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Thailand

CrisisWatch Thailand

Deteriorated Situation

Vehicle-borne IED exploded at shopping centre in Pattani 9 May, wounding around 80 civilians; smaller device exploded nearby minutes earlier; attack was first car bomb of 2017, and first to indiscriminately target Malay-Muslim civilians. Police 11 May found bound and beaten body of vehicle’s owner in Pattani’s Nong Chik district. Three bombings in Bangkok in weeks leading up to three-year anniversary of 2014 coup 22 May indicated continuing political discord: small device on Ratchadamneon Avenue injured two 5 April; 15 May bombing in front of National Theatre injured two; bomb exploded inside army-run Bangkok hospital 22 May, in room named after deputy PM and former army chief Pravit Wongsuwan, wounding 25; authorities said bombings were work of same group trying to discredit ruling National Council for Peace and Order. Large pipe bomb found near Bangkok subway station 30 May. Several arrests and prosecutions for lèse-majesté, including six arrests 29 April and five arrests 19 May in NE province Khon Kaen; UN regional human rights office expressed concern over “sharp increase” in use of law since 2014 coup. Govt continued efforts to censor online content deemed to violate lèse-majesté law, threatened Facebook with criminal charges over offending web pages.

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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

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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