The issue of human rights has largely flown under the radar for the 81 parties contesting the Thai general election this Sunday.Freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and press freedom has deteriorated in Thailand since the military junta led by Prayut Chan-o-cha took over in 2014 and started the longest period of army rule in modern Thai history.
The seaside province of Rayong, located on Thailand’s eastern gulf coast is well known for its tranquil holiday beaches, crystal clear waters and a dazzling selection of fresh tropical fruits from nearby fruit orchards. The picturesque town is the perfect place for a weekend’s escapade – 180 kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok or just a two and half hour drive away.However, Rayong may not be a getaway from the fast-paced urban lifestyle for much longer.
A song entitled “What my country's got” (Prathet Goo Mee) by Thai rap group Rap Against Dictatorship is making waves on the internet. So far, it has managed to garner more than 23 million views on YouTube, and has topped Thailand’s iTunes download list. You can also find several reaction videos posted from people all around the world on YouTube as well.
Thailand’s Pheu Thai party has chosen 86-year-old senior party member Viroj Pao-in to lead the country’s main opposition party to challenge the ruling junta as it prepares for upcoming elections which are slated to take place in February next year.
On 14 August 2018, Pattani Islamic Mujahideen Movement deputy leader Nasori Saeseng surrendered at an army rangers’ unit in Kapor, Pattani. This, coupled with a record low number of deaths last year has risen hopes that the insurgency may be coming to a halt in favour of the government. Whether this marks the beginning of the end to the deep South Thailand insurgency conflict is yet to be seen.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha seems to have dropped another hint that the country’s long-awaited election will be delayed yet again. Despite previously promising that one will be held in February 2019, Prayut recently said that a further delay is possible.“We still confirm that the general election will be held in February 2019.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha said his military government is committed to holding an election early next year, and that he may clarify his political future in September.The pending coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn won’t affect the plan for a poll possibly in February, Prayuth said in an interview.