Thailand Protests

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Between Two Worlds: Thailand’s Coup One Year On

May 27, 2015

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The first anniversary of Thailand’s latest coup passed without ceremony or acknowledgment by the military-led National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which assumed power following the ouster of the elected Pheu Thai government on May 22 last year. The anniversary was marked by fresh statements of concern from international organizations, pointed commentary from international news agencies and country specialists, and thoughtful reflections by a handful of respected Thai political observers whose public prominence and carefully measured views limit their risk of political censure.

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Southeast Asia in 2015: Maritime Security, Myanmar Elections, TPP Top Agenda

January 7, 2015

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Southeast Asia enters 2015 facing a number of critical challenges that will have a bearing on its future: Can economic integration be achieved among all 10 members of ASEAN? How might maritime security disputes unite or splinter ASEAN? Will democracy in Myanmar continue to develop apace? Will democratic development in Thailand be further weakened? Also looming large is the question of whether the U.S. can ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a key economic ingredient in the country’s rebalancing strategy toward Asia. Below are some of my predictions on these issues.

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Thailand in 2014: Reform or Repression?

May 28, 2014

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After declaring martial law for just a couple of days, Thailand’s military decided to launch a full-blown military “takeover” which most people in the rest of the world called a coup. The junta is now called the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC).

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Thailand Representative Kim McQuay on Military Takeover and What’s Next

May 28, 2014

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One week after the Thai military seized control of the country for the second time in eight years, The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Thailand, Kim McQuay, responds to questions from his office in Bangkok on the military intervention, the reaction from the Thai people, and what’s at stake for the country’s immediate future…

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Martial Law in Thailand Eases Some Tension, But Long-Term Solution Still Uncertain

May 21, 2014

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In the early hours of May 20 in Bangkok, Thailand’s Army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law nationwide in order to restore order after seven months of street protests that have left the country without a proper functioning government. General Prayuth said martial law would remain in place…

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No Sign of Compromise in Thailand’s Deepening Political Crisis

May 14, 2014

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A turbulent last 10 days in Thailand’s protracted political crisis has left its embattled political leaders no closer to a compromise solution. Emboldened by the Constitutional Court’s decision last week to remove former Pheu Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra…

 

Fissures in Thailand: Both Natural and Man-Made

May 14, 2014

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May 5 was the start of a very tumultuous week in Thailand on many fronts. But it initially did not start that way. May 5 is Coronation Day in Thailand, a national holiday, which this year commemorated the 64th anniversary of King Bhumipol Adulyadev’s ascension to the throne.

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Asia Foundation Releases Profile of the ‘Bangkok Shutdown’ Protesters

February 12, 2014

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The Asia Foundation recently released its second survey of the “Bangkok Shutdown” protesters, providing an inside look at anti-government PDRC demonstrators still on the streets of the capital after the Feb. 2 contentious election. Survey findings include details on demographics, education levels, motivating factors, and thoughts on military interv… Read more

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Observing Thailand’s Tense Elections

February 5, 2014

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Despite months of protests by anti-government demonstrators, and an election boycott by the main opposition party, the Democrat Party, Thailand held a national election on Sunday. The protesters, known as the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), were demanding that the current government led…

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On Patrol with Forensic Police in Thailand’s Deep South

January 29, 2014

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While headlines focus on Bangkok as another round of ongoing political protests shut down the capital this week, a long-running, deadly conflict continues to simmer in Thailand’s southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat, and four neighboring districts…

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Credible Reform, Not Shutdown, Needed to End Thailand’s Political Standoff

January 15, 2014

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For more than two months, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have gathered at Democracy Monument and other major intersections throughout Bangkok. Initially, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by former long-time Democrat politician, Suthep Thaugsuban…

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The Bangkok Shutdown and Thailand’s Battle for Democracy

January 15, 2014

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As anti-government protests shut down Thailand’s capital this week, In Asia editor Alma Freeman spoke with The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Thailand and Bangkok resident, Kim McQuay, about the situation on the ground.

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Thailand Political Standoff: The Latest Flash of Deep-Seated Tensions

December 11, 2013

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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.

 

Protests Exacerbate Thailand’s Political Divide

November 20, 2013

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For the past month, thousands of protestors have gathered at Democracy Monument and other areas in Bangkok to protest a controversial amnesty bill that was crafted to absolve anyone who may have engaged in illegal activities from 2004 through August 2013.