Structural Power of Thai Internet before 2006-Coup & Its Political Action (English presentation)

July 27, 2011

[download PDF : 20 slides]

These slides were presented in the 2nd Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society (APSTS) Conference at Northeastern University, Shenyang, China during 19-20 July 2011. I met a lot of scholars from the sub-discipline of “Science, Technology Studies” (STS), in which still in the embryo stage in Thailand.

The content this presentation is not new. It was a part of my PhD dissertation (2010). The content was edited English version of what I had presented or published before at least in two place. The middle parts have been presented in Thai version entitled “Structural Power of Technological System : A Case Study of Internet in Thailand Before 2006-Coup d’ Etat” in The 11th National Congress on Political Science and Public Administration of Thailand (November 25-26, 2010). Some of ending slides was the content published as published in “The Internet & Nonviolent Struggle: The Anti-government movement in Thailand 2005-06”, Social Alternatives. Issue 3. September 2010.

[download PDF : 20 slides]

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Internet & Nonviolent Struggle: Anti-government movement in Thailand 2005-06

November 30, 2010

published in “The Internet & Nonviolent Struggle: The Anti-government movement in Thailand 2005-06”, Social Alternatives. Issue 3. September 2010. [PDF – 7 หน้า A4]

———————————

This article is a part of my PhD dissertation, in which I first submitted to Social Alternatives journal 2 years ago, nearby the period that Thai Suwannabumi International Airport was blockade by the anti-government movement at the end of 2008. To reachs the international standard according to the editor, the article was revised 3-4 times. Finally, it was just published in the September 2010 issue.

In this article, I try to  point out that in order to make an internet-based political movement possible, the technological infrastructure system is so important issue. Hence, struggling to destroy and to protect the infrastructural system is another crucial battlefield in internet-aged political movement.

Here, I used Manager Online & ASTV during the anti-Thaksin government event between 2005-2006 as the case study to explain my argument. [Download this paper]

I have illustrate the technological system that was used for oust Thaksin government and send it to the editor of Social Alternatives journal, but was not attached in the article. So, I post it here as follow:

This article is, always, questioned whether the PAD (People Alliance for Democracy) movement, in which its media-technology wing is Manager Group, is nonviolence or not, esp. according to three violent events in 2008. I answered this question  a bit in this article. For whole answer, please refer to another of my article, “Nonviolence of PAD and 3 Questions that Nonviolent Activists Must Answer” (but apology for it’s in Thai.)

[Download this paper]


Structural Power of Technological System : A Case Study of Internet in Thailand Before 2006-Coup d’ Etat (Thai article)

November 30, 2010

[download PDF]

presented in The 11th National Congress on Political Science and Public Administration (of Thailand) at College of Politics and Governance, Mahasarakham University, Thailand. November 25-26, 2010.

Abstract

In every society, technologies involved penetratively in daily life of people are always political inherence. Power embedded within its structure significantly shaped human activities, especially political ones. Nevertheless, social and political research on such topic is hardly found in Thai academic circle.

This article investigates structural power of internet technological system in Thailand. Historical research is conducted focusing on the period of 1990s―when the internet was introduced into Thailand ― and the coup d’ etat in 2006 which marked the crossroad of Thai internet system. Two important phenomena involved the coup event:

(1) internet has an important political role in anti-Thaksin government phenomenon;

(2) the Computer Crime Act. B.E.2550 was passed to change the structural power of Thai internet dramatically. Research method is comprised of examine primary and secondary document, and in-depth interview with key informants.

In this study, Thai internet was analysed through the matrix of technology and power. The internet technology was examined through three layers (row): infrastructure layer, access layer, and content layer. Structural power of internet was investigated within three dimensions (column): technological structure, ownership or authorship, and institutional dimension.

By these frameworks, the research found that in term of technological structure and ownership/authorship, the content layer of Thai internet is least centralized and monopolized. Whereas access layer is much more, and infrastructure layer is the most.

For institutional dimension, the power exercises in style of formal and informal one. Regarding the formal style of power, internet content is the most layer which was intervened from the power, especially in the form of censorship and web block. Three major bureaus are Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Cyber-Inspector, and Department of Public Relation. However, there is a ‘check and balance’ system using the judicial system, such as the Civil Court, the Administrative Court, and the Constitutional Court. Concerning the informal institutional power, it exercises in the form of influences and pressures and appeared mainly on the internet access layer. The power embedded within the structure of Thai internet technological system explained above played its significant role in the anti-Thaksin government phenomenon during 2005-2006.

Keywords: Internet Technology / Structural Power / Anti-Thaksin government phenomenon (2005-2006)

[download full article (in Thai) – PDF: 17 pages A4 – click here]


Situated Nonviolence : Reflection from April Insurrection in Bangkok

April 25, 2009

This hottest summer is very terrible for Thai people as the turbulence in Bangkok and Pattaya during 12-14 April 2009. On April 12, the red-shirt group invaded into the hotel that was holding ASEAN summit at Pattaya, and in the afternoon, they crazily hit the PM’s car. On April 13, there was a bloody clash at Din Daeng junction between the soldiers and the red-shirt group in the early morning. There were also Bangkok-wide insurrection, including :

  1. driving the gas-truck into the clashed area to protect mob-dissolving by the soldiers again;
  2. blocking the train from getting into/out from Bangkok Railway Station;
  3. firing many buses in many areas of Bangkok, and etc.

The situation seem then spiral to be the confrontation between the local communities and the red-shirt groups, at least in 3 area :

  1. Din Daeng community, since the local people were afraid of the gas-truck brought by the red-shirt groups might be getting bomb;
  2. the muslim community at the 7th Petchaburi Lane, since the red-shirt group shot their mosque; and
  3. the Nang Lurng community, since two villagers died by the red-shirt group’s gun.

Then, since the afternoon of Apr 13, the government began to use the force (and gun with ‘paper-head bullet’) to drive, area by area, the red-shirt group that spread out around Bangkok, back into the Government House, which is the central base of red-shirt protesters. At the noon of Apr 14, finally, the leader of red-shirt group declared to dissolve the demonstration claiming to protect the protester’s safety, and then walked out from the protested area to surrender to the police. The crisis was ceased, at least for weeks or months, but not ended, because it left a lot of social wound among the people and ambiguities about justification of violence both from state and the red-shirt protesters.

[for the chronology of red-shirt revolted, click here]

A man lived nearby Government House tried to stop the fire on the bus burnt by red-shirt group (Reuters/Daylife.com)

A man lived nearby Government House tried to stop the fire on the bus burnt by red-shirt group (Reuters/Daylife.com)

************************

During the turbulence described above, I found that since Apr 12 until Apr 13 morning, the government, police and army were still not be able to decide about how to deal with the situation (the armored cars were driven out to the road, but were took by the red-shirt groups). One reason they could not decide was because Thai public might against them if they use violence with the people (though there were some people tend to demand the state to use violence).

While in the civil society sector, two leading public intellectuals (including Chaiwat Satha-Anand), during they were interviewed in the Thai PBS, proposed for dissolving the parliament and releasing a leader of red-shirt group (which was arrested after invading into ASEAN summit meeting) to reduce the violence condition. Another day, a group of five nonviolence and human-rights activists went to Thai PBS to demand and insist every sector to hold the nonviolent measure in dealing with the situation.

All of them tried best to propose the nonviolent solution and to prevent the violent confrontation. However, I found in their action, that their proposal and discussion were not sound and can not convince Thai public, since it’s not practical (the recommendation for dissolving the parliament was the most practical, but I ‘feel’ that there should be better alternatives). Therefore, from such situation, I realized that Thailand may have not enough practical knowledge or ideas about what I would call ‘Situated Nonviolence’ for both state agency and for the people in dealing with such violent insurrection.

So I think Thai society should develop something like ‘nonviolent tool-box’ which might be a package of practical knowledge containing a number of nonviolent choices in dealing with various kinds of violent situation. This would increase the idea and imagine boundary of Thai people to believe that there are practical nonviolent measures that are workable in the real situation or in the crisis, not just in theories or textbooks.

I think there would be a lot of such kind of experience around the world, but I don’t know if there is any people study this topic or collect such kind of knowledge. Any recommendation about where I can found this kind of knowledge or study on this topic?’


หนังสือแปล : “เปิดมิติวิทยาศาสตร์” (Introducing Science)

March 5, 2009

introducing-science-cover

[For English, please scroll down]

ซิอดดิน ซาร์ดารณ์ (เขียน) ชาญชัย ชัยสุขโกศล และปกรณ์ เลิศเสถียรชัย (แปล) เปิดมิติวิทยาศาสตร์, กรุงเทพฯ : โครงการสรรพสาส์น สำนักพิมพ์มูลนิธิเด็ก. 2551

แปลจาก Ziauddin Sardar & Borin van Loon.  Introducing Science, UK : Icon Book. 2002

หนังสือแปลเล่มแรกในชีวิต ที่แปลร่วมกับปกรณ์ ซึ่งมีภูมิหลังมาจากสายวิศวะฯเหมือนกัน เราสองคนแปลด้วยความอยากที่จะ “เปิดมิติ” อื่นๆของ “วิทยาศาสตร์” ให้คนทั่วไปได้เห็น ว่าวิทยาศาสตร์ไม่ได้มีอะไรที่เราเรียนๆกันมา หรือที่สังคมทั่วไปเห็นๆเท่านั้น และเราจำเป็นต้องมองวิทยาศาสตร์และเทคโนโลยีให้รอบด้านจากหลากหลายสาขาวิชา มากกว่าแบบที่สอนๆกันในระบบการศึกษาไทยที่เป็นแบบ “แยกสาขาวิชา” ชัดเจนและแข็งๆ

ความตั้งใจเดิม ให้ชื่อหนังสือแปลเล่มนี้ว่า “คลุกวงในวิทยาศาสตร์” แต่สุดท้ายทางสำนักพิมพ์เสนอให้เปลี่ยนแป็น “เปิดมิติวิทยาศาสตร์” แทน

หนังสือเล่มนี้ ถือเป็นอีกหนึ่งก้าวของเราสองคนที่อยากบุกเบิกวิชา Science and Technology Studies (STS) ขึ้นในสังคมไทย ตั้งแต่เมื่อครั้งที่จบออกมาจากวิศวะฯกัน

ขอขอบพระคุณ ศ.ดร.ยงยุทธ ยุทธวงศ์ ที่ให้ความกรุณาเขียนคำนิยมให้หนังสือเล่มนี้  ขอบพระคุณ รศ.สุริชัย หวันแก้ว ที่ให้ความเป็นครูผู้สนับสนุนลูกศิษย์ทั้งสองมาโดยตลอด ขอบคุณโครงการสรรพสาส์น มูลนิธิเด็ก ที่ให้โอกาสเราสองคน

หมายเหตุ :

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[English post at Mar 11, 2009]

Ziauddin Sardar (write) Chanchai Chaisukkosol and Pakorn Lertsatienchai (trans.) Perd-Mi-Ti-Vi-ta-ya-sard [Opening Science], Bangkok : Foundation for Children Publisher. 2008

translated from Ziauddin Sardar & Borin van Loon.  Introducing Science, UK : Icon Book. 2002

The first book-translation of mine. This was co-worked with Pakorn, who share the same background in engineering. We translated this book as one of our aspiration to introduce other dimension of science to Thai public. Science has a lot of thing within it much more than what we have been teached in the school and than what Thai public percieve. So, we have to consider science and technology from multiple perspectives and as a whole, rather than just from one clearcut and rigid disciplinary view that teached in Thai education.

This translated book is another step of our dream, since we had graduated from engineering, to establish “Science and Technology Studies” (STS) in Thailand.

Thank you Prof.Dr.Yongyuth Yuthtawong (senior researcher from National Center for Genetic Enginnering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC)) for the introductory writing in this translation. Thank you Prof.Surichai Wan’Gaeo for always giving support to us. Thanks the Foundation for Children in giving a chance for us to translate this book.

See excerpts: click here


ฝนฤดูใบไม้ผลิ

March 3, 2009

ฝนดีรู้จักฤดูของตน
มาถึง ณ ปลายฤดูใบไม้ผลิ
โปรยปรายในสายลมอ่อนยามราตรี
อย่างแผ่วเบาพร่างพรมทั่วทุกสิ่ง
ในคืนมืด เมฆดำทมึนดังบาทวิถี
มีเพียงแสงตะเกียงแวมวับอยู่บนเรือ
ถึงเช้า ด้วยเปียกชุ่มทั่วเรือนกาย
เหล่าดอกไม้คอตกเพราะหัวหนัก

ตู่ฟู่
……………………………………..

SPRING RAIN

A good rain knows its season.
It comes at the edge of Spring.
It steals through the night on the breeze
Noiselessly wetting everything.
Dark night, the clouds black as the roads,
Only a light on a boat gleaming.
In the morning, thoroughly soaked with water,
The flowers hang their heavy heads.

Tu Fu

Kenneth Rexroth, ed. Love and The Turning Year : One Hundred More Poems from the Chinese, NY, USA : New Directions Books. 1970, p. 62


สงครามสิ้นสุด

February 20, 2009

วันก่อน เราเคย…มองชีวิต
และบางครั้ง จากที่ไกล…มองความตาย
และที่ไกลโพ้น ไกลจากเรา…มองนิรันดร์

วันนี้ จากที่ไกล เรามอง…ชีวิต
ที่ใกล้เรา คือความตาย
และบางที ที่ใกล้กว่า คือนิรันดร์

…………………………..

The End of a War

In former days we used to look at life, and sometimes from a distance, at death, and still further removed from us, at eternity. Today it is from afar that we look at life, death is near us, and perhaps nearer still is eternity.

Jean Bouvier, a French subaltern, February 1916.

…………………………..

ประพันธ์โดย Herbert Read.
จาก Jon Silkin. The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry. Penguin Group. 1996 [1979, 1981] p.160


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