Talk Show Debuts in Thailand to Tackle Human Rights
November 4, 2009
A weekly TV talk show premiers this week in Thailand – Let’s Talk Rights – and will feature debates between policymakers, government officials, academics, and citizens on important and sometimes sensitive issues, such as land disputes, human rights, community rights, and gender equality. The one-hour program will air every Thursday on Thai PBS at 10 a.m. in the Thai language and is supported by The Asia Foundation.
“We will tackle subjects that are controversial in nature,” says former National Human Rights Commissioner Sunee Chaiyarose, who will moderate the program. “To address challenging issues, differences need to be openly discussed in a respectful way, and not ignored.” Ms. Sunee was a member of the Constitution Drafting Assembly and played a significant role in bolstering the human rights agenda in the 1997 Constitution drafting process. She is also a respected authority on community rights and labor law issues.
The show’s debut episode, on November 5, centers on the contentious Article 67 of the 2007 Constitution, which has made national headlines. Following a court injunction, 76 industrial projects worth 400 billion Baht located in Rayong province were put on hold. Representatives of disgruntled communities adversely affected by these mega-industrial projects will meet face-to-face with relevant government officials to voice their grievances and try to find a common solution. The November 12 episode will convene law enforcers and victims of the southern unrest to debate the efficacy of special security laws in curbing the ongoing insurgency.
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