In 2014, Trade Justice Pilipinas supported the Philippines’ pursuit of favorable trade privileges from the EU, hoping they would deter human rights abuses. Six years later, that hope has disappeared, and so should those privileges.
Thai student protests are not just to shame the government, they also wanted to reform the monarchy – a long-held taboo in the Land of Smiles. The demand for immediate monarchical reform is now an official objective of the protesters.
Because of the outsize political representation handed to them at independence, Sabah and Sarawak parliamentarians now ironically hold king-making power over the fragmented Malay parties. That leverage could moderate the blatant governance abuses, provided the Borneo states learn to use their influence wisely.
The arrest of Joshua Wong resonates with what is going on elsewhere from like-minded political activists in Asia. Youths are protesting against authoritarianism in their own country, but are labelled as threat to national security and hence prosecuted.
In the US and China, volatile stock markets, property bubbles, and unregulated shadow banking sectors could trigger the next global financial implosion. The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity for reform.
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.
Socially conscious and politically outspoken American fans can nudge the K-pop industry to become more political, especially as K-pop aims to stay global.
Over the years, thousands of Burmese dissidents have received support and space from Thai communities, politicians and even governments in Bangkok. They now call for solidarity protests across Southeast Asia in support of young Thai protesters on the streets of Bangkok.
It is time to stop scapegoating the Left for Duterte’s rise. Instead blame and fight the real culprits – foreign powers, political elites, previous regimes and their policies – and to forge stronger unities and intensify the struggle against the cronyist and dictatorial regime.
The student gatherings at the Democracy Monument and at Thammasat University in August were a turning point in the course of the ongoing protests in Thailand. Calls are now being made for an immediate reform of the monarchical institution to locate back into the constitutional framework.