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Thailand

CrisisWatch Thailand

Unchanged Situation

Former PM Yingluck Shinawatra fled country before Supreme Court due to deliver verdict in her trial for dereliction of duty for failing to stem corruption in her govt’s rice-subsidy scheme 25 Aug. Amid concerns verdict could stir moribund anti-junta movement, military and police set up checkpoints on roads from Red-Shirt strongholds in north/north east to Bangkok. Thai-speaking armed men 29 July reportedly abducted anti-govt activist and prominent Red Shirt leader Wuthipong Kochathamakun in Laotian capital Vientiane, where he fled in March following allegations he was organising armed resistance to junta; govt denied any knowledge of incident. Crackdown on opposition in media continued, including for social media posts on politics. Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan 9 Aug told reporters junta’s ban on political activity would remain in effect. National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission 10 Aug levied another 30-day ban on pro-Thaksin cable television channel Peace TV. Law student and pro-democracy activist 15 Aug plead guilty to lèse-majesté after sharing BBC Thai article about King Rama X on Facebook; attorney general 16 Aug indicted eight people on lèse majesté charges, accused of burning portraits of late and current kings in May. Amid ongoing militant violence in Deep South, two village volunteers killed and four injured 1 Aug by IED in Mai Kaen district, Pattani. Militants 16 Aug stole six trucks in Songkhla and rigged them with IEDs; three trucks abandoned, one IED injured four soldiers in Pattani, one caused only property damage, and security forces killed driver of another truck. Two hostages shot in incident, one fatally.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

10 Jun 2017
[The Barisan Revolusi Nasional sees its struggle as] nationalist and anti-colonial. Subordinating their struggle to a forlorn agenda imposed by outsiders would be counter-productive, if not suicidal. The Straits Times

Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia
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

Watch List 2017 – Second Update

Crisis Group’s second update to our Watch List 2017 includes entries on Nigeria, Qatar, Thailand and Venezuela. These early-warning publications identify conflict situations in which prompt action by the European Union and its member states would generate stronger prospects for peace.

Op-Ed / Asia

Government, Rebels Must End Pernicious Impasse

Originally published in Bangkok Post

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Matthew Wheeler

Analyst, South East Asia
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