1. Maung Maung Nyein Chan says:

    The power of IEC is always strong. It can speak different languages and can reach remote places.

    The drawback is the stigma associated with the contents of HIV/AIDS related IECs which lead to premature removal of those IECs.

    Comedy is one calatalyst that can dilute those stigmas in a funny way, and maximize the creativity and innovation of IECs.

  2. Nui says:

    Here, I wrote this blog in October 2004, “Pra Chao Paendin” not a God. I find it frustrating that people who don’t speak our language try to interpret our concepts for us. The dig in their books and papers and use their intelligence to imagine silly things.

  3. […] Right now, we are, however, hearing much banter about Thaksin’s supposedly “corrupt domination of the rural vote”. The realities on the ground often defy such convenient generalisation. […]

  4. […] David Glenn, a journalist at The Chronicle of Higher Education, has sent me the link to the transcript of an interview conducted with Duncan McCargo, one of the best known writers on the now defunct Thaksin government. As I noted in an earlier post, last year I reviewed McCargo’s co-authored book on the former Prime Minister. The full text of the Chronicle of Higher Education article is only available to the Chronicle’s subscribers after the temporary link I have been sent expires in a few days time. There is, however, much in the article that will interest New Mandala readers. I have taken a few choice quotations from the transcript and, with any luck, a permanent electronic version will become available soon. […]

  5. […] Right now, we are, however, hearing much banter about Thaksin’s supposedly “corrupt domination of the rural vote”. The realities on the ground often defy such convenient generalisation. […]

  6. […] Right now, we are, however, hearing much banter about Thaksin’s supposedly “corrupt domination of the rural vote”. The realities on the ground often defy such convenient generalisation. […]

  7. […] Right now, we are, however, hearing much banter about Thaksin’s supposedly “corrupt domination of the rural vote”. The realities on the ground often defy such convenient generalisation. […]

  8. From today’s Nation:

    Local government officials ordered to refrain from travelling temporarily

    The Interior Ministry has instructed officials of local administrations nationwide to refrain from making trips until further notice.

    Sujarit Pujchimnan, permanent secretary for Interior Ministry, said he had not heard any movement of local administrators that they would hold rallies against coup makers.

    But he said he had instructed the officials of local administrators to refrain from making trips for the time being.

    The Nation

  9. An English translation of the proclamation is at:

  10. XKMasada says:

    Correct official site of the junta seems to be

  11. XKMasada says:

    The site claims that it is managed by the ICT Ministry. However, a DNS lookup reveals its IP as That domain reversed back to Netway Communication, a private web hosting provider in Thailand. Thus it appears to be not legitimate.

  12. Bertil Olsson says:

    Lack of logic?
    1. An elected PM and his government can NOT select generals they trust? It is supposed to be undemocratic.
    2. Generals can select a PM and a government and it is supposed to be democratic.
    I don’t understand!

    In what kind of situations, if any, can an elected government be removed by none democratic means? And why? Some guidance might be given by international laws and UN human rights declarations. But it is not related to tax violations. The democratic process has to cope with ordinary and even large forms of defective administration.

  13. Andrew: Of course the electoral system was skewed. The first thing that needs to be banned is “pandering to the unprincipled wants and needs of the attention-deficient, politically apathetic masses” (The Nation editorial).

    The “attention-deficit, politically apathetic masses” don’t know what is good for them. Obviously, the solution is to limit the voting to the educated classes or military appointed civilian leaders.

    The above should have sarcasm tags around it.

  14. […] An interesting seminar this morning at ANU by historian Peter Jackson on the deva-raja (god-king) in Thailand. Too late for NewMandala readers to go to the seminar but the circulated abstract makes interesting reading in the light of some of our earlier discussion: God-King as Commodity: Thailand’s King Bhumiphol as a “Virtual Deity”. In this work-in-progress seminar I will discuss the re-emergence of the discourse of “deva-raja” (god-king) around the present King of Thailand, Bhumiphol. Historically the legitimacy of monarchical rule in Thailand drew both on Buddhist notions of “dhamma-raja” (righteous monarch) and Brahmanical notions of “deva-raja” (god-king). There was never a clearly formulated resolution of the tension between these different conceptions of kingship, with the alternative Buddhist and Brahmanical symbolisms of royal rule rising and falling in prominence in different periods. In the modern period, ideas of Buddhist kingship have generally been more popular and linked with notions of modernity, scientific rationality, and progressive democratic rule. In contrast, Brahmanical symbolisms have at times been critiqued for their historical association with “irrational” beliefs and “dictatorial” government. However, in the past couple of decades the notion of Thailand’s king as a “deva-raja” or “god-king” has begun to reappear in nationalist discourse, even if in the somewhat ironic idiom of a “virtual god-king” (sammuti deva-raja). […]

  15. […] During my recent time in Burma, the Chinese influence was more apparent than ever before. A new report that is being carried by Narinjara provides a reasonable English-language overview of Chinese involvement in the Burmese scene. It includes a large and relevant bibliography. […]

  16. jaime says:

    i don`t like it its too boring

  17. Thanks very much for all your useful and informative comments!

  18. XKMasada says:

    Some observations:

    – The official translation of the junta’s name is the “Council for the Democratic Reform under the Constitutional Monarchy”. Although this isn’t really accurate: the Thai name literally is the “Council for Administrative Reform of Democracy with a Monarch as Head of State”. The Thai name does not make any pretense as to “Democratic Reform,” merely to “Reform”. The Thai name also makes no mention of the Constitution, which makes sense given that the first thing the junta did was to abrogate the Constitution.

    – The site is a .com, which means the coup is officially a commercial enterprise. That explains the recently announced 100 billion baht stimulous package, I guess 🙂

  19. XKMasada says:

    The Mahachon party’s February 2005 campaign is one of reason I think that the Democrat party’s aborted October 2006 was doomed for failure.

    Mahachon had what was essentially a “dual-track” campaign strategy. Mahachon tried to appeal to Bangkokians by trumping Acharn Anek, the party leader, and being the only party to explicitely promise that it would not privatize state enterprises. For rural voters, it tried to “out-Thaksin Thaksin” and beat TRT at its own populist game. Thus, while Thaksin promised and delivered 30 Baht healthcare, Mahachon promised free healthcare. While Thaksin promised and delivered education reform, Anek promised to give free education to the Bachelor’s degree level.

    The result: humiliating defeat for Mahachon. I think they got only 1 seat in the first election (they added one or two more in by-elections).

    The Democrats repeated the Mahachon strategy over the past few months (see Wikipedia for details and citations). The Democrats promised not only that tuition would be free, but that there would be no hidden costs and that textbooks, milk and lunchtime food would be free. The Democrats also cloned Mahachon’s 0-baht free-as-in-beer healthcare plan.

    Why did Mahachon fail, and why were the Democrats doomed for failure? I believe the issue was credibility. Anek, Snoh, Abhisit, and all of their proxy bulldogs had used the broadest of brushstrokes to paint Thaksin as an evil monster out to bankrupt Thailand by overspending on populist handouts. Yet it was obvious that they were copying and amplifying his populist campaign.

    It is as if the US Democrats spent 3 years protesting war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in the election campaign, suddenly came out to say that it was also neccesary to wage war against Iran and Syria.

    Political memories in Thailand are short, but they’re not *that* short, and the Bangkok elite always underestimates the intelligence of their upcountry brothers. Hopefully, the TRT will not be banned from the next election, and we’ll see whether the Thai people can be completely brainwashed about TRT’s track record in delivering on populism.

  20. Aldwyn Sequeira says:

    There are no bad excuses for the “coup” – ONLY very good reasons !!