Against the backdrop of the current framing of protests as “unprecedented” in the way they publicly and frontally criticise the Thai monarchy and the monarch himself, Thongchai reminds us that it was only 2 or 3 generations ago that the public in the kingdom were able to openly talk about the monarchy, critically or not.
Thongchai Winichakul, one of the world's best known scholars on Thailand and Southeast Asia and a prominent student leader from the 1976 Democratic Uprisings at Thammasat University in Bangkok will offer a historical overview of Thai people's struggles for democracy and freedom.
If the NLD does win by an even larger margin than in 2015, and the military-aligned Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) does worse—the NLD would potentially have the opportunity to follow through on promised reforms that would reduce the power of the armed forces, the dominant institution in Myanmar.
Three months have passed and the protests in Thailand have intensified. One of the main messages of the demonstrations has become clear—the protesters believe the monarchy is in need of immediate reform. In just three months, Thais have repeatedly stretched the boundaries of what is acceptable to discuss in public—and at large gatherings—regarding the monarchy.
Here lies a problem. Nataphol’s ministerial position is undoubtedly a conflict of interest. He is running a private international school and at the same time heading the Ministry of Education, Thailand.
Thai society needs to be able to speak openly now about the role of the monarchy. For decades, the Thai monarchy has dominated the Thai political space, firmly supported by the military.
The Royalists Marketplace stands for freedom of expression. Crude censorship from the Thai government crushes the freedoms that Thais are entitled to. In blocking the page, Facebook is cooperating with the authoritarian regime in obstructing democracy and cultivating authoritarianism in Thailand.
The Milk Tea Alliance: How Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are supporting each other’s fight for democracy
With the world in shambles and leadership severely lacking, young people are proving that they are not afraid to fight for a better future and to stand together throughout this process. That is the true power and potential of this Milk Tea Alliance.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, FORSEA’s co-founder, sent his message to the large gathering of Thammasat University students, Bangkok, August 10, 2020, supporting them in their endeavour to bring discussion of the monarchy into the open.
The goals of this series is to provide a space outside of face-to-face debates and unilateral exposes for deeper discussions about major challenges facing human security in the region and obstacles to democracy and free expression.