Vol. IX No. 29 - Tuesday
July 20 - July 26, 2010



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


Education
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kids have fun tie-dyeing with Grandma Cares

Payap Presents offers unique political and social lectures

Kids have fun tie-dyeing with Grandma Cares

Grandma Cares, a local organization set up to help orphans and children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, recently ran a tie-dying workshop for some of the kids. Between the ages of 10 and 15, the children hail from the San Sai and Doi Saket. The kids had a great time, tie dying t-shirts and other fabrics and were joined by volunteer Katie Frayler, a Payap University International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership (IPSL) student and Hope Watcharaprecha, who has strived tirelessly to help the kids and grandparents in the Grandma Cares Program. For more information about Grandma Cares www.grandmacares.org.


Payap Presents offers unique political and social lectures

By Shana Kongmun

Payap University offers a series of political and social lectures under the umbrella of Payap Presents. Open to the public and announced on their website, these lectures are invaluable to those who wish to learn more about Thailand and its South East Asian neighbors.

Paul Chambers, Ph.D. (far right) is seen here after his lecture on civil and military relationships in Thailand at Payap University as part of their Payap Presents lecture series.

The most recent talk was given by Paul Wesley Chambers, Ph. D, a senior research fellow at the University of Heidelberg, titled “Thailand in crisis: Resurgent military, diminished democracy and future possibilities?” the talk encompassed the traditional and historical roles the military has played in the democratic process in Thailand. From the abolishment of the absolute monarchy in 1932 following through on to the demonstrations of the 70’s and the history of military coups through to the current government, Dr. Chambers displayed his knowledge of Thai political history as it involves the military and civilian players. His lecture was quite broad in its discussion of the political and military scene.

He discussed the role of HM the King in appointing the head of the armed forces and the role the Privy Council plays in past and current governments. He went into more detail regarding the historical roles the military has played in the government and mentioned the current Constitution, voted in by referendum in 2007, that strengthened the judiciary and the military by allowing a semi-appointed Senate comprised of many retired military officers.

In talking about the cycle of coups that Thailand has faced over the years, he stated, “Thailand’s democracy seems lost in transition.”

He went on to discuss the current crisis and the roles played by various important players in the Army, with the upcoming promotions being key, he felt. “It’s a difficult juggling act to ensure that mid-level officers from different regions are adequately satisfied,” Dr. Chambers noted.

He discussed the difficulties the differing sides in Thai politics have been facing and noted that both sides have underestimated each other. He added that there is a linkage between both sides with those who opposed growing authoritarianism under Thaksin later opposing the same under the current government.

He concluded the lecture stating “Reconciliation will only occur when both sides are serious in putting aside partisan bickering and compromise.”

Payap Presents next speaker is Patrick Ziegenhain, Ph.D., a senior research fellow (“Akademischer Rat”) at the department of Political Science at the University of Trier in Germany who will give a talk on “Institutional changes and their impact on the quality of democracy in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines” September 23 from 5-6 p.m. at the Mae Khao campus, Pentecost building, room 317. See http://ic.payap.ac.th/pp/ for more information.



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