The Public Manifestation of Dissent
In 2012, Isa Ibrahim and I observed a rally of a large group of folks, for a few days in fact, in front of the Government House. My cousin was amazed to see daily peaceful protests in the heart of Thailand, so unlike Malaysia. Then the country was administered by prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Majority of the demonstrators, more than a thousand strong, came from the north and descended on Bangkok seeking Yingluck's intervention on their concerns of land. Some criticized the government for not quickly reforming land policies, which affected rural population and the environment.
|Isa Ibrahim's featured article: Faces of the Ostracized http://bit.ly/Pd4G3e|
Land rights, landless, homeless and the poor. In the end, Yingluck went to the demonstrators to collect the petition, amidst brief applause and some cheering from her supporters.
Now, in 2014, post-coup Thailand. Yingluck is out of the political scene. General Prayuth Chan-ocha is the undisputed, self-appointed prime minister. Martial law, and the obvious delay of returning to democracy has created pockets of dissent, at least for those who posses the courage and zeal.