Thailand

Thai junta uses arms find to justify political repression

By our reporter, 9 December 2017

Without a shred of evidence, the Thai military has immediately linked the arms cache to its political opponents.

Thailand’s junta leader welcomed at the White House

By our reporter, 7 October 2017

In pushing for stronger military and economic ties with Thailand, President Trump made no mention of the military regime’s suppression of opposition and dissent.

Thai Supreme Court protects key figures in 2010 military crackdown

By our reporter, 11 September 2017

The court ruling reflects the military junta’s attempt to consolidate its rule in the face of popular opposition.

Former Thai PM flees as junta intensifies crackdown

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 29 August 2017

The US has effectively given the green light to the military regime’s repressive methods by inviting the 2014 coup leader and current prime minister to Washington to meet Trump.

Slavery and trafficking in Thai fishing industry

By John Braddock, 30 December 2016

Despite claims by Thailand’s military regime that it has increased regulation in the fishing industry, slavery and gross exploitation remain endemic.

The autocratic record of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej

By Tom Peters, 20 October 2016

King Bhumibol, who is being glorified by the media and politicians around the world, supported one military dictatorship after another to suppress the working class and the poor.

Thai military consolidates power as royal succession delayed

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2016

Prem Tinsulanonda, a former head of the army and prime minister, has been appointed regent, with the full powers of the king, for an indeterminate period.

Thai king’s death foreshadows instability

By Peter Symonds, 14 October 2016

Bhumibol’s death was greeted with a wave of nauseating accolades from heads of state and political leaders around the world.

Amnesty International documents torture by Thai junta

By Tom Peters, 3 October 2016

The Amnesty report documents the brutal methods that will be used more broadly as opposition develops to the regime’s austerity measures and brutal repression.

Thai junta exploits bombings to clamp down on opposition

By Tom Peters, 16 August 2016

Thailand’s military regime has seized on last week’s horrific events to arrest political opponents.

Thai constitutional referendum entrenches military dictatorship

By Tom Peters, 9 August 2016

The junta tightened censorship, banned any “no” campaigning and mobilised army cadets to press people to vote for its anti-democratic constitution.

Military crackdown ahead of Thai constitutional referendum

By Tom Peters, 29 July 2016

The draft constitution empowers the military junta, which seized power in a 2014 coup, to continue its rule even if elections are held.

Dormitory fire kills 17 children in Thailand

By Tom Peters, 24 May 2016

The fire in a Chiang Rai school dormitory is the latest tragedy caused by the lack of proper building and safety standards.

Slavery “pervasive” in global seafood supply

By Gabriel Black, 21 December 2015

A recent Associated Press report found that many leading seafood suppliers buy shrimp processed by slaves in Thailand working in horrific conditions.

Thai junta rejects draft constitution, delays election

By Tom Peters, 10 September 2015

The US-backed military dictatorship has no intention of giving up its hold on power.

Thai junta exploits Bangkok bombing

By Tom Peters, 19 August 2015

While the perpetrator of Monday’s attack has not been identified, the US-backed military regime is using it as a pretext to mobilise the armed forces and intimidate opponents.

Rohingya refugees abused and killed in camps in Malaysia/Thailand

By John Roberts, 29 May 2015

The special meeting on Indian Ocean refugees today in Bangkok will do nothing to ease the plight of thousands of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis fleeing persecution.

Hundreds dead in refugee graves in Malaysia

By John Roberts, 25 May 2015

Large-scale operations transporting refugees could not have occurred without the involvement of state officials in Thailand and Malaysia.

Thai military sends boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees “out to sea”

By Thomas Gaist, 16 May 2015

The savage treatment of the Rohingya migrants is an acute manifestation of a growing international refugee crisis comparable in scale and brutality to that produced by World War II.

Thailand’s draft constitution enshrines dictatorship

By Tom Peters, 6 May 2015

The junta’s constitution would ensure that the military and the courts maintain control of the country.

Thai junta replaces martial law with absolute powers

By Tom Peters, 15 April 2015

Almost one year after seizing power in a coup, the US-backed military dictatorship continues to tighten its grip on power.

Thai junta maintains firm grip on power

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2014

Thailand’s military dictatorship, tacitly supported by Washington, is continuing to crack down on opposition and cement its hold on power.

Solomon Islands: Former target of Australian regime-change operation re-elected prime minister

By Patrick Kelly, 11 December 2014

Manasseh Sogavare is returning to office seven years after he was removed from power through a lawless dirty tricks campaign.

Thai coup leader installed as prime minister

By Tom Peters, 23 August 2014

The installation of General Prayuth indicates that the junta is entrenching itself and intends to rule directly, rather than through a quasi-civilian government.

Thai junta installs military-dominated assembly

By Tom Peters, 4 August 2014

The assembly’s composition is another indication that the army intends to cling to power for a protracted period.

Thai junta seeks more open recognition from Washington

By Tom Peters, 22 July 2014

Thailand’s military is promoting itself as a US ally amid escalating tensions produced by Washington’s military build-up against China.

200,000 Cambodians flee Thailand amid military crackdown

By Tom Peters, 18 June 2014

The junta is whipping up anti-immigrant xenophobia to divide the working class as it prepares to implement austerity measures.

Thai junta holds talks with Chinese military, investors

By Tom Peters, 13 June 2014

The Thai delegation to Beijing will be closely watched by Washington, which considers Thailand a key ally in its “pivot to Asia” against China.

Thai opposition forms overseas anti-coup organisation

By Ben McGrath, 7 June 2014

The UDD leaders fear unleashing any mass movement against the junta, as began to develop in 2010.

Thai junta puts off elections for at least 15 months

By Ben McGrath, 3 June 2014

The military has deployed thousands of troops in Bangkok to crackdown on continuing small scale anti-coup protests.

Thai military tightens its grip on power

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2014

The junta has mobilised thousands of soldiers against anti-coup protests and continues to arrest opponents.

Thai king endorses military coup

By Tom Peters, 27 May 2014

King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorsed last week’s coup, declaring that it was necessary to restore “order.”

The US and Thailand’s military coup

By Peter Symonds, 26 May 2014

While the US has announced a token suspension of aid, the Pentagon’s close collaboration with the military will continue unabated behind the scenes.

Thai military consolidates its hold on power

By Tom Peters, 24 May 2014

The army has arrested more than 100 government members and supporters, while cracking down on protests against this week’s military coup.

Thai military dispenses with caretaker government

By Tom Peters, 23 May 2014

Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha formally seized power yesterday, suspended the constitution and detained members of the elected government.

Thailand’s military holds meeting with government and opposition leaders

By Tom Peters, 22 May 2014

The purpose of the talks is to provide a veneer of legitimacy for the anti-democratic push to oust the remnants of the government.

Thailand’s military coup

By Peter Symonds, 21 May 2014

The main target of the martial law decree is not so much the caretaker government, but the working class and the rural masses.

Thai army declares martial law

By Tom Peters, 20 May 2014

The military has intervened as part of a protracted campaign to oust the elected government.

Thai opposition calls for Senate, courts to appoint new government

By Tom Peters, 13 May 2014

The right-wing, anti-government movement is inching closer to the imposition of an un-elected, military-backed regime in Thailand.

Thailand’s judicial coup

By Peter Symonds, 10 May 2014

What is taking place in Thailand is the sharpest expression of the turn to anti-democratic forms of rule throughout the region.

Thailand: Ex-PM faces impeachment on bogus “negligence” charge

By Tom Peters, 9 May 2014

The National Anti-Corruption Commission ruling is another blow in the opposition campaign to oust the elected Pheu Thai government.

Thai court removes PM and nine cabinet ministers

By Tom Peters, 8 May 2014

In an anti-democratic ruling, the Constitutional Court yesterday removed Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on trumped-up charges.

Thai PM in court on trumped-up charges

By Tom Peters, 7 May 2014

The Constitutional Court could rule as early as today to convict Yingluck Shinawatra and bring down her government.

Thailand’s political crisis continues

By Tom Peters, 25 April 2014

The opposition Democrat Party refused to attend talks to schedule a fresh election, amid ongoing efforts to overthrow the government.

US assistant secretary of state visits Thailand amid push to overthrow government

By Tom Peters, 10 April 2014

Russel indicated that the US does not oppose the opposition’s anti-democratic campaign to oust the Yingluck government.

Court ruling escalates campaign to oust Thai government

By Tom Peters, 5 April 2014

After annulling the February election, the Constitutional Court is considering a petition to dismiss the prime minister.

The growing danger of dictatorship in Thailand

By Tom Peters, 29 March 2014

The Constitutional Court’s decision to annul last month’s election is a warning that the ruling classes throughout the region are dispensing with their democratic façade.

Political crisis deepens as Thai court annuls election

By Tom Peters, 24 March 2014

The Constitutional Court’s blatantly anti-democratic ruling heightens the danger of a judicial coup.

Thai government faces threat of judicial coup

By Tom Peters, 15 March 2014

The Constitution Court vetoed a government spending bill and announced it will consider a petition to annul the February 2 election.

Thai political standoff continues

By Tom Peters, 6 March 2014

While protest numbers have dwindled, the courts and other official agencies are continuing their efforts to oust the Yingluck government.

Thailand: Navy officers arrested for involvement in anti-government protests

By Tom Peters, 28 February 2014

The arrests indicate that sections of the military are actively participating in the anti-democratic campaign to overthrow the Yingluck government.

Thailand: Five dead in latest attacks on anti-government protests

By Tom Peters, 26 February 2014

The opposition blamed the government for the deaths, but it has more to gain from violence that could provide the pretext for a military coup.

Thai court undermines government’s emergency decree

By Tom Peters, 21 February 2014

The civil court this week banned police from making any attempt to break up anti-government protests.

Thai political crisis worsens as four killed in clashes

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2014

What is underway—anti-government protests, legal challenges and a looming constitutional crisis—parallels the lead-up to the 2006 military coup.

Thai government to end rice subsidy

By Tom Peters, 15 February 2014

The subsidy scheme, which supports millions of farmers, will expire at the end of the month, further destabilising the Yingluck government.

Thailand: Election fails to resolve political deadlock

By Tom Peters, 10 February 2014

The opposition is seeking to nullify the election, while anti-government protests continued in Bangkok last week.

Thailand: Anti-government protests disrupt election

By Tom Peters, 3 February 2014

Yesterday’s blockades of voting stations demonstrated the government’s tenuous hold on power.

Thai government to hold election amid ongoing crisis

By Tom Peters, 31 January 2014

The ruling Puea Thai party will almost certainly win a majority of seats, but the election will not end the country’s political turmoil.

Thai government imposes state of emergency

By Peter Symonds, 22 January 2014

Yingluck Shinawatra’s government has declared an emergency, but it is unclear whether it will be able to enforce its measures.

Grenade attack as Thai political crisis continues

By Tom Peters, 18 January 2014

The explosion, which injured more than 30 people, is the latest in a series of attacks on ongoing anti-government protests.

Thai opposition vows to continue “shutdown” of Bangkok

By Tom Peters, 14 January 2014

Protest leaders say the blockade of major intersections will continue will continue until the government cancels planned elections and an unelected “people’s council” is installed.

Thai opposition vows to shut down Bangkok

By Tom Peters, 11 January 2014

Opposition leaders had vowed to "shut down" Bangkok in the latest effort to distrupt next month's elections and create the conditions for a military coup.

Thai military hints at a coup

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2013

Amid a deepening political crisis, the Thai army chief yesterday refused to rule out a military seizure of power.

Democrat Party to boycott Thai elections

By John Roberts, 23 December 2013

The last Democrat election boycott in 2006 set the stage for a military coup against the present prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thai military leaders support new election to resolve crisis

By John Roberts, 17 December 2013

The armed forces are far from united, with powerful military figures backing anti-government protesters.

Anti-government protests continue in Thailand

By John Roberts, 13 December 2013

There is undoubted sympathy for the anti-government protesters in the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy, the police and military.

Tense standoff in Thailand after government calls election

By Tom Peters, 10 December 2013

Protest leaders have rejected the election and are continuing their anti-democratic demand for a royally-appointed “people’s council”.

Thai prime minister to dissolve parliament

By John Roberts, 9 December 2013

Yingluck’s decision is designed to pre-empt further Democrat-backed protests.

Temporary truce in Thai anti-government protests

By John Roberts, 4 December 2013

While the protests were suspended for the king’s birthday tomorrow, none of the issues behind the factional infighting in ruling circles has been resolved.

Thai protest leaders demand government step down

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 2 December 2013

Behind the present political turmoil are bitter divisions within the country’s ruling elites over economic policy and patronage.

Anti-government protests escalate in Thailand

By John Roberts, 29 November 2013

The protests are the latest stage in the feud between the country’s traditional elites and layers loyal to the billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra.

Anti-government protests erupt in Thailand

By John Roberts, 26 November 2013

Just two years after national elections, an amnesty bill has reignited bitter infighting among the country’s ruling elites.

Thailand’s recession: “Emerging economies” dragged into global downturn

By John Roberts, 30 August 2013

The Thai government has unveiled the country’s first economic contraction since the initial 2008–09 global financial crisis.

Thailand: Amnesty bill exposes ruling elite’s divisions

By John Roberts, 20 August 2013

The amnesty legislation covers the period of political upheaval from the 2006 military coup to the dissolution of parliament before the July 2011 election.

Thai government and Muslim separatists agree to talks

By John Roberts, 22 March 2013

The negotiations follow escalating armed conflict in Thailand’s southern provinces.

Former Thai prime minister charged with murder

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 22 December 2012

The decision to prosecute Abhisit is another indication that the bitter political feuding in the Thai ruling elites has not abated.

Thai anti-government protesters clash with security forces

By John Roberts, 1 December 2012

The rally confirms that none of the bitter divisions within the Thai ruling elite have been resolved.

Political turmoil continues in Thailand

By John Roberts, 3 July 2012

A court ruling barring the parliament from debating mechanisms for constitutional change has sparked large protests by government supporters.

Burmese opposition leader visits Thailand

By John Roberts, 8 June 2012

The trip by Aung San Suu Kyi to Thailand last week has exposed ongoing tensions with the Burmese military.

Prosecutions continue under Thailand’s anti-democratic lese majeste laws

By John Roberts, 5 May 2012

The lese majeste laws are a politically sensitive issue because the monarchy has played such a pivotal role in protecting the Thai state apparatus.

Southern conflict revives tensions in Thailand’s ruling elite

By John Roberts, 2 April 2012

The government’s plans for autonomy for Thailand’s southern provinces have provoked opposition within the military.

A strange “Iranian” explosion in Bangkok

By John Roberts, 2 March 2012

The Thai events were very convenient for the Israeli government, which, according media reports, is actively discussing an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Thai floods compound government’s political problems

By John Roberts, 12 November 2011

The ongoing flooding has impacted heavily on the Thai economy and is also taking its toll on the newly installed government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Political tensions rise as Thai flood disaster continues

By John Roberts, 2 November 2011

Amid rising anger and resentment among flood victims, the Thai government’s chief concern has been to reassure big business and foreign investors.

Thousands flee flooding in Thailand

By John Roberts, 27 October 2011

Public holidays have been declared to enable some of Bangkok’s 12 million residents to evacuate and allow others to prepare last-ditch sandbag defences.

Business leaders oppose Thai government’s rice price scheme

By John Roberts, 27 October 2011

Amid the country’s worsening flood crisis, industry chiefs and economists have urged the government to abandon its election promises.

Millions impacted as floods engulf Bangkok

By John Roberts, 24 October 2011

Infighting has erupted in ruling circles as the effects of the record monsoon rains are exacerbated by deforestation, development projects and inadequate flood mitigation measures.

Thailand: Hundreds dead as floods threaten Bangkok

By Oliver Campbell, 10 October 2011

Over the weekend, there were chaotic scenes and frantic evacuations in the ancient city of Ayutthaya, 80 kilometres upriver from Bangkok.

New Thai government seeks to appease factional rivals

By Peter Symonds, 15 August 2011

Efforts to patch up the deep rifts in Thai ruling circles reflect fears that last year’s anti-government protests began to express class hostility toward the wealthy elite and threatened to spiral out of control.

Thai parliament endorses Yingluck as new PM

By Peter Symonds, 8 August 2011

Yingluck takes power after five years of intense political upheaval in Thailand following an army coup against her elder brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in 2006.

Thai parliament to convene next week

By John Roberts, 29 July 2011

Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra has not yet named her cabinet, with the entire process fraught with the intense tensions that have marked Thai politics over the past five years.

New Thai government faces pressure to ditch election pledges

By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2011

Having raised expectations during the election campaign, any move by the new government to abandon its promises to working people would heighten social and political tensions.

After the Thai election: A warning to the working class

By Peter Symonds, 8 July 2011

No one should be under any illusion that Puea Thai’s win has brought to power a government that will act in the interests of the millions of urban and rural poor who voted for it.

Pro-Thaksin party to form next Thai government after election win

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 5 July 2011

The election outcome expressed the bitter resentment among the urban and rural poor involved last year in months of anti-government protests that were violently crushed by army.

US-China rivalry compounds Thai election tension

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2011

The renewed American focus on Thailand stems from a sense that the US has allowed China to strengthen its influence in Bangkok at the expense of longstanding strategic ties with Washington.

Political unrest looms after Thai elections

By John Roberts, 28 June 2011

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s election, further political unrest is possible amid infighting in Thai ruling circles.

Election campaign heightens Thai political tensions

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 16 June 2011

The campaign for the July 3 election is revealing the rifts in ruling circles, as well as the social tensions behind the military’s suppression of “Red Shirt” protests last year.

ASEAN summit fails to resolve Thai-Cambodian conflict

By John Roberts, 12 May 2011

At present, the border conflict appears to be driven primarily by internal political considerations but both Washington and Beijing are no doubt calculating how best to exploit the Thai-Cambodian tensions to their own advantage.

Renewed fighting on Thai-Cambodian border

By John Roberts, 27 April 2011

Clashes erupted last Friday near two ancient temples, about 160 kilometres west of the Preah Vihear temple where fighting took place in early February.

Thai government prepares for early election

By John Roberts, 23 April 2011

None of the divisions within the ruling elites that led to last year’s military crackdown has been resolved.