The Globe as you know it is changing.
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To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

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Politics / Thai court dissolves key Shinawatra-linked party

By: Thanaporn Promyamyai and Dene-Hern Chen / AFP - Posted on: March 7, 2019 | Current Affairs

A key party linked to Thailand’s powerful Shinawatra clan was dissolved Thursday by a court, just weeks before a general election, over its ill-starred bid to front a princess as a candidate for premier

Thai Raksa Chart party leader Preechaphol Pongpanich (C) with other officials arrives at the Constitutional Court in Bangkok on 7 March, 2019 Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP

Thai Raksa Chart, which is tied to ex-premiers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra, proposed Princess Ubolratana as its prime ministerial candidate if its bloc emerged with a lower house majority after the 24 March election.

It was an unprecedented move in a constitutional monarchy where royals are officially above the political fray, and prompted a rare public rebuke by her younger brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who issued a royal command declaring the party’s move “inappropriate”.

Thai Raksa Chart was found guilty of committing an act “hostile to the constitutional monarchy” by the nine-member Constitutional Court who unanimously voted to dissolve the party.

Party executives – including two Shinawatra family members – were also banned from politics for a decade.

“The monarchy is above politics and to maintain political neutrality, the king, the queen and princesses can never exercise political rights by casting votes,” judge Nakharin Mektrairat said at the end of an extensive ruling.

Dissolution is a hammer blow to the prospects of the powerful Shinawatra clan winning a parliamentary majority in the 24 March polls.

Thai Raksa Chart was established to back up the Shinawatra’s main political vehicle Pheu Thai, which won 2011 elections with a landslide.

Its downfall is a major fillip to their army-allied rivals who are fielding current junta leader Prayut Chan-ocha as their candidate for premier.

Thai Raksa Chart was set to compete in 174 constituencies with 108 candidates vying for seats through the party list – a system to allocate extra parliamentary seats according to the proportion of votes they scoop up.

Grim-faced party executives, all dressed in black suits and led by party leader Preechapol Pongpanich, filed out of the Constitutional Court through the ranks of media.

The same court has disbanded two other parties linked to the Shinawatra dynasty – and toppled two of its prime ministers – in the last 13 years of political turmoil since Thaksin was booted from office by a coup in 2006.

‘Deja vu’

The intervening years have seen short-lived civilian governments, bloody street protests and another coup – against Thaksin’s sister Yingluck in 2014 – that brought the current junta to power.

There were tears among the smattering of die-hard supporters gathered near the court.

Thais last voted in a general election in 2011 and have returned Shinawatra-linked parties at every poll since 2001.

But Pheu Thais’ electoral dominance has been cast into doubt by a new system crafted by the junta specifically to limit the number of seats it can win.

The court ruling was “deja vu”, said political analyst Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Chulalongkorn University.

With 18 days to go to the polls, tensions are rising.

The country is deeply divided between those who loathe the military and fear its return to office after elections, and the anti-Thaksin camp.

The princess at the centre of the drama is currently in Berlin promoting tourism to Thailand’s northeast.

“Today, I’d like to continue to work for Thailand,” she said in an Instagram post Wednesday, hashtagged “#Doittogether”.

© Agence France-Presse