>Thailand – Information and ResourcesPosted: May 26, 2010
Thailand has seen massive amounts of political and social unrest because of the “red shirts” or protesters of anti-governmental riots. NPR states that the leaders of the protesters, who have dubbed themselves red shirts, said they wanted talks mediated by the United Nations, provided the government agreed to an immediate cease-fire and pulled its troops back. With the protesters demanding that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign immediately, they are also calling for the expedient elimination of Parliament and the call new elections.
The political conflict has been escalating for years, however, this is Thailand’s deadliest and most prolonged in decades, according to the Thai Government and each passing day of violence only increases the divide among the nation of over 65 million. Thailand, a key U.S. ally and Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy has long been considered a democratic oasis in Southeast Asia, and the unrest has shaken the people’s faith of an optimist re-build and the country’s ability to restore and maintain stability in the near future.
The red shirts, many who hail from the impoverished north and northeast, say that the Prime Minister’s (Abhisit’s) Coalition Government came to power through manipulation of the courts and the backing of the powerful military, and that it symbolizes a national elite indifferent to their plight.
News sources such as CNN, CBS, BBC, MSNBC, and ABC provide insight on media coverage of social unrest and some political tensions over the course of the past weeks. Additional resources such as The Economist, New York Times, CSIS, and Washington Post incorporate beneficial information on economic, political, and security outcomes.
Official sites providing information include the State Department as well as the United Nations. Fundamental country information can be found using CIA World Factbook.