Bangkok's Thammasat University Uprising



Nudged by a newly-freed media and an increasingly prosperous Chinese minority, the government of Thailand is being asked to come clean on the nation's history, including bits that have been swept under the carpet -- like the bloody suppression of a students uprising in 1976.
Emerging from the shadow of decades of military rule, Thailand is today seen as well on its way to establishing a stable parliamentary democracy. But greater social and media freedom in recent years has also thrown up disturbing questions about the country's authoritarian past.
In October 1996, thousands of former student and political activists gathered at Bangkok's Thammasat University to remember dozens of ...

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to the way history has been written in Thailand.

Activist leader's general opinion was that it was about time that Thailand as a society, introspect. They insisted Thailand needed to stop being fearful about their past and must come to terms with their own history, both modern and pre-modern.

Taking a lead in exposing the gaps in official history is the Thai media, which in the past decade has grown more prolific and independent than its counterparts in much of South-East Asia.

An example of its role was early in 1996, when a mob attacked the house of Saphin Kaew-Ngaarn-Prasert in north-east Thailand's Nakhon Ratchasima province. The researcher had angered nationalists with a book questioning the legend surrounding a nineteenth century Thai heroine, Thao Suranaree. The domestic media gave the researcher its support, and covered the event extensively.

Thao Suranaree is regarded as national heroine in Thailand. Apparently -- or so the official version goes -- she ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 11/14/2004 07:02:10 AM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 842
Pages: 4

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