Opinion

(Photo by Krit Phromsakla Na SAKOLNAKORN / THAI NEWS PIX / AFP)

‘Secret’ security spending under fire as Thai budget prioritises defence over health

The opposition is targeting a “secret budget” worth more than Bt1 billion while vetting the Bt3.1-trillion budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The budget bill passed its first parliamentary reading…

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Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana: Prayut’s new defender 

As the new spokesman of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana’s first job was to defend the government’s relief measures for people affected by COVID-19. His opening…

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13 charter change bills enter Parliament battle zone. Will any survive? 

Parliament is scheduled to deliberate 13 charter amendment bills this week, but only a few are expected to make it through to the national assembly, a third of which is…

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Palang Pracharat Party’s secretary-general, Thammanat Prompow

Thammanat takes wheel of Palang Pracharath as party plots course for election win

The ruling party’s latest internal reshuffle indicates it desperately wants to win the next election, amid speculation that the national poll will be called early. Palang Pracharath Party rejigged its…

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A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Narathiwat on March 24, 2019 during Thailand’s general election. (Photo by Madaree TOHLALA / AFP)

COVID-19 to determine election timing, and perhaps winners

Humans make rules, dissolve parliaments, woo voters, mark ballots, and set up administrations, but the new normal of politics stipulates that they aren’t the ones actually in control. Those activities…

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Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party, is on the podium at a press conference, announcing their stance on the constitution amendment, on June 16, 2021.

After controversial rulings, Thai opposition pushes to criminalise judicial distortion of law

The opposition Move Forward Party is pushing for an amendment to the Criminal Code that would punish judicial personnel for “distorting the law”. Move Forward, aka “Kao Klai” in Thai,…

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The giant-killer of Thai politics, Ruangkrai Leekitwattana takes aim at new target    

Politics is a game where there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests. The old saying was proved true again recently when veteran politician Ruangkrai Leekitwattana…

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(Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP)

No country for old men (or women) as society’s vulnerable are being left behind in vaccine rollout

Over the weekend, several hospitals in Bangkok, and many other provinces, postponed vaccination appointments for this week. Today (Monday), the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) did the same for its 25…

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Signals point to an early election in Thailand

When Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered his Cabinet last week to speed up implementation of public projects as the government only had one year left in office, many saw it…

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Oh brother! PM’s family hit with graft accusation 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s younger brother, General Preecha, has become the first member of the premier’s immediate family to be charged by Thailand’s anti-graft agency. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)…

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Cautious optimism infects Thailand as mass vaccination heralds reopening 

The launch of Thailand’s mass vaccination program on June 7 has sparked hope that the country can reopen for tourists and resume normal business activities. But uncertainty remains. The third…

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Latest Thai stimulus injection expected to stem the bleeding, not boost economy

The government launched its latest stimulus package on June 1 in a bid to shore up the economy and aid those impacted by Thailand’s third wave of COVID-19. Worth Bt140.4…

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Why a struggling restaurateur sees no hope for any state help

“This year, I don’t know why we fight, it will not make a difference. We have been making sacrifices for a whole year already. This is not ‘back to zero,’…

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Protesters hold banners and masks with the face of Thai dissident Wanchalearm Satsaksit during a protest outside the Embassy of Cambodia in Bangkok on December 3, 2020, six months after his alleged kidnapping in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

A year on from Thai activist’s kidnap in Cambodia, family in anguish but authorities silent

This month marks a year since Thai government critic Wanchalearm “Tar” Satsaksit disappeared following his apparent abduction in Cambodia on June 4, 2020. His family, friends, and fellow activists have…

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‘Use the platform if they have one.’ Talking politics with Amanda Obdam

Politics should be normalised, was Amanda Obdam’s key message during a recent interview with Thai PBS World, as beauty pageants in recent years have undeniably became a platform for women…

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(Photo by STR / AFP)

Govt move to restrict freedom of information is a mandate for corruption, critics warn

Proposed amendments to the Official Information Act are aimed at protecting state secrets, contrary to the law’s original goal of securing the public’s right to access government data, critics warn. …

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Does 2022 budget bill answer the country’s needs?   

Critics say the 2022 budget bill scheduled for debate in Parliament next week has several flaws, ranging from the size of total spending to how it is allocated.   The 2022…

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COVID-19 throws all ideologies into melting pot

First, it was China’s “comfortable survival”. Then, it was the intriguing question of whether or how much states should “provide” or “facilitate” vaccination. Now, it’s the anger and disbelief following…

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Govt facing onslaught over COVID policy as parliamentary battle commences

COVID-19 will top the agenda when the new session of Parliament kicks off this week, with battle focusing on executive decrees including the bill for another Bt 500 billion in…

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Govt’s latest COVID-relief loan triggers fears over transparency, public debt   

Controversy has erupted over the government’s move to borrow another huge sum to aid recovery from the virus crisis.  The government opted for an emergency decree to sanction an extra…

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Leicester City’s chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha (C) and Leicester City players celebrate victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Wembley Stadium in north west London on May 15, 2021.

How Aiyawatt’s Thai style leads Foxes to triumphant victory

Within a six-year span, Leicester City Football Club has achieved the unthinkable for pundits and fans alike: an English Premier League title in 2016 and the FA Cup on May…

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Prasit Jeawkok handed himself into the Crime Suppression Division on May 17, 2021.

Prasit Jeawkok, the ‘saintly tycoon’ turned billion-baht fraud suspect

A wealthy businessman once viewed by many as a saint and a model of success now stands accused of leading a fraudulent Bt1-billion investment ring. Prasit Jeawkok, 45, handed himself…

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Biggest thing to fear is fear itself

A lot can go wrong if or when “Walk-in” (or whatever they call it) vaccination facilities are opened. People may scramble to receive jabs, creating potentially dangerous clusters. Untoward incidents…

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The first female president of Thailand’s Supreme Court, Metinee Chalodhorn. (photo by Court ogf Justice)

Thailand’s first female top judge and her mission to modernize the judiciary  

The first female president of Thailand’s Supreme Court, Metinee Chalodhorn, faces a tough mission to defend the judiciary’s reputation against growing allegations of double standards as political conflicts escalate. Meeting…

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An 18-year-old girl (R) in Mahasarakham that receveid several millons baht after her her story broke out in the media.

Charity fraud under the spotlight as #fakepoverty goes viral

Thais’ generosity has never been lacking when it comes to pleas for donations. And thanks to mobile banking, money can now be transferred almost immediately to people in need. But…

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Thailand Politics protest

From friends to foes: How former yellow-shirt leaders have turned against Prayut

Thai politics has taken a surprising twist amid the worsening COVID-19 crisis, with supporters of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha now joining loud calls for him to quit. Previously seen as…

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This screengrab from Hantarwadi Media video footage taken on April 9, 2021 and provided to AFPTV shows a protester setting off fireworks from behind a makeshift barricade while a man at left holds a homemade rifle in a clash with security forces during a crackdown on demonstrations against the military coup in Bago. (Photo by Handout / various sources / AFP)

The more delay, the bigger chance of a great civil war: NUG

A cry for help – Prevent civil war and restore human rights by officially recognizing us, Myanmar’s pro-democracy government pleads Myanmar’s pro-democracy unity government is urging the international community and…

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Poverty slum Bangkok
(Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP)

China’s poverty solution hailed as model for Thailand

Thai politicians and academics are showing a growing interest in China’s experience in poverty reduction. Leaders of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party recently met with their Chinese Communist Party (CCP)…

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Bangkok Remand Prison.(Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Thailand’s overcrowded prison system a COVID-19 timebomb

Alarm is growing in Thailand after the Department of Corrections revealed that 2,835 COVID-19 cases had been found inside two major Bangkok prisons. Critics are questioning the Department of Corrections’…

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Thailand COVID Vaccine

Endgame. Whose endgame?

Intensifying vaccination drama in Thailand is taking place against an intriguing international backdrop featuring an apparent race between the West on one side and a Chinese-Russian alliance on the other…

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Medical staff administer doses of CoronaVac or AstraZeneca vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus to residents of the Klong Toey community outside of an indoor football stadium in Bangkok on May 11, 2021. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Thai govt must revisit, review, replan vaccine rollout to survive latest wave

The third wave of COVID-19 that rolled into Thailand last month has rocked not just the fragile economic recovery but also the government’s vaccination plans. The resurgent virus has spawned…

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(Photo credit: Facebook Anwar Salaeh)

Anwar Salaeh, the Democrat fighting for party’s return to anti-authoritarian roots    

While for outsiders Anwar Salaeh is a rebel MP, most of his fellow Democrats consider him a black sheep for his role as an opponent of both his party and…

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Thailand’s Constitutional Court on May 5, 2021.

Controversial Thammanat ruling triggers push to reform Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court’s controversial ruling last week in favour of Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thammanat Prompow has upset many people, including supporters of the government. Thammanat, a key dealmaker…

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(Photo by Alex OGLE / AFP)

Some advice for Thais looking to ‘migrate to another country’

Dissatisfaction with politics may be the main reason Thais are joining the campaign to “migrate to another country”, but dismay at Thailand’s economy can’t be far behind. Under the impact…

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Thailand Minister High Education

Higher Education Minister Anek’s path from student activist to enemy of student protesters 

As an academic, Anek Laothamatas made his name with a “Tale of Two Democracies”, which explores the divide in Thai society between the rural and urban sectors. But in his…

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Rescue volunteers from the Siam Nonthaburi foundation prepare for the funerals of people who died after contracting the Covid-19 coronavirus at Wat Rat Prakhong Tham Buddhist temple in Nonthaburi on May 5, 2021. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

From winner to loser: Thailand’s downhill battle with COVID 

The ongoing third wave of COVID-19 underlines one thing: Thailand is no longer a champion in managing the contagion, and that has a lot to do with its government. As…

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Thammanat

Court’s decision on convicted Thai minister ‘shocking, but not surprising’

Disappointment, anger and despair is rumbling through Thai society after Thammanat Prompow was let off the hook by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday. Though many were unsurprised by the verdict,…

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Thailand’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao gestures at Government House (File photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

“It was flour” – Thai justice ridiculed as court decision over convicted minister branded “its lowest point”

Yesterday’s Constitutional Court verdict, which allows controversial Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompow to retain his ministerial post and MP status, despite his drug trafficking conviction in Australia in the 1990’s,…

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Thai pro-democracy activist Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak flashes a three-finger salute as he arrives at a Bangkok court for a hearing on Lese-Majeste charges, March 15, 2021.

Court drama as Thai protest leader’s life ‘hangs in balance’

An icon for the youth-led movement seeking to topple General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government, detained protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak is gambling with his life by refusing to consume solid food…

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Thailand cabinet prayut

Uncertainties with opportunism, despair and risk-taking in full swing

The prime minister is taking a big gamble with his future, something intertwined with the national course. The opposition has proposed an ironic and controversial way to handle COVID-19. The…

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A Royal Thai Army soldier waiting for her turn to receive the Covid-19 coronavirus Sinovac vaccine at the Pattani Hospital in Thailand’s southern province of Pattani. (Photo by Tuwaedaniya MERINGING / AFP)

Push to vaccinate 16 million vulnerable Thais suffers early setbacks

Only about 5 percent of Thailand’s vulnerable population have so far booked a free COVID-19 vaccination jab since the government’s appointment process was launched on Saturday. The slow uptake is…

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Is murky past about to catch up with govt ‘fixer’ Thamanat?

When General Prawit Wongsuwan took control of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party in June last year, among his core tasks was to manage the internal power struggle between party factions….

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Journalist records a live TV broadcast of a judge delivering the decision of the Constitutional Court in Bangkok to dissolve a political party in 2019. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Press Freedom: No laws can win over the truth

As a media, we have to ask ourselves whether the information we have is enough to support what is to be published. If it is enough, with solid evidence, there…

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Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul during an interview with Agence France-Presse in Bangkok on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP)

Anutin Charnvirakul, man in firing line for Thailand’s COVID crisis

Tycoon-turned-politician Anutin Charnvirakul may arguably be Thailand’s most-hated public health minister by now. But to be fair, his predecessors never had to tackle the world’s worst virus crisis in more…

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Anti-establishment protest leaders (from L to R) Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, Shinawat Chankrachang, Panupong “Mike” Jadnok and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak give the three-fingered salute to supporters before handing themselves in to the police to hear lese majeste charges at Nonthaburi Police Station just north of Bangkok on December 8, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Protesters on hunger-strike put Thai legal system in spotlight

After 46 days on hunger strike, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak failed again on Thursday (April 29) to secure bail release for himself and several other anti-establishment protest leaders. This was the…

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Riot police gather outside Thailand’s Parliament compound ahead of an anti-government demonstration in Bangkok on February 19, 2021. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Eight years and billions of baht later, world’s largest Parliament opens in Thailand amid controversy   

Bangkok is now home to the world’s largest parliament complex, after almost eight years and Bt22.9 billion was spent on its construction. The complex, officially called “Sappaya Sapasathan,” covers a…

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A child wearing a protective facemask runs on a sidewalk marked for social distancing in front of a Buddhist shrine in central Bangkok. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Maybe it’s better if we do nothing at all

It goes without saying that “Doing nothing” does not include wearing face masks, hand washing, and some exercise. The time has come once again for Thais to “de-group”, “de-party”, “de-politicize”,…

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A tourist enjoys the view of the Hong islands from the infinity pool of a resort on Koh Yao Yai island in the Andaman Sea. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Will Thailand’s new COVID surge kill a plan to restart tourism in July? 

Although the third wave of COVID-19 has hit Thailand hard, key decision-makers are still keen to launch the “Phuket Sandbox” on July 1. The sandbox will trial Thailand’s reopening by…

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha attends a signing ceremony for the agreement to purchase AstraZeneca’s potential Covid-19 vaccine at Government House in Bangkok on November 27, 2020. (Photo by CHALINEE THIRASUPA / POOL / AFP)

Thai govt in stormy waters as country slammed by third COVID wave   

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government are suffering a barrage of attacks from critics and political rivals as Thailand is hit by a third wave of COVID-19 infections. Some…

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Op-Ed: China to provide one million doses of vaccine to Thailand

China has pledged to provide Thailand with up to one million doses of vaccines to speed up inoculation against the deadly virus here as the country is facing a new…

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File Photo (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Thailand’s medical system facing its biggest test as virus surges back 

With COVID-19 cases now rising by more than 1,000 per day, many Thais are wondering whether the country’s healthcare sector will crumble under the pressure. Despite the launch of field…

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(Photo by Handout / ROYAL THAI GOVERNMENT / AFP)

A missed opportunity in Jakarta for PM Prayut

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday that he would not attend the special ASEAN summit in Jakarta this Saturday to address the ongoing crisis…

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File photo of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha during the televised address on April 16, 2021.

The momentum was missed, and the PM’s message was off track

The televised address by Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, on Friday was widely criticized. Experts said it is not just because of the issue of communication skills, but also the…

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Protesters defend themselves from the troops in Kale, Sagaing region, Myanmar March 28, 2021 in this picture taken March 28, 2021 obtained by REUTERS

Myanmar crisis: A challenge to the “ASEAN way”

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the leaders of ASEAN will be holding a special leaders’ meeting on April 24, at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to discuss how to deal with…

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How hunger strikes became a powerful tool against oppression

Supporters of the anti-establishment movement are calling on two detained protest leaders to end their hunger strike as concerns for their health grow. The calls are mounting as Parit “Penguin”…

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha spraying hand sanitiser at journalists in an attempt to avoid questions about the cabinet reshuffle during a press conference in Bangkok. (Photo by Handout / ROYAL THAI GOVERNMENT / AFP)

Prayut’s military-style, non-communicative speeches do little to reassure public

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s communication style has never been impressive, especially when it comes to tackling crises like the COVID-19 outbreak that hit the country early last year. His…

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Patty Tavatanakit with the ANA Inspiration trophy. (Photo by LPGA)

The driving passion of Patty Tavatanakit – golf’s next global superstar     

As a young girl, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit watched golf legend Tiger Woods on TV and told her dad “That’s who I want to be.” Her dream of golf superstardom came true…

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A health worker administers the CoronaVac vaccine, developed by China’s Sinovac firm, to a man from an at-risk group at a makeshift clinic in Bangkok on April 7, 2021. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Thailand’s sluggish vaccine rollout no match for super-contagious COVID strain     

Thailand is ramping up its COVID-19 vaccination drive following an unprecedented surge in infections since April 5, with Thursday (April 15) bringing a record 24-hour high of 1,535 new cases….

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A transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, isolated from a patient in the US, as virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. (Photo by Handout / National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases / AFP)

Virus against humans: advantages and disadvantages

A few days ago, the most telling quote and the most telltale headline emerged as the world’s fight against COVID-19 entered a very crucial phase. “We are currently in a…

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Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra waves to supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court in Bangkok on August 1, 2017. (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Yingluck verdict opens another can of worms in the rice-pledging saga

Supporters of Yingluck Shinawatra are cheering an April 2 ruling by the Administrative Court, claiming it clears the fugitive former prime minister of all legal responsibility for her government’s graft-plagued…

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COVID-positive Transport Minister Saksayam and his mysterious timeline

The release of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob’s timeline has failed to dampen public curiosity about his movements before he tested positive for COVID-19. Even after he launched legal action against…

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The rise and fall of Saksayam Chidchob, Thailand’s first COVID-positive Cabinet minister

Saksayam Chidchob was previously best known as the “nominee” of his older brother, veteran politician Newin. However, last week he landed himself in trouble by becoming the first Cabinet member…

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(Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Op-Ed: Let’s do more to accomplish a healthy aging community during the covid-19 pandemic

What will you encounter when you are getting older? You will experience the great magnitude of physical and mental health changes resulting from the aging process, the transition from healthy…

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Demonstrators pose with a banner with the symbolic three-finger salute and names of those who were killed during protests that have taken place since the military coup in February, in the Kamayut township of Yangon, Myanmar, Sunday, April 11, 2021. The salute is a symbol of resistance to express their disdain towards the military regime in Myanmar. (AP Photo)

ASEAN summit: Will Myanmar listen to its friends?

When ASEAN leaders sit down for a summit to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, they know full well that the whole world will be watching. And they also realize…

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Public Health Minister and Prime Minister inspected a package of Sinovac vaccines.

Thai Govt facing backlash as third wave of COVID threatens to engulf Thailand

COVID-19 has been around for more than a year already in Thailand. Since it began spreading in early 2020, experts have been warning about more dangerous waves of infection to…

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People walk past closed shops on Khao San Road, a once popular tourist strip in Bangkok. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Third wave of COVID infections spins new economic risks

Thailand’s new wave of COVID-19 infections has raised the economic risk level, but a clear picture of the impact will only emerge after the Songkran break. The Thai economy contracted…

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(Photo by Handout / ROYAL THAI ARMY / AFP)

Hiring market optimistic after COVID-19 economic freeze in 2020

2020 has been an unprecedented year for every industry around the world, with over-stressed health systems and heighten economic stress, which makes the hiring market challenging, including in Thailand. The…

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How party fever in Bangkok’s decadent nightlife scene spawned Thailand’s 3rd wave  

The fun of Thailand’s nightlife has sent new COVID-19 infections soaring over the past few weeks. Since March 22, clubgoers and staff have spread the highly contagious UK variant to…

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(Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Thai judiciary skids into more controversy 

The Thai justice system has been hit by a fresh scandal following allegations that bribes were paid to judges for a court ruling in favour of Toyota Motor Thailand Co…

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Workers in a local entertainment venue area line up for the coronavirus test in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, April 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

COVID outbreak in Thai govt puts spotlight on missing timelines

The government is facing public anger for its perceived failure to clamp down on the decadent lifestyles of certain government figures blamed for recent high-profile COVID-19 cases. On Wednesday (April…

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(Photo by PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP)

Tax hikes may be unavoidable in post-COVID economy  

COVID-19 has dealt a double blow to Thailand’s finances, reducing tax revenue while increasing the amount of money the government must spend to keep the economy afloat. The Cabinet recently…

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Bangkok Night Club COVID-19

You are special, you will not get infected… so what should we do with you?

For some reason, many people have this mentality, that they will not get infected with the virus that has been rampaging around the world since early 2020. Elites attend exclusive…

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Screengrab from the Chao Phraya River Development video presentation published in 2020.

Why Bangkok’s Chao Phraya Promenade is still a dream

Unveiled as a grand facelift for Thailand’s best-known river, the Chao Phraya Promenade project has made zero progress since its opponents secured an injunction from the Central Administrative Court early…

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A Bitcoin digital currency ATM shop in Marseille, southern France, on January 8, 2021. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

Cryptocurrency gains momentum in Thailand, across globe     

Proponents of cryptocurrency are celebrating after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reached a conclusion on how to regulate trading of the asset in Thailand. “Very glad to see this…

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Anti-establishment protest on October 14, 2020

Thailand’s path to a democratic charter becoming vicious circle

The push to change the junta-sponsored Constitution is back at square one after the amendment bill paving the way for a charter rewrite was shot down in its final reading…

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What is Jatuporn up to?

Among top Thai political activists, Jatuporn Prompan is probably the most unpredictable. Wild speculation, therefore, has greeted his surprising plan to lead a separate street protest against the prime minister. Whatever…

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Thailand’s political landscape changing fast as new parties erupt

The newly formed Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party sounds very familiar, especially since it carries the same name as the government initiative launched to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite government denials,…

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Chaiwut DES minister

Chaiwut, the man with a mission to defend Thailand from the fake-news tsunami

The new digital economy and society (DES) minister, Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn, is set to get tougher with fake news aimed at undermining the government and the monarchy — intensifying an unfinished…

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The photo, taken in January 2020, shows a physical imitation of a Bitcoin in Dortmund, western Germany. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP)

The rewards (and risks) of Thailand’s big bet on cryptocurrency

As more people and businesses invest in digital currencies, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) faces the delicate task of trying to balance financial stability and investor protection on the one…

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Meet the ‘accidental’ protest leader keeping Thailand’s monarchy reform push alive

An “accidental leader” of the anti-establishment reformist movement, Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon, has boldly made its first direct address to His Majesty the King.  On Wednesday night (March 24), Patsaravalee made…

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A pro-democracy protester holds a sign while calling for the release of anti-government protest leaders outside Bangkok Remand Prison in Bangkok on March 9, 2021. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Days of dread and terror at Bangkok Remand Prison

Anti-establishment protest leaders imprisoned on charges of lese majeste and sedition claim their lives may be in danger behind bars. They recently voiced fears of being assaulted or even killed…

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(Photo by Mike Swigunski)

Will the Phuket Tourism ‘Sandbox’ save Thailand’s holiday island?

Foreign tourists who carry a COVID-19 vaccine passport will be able to enjoy Phuket’s blue seas and white sands without having to undergo quarantine, provided the Thai government approves the…

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People wearing face masks sit on chairs as they queue to file complaints for not yet receiving the 5,000 Thai baht (150 USD) financial assistance for those whose income is impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in front of the Public Relations Department in Bangkok on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Will COVID-19 give birth to a welfare state in Thailand?

Thailand’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 fallout, with numerous layoffs, working hours cut and people’s income plunging. The government has implemented a raft of relief packages to…

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New hurdles await in Thailand’s tortuous road to charter change

The government-sponsored draft bill for a referendum on charter change is hanging in the balance after lawmakers were forced to postpone their vote when a significant point in the draft…

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Digital Economy and Society minister Puttipong Punnakanta (File Photo)

Buddhipongse Punnakanta, a star of the political establishment burned by his firebrand past

Former digital economy and society minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta’s political future is hanging in the balance after the Criminal Court last month sentenced him to seven years in jail for his…

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Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak gives the three-finger salute to the protesters during an anti-government rally at Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok on December 2, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

How protest leader ‘Penguin’ continues ruffling feathers

No anti-establishment protest activist has been more effective at grabbing media attention than Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak.  The tubby 23-year-old Thammasat University student has even managed to make headlines from behind…

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As exams loom, the ‘COVID generation’ of Thai students fear for their futures

Worried that disruption from the latest COVID-19 outbreak will derail their futures, thousands of Mathayom 6 students are trying hard to have their university entrance exams postponed. #Courtpetitionsforexampostponement is trending…

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Debate on what defines market monopoly now left up to court

A merger that could essentially wipe out mom-and-pop stores in Thailand has sparked a public outcry leading to legal action. Consumer groups led by the Foundation for Consumers on March 15 filed…

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Referendum probably best way to do it

The referendum that endorsed the present Constitution in 2016 may be controversial, but the one that would re-affirm or question its worthiness will be far less so. The former referendum…

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A trip down THAI’s turbulent journey from awards and admiration to knuckle-biting rehab

Once a prosperous airline and national pride, Thai Airways International (THAI) is now struggling to clear a mountain of debt during the global aviation industry’s darkest days. The national flag…

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The curious career of Surachate Hakparn, Thailand’s resurrected police star

Pol Lt-General Surachate Hakparn has risen like a phoenix from the flames this week, strutting back to the Royal Thai Police two years after he was kicked out in disgrace….

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Three scenarios for final vote on Thai charter amendment bill

A heated and lengthy debate accompanied by chaos including a walkout are expected in Parliament when the charter amendment draft bill returns for its third and final reading on March…

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Controversy, delays and now a health scare – Thailand’s vaccination drive stalls again

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s COVID-19 vaccination was again cancelled at last minute on Friday. The cancellation adds another twist to the already-dramatic story here of the COVID-19 vaccine that has…

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A woman cycles past a closed seafood restaurant along Patong beach in Phuket, which has seen a lack of tourists due to ongoing restrictions relating to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Simmering political conflict threatens to derail Thailand’s COVID recovery

Political stability has a key influence over a country’s economic performance both in the short and the long term. In Thailand, anti-establishment protests that kicked off last year are rocking…

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Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn – the national park chief known for his narrow escapes

Chaiwat Limlikhit-aksorn has courted danger and controversy many times in his civil service career, but so far, he’s come out on top. Lauded for taking tough action against forest encroachers,…

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Protesters hold a “Save Bangkloi” banner in front of a line of police officers during a land rights demonstration held by members of the Karen indigenous community outside the Government House in Bangkok on February 15, 2021. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Examining the deep roots of Thailand’s dispute with ethnic Karen forest-dwellers

The hashtag #SaveBangKloi is spreading fast through social media, as Thai netizens campaign to defend ethnic Karen forest dwellers in Phetchaburi’s Kaeng Krachan National Park from further violence and eviction.   This long-running…

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How Thailand sees its role in Myanmar crisis

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has spoken – though not as forcefully as many might have wanted to see. But optimists in the regional grouping believe its message…

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The royalist Thai celebs pushing back against pressure for monarchy reform 

As calls grow among the young generation to reform the monarchy, some Thai celebrities are risking boycotts and hatred to defend their beloved royal institution. Their emotional reactions to the…

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Photo Credit: The Bottom Blues’ Facebook page

Thai celebs who are ready to risk it all for anti-establishment protests

Many Thai celebrities are putting their careers on the line to support anti-establishment protesters’ push for political change in Thailand, including reform of the monarchy. They risk losing their jobs,…

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Thailand braces for flashpoint as court rules on charter change

Another crucial moment for the Thai Constitution has arrived, with the court set to rule on March 11whether Parliament is authorised to pave the way for a charter rewrite.  The Constitutional Court’s ruling carries serious…

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