Democracy

  • Thailand News

    Thailand escapes ‘not free’ label despite election chaos

    Thailand’s surge from the shackles of “not free” to “partly free” status in the annual Freedom House survey has sent ripples across the globe. Despite a rocky electoral journey that left many questioning the integrity of the democratic process, the Land of Smiles defies the odds, prompting scrutiny and speculation. Freedom House, a Washington DC-based non-profit organisation championing democracy and…

  • Thailand News

    Bangkok court fines activists 11,200 baht issues suspended

    The Pathumwan District Court in Bangkok handed down a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, to prominent political figures Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, Pannika Wanich, Pita Limjaroenrat and Pairatthachot Chanthakachorn along with four others, in connection with their involvement in a flash mob protest in December 2019. Each defendant was also fined 11,200 baht for violating public assembly laws and using…

  • Thailand News

    End of an era: Hong Kong’s Civic Party dissolves, leaving behind only six lapel pins

    In a poignant finale to a political chapter, veteran Hong Kong politician Alan Leong clings to the remnants of the Civic Party, preserving six lapel pins marked with the party’s founding date 19.03.06. The demise of the opposition group, once hailed as the barristers’ party, unfolded in the face of China’s national security law, silencing dissent and reshaping the political…

  • Thailand News

    Pita highlights global democracy’s decline, urges youth involvement

    Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of Thailand’s Move Forward Party (MFP), highlighted the worrying decline in global democracy during a recent talk at a Thammasat University orientation event, encouraging young learners to take a hand in shaping their country’s fate. An influential figure at the frontline of political transformation, Pita confronted the issue of democratic regression emphatically. Pita was a keynote…

  • World News

    Modi inaugurates new Indian parliament amid opposition boycott

    Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new Indian parliament building yesterday in a ceremony steeped in religious symbolism, surrounded by priests. However, the event was boycotted by opposition parties. The new hexagonal building, which an opposition party has criticised for its coffin-like shape, is the focal point of Modi’s plan to remodel the heart of New Delhi, eradicating…

  • Thailand News

    Thai postal company transports and delivers pre-election ballots for Thai elections 2022 with 100% coverage

    Yesterday Thai Postal Company Limited announced through social media that they have successfully delivered and distributed 100% of the advance General Election ballots both within Thailand and overseas for the upcoming 2026 elections. The transportation was completed using more than 500 vehicles and implemented strict security measures, including the use of GPS systems to monitor the path of the transport…

  • Thailand Election News

    Thai youth vote for reform despite political hurdles

    Three years ago, 24 year old Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul was at the forefront of a democracy movement in Thailand as thousands of young protesters clashed with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets on the streets of Bangkok. The movement shook the kingdom with its calls for reform and unprecedented demands to curb the power of King Maha Vajiralongkorn but gradually…

  • Politics News

    Thailand ranks low in freedom, democracy report

    The latest report by a US non-profit organization ranked Thailand low in freedom and democracy, contradicting a Democracy Index poll last week. Washington-based Freedom House, an organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights revealed Thailand has slightly improved but work still needs to be done. The US democracy research group said yesterday that Thailand…

  • Thailand Protest News

    APEC 2022: Protesters clash with riot police in Bangkok, Thailand

    Riot police clashed with protesters at Asoke Intersection in Bangkok this afternoon as world leaders gather in the Thai capital for the APEC Summit 2022. Due to road closures, the intersection is the closest the public can get to the summit which is being held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre from November 16-19. Police ramped up security in…

  • World News

    Myanmar youth artists hold art challenge to raise awareness of country’s plight

    Myanmar’s youth artists are hosting an art challenge to raise awareness of their country’s continued struggle for democracy. According to Irrawaddy, the challenge is named #Revtober, an off-shoot of the worldwide art challenge of Inktober. The challenge will see daily drawings and paintings that follow a prompt list for the 31 days of October. The artwork will be shared on…

  • Thailand Protest News

    Activists plan protests across Bangkok

    Thai authorities have ramped up security in the capital ahead of expected protests when the Constitutional Court releases its decision on the future of suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha later today. The court will rule on whether General Prayut’s constitutionally stipulated eight-year term is up. General Prayut came to power following a 2014 coup. Anti-government activists will hold rallies in…

  • Politics News

    Gen-Z students oppose an unelected senate 17 to 1

    A new poll of university students revealed that Generation Z does not want an unelected Senate to be a part of the government anymore. The survey showed that by an overwhelming margin of 17 to one, the emerging generation does not want appointed officials. They believe that senators not elected by the people only hinder and undermine the democratic rule.…

  • Thailand Protest News

    ‘Democracy Must Go On:’ Protestors have three demands for Thailand’s government

    Hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators gathered at the Naga Courtyard at Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus in Pathum Thani province, central Thailand, yesterday to join a peaceful rally hosted by the student council entitled ‘Democracy Must Go On.’ Protestors demand three things from the Thai government… Resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha A people’s constitution Reformation of the monarchy under a democratic…

  • Politics News

    Thai university students to hold protest on August 10 despite government ban

    Students of Thammasat University will hold a protest on August 10 at the university’s Rangsit campus, just north of Bangkok in Pathum Thani province, despite the Thai government’s ban on protests. A new ban on public gatherings was published in the Royal Gazette on Monday to “prevent the spread of Covid-19.” The controversial ban on protests is permitted under the…

  • Thailand News

    Bomb thrown at PM Prayut’s house, protesters burn coffin decorated with his image

    Yesterday, a teenager threw a “ping pong” bomb at Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s house. On the same day, a mob of “Red Shirt” protesters took to the streets of Bangkok to burn a coffin adorned with pictures of PM Prayut’s face. Yesterday’s protests were to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 2010 Red Shirt protests, where 90 people died…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand ranks 72 in Democracy Index 2021

    The Economist Intelligence Unit has officially deemed Thailand a “flawed democracy” out of four categories: full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes, and authoritarian regimes. It ranked Thailand 72 out of 167 countries in its “Democracy Index 2021,” which ranks countries for how democratic they are. The EIU says democracy has declined across the globe since 2020. That year, 49.4% of…

  • Thailand News

    “All Thais are equal but some are more equal than others”

    OPINION “We decided to adopt this system, so we must have confidence in the democratic system.” Words from the Thai Parliamentary president Chuan Leekpai urging, or willing, the Thai voters not to “become disheartened with the current state of Thai politics” and to have “confidence in the democratic system”. The democratic system? Constitution Day was on Friday as Thais commemorate…

  • Thailand News

    Constitution Day is today – Here’s what the public holiday commemorates

    Today’s public holiday in Thailand is Constitution Day. It commemorates the charters that have been written since the 1932 Siamese Revolution when Thailand ended 800 years of absolute monarchy and transitioned to a constitutional monarchy. Since then there have been 20 different charters with the most recent was drafted by the military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order,…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand’s exclusion from US Summit for Democracy could impact foreign investment

    The exclusion of Thailand from the US’s virtual Summit for Democracy could cause Thailand to lose foreign investment. More than 100 democratic nations were invited to the event hosted by US President Joe Biden while Thailand sits on the sidelines with other nations including Vietnam, Laos, China, and Russia. The summit focuses on three key themes: Defending against authoritarianism, addressing…

  • Thailand News

    Foreign Minister shrugs off lack of invite to democracy summit

    Thailand’s Foreign Minister has shrugged off the fact that Thailand has not been invited to a democracy summit being hosted by the US. Thai PBS World reports that Don Pramudwinai says the event is, “nothing more than pure politics”. The summit is scheduled to take place from December 9-10 and Thailand has been left off the guest list. Controversially, Taiwan…

  • Bangkok News

    US says free press integral to democracy, pledges support for Thai journalists

    The Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Bangkok says the United States pledges to support a free press and independent journalism in Thailand. Michael Heath has described a free press as a vital component of democracy and freedom of expression. The Bangkok Post reports that he was addressing reporters who were attending a seminar at the embassy. The event…

  • Education

    School textbook calls democracy “corrupt”, supports dictatorship

    A story that has gone viral in Thai social media over the last few days raised ire over a grammar textbook that called democracy corrupt and endorsed dictatorship. The textbook turned out to be published originally in 2008, was last published in 2012, and was removed from approval for use in classroom learning in 2016. The original post was shared…

  • Thailand News

    Human Rights Watch calls on Thailand to release activists detained on lèse majesté charges

    The Human Rights Watch is calling on Thai authorities to release pro-democracy activists who are detained on lèse majesté charges which carry an up to 15 year prison sentence for insulting the Thai Monarchy. HRW says the charges should be dropped because the activists’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly have been violated. 2 of the detained activists, both…

  • Bangkok News

    Group rallies outside US Embassy in Bangkok, calls for America to stop interfering in Thai politics

    In the midst of a pro-democracy movement in Thailand, some claim the United States government is influencing Thai politics and even fueling the divide between political parties, particularly those who support the Thai monarchy and the younger activists who are pushing for democracy and monarchy reform. Yesterday, a group rallied outside the US Embassy in Bangkok calling on the American…

  • Thailand Protest News

    Pro-democracy leader “Penguin” has bail application rejected – again

    The Criminal Court in Bangkok has once again rejected a bail application from anti-government activist, Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”. The leader of the pro-democracy Ratsadon group had his application refused yesterday, on the basis that there was no reason to overturn previous decisions made by the Criminal and Appeals courts. The bail application had been lodged by Parit’s mother, Sureerat…

  • World News

    Burmese healthcare workers take to the streets to protest military coup

    Healthcare workers in Myanmar staged a dawn rally yesterday, in protest at the February 1 military coup that deposed the government of civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The group of doctors and nurses took to the streets just before dawn, in a bid to avoid a clash with security forces. The protest action follows another weekend of military crackdowns…

  • Opinion

    Expats should stand with the Thais during the pro-democracy movement – OPINION

    OPINION The following article was written by an American who works as an English teacher in Bangkok. He regularly attends pro-democracy rallies in Bangkok and has volunteered with medical organisations at some of the protests. He asked to remain anonymous due to fears that openly speaking out about Thai politics could affect his legal status in Thailand. His opinions are…

  • Thailand News

    Freedom House downgrades Thailand to “not free”

    US based Freedom House, a democracy advocacy group, has downgraded Thailand from being “partly free” to “not free” in its latest global rankings. The Freedom in the World 2021 report released this week assigned Thailand a total score of 30 out of 100, dropping from 32 out of 100 in the previous survey conducted in 2019. Before, Thailand was deemed…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report

    On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being absolute freedom, Thailand scores at 30, a “not free” country, according to the nonprofit Freedom House. Each year, the organisation reviews the political rights and civil liberties of countries around the world. According to their recent assessment, Thailand has declined in terms of rights and liberties, dropping on the scale…

  • World News

    38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations

    38 people died during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests yesterday in what the United Nations is calling the “bloodiest day” in the country since the February 1 military takeover. UN special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said the death toll is “shocking” and that the situation in the Southeast Asian country could lead to a “real war.” Since last month’s coup,…

  • Thailand Protest News

    At least 22 people arrested at Bangkok protest, officer dies of heart failure

    At least 22 people were arrested during the Bangkok protest yesterday, which turned violent as pro-democracy activists marched toward the prime minister’s residence, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights. An officer died during the rally, which the human rights group says was due to heart failure. Some protesters threw ping pong bombs and firecrackers in the violent clash with…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25

    Today on Thailand News Today, a number of government ministers have ended up in jail, the vaccines are about to roll out but experts say the injections are not the end of the pandemic, and A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national. We’ve also get a special report on the channel about accusations that…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand News Today | Vaccines have arrived, roll out from Monday | Feb 24

    In today’s Thailand News Today, the government is at least now talking about lifting the mandatory quarantine, the first Covid vaccines will start in Thailand next Monday, and protesters change gears and go after alleged corruption in the Thai police force. We’ve also got a special report about the latest in the Thai Airways saga, all on our YouTube Channel.…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Bars and pubs throughout Thailand will be able to open from March 1 in every province except Samut Sakhon, the recent epicentre of new Covid-19 infections. With Thailand’s number of coronavirus infections now on a downward trajectory, many provinces with little to no cases have been reclassified by the CCSA. The majority of Thailand’s 77 provinces are now classified as…

  • Thailand News

    Thai PM walkout, easing of covid restrictions | February 19

    Thailand News Today Police have arrested a man in Samut Prakan, southeast of central Bangkok, for allegedly possessing war weapons and attempting to sell assault rifles online through Instagram. The “dewaffen” Instagram page for “Oz John Woo” has an eclectic combination of cat photos and gun photos. The bio says “military support/ small arms import/export service. Life is limited, please…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand News Today | Thai police clash with weekend protesters | February 15

    The hashtag #policebeatingmedic continues to trend on local Twitter media as the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner defends his officer’s actions. Thais are universally condemning the heavy-handed police action at the protest on Saturday after officers, dressed in riot gear, beat a medical volunteer outside the Supreme Court near Sanam Luang. The man has been confirmed as a nurse/medical volunteer in…

  • Bangkok News

    Thais speak out against police violence after riot officers beat volunteer medic

    Many Thais are condemning police after officers in riot gear beat a medical volunteer at Saturday’s protest outside the Supreme Court near Sanam Luang in Bangkok. Photos circulated on Twitter of the man on the ground surrounded by police in riot gear. The man was wearing a bright yellow medic vest (confirmed). Many used a hashtag which translates to #policebeatingmedic.…