Added to this is the green light given by the junta for mobs of fanatical royalists to “deal” with dissidents.

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