Syndicated News from Thailand
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:47:17 GMT
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:16:36 GMT
How Thailand Remains in TurmoilNew York TimesTwo middle-aged men, both retired generals, knelt at the feet of Thailand's king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who admonished them to settle their differences. It was an iconic TV moment in Thai political history: May 20, 1992, the end of a bloody standoff ...and more »
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:24:55 GMT
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 04:47:04 GMT
Thai riots explained: Behind the deadly clashesNEWS.com.auWhile his policies were popular among Thailand's rural villagers (his party introduced universal access to healthcare), Thaksin and his government were accused of widespread corruption, treason, tax evasion and gagging the press. Eventually, his ...
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:26:47 GMT
Turmoil in Thailand Threatens Economic RecoveryWall Street JournalBANGKOK?Political turmoil in Thailand threatens to set back the Southeast Asian nation's expected economic recovery next year, as government infrastructure projects may be delayed and investors look elsewhere. As thousands of antigovernment ...
Thu, 12 Dec 2013 06:47:55 GMT
Thu, 12 Dec 2013 03:59:48 GMT
Tensions high in Thailand as crisis deepensIrish IndependentIf that happens, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a red-shirted protest movement based largely in Thailand's populous north and northeast, would rally to Yingluck's side, said Jatuporn Promphan, one of its leaders. "It is the ...
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:56:20 GMT
Looking for Democracy in Thailand's Democrat PartyABC NewsWhen Thailand's elected prime minister refused an opposition demand to step aside, Suthep's answer this week was to effectively declare a new government, in the form of a self-appointed "People's Democratic Reform Committee." He ordered civil servants ...
Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:15:59 GMT
Life gets tougher on the Thailand-Myanmar borderThe NationNearly half of these travel from Myanmar to receive treatment, and the rest are migrant workers living in Thailand. In July, the Australian overseas aid agency AusAID announced that it was cutting its funding to the clinic, and Dr Maung says many ...and more »
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:56:24 GMT
Thailand seeks to build strong regional roleFinancial TimesTrucks are due to thunder from Wednesday over a vast new crossing on the Mekong river, connected to highways either side that opens up north Thailand as a way station for goods headed between China and the 10-strong Asean group of nations mainly to ...and more »
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Results 1 - 10 of Headlines for Thailand
Tuesday, August 6th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai announced a warming in Thai-Myanmar relations after completing a visit to Yangon Aug. 6. The trip came just days after Bangkok announced a military reshuffle that appears in part intended to smooth ties between the Southeast Asian neighbors. But the underlying factors causing tension between the nations remain unchanged.
Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai completed a two-day visit to Myanmar Aug. 6, announcing that relations between Bangkok and Yangon were back on track after months of seriously strained ties. Surakiart’s visit came just days after the Thai government announced changes in its top military posts that may be intended to improve relations with Myanmar.
Key among the changes was the promotion of army Commander in Chief Gen. Surayud Chulanont to the largely ceremonial post of Supreme Commander, with army Chief of Staff Gen. Somdhat Attanand taking Surayud’s former position. Unlike his predecessor, whose views on how best to deal with Myanmar often conflicted with those of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Somdhat quickly declared that in the current "age of politics leading the military," the armed forces would "follow government orders or policy," the Bangkok Post reported.
The military reshuffle, which takes effect Oct. 1, undoubtedly will bring army and government policies on Myanmar closer in line, reducing overt tensions between the armed forces and the prime minister and opening the way for closer cooperation with Yangon. But the cosmetic change to the armed forces does little to alter the underlying factors behind tensions between Yangon and Bangkok -- namely illegal logging and drug trafficking, along with Myanmar’s internal ethnic clashes, which frequently spill into Thailand.
Since his election in February 2001, Thaksin has promised repeatedly to smooth over Thai-Myanmar relations, which basically disappeared under his predecessor, Chuan Leekpai. Yet Thaksin’s penchant for conciliatory behavior emboldened Yangon to expand its annual military offensives against ethnic insurgent groups.
Myanmar forces began crossing over into Thailand during such operations not long after Thaksin came to power in 2001. In March 2002, when shelling by Myanmar during an offensive landed on Thai soil, the Thai army responded by firing across the border.
This incident triggered a rapid deterioration in relations between the two sides and spurred a verbal battle between Thaksin and the Thai army, including Surayud. The prime minister reportedly accused the army command of "overreacting," while Surayud reminded the government that it was the army’s constitutional imperative to ensure the nation’s security.
It was thus little surprise that Surayud was removed as head of the army, only to be replaced by a general much more closely in tune with Thaksin’s own position.
But the change still does not remove the main source of tension between Myanmar and Thailand -- allegations that elements in both nations’ militaries are tied into one or more competing drug trafficking groups in the border areas. In fact, there are concerns already being voiced from within the Thai military that the Somdhat’s appointment as army chief may weaken Thailand’s counter-narcotics campaign if Bangkok trades its military-led anti-drug efforts for peaceful relations with Yangon.
While cosmetic changes in the leadership of the Thai army can offer a quick boost to bilateral relations, there can be little true progress in ties until both sides control drug trafficking and other illegal activity in the border region.Results Page:
Sunday, July 28th, 2002
: RCN Administrator
BANGKOK, Thailand (July 29, 2002 9:13 a.m. EDT) - The United States is committed to keeping troops stationed in Asia to guard against nations that might have "aggressive intent," Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday.
As an example, Powell mentioned North Korea, a country that he said has been following an "incorrect path." The United States generally maintains about 100,000 troops in Asia, based both on land and at sea.
The forces, Powell said, help ensure stability in the region.
The assurances were made during an interview with a local television outlet as Powell neared the end of an 18-hour visit here.
After brief stops in Malaysia and Singapore, Powell will travel to Brunei on Tuesday, where more than a dozen Pacific rim foreign ministers are gathering.
North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun is expected to be among them. Pyongyang sent a message to the Bush administration late last week expressing interest in renewing long-stalled talks with the United States.
This has produced speculation that Powell or his top deputy for Asian affairs, James Kelly, may meet with Paek in Brunei. But U.S. officials said it was still unclear whether such a meeting would take place.
There have been no substantive discussions between the United States and North Korea since late in the Clinton administration.
Powell arrived here Sunday night after weekend visits to India and Pakistan. He is on a six-nation Southeast Asia tour, focusing mainly on expanding cooperation in the war against terrorism.
Diplomats meeting in Brunei have been working on agreements to curb financial transfers by terrorist groups and on expanding overall cooperation to deter terrorists.
They have been haggling for days over the wording of the latter agreement. Powell said he expected the differences to be overcome by the time of his arrival in Brunei.
He met in late morning with Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai. Afterward, Powell thanked Thailand for its cooperation in battling terrorists and for its plans to send an engineering brigade to Afghanistan before the end of the year.
Surakiart said he was pleased with the level of cooperation on terrorism with the United States. Later, Powell paid a Royal Palace visit on King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Thailand and the United States are longtime defense allies. A senior American official accompanying Powell noted the country has a strong record of ratifying U.N. counterterror treaties.