By Gerald Goh
BANGKOK, Oct 5 (IPS) - Museums showcasing everything from the weird to the wacky abound on this planet, but how about a museum full of phony wares?
BANGKOK, Oct 3 (IPS) - By resigning Tuesday as the leader of his party, deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has confirmed that he will put on ice the abrasive politics he became known for during his five years in government.
By David Streckfuss*
BANGKOK (Asian Eye) - For the past 15 years, Thai society was slowly and often torturously honing its tools and building a base on which to fashion democracy. The courts had been called into action and in some cases vigorously investigated possible wrongdoing. True, many felt the Constitutional Court to be compromised for the time being. The Senate, however imperfect, was functioning. In terms of spelling out the rights of citizens, the constitution was impeccable. If there was a problem, it was only that lawmakers had been lax in turning those rights into practicable laws.
KATHMANDU, Sep 24 (IPS) - Thailand's coup has hit close to home in Nepal's capital. Here, a hereditary monarch, who like his South-east Asian counterpart claims to be the incarnation of a god, sits in his palace <!--break--> brooding -- or Internet gambling, depending on the rumours -- after being forced to return power to the people in April, following three weeks of swelling street protests.
Marwaan Macan-Markar and Johanna Son
BANGKOK, Sep 22 (IPS) - As Thailand's 18th coup ended its third day, the first cracks against a military solution to a political problem have surfaced. A small group of dissidents gathered to voice their opposition to the junta outside a swanky shopping mall here on Friday evening.
'No to Thaksin, No to coup,' read a protest sign held up by the dissidents, who numbered about 20. ''Don't call it reform. It's a coup,'' said another.
Although limited in number, the dissidents, by standing up, are punching a few holes in the glowing picture painted by the mainstream Thai media that the junta has universal support for its power grab on the night of Sep. 19 to rid Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office.
Analysis - By Sutthida Malikaew
BANGKOK, Sep 22 (Asian Eye/IPS Asia-Pacific) - The military faces a balancing act in the waiting period in the days after the Sep. 19 coup, mindful of people's sentiments after the last coup in 1991 and scepticism in the international community.
1. Phraya Manopakorn Nititada, (10 December 1932 - 24 June 1933)
2. General Phraya Phahol Pholphayuhasena, (24 June 1933 - 26 December 1938)
3. Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram, (26 December 1938 - 1 August 1944)
By Johanna Son
BANGKOK, Sep 20 (IPS) - Many Thais are heaving a sigh of relief that Tuesday's military coup against the government of Thaksin Shinawatra has so far been a non-violent one, but not far behind is the nagging question: Now what?
Slowly, relief -- for some, at the prospect of an end to months of political tension around ousted Prime Minister Thaksin and for others, at the absence of bloodshed -- is giving way to questions about what the future holds for this Southeast Asian country that has spent decades in the past under military rule.
"I agree with the troops taking over… if Thaksin had continued being Prime Minister, he'd have created a lot of conflict, break people into small groups, all against one another."
- Winai, 30, Motorcycle taxi driver
"It's a good thing the troops have taken control, they should work with the king. I think the military administration shouldn't last long, at least until they find a new Prime Minister."
BANGKOK, Sep 22 (Asia Media Forum) - The media in the Asia-Pacific region were caught with their pens down when the Gen Sonthi Boonyaratklin-led military seized power from caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's government on Sep. 19.
Although coup rumours were rife weeks and months before, nobody expected the military takeover would come swiftly and, quite surprisingly, peacefully. No shots were fired and no one got hurt.