The tanks have left the streets and the troops are returning to their barracks. Two weeks have passed since the September 19th coup Which saw the military, led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, overthrew the civilian government of Thaksin Shinawatra which brought a dramatic conclusion to the political crisis that thad gripped Thailand forseveral months
And just as was promised on the night of the coup,the military hasofficially handed control of the country back to a civilian administration which will oversee the administration of the country and the drafting of a new permanent constitution prior to next Octobers (proposed) elections. These events are considered positive signs among both Thais and the international community that the military is genuinely not interested in maintaining power and that there will be a return to democratic rule.
So begins the first news report on a new website, a student project of the University of Torontos Asian Institute. The reports first page was flashed on a giant screen October 10 at the launch ceremony of the Asia Pacific Reader.
In addition to opinion pieces and reports, the site contains contains a wealth of information on faculty, students, publications and upcoming events highlighting the Asia Pacific area. The next op-ed piece will be a study of relationships begtween Taiwan and mainland China.
David Naylor, U of T President, stressed the importance of the site not only to students and scholars but to all interested in the vast Asia Pacific area. Joseph Wong, director of the institute, emphasized that fact that Asia Pacific Reader is not just about China but many other countries in an area which is of vital interest to the West.
Co founders Jay Quin and Adam Linthwaite said theys worked on developing the site for the past 12 months but the idea had been germinating for three years.
The site may be accessed at http://www.asiapacificreader.org