Fifteen years ago, "M.56" was spray-painted all over sites of environmental protest like a spell to ward off evil. The clause in the 1997 Constitution that guaranteed the rights of local communities over natural resources bore the number 56. This clause and the formation of the National Human Rights Commission raised great expectations that the authorities would no longer be able to use "development" and "national security" as justification for riding roughshod over local communities. That hope turned out to be somewhat forlorn.
Rights To Culture: Heritage, Language And Community In Thailand Edited by Coeli Barry Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai ISBN 978-616-215-062-3 695 baht
This fascinating but unsettling book looks at rights, culture, rights to culture, cultural rights, and the culture of rights in Thailand through eight very varied case studies. One of these cases is historical, about Thailand's reporting on summary detention to the UN during the military era, while the others are examples of contemporary conflicts or campaigns.
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