Tag Archives: National Assembly

Protest a more serious crime in Thailand than killing

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Hundreds of people blockaded the National Assembly in Bangkok on Dec. 12, where the unelected legislature, consisting largely of serving and former military officers and bureaucrats, was set to pass a flurry of highly regressive bills before stepping down next year. The protestors called on them to wait for an elected government so the proposed laws could be debated.

Afterwards, police officers said they would consider prosecuting people who climbed the building’s fences and went inside. They accused some of kicking and punching government officials and said that they could be charged with trespass, coercion, upsetting the peace, confinement and damaging public property, among other things.

This sounds familiar. The same bundle of offences is pulled out every time demonstrators and police collide in Thailand.

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Thailand imperilled by masculinity, not pregnancy

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Thailand’s coup leader has uncovered a new and serious threat to national security. No, it’s not imminent bloodshed of the sort that was supposedly about to tear the country asunder last year, obliging him to play the part of reluctant gentleman usurper.

Nor is it yet another clique of the former prime minister’s tricky supporters, hoping to sneak back into government via the forthcoming general election. This time the threat has come not from within but from abroad.

Is it the military regime in neighboring Burma? Unlikely, given that the army general felt that it used “correct procedure” in handling recent mass protests, and he didn’t believe the photos anyhow.

How about religious zealots hoping to stoke the flames of unrest in the south? Uh-uh, too difficult, not them either. No, the latest astonishing problem that General Sonthi Boonyaratglin has uncovered is childbirth.

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