Articles on Thailand

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This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. UN Photo/Mark Garten

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…
The 1981 coup leaders claimed to be defending the Spanish monarchy, but King Juan Carlos ensured they did not succeed. Manuel Perez Barriopedro/Wordpress

Of kings and coups: Thailand could learn from Juan Carlos

I clearly remember the BBC news on February 23, 1981. The second item concerned an attempted coup in Spain in which armed soldiers marched into the Cortes (parliament) and took its members hostage. Their…
ASEAN’s principle of non-interference ensures minimal response to the coup that removed Yingluck Shinawatra from its leaders’ ranks. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Muted response to Thai coup hints at other nations’ limited options

Events on either side of the Bay of Bengal illustrate the contrasting fortunes of democracy in Asia. Notwithstanding questions about his role in anti-Muslim violence, Narendra Modi stormed to a huge victory…
Protesters are defying the military’s ban on gatherings to demonstrate in Bangkok against the coup. EPA/Narong Sangnak

Two-step coup leader may have dangerously misjudged Thais

Thailand’s army commander, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, took his unilateral declaration of martial law one step further on May 22, grabbing power for a military junta. The two-step coup caught some observers…
The military’s failure to consult the government before declaring martial law casts doubt on its denial that a creeping coup has begun. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Is it Thailand’s 19th coup? Probably, unless elections come soon

In the dead of night, Thailand’s military has used a 100-year-old law to declare martial law across the country. General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army’s commander, has said it did not overthrow the government…
Thailand’s ‘red shirts’ are getting ready to confront their opponents if a new government is installed without fresh elections. EPA/Narong Sangnak

Thais at the crossroads between compromise and violent conflict

It is just possible to discern signs pointing to agreement among Thailand’s protagonists other than the hardline street protesters that lower house elections tentatively set for July 20 will go ahead then…
Yingluck Shinawatra is greeted by supporters after being removed from office by the Constitutional Court. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Thai judiciary wins another round against elected government

Having faced down six months of sometimes violent street protests and avoided a military coup, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was yesterday brought down by Thailand’s Constitutional Court. The court…
Police lay out riot helmets and shields in readiness for caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s appearance at Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission to defend a charge that could force her out of office. EPA/Barbara Walton

Paralysed Thai government may be facing its month of judgment

Since protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban ordered followers occupying intersections in Bangkok to decamp in late February, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has maintained only one protest site…
India and the Philippines want to be known for more than their global call centres. Shutterstock.com

Call centres and compromise: the changing face of outsourcing

When Qantas wished to outsource some of its engineering operations in the 1990s it came to a compromise with the unions - the 767s would be done in-house, and the 747s outsourced. Decades on, clashes between…
A truck carries anti-government protesters to ministry offices in a bid to shut them down. A similar protest at Government House last week resulted in several deaths. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Neros fiddle while Thailand’s slow burn threatens to flare

I walk from my apartment of a morning along a small street, on which local police supposedly provide protection but are not to be seen. The street enters a main road leading to the largest rally site in…
While protesters still turned out in smaller numbers in Bangkok on Thursday, they have clearly failed in their key goal of stopping the election. EPA/Nyein Chan Naing

No winners in flawed poll but Thai democracy may yet find a way

In early November, the Pheu Thai government rammed through amnesty legislation that included last-minute changes to enable former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return to Thailand without fear of…
Thailand’s political crisis is spiralling into an intractable conflict. Wally Santana/AP

Thailand may be heading down a violent path of no return

After street clashes between groups of armed protesters on Saturday, many feared that Sunday’s election in Thailand would see an upsurge in violence. Anti-government protesters who opposed the vote had…
Anti-government demonstrations in Thailand are impacting on the country’s tourism. AAP

Saving face and promoting tourist safety in south east Asia

Anti-government demonstrations in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, have culminated in the government declaring a state of emergency for 60 days over the city. The Thai government hopes that the restriction…
A whistle-blowing demonstrator joins the “Bangkok Shutdown” rally, continuing months of anti-government protests. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Beware of throwing out Thai democracy with the government

The position being put by Thai anti-government leader Suthep Thaugsuban is that democracy is not at present supportable in Thailand and, indeed, may never have been supportable. Somehow, Suthep suggests…
The protests in Thailand are the latest spasm in a long struggle. PA

Rooting out corruption will be key to stability in Thailand

There has been much coverage of Thailand’s protests, with stories of the Yellow Shirt (PAD) and Red Shirt (UDD) saga popping up around the globe. Yet there is a conspicuous lack of discussion about what…

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