FT: Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong said a new National Reform Council would push developments including sea ports, greatly increased airport capacity and new fibre optic connections to Europe, the US and big Asian countries. … He said changes made to the democratic system would reflect the views of a “well-informed population” and promote “unity Read more...
 
The Martial Court in Chiang Rai Province early this week sentenced seven anti-coup protesters to six months in jail and a fine of 10,000 baht, but since the defendants pleaded guilty, the sentences were halved and the jail terms are suspended for one year. 
 
On Monday and Tuesday, the Martial Court delivered verdicts in two cases. One involves three anti-coup protesters, led by Surirat Boonbuathong and another involved four anti-coup protesters led by Songsri Khomkam. 
 
The Chiang Rai Martial Court
 
Surirat and Songsri are local red-shirt leaders in the province. 
 
They were found guilty on charges of violating the Martial Law in holding a public assembly of more than five people.
 
On 25 May they held anti-coup activities at McDonald’s Chiang Rai Central Plaza branch, parallel to an anti-coup gathering at a McDonald’s at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong intersection.
 
Songsri led the gathering at noon. The military came and dispersed the protesters. Later in the evening, Surirat led the activity again at the fast food restaurant. 
 
Earlier Sarawut Kulmaturapot, a Chiang Rai red-shirt supporter, was found guilty under the same charges and faced same sentences with suspended jail terms.
 
The protesters gathered at the fast food restaurant, wore masks with ‘X’ and showed anti-coup placards around noon of 25 May. About 30 minutes, later the military and police officers were deployed to the McDonald’s, forcing the protesters to stop the activity. 
 
 
 
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BANGKOK, 27 August 2014: Thai Airways International will resume flights between Bangkok and Luang Prabang in Laos starting 1 October this year. The information was posted on the airline’s website without mentioning that the service was operated by THAI Smile following an inaugural flight, 15 December  2013. The service used brand-new AS320s and was the [...] Read more...
Harrison George

Hard day, dear?

Hmmm.  It’s been a Prime Minister day …

Yes, dear, I know.

You do?

The suit and tie.  That’s your PM uniform.  Your peaked cap, scrambled egg and full medals is when you’re Army Chief and for Head of NCPO, if you can get away with it, it’s beret and starched fatigues.  It’s not difficult to work out.

Hmmm.  Well I much prefer the fatigues.  I just don’t feel comfortable in a suit.  Politicians wear suits. 

But you’re not a politician, darling, and never will be.  You’d have to understand the art of compromise for one thing, …

The what?

It doesn’t matter.  But you’re a splendid PM, all the polls tell you that.

I don’t know.  It seems I’m expected to solve problems I’ve never heard of in subjects that were never on the curriculum at the military academy.  I can do things like clear the touts off the beaches and I’ve got opinions on everything from school kids’ homework to surrogate babies, but some of this stuff is ever so complicated.  Like this energy malarkey.

But you have advisors to sort all that out for you, don’t you?

Well, yes, but when these PTT types tell me what I should do, it sounds reasonable.  And then someone else tells me they’ve got vested interests and has a completely different take on the matter and that sounds just as reasonable.  And they’re all anti-Thaksin, so they must be good people.  I just don’t know.

It’s not like you to be indecisive.

I know.  It’s getting me down.  What I find hard to stomach is all these people who were cheering the coup, people who I thought were true patriots, well, they’re now saying I must listen to other points of view.  Allow a debate.  Among differing opinions, can you believe?  I mean, what’s the point of having the military in charge if they don’t just shut up and listen and do what they’re told?

Well, we are supposed to be moving towards a democracy again.  You announced that yourself.

Yes, eventually.  But not now.  In the fullness of time, when conditions are favourable, all in due course.  Mind you, this National Legislative thingy has got me thinking about elections.

But you’ve cancelled elections.  They’re too dangerous.  People will elect the wrong people.

Yes, yes, I know that.  But we’ve had two votes there and one was 183 to zero for the budget and when they voted for me it was even better – 191 to zero.  If only Army United got scores like that.  Now that kind of voting is perfect.  No problem with that at all. 

But you handpicked the voters, darling.  Of course they voted like that.

Exactly.  That’s what we have to do to bring back democracy.  We can let people have as many elections and vote as often as they want.  That’ll shut those farangs up.  It’s just a matter of making sure that the right people vote.  The right people will elect the right people.  It’s simple.  Obvious, really.

So how are you going to choose the right people to elect the right people?  You can’t do it by voting because if the wrong people vote as well as the right people, they will elect the wrong people to vote for the right people, which they won’t.

No, we’ll have someone choose the right people to elect the right people.

Who?

Well, they’ll have to be the right people, of course, otherwise they may choose the wrong people.  Yes, that’s it.  We’ll choose the right people to choose the right people to make sure they elect the right people. 

And how do you choose those right people?

Which right people?

The ones who choose the right people to vote for the right people.

Oh, I see what you mean.  Well, they’ll have to be selected by the right …  This is getting too complicated for this time of night.  I’ll sort it out in the morning.

So which uniform do you need tomorrow?

Oh, the frogman’s suit.

The what?

Yes, someone dared me to do that ice bucket thing and I don’t want to soak my proper uniform.  Any of them.


About author:  Bangkokians with long memories may remember his irreverent column in The Nation in the 1980's. During his period of enforced silence since then, he was variously reported as participating in a 999-day meditation retreat in a hill-top monastery in Mae Hong Son (he gave up after 998 days), as the Special Rapporteur for Satire of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and as understudy for the male lead in the long-running ‘Pussies -not the Musical' at the Neasden International Palladium (formerly Park Lane Empire).

 

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BANGKOK, 26 August 2014: Department of Tourism, under the supervision of Ministry of Tourism and Sports, held a seminar to hear opinions on the draft of the Act of Tourism Standard last Friday. Presiding at the “Study and Development of Tourism Standard Act” seminar, deputy permanent secretary, Kajorn Weerajai, said Thailand needed a tourism standard, [...] Read more...
BANGKOK, 26 August 2014: Airports of Thailand reports July data showed overall passengers passing through Suvarnabhumi airport declined 15.60% due to prolonged polical instability in Bangkok. The country main gateway welcomed 3,543,983 passengers in July, compared to 4,199,000 during the same month last year. AoT released details, late last week, revealing a decline in aircraft [...] Read more...
It is an unfortunate reality that many areas of study at universities across the world will never have the same draw than others. Very often, the more exotic the area, the less attractive it is for most prospective students. Read more...