>Thailand – Information and Resources


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.


In 1932, the country officially became a constitutional monarchy, though in practice, the government was dominated by the military and the elite bureaucracy. Currently, Thailand is run by a military Military junta calling itself the Council for National Security. On 19 September 2006, the CNS staged a coup d’etat that overthrew the elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra. Since that time, Thailand has been governed by a military junta headed by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who later appointed General Surayud Chulanont, who is a member of King’s Privy Council, as Prime Minister. The coup and the governing junta were endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej in a royal decree on the day following the coup.

The anti-THAKSIN People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in May 2008 began street demonstrations against the new government, and violence and political pressure has been increasing since 2004 because of the association with their cause against the government.

Capital- Bangkok
Population- 66, 404, 688
By World Affairs Council Intern Meredith S.

3 Comments on “>Thailand – Information and Resources”

  1. ronayos says:

    >FIRSTI am surprised that this article lacks the most important information as to explain WHY all these turbulences have occured in Thailand. You can see all the explaination for WHY in http://www.antithaksin.com. which collects all the evidences for these following facts.Thaksin Shinawatra got rich by briberies of military junta, led by Gen.Sunthorn Kongsompong back in 1990. By winning the only single national satellite concession, Thaksin got monopoly on the national telecommunication business. He then bought corrupt politicians who are good at vote-buying to consolidate into a single TRT party which committed extensive electoral frauds to win the house. With near absolute majority, Thaksin went on to be a full blown civilian dictator.Between 2001 to 2006, Thaksin abused his power to corrupt even more. Media were repressed. Unaccountable deaths went up to three thousands. Muslims were violated and massacred. Thaksin abused power, trading off the national benefits for his own wealth. He stealthily hid money outside Thailand. Later, in self-made exile he bought Manchester city football club worth of 200 million USD out of his hidden dirty money.

  2. ronayos says:

    >SECONDDuring his reign of repression and corruption, Hitler-like-demagogic Thaksin, on the one hand bribed the rural poors with populism, just like Peron of Argentina, while on the other hand made a lot of tricks to bribe, tip and threat on the media, the police, the Electoral Committee and the Senate House to cripple the check and balance mechanisms. Brave Sondhi Limthongkul of Manager Media group and satellite broadcast ASTV leads awakening of patriotic Thais to become the peaceful People's Alliance of Democracy to protest against the civilian dictator Thaksin Regime since 2005.To damp the rise-up of the yellow PAD, PM Thaksin then secretly organized rural support as armed and violent red mobs to crush PAD, the yellow-shirts. In prevention of bloodshed on streets, Gen.Sondhi Boonyaratklin, army chief then, staged a successful bloodless coup, while Thaksin was in New York. It toppled Thaksin on September 19, 2006 and started fair trials of Thaksin in the long-existing Court of Laws. A new strict 2007 constitution passed the national referendum and the general election was held at the end of 2007. Thaksin stepped aside on his self-made exile to U.K. but still masterminded disturbances and vote-buying in Thailand.He decided to come back to Thailand in February 2008 when his puppet House Speaker, Chai Chidchob and his puppet government of People's Power Party won the house and he was so sure that he could manipulate the justice to pardon him. However, after his three lawyers were jailed of guilty of bribing in the Supreme Court and his wife-then, Potjaman, in the criminal court of the first instance, was sentenced to jail for two years, because of huge tax frauds, the Shinawatras, alarmingly jumped bail and fled to U.K. in August 2008. Later Britiain revoked Thaksin's visa to enter U.K. as he becomes a fugitive criminal.During 2008, PPP led by (the late) PM Samak Sundravej was trying to amend the constitution to pardon Thaksin. PAD rallied for 193 days against the unjust moves. Samak was found guilty of committing conflicts of interests in the Constitutional Court and dismissed. Thaksin ordered another puppet Somchai Wongsawat, his brother-in-law to lead PPP.In November 2008, PPP under PM Somchai then, was disbanded after guilty of major electoral frauds. PPP then transformed into a new puppet Pua Thai party but lost coalition majority to the opponent Democrat party under Abhisit Vejjajiva who became the current PM against Thaksin. Thaksin and his hired red-shirt army shamelessly lies that PM Abhisit is undemocratic, despite of having originated under the same laws, the same election, and the same House as his own two puppet governments. Thaksin is now conspiring both in the parliament, on the streets and internationally, with propaganda, sabotages and terrorisms, to overturn the democratically elected PM Abhisit government.Being very coward fugitive criminal, Thaksin is living on a private jet ready to take off, in hiding from interpol with illegal passports in UAE, Fiji, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Uganda, Liberia, Cambodia or some other undemocratic nations. His present wicked wishes, as he still has his billions dollars on off-shore islands, are to hire proxy troublemakers to cause havocs to his homeland, to undermine the Monarchy in order to force amnesty and to unfreeze the assets worth of 2 billion USD back in Thailand.You can see all the explaination for WHY in http://www.antithaksin.com.

  3. ronayos says:

    >International Affairs Education Outreach BlogDear Sir/Madam,The article you post in this blog about Thailand' current political crisis, surprisingly lacks the essense of the cause which is Thaksin Shinawatra, the international terrorist, fugitve on the run. He is comparable to other tyrants e.g. Fuji Mori, Marcos, Peron, Hitler. Yet, he is a billionaire with his off-shore hidden money, on exile fleeing corruption charges and jail sentences.Now, he is declared an official terrorist, sabotaging his homeland. US and European governments have acknowledge Thaksin's threats to the peace of nations.Thaksin is also good at hiring advert firms, bribe international media to carry out propaganda against Thailand.Please see more of facts in http://www.antithaksin.com

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