Articles on Thailand

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Rumours are swirling around Bangkok about who’s behind the bombings, which make it even more unlikely democracy will be restored any time soon. EPA/Diego Azubel

Divided Thai nation vulnerable to violence on multiple fronts

Thailand has enough of its own political enemies, both internally and externally, that will likely be considered as the investigation into a pair of bombings continues.
These Rohingya women and children, rescued by fishermen in Aceh, are among thousands in need of resettlement. EPA

Australia can do better on Asian boat crisis than ‘nope, nope, nope’

A summit in Bangkok is discussing the fate of thousands of people who were stranded at sea. Australia is represented but refuses to resettle any refugees, casting doubt on its commitment to a regional solution.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha shows little sign of listening to growing public opposition to his military junta’s authoritarian rule. EPA

A year on, coup leaders rule with disdain for Thais and democracy

A year ago, a military coup toppled Thailand's elected government. The junta promised elections once a new constitution is adopted, but its authoritarian rule betrays a hostility to real democracy.
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar travelled in this fishing boat to Sumatra, Indonesia, with officials announcing some 2000 people were rounded up or rescued after arriving in Malaysia and Indonesia over the weekend. EPA

Pushed offshore, the ‘boat people’ crisis demands regional response

Australia may have 'stopped the boats' but the tragedy of people drowning at sea continues to our north and is getting worse. A regional solution to the refugee crisis is urgently needed.
Members of the Thai community say they are happy to have a mining industry in the country, but expect a commitment to environmental protection. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Kingsgate’s Thai mine a lesson in failed community management

Developing countries often welcome Australian mining companies into their communities, but when things go wrong, communication is key.
US Army members carry out an evacuation drill in Thailand during the Cobra Gold joint military exercises, which have gone ahead this month with a reduced American role. EPA/Diego Azubel

Does US pressure really risk driving Thailand into China’s arms?

The US is trying to play a careful game of not appearing to interfere in Thailand's internal affairs.
Silencing dissent: Thai police officers secure the area after the military junta prevented former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra from holding a press conference after her impeachment. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

While the military junta buries democracy, the Thai state is failing

Growing edginess on both sides of Thai politics about the performance of the military government is proving to be quite justified. The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has made clear the centrality…
Ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s impeachment is but the latest act in Thailand’s political tragedy. EPA/Narong Sangnak

Yingluck impeachment is an execution of Thai democracy

No-one should be surprised that Thailand’s former prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has been impeached by the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. This was one more act in a political tragedy…
The malevolent leader. Lionsgate

Why the message of the Hunger Games films is dangerous

The latest Hunger Games film, Mockingjay – Part 1, is topping the international box office. Although it’s a Hollywood blockbuster aimed at young adults, it presents potentially quite subversive ideas of…
Thai coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha is consolidating power but playing his cards close to his chest, giving few if any signs of a return to democratic rule. EPA/Azhar Rahim

Thai army’s firm hold on levers of power won’t win it legitimacy

Thailand is an increasingly edgy place six months after a coup removed its elected government. Protagonists on the side of the curtailment of democracy fear the elaborated military regime will stuff up…
Thailand’s military coup in May is a sign of political malaise without an obvious cure in the absence of a new social contract. EPA/Pongmanat Tasiri

Asian states in crisis can choose more democracy or more conflict

Rather than a new dawn for democracy, political and social reform in the region has led to less representation and more contestation. This has potentially far-reaching consequences. What does the May coup…
Legislating for commercial surrogacy would enable Australia to overcome concerns about poorly regulated clinics overseas, such as this one in Thailand. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Commercial surrogacy in Australia: rethinking notions of ‘natural’

Often emphasised in discussions about children’s best interests is the idea that certain ways of having and raising children are “natural”. For example, this word appears frequently in reference to how…
Thais pray at Bangkok’s Siriraj hospital for the king who has reigned over them for 69 years. EPA/Narong Sangnak

An ailing king and succession intrigue put coup leaders on edge

Late last Friday the King of Thailand was rushed from his seaside palace in Hua Hin to Siriraj hospital in Bangkok. The Palace issued an announcement that the King was suffering from a fever and a rapid…
Thai police keep watch at a shopping centre in Bangkok where authorities remain on guard for any protests against military rule. EPA/Narong Sangnak

A good coup? Military rule is unlikely to heal Thailand

Six weeks ago, Thai army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a military takeover. The constitution was set aside, while leaving the monarchy in place. The army soon reconsidered, though, and retained much…

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