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Patpicha Tanakasempipat
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Media Reuters

2019 04 07 Publish

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of the youth-oriented Future Forward Party which did surprisingly well in the vote, was charged on Saturday with sedition on a junta complaint dating back to 2015 - a case that could see his party disbanded. Online campaigns have also cast Thanathorn as anti-monarchy, a serious crime in Thailand, where the monarchy is revered without question

2019 10 04 Publish

Thailand’s military has filed a sedition case with police against a group of opposition politicians and academics, accusing them of stirring unrest with talk of amending the constitution, police said on Friday. Police in Thailand’s restive deep south are looking into the complaint, which was raised by a unit of the military that operates in the area […] The complaint came after 12 prominent opposition leaders, politicians, and academics held a public seminar last week in the country’s southern province of Pattani about amending the 2017 constitution written by allies of the military. The Pheu Thai party, which leads the opposition, denied that the seminar stirred any unrest, adding that opposition parties would file a counter-complaint against the military for reporting falsehood

Amending the charter, passed under the military junta that seized power in 2014, is a common goal for seven opposition parties. The seminar was the latest in a series of public hearing sessions the opposition parties aimed to hold in every region on the issue. The seminar also addressed issues specific to the Muslim-majority south, including religious tensions in the mostly Buddhist country, and how the constitution could be amended to solve them

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of opposition Future Forward Party, said the sedition accusation was the military resorting to the ‘same old tactic’ to silence political opponents. ‘We, the opposition parties, will push ahead to amend the constitution,’ he said in a news conference

2019 11 11 Publish: Pope Francis to reunite with cousin on visit to Thailand

In a remote Catholic school in Thailand, Sister Ana Rosa Sivori, 77, kneels in a chapel to pray at the beginning of the school day. The Catholic nun is also counting down the days when she will be reunited with her cousin, Pope Francis. Or, as she calls him, Jorge. They grew up together in Argentina. Sister Sivori, who has lived in Thailand for more than 50 years, will travel with Pope Francis when he visits from Nov. 20 to 23

The cousins, whose grandfathers were brothers, grew up in a big Catholic family in Argentina. Sivori said they weren’t close as children, since Jorge Mario Bergoglio - as the Pope was known then - was six years older than she. She joined the Catholic ministry young, and her calling as a missionary brought her to Thailand, where she has lived since 1966 and worked in schools across the country

Now, she is a vice principal at St. Mary’s School in the northeastern province of Udon Thani, about 600 km (370 miles) from Bangkok, the capital

The cousins have grown closer since Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013. On every journey home to her family in Argentina, Sivori first stops by the Vatican in Italy to see him for a few days. The last time they saw each other was in 2018, when they bonded over their love of books

She will travel to Bangkok ahead of the pontiff’s arrival and shadow him during his visit, at his request.

In the Buddhist-majority country, Pope Francis will meet King Maha Vajiralongkorn, the supreme Buddhist patriarch, Catholic leaders and students, before flying on to Japan

Sivori brings out an envelope of handwritten letters and postcards from the Vatican and reads them fondly