Thailand: On the edge of a political crisis?
As thousands rally against the prime minister, we ask if the country is entering a new chapter of political instability.
Inside Story Last updated: 27 Nov 2013 12:28
Thai opposition protesters are intensifying pressure
on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down. They have laid siege
to government ministries and state buildings in the biggest street
demonstrations since 2010 when more than 90 people were killed in a
military crackdown. The prime minister is also facing a vote of no
confidence from members of parliament.
Tens of thousands of protesters have filled the streets of Bangkok and Yingluck Shinawatra has used an emergency law to tighten security in the capital, but says the government will not use force against demonstrators.
She also defended her leadership, saying: "I insist that there is only one cabinet, with me as the prime minister. There are some accusations that I lack independence, and that I lack intelligence, and have to be controlled by pushing a button. I have to say, have I not been independent in the past two years that I administered the country as the head of the government, which all of you may have learned while we went through all those crises."
Thailand has been hit by years of political unrest, with protests against whoever has been in power.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was overthrown in a military coup in September 2006 while he was out of the country. His Thai Rak Thai party was banned, but in December 2007, a reincarnation of that party, the People Power Party, won the most votes in a general election
Thaksin was charged with corruption in August 2008, and fled the country for London. He was later sentenced to two years in jail in his absence.
The year 2008 saw three prime ministers in three months, which led to yet more protests.
The worst lasted from March to May in 2010, when soldiers eventually broke up the crowds of Thaksin supporters wearing their trademark red shirts.
The pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai party won a landslide victory in elections the following year and Thaksin's sister, Yingluck became prime minister.
This year has been tough for her. She tried unsuccessfully to change the 2007 post-coup constitution, and triggered the latest protests by trying to push through an amnesty bill that would have allowed her brother Thaksin to return to Thailand without facing jail.
Thailand's economy has also suffered this year, and there are concerns the current political crisis could hurt it still further. The economy's growth slowed to 2.7 percent in the third quarter of 2013, compared to 5.4 percent at the beginning of the year.
The government has blamed a drop in the number of cars being sold, and a slowdown in construction, and global demand for Thai products. Thailand has now cut its projected GDP growth rate for 2013 from 3.8 percent - 4.3 percent predicted in August, to just three percent, and the seemingly endless cycle of protests has prompted some analysts to suggest that Thailand is set on economic suicide.
So what is behind the long-running political conflict? What is at stake in the region? And how will Thailand's political crisis affect the country's economy?
Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, is joined by guests: Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, a senior fellow at Harvard University and a former member of Parliament for the Democrat party; Rajiv Biswas, the Asia Pacific chief economist for IHS Global Insight; and Supong Limtanakool, a chairman of strategic studies at Bangkok University.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Kecoh dan kacau-bilau di nusa Thai---SATU BANGSA, SATU BAHASA, SATU BUDAYA, SATU ALIRAN PERSEKOLAHAN---LAGI PINCANG, HANTAM SAMPAI MAMPUS...(6)
Posted by BIG BOY at 8:46 PM