Power and Democracy

By Niabdulghafar Tohming and Matt Davidson

Prior to the arrival of tourists in the peak season of tourism which starts around November – December, Sea gypsies, or what Thais and foreigners call “Chao Le”, from coastal areas of the southern region of Thailand, travel and gather for their annual assembly called “Ngan Ruam Yat Chao Le”—the Assembly of the Sea Gypsies.

The event Songs of Disquiet, Hymns of Rage, held December 28 in Quezon City, Philippines, might have been a reunion of sorts of ‘70s and ‘80s activists, including musicians of the said era, but the ‘mini-concert’ cum conversation-with-the-artists was more than just a coming together of activist-musicians who had been a familiar, popular sight not in concert halls nor auditoriums but on the streets and makeshift stages during rallies and other protest actions against the Marcos dictatorship.

photo from sombath.org

Bangkok, 15 December 2016: On the fourth anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, we, the undersigned organizations, condemn the Lao PDR government’s ongoing failure to adequately investigate Sombath’s disappearance. We urge the authorities to act to conduct an effective investigation with a view to determining his fate or whereabouts. In particular, we condemn the Lao PDR government’s inaction after the discovery of new video evidence made public 12 months ago.

            We the “People Go Network Forum” comprised of villagers, community based organizations, peasants, academia, nongovernmental organizations, labors, media, students, the self-employed from 109 organizations are here to review the situations in Thailand in the aftermath of the coup, especially the struggles and violence perpetuated by prejudice toward the aforementioned groups. We the people’s network are here to declare that;

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