Posts By Kim McQuay
December 11, 2013
This week, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of controversial former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, dissolved parliament in response to an escalating anti-government protest movement. Led by former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, the movement has mobilized tens of thousands of whistle-blowing demonstrators under the banner of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). PDRC has declared its intention to unseat the Pheu Thai government, remove the Shinawatra family from politics, and press for the appointment of an imprecisely defined “People’s Council” that would seemingly be composed of neutral, respected leaders who would replace elected government for an undefined period of time.
February 27, 2013
Among the array of international television series aired by cable networks in Thailand, “CSI,” “Bones,” and other dramas that highlight the work of forensic pathologists are especially popular. While Thai audiences are exposed to the dramatized investigative techniques applied by forensic specialists working in cooperation with law enforcement agencies…
February 8, 2012
While a lucrative deep-sea fishing industry places Thailand among the world’s leading exporters of sea products, a grim specter of human rights abuse lurks below the surface of an industry whose contribution to the national economy is estimated to exceed $4 billion a year. A combination of factors – including a shortage of labor in this dangerous…
October 19, 2011
For the last several days, the water level in Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River has been rising in virtual synch with the escalating worry that grips a city bisected by this great river and whose neighborhoods are crisscrossed by dozens of canals, or klongs.
June 29, 2011
At first glance, the lead-up to Thailand’s July 3 national parliamentary election seems little different from previous electoral countdowns. The campaign period has been fairly low-key, with political leaders occupied for the most part in defining their individual campaign personas and fairly measured in their comments on the character and record of opponents. Only now, in the closing days of the campaign, have reciprocal criticisms borne a sharper edge.
March 30, 2011
Since Thailand’s color politics began pitting the People’s Alliance for Democracy’s (PAD) “Yellow-Shirt” movement against the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship’s (UDD) “Red-Shirt” movement, political watchers have insisted that the Thai people are bitterly divided in their loyalties to rival political factions. The view holds that an old-guard elite preference for guided democracy has collided with a populist call from marginalized farmers and wage earners to return Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to power.
December 15, 2010
On December 16 in Bangkok, The Asia Foundation released the results of its first in-person public perception survey conducted in Thailand’s three southern border provinces. Since 2004, the provinces of Yala, Narathiwas, and Pattani have been the locus of an indigenous separatist movement and communal conflict that has shaken a tradition of peaceful coexistence between [...]
March 31, 2010
There is an instant before the start of a large event when, with logistical arrangements set and the agenda fine tuned, attention shifts to participants. One draws a breath and wonders what the chemistry of personalities, perspectives, and experience will yield. So I reflected at the start of last week’s regional conference on the role [...]
March 10, 2010
I was honored to represent The Asia Foundation at the seventh U.S.-Islamic World Forum co-hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy and the State of Qatar in Doha last month. The Saban Center has convened the forum for seven years, shaping an event that is duly recognized and anticipated as the [...]
April 22, 2009
Among the many satisfactions of our work with The Asia Foundation, it is a special privilege to work with remarkable individuals who invest tremendous energy and passion in their work with little thought or appetite for attention, but whose contributions are ultimately so innovative, bold, or otherwise striking, that they cannot escape notice. This week [...]