Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thai dissident professor speaks out

Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a Thai professor who was forced to flee his country because of his politics and publications, recently spoke in Britain (where, as of February 2009, he lives in exile). Ungpakorn's official crime was "Lèse majesté", which amounts to 'disloyalty' to the royally-assented Thai head of state. He is a member of the Thai trotskyist party "Workers' Democracy" which is affiliated internationally with the IST.

Read a manifesto he issued recently, which republished here.

Like most unfolding international developments, the most recent coup and anti-democratic overthrow of a popular government in Thailand received very little critical coverage in US media. Most of what I read was depoliticized glosses that focused mainly on theatrical elements of the protesters and the occupation of airports. Its an interesting experience to have some general idea of what's happening in the world independent of what's covered in the US media, and then to consider everything it is that they misconstrue, gloss over, or simply don't cover at all.

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