Posts By Kim McQuay
May 27, 2015
The first anniversary of Thailand’s latest coup passed without ceremony or acknowledgment by the military-led National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which assumed power following the ouster of the elected Pheu Thai government on May 22 last year. The anniversary was marked by fresh statements of concern from international organizations, pointed commentary from international news agencies and country specialists, and thoughtful reflections by a handful of respected Thai political observers whose public prominence and carefully measured views limit their risk of political censure.
September 24, 2014
Indonesians have spoken out about a contentious bill to be voted on today that would eliminate direct elections for local mayors and district heads. Leading the charge against the bill, tabled just a month before President-elect Joko Widodo assumes office…
May 14, 2014
A turbulent last 10 days in Thailand’s protracted political crisis has left its embattled political leaders no closer to a compromise solution. Emboldened by the Constitutional Court’s decision last week to remove former Pheu Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra…
April 23, 2014
Access to justice, security, and human rights protection rank among the core issues that fuel the protracted subnational conflict in southern Thailand and are central to the prospect of its future resolution. For the last decade, the southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani have faced a resurgence of an indigenous…
December 11, 2013
This week, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of controversial former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, dissolved parliament in response to an escalating anti-government protest movement. Led by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, the movement has mobilized tens of thousands of whistle-blowing demonstrators under the banner of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). PDRC has declared its intention to unseat the Pheu Thai government, remove the Shinawatra family from politics, and press for the appointment of an imprecisely defined “People’s Council” that would seemingly be composed of neutral, respected leaders who would replace elected government for an undefined period of time.
February 27, 2013
Among the array of international television series aired by cable networks in Thailand, “CSI,” “Bones,” and other dramas that highlight the work of forensic pathologists are especially popular. While Thai audiences are exposed to the dramatized investigative techniques applied by forensic specialists working in cooperation with law enforcement agencies…
February 8, 2012
While a lucrative deep-sea fishing industry places Thailand among the world’s leading exporters of sea products, a grim specter of human rights abuse lurks below the surface of an industry whose contribution to the national economy is estimated to exceed $4 billion a year. A combination of factors – including a shortage of labor in this dangerous…
October 19, 2011
For the last several days, the water level in Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River has been rising in virtual synch with the escalating worry that grips a city bisected by this great river and whose neighborhoods are crisscrossed by dozens of canals, or klongs.
June 29, 2011
At first glance, the lead-up to Thailand’s July 3 national parliamentary election seems little different from previous electoral countdowns. The campaign period has been fairly low-key, with political leaders occupied for the most part in defining their individual campaign personas and fairly measured in their comments on the character and record of opponents. Only now, in the closing days of the campaign, have reciprocal criticisms borne a sharper edge.
March 30, 2011
Since Thailand’s color politics began pitting the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s (PAD) “Yellow-Shirt” movement against the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship’s (UDD) “Red-Shirt” movement, political watchers have insisted that the Thai people are bitterly divided in their loyalties to rival political factions. The view holds that an old-guard elite preference for guided democracy has collided with a populist call from marginalized farmers and wage earners to return Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to power.