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 Welcome to ISIS Thailand !

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 Events on 2021

Facebook Live - Virus/Vaccine Dynamics/Challenges in the Mekong Region: The Regionalisation Imperative? 

As the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) moves from the virus stage to vaccine rollout around the world, the five countries in mainland Southeast Asia around the Mekong Region have become so integrated and connected in recent decades through migrant labour flows, infrastructure linkages, trade/investment ties, and border commerce that each’s economic recovery and post-pandemic “new normal” may be limited and constrained unless the whole of the region can re-emerge together. This public forum focuses on the regionalisation perspective of vaccines and explores the extent to which vaccine rollout can and should be viewed in the Mekong regional context. In doing so, we will also examine stages of herd immunity and when the Mekong mainland countries are likely to get there. 
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Rescheduled Event - Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Power Plays: The Major Powers and Southeast Asia, Friday, 14th Mayl 2021 

This webinar focuses on dynamics and prospects in relations between the major powers and smaller states in Southeast Asia in the 2020s and beyond. We will begin with China-Australia ties and tensions to draw lessons for Southeast Asian states, and then look at the United States’ economic measures and pressures vis-à-vis smaller countries in recent years. As both superpowers have deployed tools of economic statecraft to get their way in international politics, the smaller states in the region need to observe and anticipate what comes next in future exercises of soft/hard geopolitical and geoeconomic power from bigger players. Because of the nature of Chinese power and the structure and methods of China's successful authoritarian capitalist economy with centralised political control, Beijing appears to play by both its own and the established rules and norms. The US also has vested interests and agenda, having recently violated the rules-based liberal international order it crucially crafted around seven decades ago. 
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Book Launch via Zoom - Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the struggle to remake Indonesia at Tuesday 27th April 2021 

Book Launch and Discussion via Zoom - Tuesday 27th April 2021 09.00 a.m. – 10.00 a.m. (Bangkok/Thailand) / 12.00 p.m. – 13.00 a.m. (Sydney/Australia) 
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Facebook Live – The Empire Strikes Back: What’s Left of Thailand’s Youth Protest Movement? 

Tuesday, 30th March 2021 at 09.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.

In late February 2020, anti-government flash mobs started to mushroom on university campuses in reaction to the dissolution of Future Forward Party, which had been the third-largest winning party in the March 2019 polls. The initial campus protests were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and consequent restrictions and lockdown in March-May 2020 but resumed with popularity and intensity in June. Over the subsequent months, the youth protest movement gathered steam and transformed into an anti-Establishment drive. It first called for a halt to official harassment, constitutional amendments, and new polls. Later, the three demands became the resignation of the prime minister, a new constitution, and monarchical reform. Street protests peaked in October-November 2020, involving tens of thousands of mostly young demonstrators, mirrored by similar activities on campuses. By December 2020, as the second Covid-19 wave struck, the youth protest movement lost momentum, undermined by internal divisions, an inability to broaden, and the arrest of key leaders. By early 2021, the movement appears a shell of itself, diluted and fizzled. This public forum intends to analyse and locate the underpinnings and dynamics of what is left of the movement in a forward-looking fashion to see whether it still has traction or otherwise. 
More>>
 

Facebook Live – Myanmar (One Month) After The Coup: Domestic Politics, Regional Repercussions, Global Implications 

Monday, 1st March 2021 at 09.30-11.30 a.m.

As Myanmar’s military coup reaches its one-month mark, it is timely to take stock of what’s been happening in the predominantly Buddhist country of 55 million. By all accounts, the coup has been a setback for Myanmar’s road towards political liberalization and economic development. Under fluid and precarious circumstances, we will examine post-coup events and dynamics from the domestic politics context within Myanmar and regional repercussions in Southeast Asia as well as global implications in view of China, Russia, and the West. What is the status and road ahead for the Myanmar military (the Tatmadaw) and its commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing? Where does Aung San Suu Kyi, at 75, go from here? Where does the future lie for the ethnic minorities around the country and what about the persistent internal conflicts between the Tatmadaw and ethnic armies? These are some of the hard questions this public forum will try to address. Our speakers line-up represents a range of diverse views and experiences which I think will add up to a dynamic and stimulating conversation. 
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Facebook Live – Thailand’s Economic Outlook 2021 and Beyond: Vaccine, Growth, Value Chains 

Thursday, 18th February 2021 at 09.30-11.30 a.m.

As the most recent Covid-19 restrictions have been eased, ISIS Thailand is pleased to return to action with a limited in-person public forum on vaccine dynamics, the Thai macro-economy and future growth model in view of pandemic effects and shifting/fluid global value chains. We are delighted to have Dr Daniel Kertesz, the head of the World Health Organisation in Thailand, kick off with his expert view and analysis of the global Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccine situation broadly, with reference to Thailand and Southeast Asia. An independent and highly regarded economist, Dr Supavud Saicheua will delve into Thailand’s macroeconomic consequences from the pandemic. When will Thailand regain its growth footing and how to get there after a severe economic contraction last year? With publications on global value chains in top international scholarly journals, Dr Pavida Pananond will tease out the trends and prospects of trade, foreign direction investment and global production in the post-pandemic global economy with implications for Thailand and Southeast Asia. 
More>>
 Articles - Dr.THITINAN PONGSUDHIRAK

(June 11, 2021) Thailand's irresponsible runaway debt 

A major lasting damage Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will eventually leave behind is his government's co-optation and capture of autonomous agencies that used to safeguard and uphold Thailand's macroeconomic well-being and political level-playing field. 
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(June 4, 2021) PM shows he has political resilience 

Half-way through his four-year term, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has time and again shown his staying power in the face of popular discontent. Despite a subpar economic performance and persistent controversies from his cabinet's incomplete oath of office and a cabinet minister's past drug conviction and imprisonment in Australia to his own house on army premises after retirement, the former army chief, who led the military coup in May 2014 to take over as prime minister, has proved politically resilient. 
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(May 28, 2021) No duopoly in Thai jab procurement 

Just as Thailand's murky vaccine plan has gone from bad to worse, the plot keeps thickening. The latest development centres on the May 25 publication in the Royal Gazette of the Chulabhorn Royal Academy's authority to procure Covid-19 vaccines within the country and from abroad as needed for public health benefits. As has been promptly noted elsewhere, this vaccine bombshell could be perceived as a snub to the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, particularly Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. Thailand's effectively dual-track vaccine strategy is now likely to engender major repercussions. 
More>>
 Articles - Mr.KAVI CHONGKITTAVORN

(June 15, 2021) Asean, China promote Asian values 

In commemorating the 30th anniversary of Asean-China relations later this year at the summit level, it is expected that China will be represented by Xi Jinping, who has yet to attend an Asean-related summit under his presidency. Of course, this is just a plan for both sides, which still need further discussion to celebrate their "shared future" trajectory. After all, when Asean agrees on the upgrade of China's longstanding strategic partnership to a comprehensive one, there must be a very special li-you (raison d'etre) to do so. And the list is long. 
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(June 8, 2021) Vaccine aid: US catches up with China 

Strange as it may seem, vaccine diplomacy could cure US-China relations and improve their herd immunity against global hegemony. After all, these two superpowers' ultimate objective in giving away vaccines is to save lives, regardless of nationality, ideology and religion, making sure the citizens of the world beyond their frontiers are safe and sound. Then, in a year or two, inoculated people around the world could reflect on the good deeds Washington and Beijing did for them and their countries. Vaccine diplomacy can increase mutual respect, benefits and trust among nations. 
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(June 1, 2021) Thailand must get its act together on US 

The Biden administration has made the Thai-US alliance more secure and valuable as demonstrated by the 7th Thai-US strategic dialogue, which was held last month. It came at the right time after a three-year hiatus, as both countries are currently recalibrating their alliance and overall relations with other partners in the region and beyond. 
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 Articles - Ms.GWEN ROBINSON

(June 10, 2021) Myanmar junta's solar power bid tests post-coup investor sentiment 

BANGKOK/YANGON -- Myanmar's junta has launched an ambitious scheme to build solar farms that can generate up to 320 megawatts across the heartland regions, areas dominated by the predominantly Buddhist Bamar population, in a major test of investor confidence in the new regime. 
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(June 3, 2021) International Red Cross head meets Myanmar junta chief in Naypyitaw 

BANGKOK -- The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer has met Min Aung Hlaing, chief of Myanmar's junta, in the first visit by a senior Western official to the capital, Naypyitaw, since the Feb. 1 coup. 
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(May 18, 2021) Myanmar junta plans restricted 'intranet' to silence opposition 

BANGKOK/YANGON -- Moves by Myanmar's military regime to establish a restricted, national intranet underscore the junta's dilemma over allowing online access to business while silencing anti-coup opposition. Recent efforts to "whitelist" individuals or entities as part of the plan follow the imposition of internet blackouts and highlight the spiraling parallel battle over online access, notes a report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. 
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