THAILAND: Xenophobia will lead us all nowhere

On Tuesday’s TV news, I watched Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha take a few swipes at politicians and members of the media, who purportedly failed to do their jobs and damaged the country. His comments followed a gloomy weekend of military summonses and detentions of critics, former government members and journalists. Weary-eyed, I sat through the television programme — until one sentence made me jump from my seat.

It was a question, directed at Human Rights Watch researcher Sunai Phasuk, who questioned the use of Section 44 to arbitrarily detain regime critics. “Was he born Thai?” Gen Prayut asked.

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