Hug her like you mean it

Here’s a little tip if you don’t want to buy a basket of chicken essence or bird’s nest soup, or go to a crowded sukiyaki restaurant: Ask your mother to…

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This handout taken and released by Taiwan’s Presidential Office on August 3, 2022 shows US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking in the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Will Pelosi launch thousands of war drones?

There is too much at stake in today’s world for China and the United States to lock horns militarily. However, Xi Jinping telling his US counterpart Joe Biden not to…

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It could be “so near yet so far” again for birthday boy

A Pheu Thai “landslide” is very likely, no matter how the party-list calculation fights end. In fact, despite the Thai Raksa Chart setback and failure to win a single party-list…

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attends a no-confidence debate at the Parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Beauty and travesty of censure

Here’s a simple question: Who was the last Cabinet member to be ousted in a no-confidence vote? The answer is “Don’t torture your brain” because everyone has survived no-confidence voting…

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Fond farewell to young men in red, jeers for organizer

Early bird gets the worm, we all have been taught. But nobody has said anything about the fact that the worm can get jaw–droppingly expensive. Many Thai fans of Liverpool…

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Expensive “loyalty” dents world’s most popular sport

When Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard visited Thailand many years ago for a friendly game with the Thai national team, he said two things that probably can combine to form the…

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Multiple governments have legalized the planting and sale of cannabis for recreational use, but such action requires good preparation including mandated and widespread warnings. (Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

Cannabis, not COVID-19, to feature at upcoming censure

Two months ago, the coronavirus would have still been a “sexy” topic at the no-confidence debate. But the relevant numbers are going down, and economic suffering has been too related…

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How to avoid derailing renewed cannabis debate

When the “freedom” to own guns was constitutionally embraced in America a long time ago, critics must have given the same warning as their Thai counterparts up in arms against…

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In defense of Thai males’ parallel universe

Thai men have deservedly received a fair share of “male chauvinism” criticism. But that cannot be the only reason why domestic abuse cases featuring them as victims have never made…

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Deeper look into City Assembly votes

The Pheu Thai Party has a strong cause for celebration. Move Forward, if it wants to celebrate as well, must do so cautiously. The Democrats still have their work cut…

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Staggering victory that requires careful reading

Chadchart Sittipunt’s stunning landslide may have hidden scrambled messages voters in the capital delivered on Sunday in the Bangkok gubernatorial election, but arguably the real nightmare for the shaken powers-that-be…

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Avoid creating big bomb out of monk’s case

The Luangpoo Saeng controversy contains two dangerous substances that shall never be mixed. The first one is monks not doing their jobs properly while the second is reporters gravely mistaking…

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File Philippine election campaign photo(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

The Bongbong paradox

Some call it “Beauty of democracy”. Under authoritarian regimes, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, or Bongbong, wouldn’t stand a chance. For the son of someone who had been dislodged from power to…

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Bangkok race: How pollsters got it all wrong in 2013

Some nine years ago, both popularity and exit polls pointed towards one outcome. The Pheu Thai Party’s city gubernatorial candidate, Pongsapat Pongcharoen, would win comfortably, if not by a landslide,…

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Thailand grapples with old trouble presenting itself in new era

Reporters being tumultuously curious about Jurin Laksanavisit’s and the Democrat Party’s future tells a lot about where the country is heading when sexual harassment and domestic violence are concerned. The…

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Foreign tourists and locals take part in water fights to celebrate Thai New Year, locally known as Songkran, at Khao San Road in Bangkok on April 13, 2022. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Songkran: Profound Bangkok-countryside link that withstands test of time

Thailand’s most-celebrated and globally-renowned festival has had its fair share of politicization, with people being urged a few years ago to throw water using bowls of a specific color a…

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Bangkok race’s biggest challenge

It normally begins with a “public forum” debate on pedestrians’ and ordinary citizens’ problems, but the city gubernatorial election usually ends up producing the outcome of a national political game….

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A ‘No War’ sign stuck on a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the window of a children’s library in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo)

Realities of war threaten to overwhelm rhetoric

Ask Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky what he wants more now, worldwide expression of sympathy or what he deems a fraction of western tanks, warplanes and anti-warship systems that he suggests…

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Treacherous path of Paetongtarn

A Facebook post by an anti-government activist may have gone largely unnoticed but it asks a highly-relevant question: What does the political rise of Thaksin Shinawatra’s youngest daughter say about…

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Ukrainian soldiers and firefighters search in a destroyed building after a bombing attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File)

Only paranoid world survives

After German troops invaded Poland in 1939, triggering an armed conflict that was to spread to virtually every part of the world, human beings made the most of their fledging…

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Ukraine lessons for everyone but Russia

To Vladimir Putin, the serious economic sanctions and major diplomatic embarrassment were not something to learn from. He had expected it, which leaves a question of what the current war…

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Nida Patcharaveerapong (Tangmo)

What lies beneath

When “Tangmo” is concerned, there is no shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. In other words, the TV star, who has died tragically in her prime, must have…

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Fireworks explode over the Democracy Monument during a demonstration calling for the resignation of Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha over the government’s handling of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis in Bangkok on August 28, 2021. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Political melting pot just gets hotter

Thaksin Shinawatra is trying to get back on stage, whereas Move Forward is struggling to stay on it. Will Prayut Chan-o-cha dissolve the House of Representatives and/or join a new…

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Fifty shades of “Salim”

When future historians deal with political “colors” in Thailand, the first thing they will probably need to do is acquaint themselves with words like “Burgundy”, or “Carmine”, or “Amaranth”, or…

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Constituency 9 voters: Don’t count on us to be “accountable”

It was a peculiar electoral outcome that “winners” may celebrate cautiously and some “losers” can find encouraging. Ballots cast in Bangkok’s Laksi and Chatuchak districts on Sunday show that races…

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(Photo by Andrew Harnik)

Alarm, not reflection, greets Capitol “Riot” anniversary

The point is not about Joe Biden’s approval rating has hit a new low. It’s about the eventuality and unavoidability of it. No matter how hard he has possibly tried,…

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By-elections underline growing “frenemy” politics

Thailand’s political situation used to be straightforward in the recent past. The Democrats being up against the Shinawatra camp made elections easy to contest and predict. The former were guaranteed…

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Welcome to “Newer Normal”

“New Normal” was an adapted way of life that prevailed when people thought they could perish if infected by the coronavirus. That adaptation is partly old now because, while the virus…

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Tid Sompong during one of his Facebook live sessions.

Tid Sompong couldn’t stand heat, and made wise choice

Religions adapt, as there were no social media or stock markets in the ancient days and the concepts of human rights and humility were different during the times of Jesus…

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2022 is arriving with most, if not all, of questions remaining unanswered. (Photo by Isabela Kronemberger)

Bruised, defiant but clueless still, humans enter 2022

Headlines all over the world in 2021 do not give the coronavirus the credit it deserves. Expression of awe and show of panic is seasonal at best, meaning that whenever infection…

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Loong Phol’s Kok Kork village is allegedly panic-stricken at the moment

Loong Phol and double-edged social media

Only two possibilities exist when Loong Phol is concerned: Either he is innocent or he is guilty, and both scenarios are scary. That’s what renowned sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clake,…

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A mural depicting a man in protective suit spraying disinfectant on a coronavirus at the Tijuca neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mauro Pimentel / AFP)

Is Omicron one of coronavirus’ greatest tricks?

Delta scares. There is no question about that. Harder to say is what Omicron is doing. Is it frightening, or lulling, or confusing, or performing a mixture of everything? What…

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US President Joe Biden meets with China’s President Xi Jinping during a virtual summit from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, November 15, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Cold War in greyer world

It used to be a black and white situation, or so it seemed, when the United States and the then Soviet Union boycotted each other’s key events for fun, when…

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A Buddhist monk lights candles to commemorate Visakha Bucha Day or Vesak Day. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

How come many Buddhist monks do what Lord Buddha renounced?

One possible answer to that question is that the founder of Buddhism had been “there” before his enlightenment, enjoying wealth, power, status, and all kinds of other worldly pleasures including…

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Two-ballot system will certainly give Pheu Thai a major electoral advantage, most likely at the expense of other major parties like Palang Pracharath and Move Forward. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Electoral changes to test opposition bloc’s unity

Polite words sometimes could not paper over big conflicts in politics, so Pheu Thai and Move Forward speaking nicely to each other or referring to each other amicably regarding the…

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File photo

Bipartisan Constitution actually possible and even easy

This week’s demise of a charter amendment bill sold as “of the people” is not a surprise, but what is bewildering is why people who matter continue to keep away…

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(Photo courtesy of Jurin Laksanawisit Facebook)

Can Democrats crawl their way back?

Thailand’s oldest political party had been there before. By that, before the catastrophic last general election, the Democrats had gone through all kinds of lows, be it devastating insurrection, disastrous…

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People hold red candles during a memorial for 15-year-old Warit Somnoi, a protester who has died two months after being shot during an anti-government rally, outside a police station in Bangkok on October 29, 2021. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Phra Kiew, Paetongtarn and reconciliation

In politics, a man’s good news is another man’s bad one. However, here’s doom and gloom for all: Long-lasting national peace will remain very remote no matter what happens from…

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COVID-19 pill may revive old, bitter debate

Common sense, whether it’s humanitarian or economic, dictates that if the world has found a drug that can make the coronavirus a lot less scary, the treatment should be made…

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Iraq’s capital Baghdad on October 11, 2021. (Photo by Sabah ARAR / AFP)

Treacherous path that journalists have to take

You can be a “freedom fighter” storming a “corrupt” Parliament, or you can be a “rioter” invading the place where honorable congressmen work. You can be a “brave journalist” trying…

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Chadchart Sittipunt greets patrons in a restaurant while campaigning in Bangkok on March 15, 2019, ahead of the March 24 general election. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

What frontrunner Chadchart has to do

The trick is that the independent Bangkok gubernatorial candidate must stay away from national politics if he wants to lead all the way to the finish line. However, that is…

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(Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

“Silent majority” gives everyone hope _ and anxiety

To varying degrees, all key players in Thai politics can be both optimistic and apprehensive at the same time. While politicians regard themselves as second to none at keeping their…

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Complexities of Evergrande phenomenon

In a more ideologically straightforward world, Chinese “merchants” and capitalism don’t go anywhere near each other. That, however, is not the case in this world, where the financial troubles of…

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(Photo by ThaiPBS)

Can Prayut and Thammanat walk on separate tightropes?

They were skating on thin ice together like a pair, but, currently, the prime minister and arguably the most controversial man in his government coalition are drifting in opposite directions….

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(Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP)

What’s “Dirty job man” up to?

The question regarding Prayut Chan-o-cha and Thammanat Prompao is whether it’s a “mountain out of a molehill” situation or a “no smoke without fire” development. In a world where Prayut…

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(Photo by Thai PBS)

With coronavirus playing variable, Thai political war rages on

Rival Thai politicians and their supporters are gambling on how the country’s COVID-19 situation will pan out in the immediate future. If it gets worse significantly or improves remarkably, nothing…

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A US military helicopter is pictured flying above the US embassy in Kabul on August 15, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

Kabul falls while US fails

Most armed conflicts in the world have “proxy” written all over them, so one of the most-ridiculed Joe Biden statements regarding America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is actually spot-on. “They have…

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(Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

What if everyone’s worst nightmare comes true?

The brightest minds in the United States and England are fearing that the world is facing a really and progressively gloomy future, but they think slightly differently, though. The US…

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(Photo by Tulip Naksompop Blauw)

Will Phuket be the last straw that breaks camel’s back?

The answer will depend primarily on the COVID-19 numbers at Thailand’s popular island resort. But how the Prayut administration will look coming out of a potential Phuket nightmare will also…

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A colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (green) heavily infected with Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (purple), isolated from a patient sample, at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

How COVID-19 takes advantage of vaccine race

Human beings having several, competing vaccines may be the last thing they need and the first thing the coronavirus wants. Instead of pooling expertise, manpower and financial resources to create…

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When loved ones can be deadly

One possible explanation for the continued, terrifying increase in COVID-19 cases in Thailand is that the country may be arriving at the most unwanted juncture. As news reports focus on “clusters”…

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Virus against humans (Part II)

Many military strategists may quietly admire the coronavirus. In the first wave, it took advantage of human beings’ unpreparedness, striking rich countries with brute force and sparing much of the…

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Cracked alliances heighten state of flux

Pheu Thai and Move Forward are reportedly not seeing eye to eye. But neither are Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Palang Pracharath, and the latter pair’s conflict can be more…

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A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Narathiwat on March 24, 2019 during Thailand’s last 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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Why social media should leave Loong Phol alone

The Japanese say everyone has three faces. The first is put on for the world, the one you wear while in office, at party, on public transport, at lunch with…

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Does COVID-19 origin really matter?

The answer is “Yes” and “No”. “Yes” because a non-politicised knowledge can help prevent or soften a future pandemic a great deal, if the world manages to get out of…

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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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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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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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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 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 statue of Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi at Marina Beach in Chennai, India. (Photo by Arun SANKAR / AFP)

How the world has changed since Gandhi

Human beings’ “fights for freedom” have come a long way since the man loved and idolized by so many all across the world and considered a symbol of peaceful resistance…

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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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Tiny, scattered protests can be Prayut’s bad news

More names are joining the fray thick and fast. They make the complex picture of Thai politics even more incomprehensible, compensating for the fact that street protests at the moment…

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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 Highlight politics

Real stakeholders waiting to speak up

All of a sudden, it’s halfway through. Amid a reigning political chaos, it’s easy not to notice that Thais are now as close to the next general election as they…

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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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Anti-establishment protesters take part in a demonstration as they prepare to march toward the residence of Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha in Bangkok on February 28, 2021. (photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

Confusing picture of Thai protests

A moderate question to the increasingly splintered anti-establishment movement is where Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul was on Sunday. A harder question is whether ideologies that clashed many times in the history of…

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File photo of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

As cremations take place everywhere in India, deaths rise in Brazil, too

April 30, 2021: Brazil has surpassed 400,000 COVID-19 deaths, and more Brazilians have died in the first four months of this year than in the entire 2020. As bodies are…

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PM has defused one big bomb, but faces more

Although Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha appears to be sailing out of a big storm, his ship will still remain in uncharted waters, which could turn extremely treacherous at any moment….

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Thailand politics

Trump impeachment gives Thais a lot to ponder

Two most difficult periods to bring a politician to justice are during the peak of his (or her) power and the time after he has just lost it. Thailand has…

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