Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Thailand's coup and Tiger Temple (video)

May 31, 2016, ODN/VF (AP/ABC News) Tiger Temple: Thai wildlife officials start removing tigers from Kanchanaburi after allegations and find 40 cubs dead in freezer (preserved for autopsies to show they died of natural causes, the monks explain). Thai authorities have started extracting the 137 tigers held at this unique Theravada Buddhist temple after allegations some of the monks were involved in unlawful reproduction and trafficking of tigers.
Dispatch 1: In 2014 Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra and nine of her ministers were forced to step down over allegations of abuse of power -- which has ignited heated protests by members of the country's [radical UDD] "red shirt" movement.

(AJ) Who are the red shirt protesters? Not pro-government
Supporters of the ousted leader -- whose brother, corrupt former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, was also ejected -- called the move a coup and poured onto the streets of Bangkok.

The [pro-military PAD] "yellow shirts," which for months had been calling for a new government, celebrated their victory. VICE News takes a look at these opposing rallies and the political vacuum ahead for Thailand. More
Coup: Thailand’s thoughtcrime arrests
Hundreds of activists defied a ban on protests and marched in Thailand's capital in a rare rally against the hard-line ruling military (Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters).
Demonstrators from the New Democracy Movement (NDM) group flash the three-finger salute inspired by the movie "The Hunger Games" during a rally at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand, Sept. 19, 2015.

In the eyes of Thailand’s military rulers, it seems no subversive thought is too petty to punish.

Thailand is now entering its third year under military dictatorship, a reign established when generals seized power from an elected government on May 22, 2014.

The army has vowed to use its sweeping powers to heal a nation torn by class resentment. But its favored tactics for keeping the peace -- locking up critics and silencing dissent -- have turned Thailand into a nation where even meek expressions of defiance can end in detention.
In the past nine months, Thais have been charged for clicking “like” on subversive Facebook memes. For handing flowers to an anti-junta activist. For allegedly insulting the king’s pet dog.
Others have been detained simply for reading George Orwell’s “1984” in public, or for raising three fingers, an anti-tyranny salute from the “Hunger Games” films.
Officers have even snatched up a man for eating a sandwich:

It was no ordinary sandwich, mind you. It was publicly declared a “sandwich for democracy,” scarfed down by an anti-junta activist at a mall -- all while reading 1984. He was quickly surrounded by plainclothes officers....
When the army seized power two years ago, it justified its takeover by promising a wave of grand reforms. Thailand, the generals said, would become a nation purged of corruption and of the recurring, sometimes bloody street protests that have convulsed the political order for nearly a decade.
Army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, who appointed himself prime minister, even released a syrupy ballad vowing to “return happiness to the people.” At the outset, his subordinates seemed similarly upbeat. More

Who's who? Red versus Yellow
Laura Kyle, "101 East" (AJ English)
"101 East" looks back at the events leading up to the battle in Thailand's capital. Let's look at this under-reported story about tourist-magnet Thailand, listening to all sides of the story, and giving a "voice to the voiceless."  AJ's impartial, fact-based reporting wins worldwide praise for its unique brand of journalism.

This Thai fish WALKS like a mammal, which may reveal secrets about our evolution (April 8, 2016) The fish has a pelvic bone. It's only an inch long, but in the study of human evolution, this could be huge.

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