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The ‘wall-less’ trap of social media
February 10, 2016 1:00 am

The ‘wall-less’ trap of social media

Despite the warnings against obsessive behaviour, a pile of “Likes” at the end of our stories, comments, photos or videos on the social media is difficult to dislike. The feedback has become an integral part of our self-esteem. Many people’s...

What the 'Luk Thep' dolls teach us
February 3, 2016 1:00 am

What the 'Luk Thep' dolls teach us

Don’t tell anyone, but on the pagan day of the sun god Ra, I kneel at the foot of an ancient instrument of torture and consume ritualistic symbols of blood and flesh. ...And if any of you care to join me, come to the Harvard chapel on Sunday, kneel...

How we’re mocking Buddhism
January 27, 2016 1:00 am

How we’re mocking Buddhism

There's no use in debating why a “religious” matter like appointing a new Supreme Patriarch has become deeply politicised. In the name of religions, anything is possible -- violence, random killings, invasions, wars, repression, you name...

The irony of the upcoming charter referendum
January 20, 2016 1:00 am

The irony of the upcoming charter referendum

Sometime in the latter half of this year, Thais will cast their votes on whether to embrace constitutional reform. Many, however, will do so with complete disregard for the content of the charter draft. In other words, the vote on a new Constitution...

2016: Who wishes what in Thai politics
January 13, 2016 1:00 am

2016: Who wishes what in Thai politics

It’s easier to make a New Year’s wish than a resolution. That’s particularly so in politics, and especially in Thailand, where much is beyond your control no matter who you are. Putting myself in a few people’s shoes, I came up with the...

Big political beasts hounded by leadership issues
January 6, 2016 1:00 am

Big political beasts hounded by leadership issues

With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Surin Pitsuwan has set the tone for Thai politics in 2016. Although political observers remain eager to know what the new Constitution will look like and how Yingluck Shinawatra’s trial will go, Surin’s...

Happy ‘New You’, everybody
December 30, 2015 1:00 am

Happy ‘New You’, everybody

In just a few hours, the earth will have completed another orbit around the sun. Our planet is doing that at roughly 100,000 kilometres per hour, which is over 20 times faster than the fastest bullet humans have ever produced. (In addition to that,...

2015 is Prayut’s year, for better or for worse
December 23, 2015 1:00 am

2015 is Prayut’s year, for better or for worse

Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has been wielding two special powers -- one he commands through the menace of machine guns and tanks while the other is something a bit more complicated. He has exercised them both considerably well, although he's seeing...

Things Prayut can learn from the Rajabhakti project
December 16, 2015 1:00 am

Things Prayut can learn from the Rajabhakti project

Exhibit A for why it’s so difficult to combat corruption in Thailand is right under the nose of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Though frustrated by the controversy surrounding the Rajabhakti Park project, he hasn’t looked at it closely enough....

Looking back on 2015, the year of fragile political peace
December 9, 2015 1:00 am

Looking back on 2015, the year of fragile political peace

Ranking this year's landmark events by significance is a tough challenge, as Thai politics is played at several levels - by geniuses, by fools and by unknowing participants. The actions of each of these players can affect the outcomes, yet they...