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Thailand

CrisisWatch Thailand

Unchanged Situation

King Vajiralongkorn 6 April signed draft constitution, important step toward general election; Constitution Drafting Commission now has until 2 Dec to complete ten organic laws, four governing parties and elections. Changes to draft constitution requested by king were revealed following promulgation: in most significant, Article 5 revised to return to past formula giving king – rather than Constitutional Court and committee of state-agency chiefs – authority to resolve political disputes not covered elsewhere in constitution; other changes give king complete control over appointment of regent during his absence and rescind requirement for parliamentary counter-signature to royal orders. Marked uptick in insurgent attacks in deep south from late March, including 3 April attack on police station in Krong Pinang district, Yala, wounding at least nine police; over twenty bomb attacks across three southernmost provinces and SE Songkhla on night of 6-7 April targeting electricity poles, causing power cuts but no casualties; thirteen attacks across Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla provinces 19 April, wounding eight people; ambush in Narathiwat 27 April killing five rangers and wounding one. Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) 10 April issued statement reiterating points from Oct 2015 statement, setting out conditions for participation in dialogue with Bangkok: called for “participation of third parties (international community) as witnesses and observers”, credible and impartial mediator and process “designed clearly by the negotiating parties and agreed upon before the start of negotiation”; govt dismissed statement.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

28 Apr 2017
The militants [of the National Revolutionary Front] continue to demonstrate that they have the capabilities to launch attacks across the region despite of the security measures by the Thai state. Voice of America

Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia
10 Apr 2017
[The main southern Thai insurgent group BRN] perceive the current (peace) process as one driven by Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for their own interests. AFP

Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia
28 Aug 2016
The bombings [in Thailand] may have been intended to compel the military government to reconsider its approach to the conflict in the deep south. The Washington Post

Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia
24 Aug 2016
Two years of military rule haven't really resolved any of the fundamental problems [in Thailand] ... and the constitution won't succeed in doing that either. The day of reckoning is just being delayed. AP

Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / Asia

Government, Rebels Must End Pernicious Impasse

Originally published in Bangkok Post

Report / Asia

Thailand’s Lengthening Roadmap to Elections

Thailand’s military regime promised a return to democracy, but keeps prolonging its power by delaying general elections. Beyond a new constitution, Thailand needs a new social contract to resolve the crippling struggle between elected politicians and an unelected establishment that includes the army, bureaucracy and palace.

Report / Asia

Southern Thailand: Dialogue in Doubt

The insurgency that has plagued southern Thailand for more than a decade continues to fester. Peace talks have collapsed and rifts between the government and separatists remain deep. Resolving the conflict requires Bangkok to accept pluralism and decentralisation, and rebels to articulate their goals and commit to a dialogue process.

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Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia
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