Siam Paragon asks activist groups not to use its grounds for political activities

Siam Paragon, one of Bangkok’s largest shopping malls, has asked all political activist groups to refrain from using the mall’s property for political activities, adding that the buildings and the open spaces are private property.

In a statement, published on its Facebook page today (Friday), the management of the mall maintains that it has never consented or accepted the use of its property by any political activist groups.

Siam Paragon’s purpose is to provide services to its customers with an emphasis on providing convenience and satisfaction to all, said the management, adding that it has invested substantially to make equipment available to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among customers and staff alike.

If anything takes pla

Progressive Movement handed hard lesson as old patronage politics dominates local elections

The outcome of Sunday’s local elections was little different from previous polls, despite being the first to be held in Thailand since 2012. As expected, “Baan Yai” or “big house” political dynasties dominated the contests, leaving no room for newcomers.

Most candidates who won seats in the Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) polls are either linked to established political parties, are relatives of veteran politicians, or belong to local political dynasties.

This leads to the question of whether decentralisation can ever work in Thailand, since the same old political faces will retain control of the Bt91 billion budget allocated to the provinces for fiscal 2021. The provincial budget accounts for 2.8 per cent of

Can Thailand’s protest movement heal its ideological split?

The anti-establishment movement appears to have reached a crossroads after a clash over “democracy” versus “communism” erupted between its core groups.

While the ideological clash may weaken their battle against the powers-that-be, analysts point out that disputes within a “leaderless” protest movement are natural given it is made up of various allies with different standpoints. But as long as their ultimate goal remains the same, the movement should be able to continue, they said.

The youth-led movement began rallying in July and developed three core demands: resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a new, democratic constitution and reform of the monarchy.

The movement has been successful to some extent, but has yet to emerge victorious

Thai government defends lèse majesté law against criticism from the UNHCR

Anucha Burapachaisri / Photo from http://www.thainews.prd.go.th/

The Thai government has hit back at the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR), claiming that the country’s lèse majesté law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code) does not restrict the rights and liberties of the Thai people, but protects the rights and reputation of the Thai Monarchy, which is in line with laws in some other countries used to protect their heads of state.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri also defended the use of the lèse majesté law against a 16-year old student, saying that the youth was charged in the Juvenile and Family Court which freed the youth o

Sunday’s local elections a ‘proxy war’ between national parties

Voters around Thailand go to the polls this coming Sunday (December 20) to elect chiefs and other members of provincial administrative organisations (PAOs).

The first local elections since 2012 come after political activities were suspended following the May 2014 military coup.

Chiefs and other members of PAOs who completed their four-year terms while the post-coup junta was in power had their tenures extended, unless they were suspended on corruption or other charges.

All 76 provinces go to the polls on Sunday, excluding Bangkok. A total of 331 candidates w

Protesters close Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue for demonstration

Protesters have closed Bangkok’s Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue outbound and erected several small stages for speakers. The protest site covers the area around the Democracy monument and all the way to the October 14 Memorial.

Speakers on each stage are discussing different issues and demands, such as the prime minister’s resignation, a new Constitution, reform of the Monarchy and education, among others. The road surface has been sprayed with graffiti calling for democracy.

Police are stationed around the area to keep the peace and handle traffic, but crowd control officers have not yet been seen there.

At 6.40pm, it was announced, from the main protest stage at the memorial, that their demonstration was ending and that the other stages should wrap up for the day.

There is another demonstration underway in front of Government House. The protesters plan to stay overnight. This protest is organized by an activist network from Chana district of Songkhla pro

Ratsadon group to discuss on lèse majesté law tomorrow at October 14 Memorial

The Ratsadon group will hold an exhibition and public discussions on the lèse majesté law, or Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, at the October 14 Memorial at Kok Wua intersection tomorrow, December 10th, which is the annual Constitution Day in Thailand.

Protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak has assured that the anti-establishment protesters will not stage a protest march. He said, however, that the protests next year will be more intense, more specific and widespread, but their three demands remain unchanged, namely the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a new Constitution and reform of the Monarchy.

Parit and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul reported to the Technol

Coalition parties field three candidates for seats on Reconciliation Committee

Thailand’s governing parties are fielding three candidates for seats on the 21-member Reconciliation Committee, initiated by parliament to resolve the current political conflict.

According to the Office of the Secretary-General of the House of Representatives, it has received the names of Nirote Sunthornlekha, of Palang Pracharat party, Sora-ath Klinprathum of Bhumjaithai party and Thoedpong Chaiyanan of the Democrat party.

The quota for government parties is, however, limited to two. The Reconciliation Committee is to be made up of two candidates each from the government, government parties, opposition parties, Senate, independent MPs and nine from the academia, including four experienced in reconciliation.

House Deputy Secretary-Gene

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