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Posts Tagged ‘PAD

Thai Prime Minister Urges Political Unity to Face Economic Crisis

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washingtonpost.com

Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, December 30, 2008; 3:24 PM

BANGKOK, Dec. 30 — Thailand’s new prime minister used his delayed maiden policy speech to lawmakers Tuesday to warn that the stalled economy is unlikely to recover as long as the country is held hostage by political conflict.

But the challenges facing Abhisit Vejjajiva’s administration were thrown into stark relief when thousands of his opponents surrounded parliament, forcing him to deliver his speech in the Foreign Ministry.

“Political conflicts that have spread to civic groups could push the economy, along with the tourism industry, into recession if action is not taken quickly to resolve them and revive confidence among investors and foreign tourists,” Abhisit said.

“These conflicts are the country’s weakness, especially at a time the world economy is entering its worst crisis in a century,” he said.

The Oxford-educated Abhisit is Thailand’s third prime minister in four months.

He came to power after his Democrat Party managed to persuade enough members of the previous ruling coalition to defect when their leader, former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, was banned from holding office because a court had found his party guilty of vote buying.

But supporters of Somchai and his political sponsor, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, question the legitimacy of the new government and have vowed to continue demonstrating until Abhisit dissolves parliament and calls fresh elections.

For most of this year, the deep divisions between the country’s conservative middle-class elites and its rural poor paralyzed the ability of Abhisit’s predecessors to govern a country sliding into an economic quagmire.

Many had hoped that Abhisit, who is more acceptable to the yellow-shirted protesters who have caused so much disruption in recent months, might be able to take the country forward. However, his appointment appears to have galvanized the opposition of a different group, which favors red shirts.

Abhisit’s opponents said Tuesday they might challenge the constitutional legality of his giving a speech outside parliament, as he did Tuesday under pressure from protesters.

Thailand relies on exports and tourism for about 70 percent of its national income. Its economy is being squeezed by the twin threats of the global slowdown, which has slashed demand for its main exports, and the damage done to investor confidence by the past six months of domestic political unrest, culminating in the closure last month of the country’s two busiest airports.

The Bank of Thailand said Tuesday that it expects the economy to contract by 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the third quarter, in part a reflection of a 17 percent drop in exports in November.

The six months of virtual political paralysis that preceded the airport closures prevented successive governments from implementing any effective program to counter the slowdown, exacerbating the problems that Abhisit now faces.

The new prime minister is expected to launch an ambitious $8.7 billion stimulus program to try and restart the stalled economy. He warned Tuesday that unless the government is able to take prompt action, the official unemployment rate could double.

However, analysts say that given Thailand’s large informal labor sector, the fallout from the crisis could actually be much worse than that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123001934.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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More news:

EDITORIAL: Red shirts,yellow shirts
New Straits Times, Malaysia – 34 minutes ago
PRIME Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand is caught between a rock and a hard place. Since being confirmed as PM by a special vote of the country’s
Protesters fail to stop Thai PM
The National, United Arab Emirates – 1 hour ago
Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Thai prime minister, addresses lawmakers at the foreign ministry in Bangkok. Christophe Archambault / AFP BANGKOK // Abhisit
Abhisit promises to heal the nation:
TODAYonline, Singapore – 1 hour ago
BANGKOK — Despite a boycott by opposition lawmakers and a forced switch in venue, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday finally managed to deliver
Abhisit forced to switch venue of speech
Straits Times, Singapore – 2 hours ago

By Leslie Lopez, South-east Asia Correspondent PRIME Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s new government got off to a rocky start yesterday after he was forced to

Venue change against the rules : Pheu Thai
AsiaOne, Singapore – 2 hours ago

Pheu Thai claims the move, which enabled MPs from the Abhisit Vejjajiva government to avoid a mob of red-shirt protesters, contravened the constitution.

Thailand PM outwits protesters
Hindu, India – 2 hours ago
SINGAPORE: Thailand’s new Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday delivered his mandatory policy speech to begin his term. Mr. Abhisit called for an end
Eventually, ballot box must prevail in Thailand
South China Morning Post (subscription), Hong Kong – 3 hours ago
The latest Thai prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, faces a host of challenges in trying to steer his country through the storms buffeting it,
Thai PM dodges protesters for first key speech
The Associated Press – 6 hours ago
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Thailand’s new prime minister evaded thousands of protesters blocking Parliament on Tuesday and delivered his first key policy



all 1,752 news articles »

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

December 31, 2008 at 12:40 am

Thailand shuts down second airport in capital

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The Associated Press

Thailand shuts down second airport in capital
The Associated Press –
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – Thai authorities have closed a second airport in the capital after anti-government protesters stormed the terminal.
Thai PM snubs call to quit to end airport siege guardian.co.uk
Canada urges ‘peaceful resolution’ to Thai protest AFP
Ha’aretzCNNABC OnlineCNN International
all 4,958 news articles »



The Associated Press

Japan Air, Singapore Air Cancel Flights to Bangkok (Update1)
Bloomberg –
By Chris Cooper Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) — Japan Airlines Corp., Singapore Airlines Ltd. and other Asian carriers canceled flights to Bangkok for a second day today after the city’s two main airports were shut down due to anti-government protesters.
Thailand shuts down second airport in capital The Associated Press
Bangkok protests snarl air passengers’ plans International Herald Tribune
guardian.co.ukNew Straits TimesXinhuaStraits Times
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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 27, 2008 at 3:04 am

Protesters shut down Bangkok’s international airport / Thai army chief asks PM to step down

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Voice of America

Thai Army Chief Urges Government to Step Down, Call Snap Elections
Voice of America –
By VOA News Thailand’s army commander has told the country’s elected government that it should step down and call a snap election to resolve a deepening political crisis.

Video: Thai Protesters Take to Streets, Block Airport AssociatedPress


Thailand government rejects army call to dissolve parliament guardian.co.uk
CNN InternationalBloombergLos Angeles TimesReuters UK
all 4,584 news articles »

Thailand government rejects army call to dissolve parliament guardian.co.uk, UK –

Thailand’s tourism industry set to suffer CNN International –

Army Chief Calls for Thai Elections to End Protests (Update2) Bloomberg –

Thailand’s army chief calls for prime minister’s resignation Los Angeles Times, CA

British tourists stranded by Thailand protests Reuters UK, UK –

Thai army chief advises prime minister to quit International Herald Tribune, France –

Indonesia cancels all flights to Bangkok Xinhua, China –

Thai Protesters Refuse to Clear out of Bangkok Airport Spiegel Online, Germany –

Airport 3000 go free Melbourne Herald Sun, Australia –

Update: Thailand’s Airport Shut By Protesters, Army Chief Calls AHN –

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Thailand: PAD anti-government protesters begin self proclaimed “last battle …

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Protests cancel Thai parliament session
CNN International –
BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) — Thousands of anti-government protesters marched on Thailand’s Parliament Monday morning, causing lawmakers to postpone their session fearing violence, said House speaker Chai Chidchob.

Thai protestors have government on the run – Summary Earthtimes (press release), UK

Buses Hijacked In Bangkok Rally Sky News, UK –

Thai shares fall 2.87 per cent on political turmoil
Monsters and Critics.com –

Thai parliament shut as protesters cut off electricity This is London, UK –

PAD moves to Don Mueang, declares victory Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Protesters at Thai Parliament for ‘final showdown’ The Associated Press –

PAD declares victory after House session postponed Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Ministers flee as protesters move on temporary Govt House Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

PAD pulls plug on police HQ, surrounds gov’t offices Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

Thai protesters surround parliament for ‘final battle’ AFP –

Anti-government protesters besiege the Parliament Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Thai protesters surround Parliament in showdown The Associated Press –

PAD anti-government protesters begin self proclaimed “last battle Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

EXCLUSIVE-Thai PM says will not resign, expects no coup Forbes, NY –

Thai protesters wage ‘final battle’ Aljazeera.net, Qatar –

UPDATE 1-Thousands of Thai protesters be Life Style Extra, UK –

PAD besieges Parliament Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Thai protesters begin “final” march to oust government Reuters –

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 24, 2008 at 3:36 am

Day 30 – Thai’s PAD rejects new government but King approves

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 24, 2008 at 3:22 am

Day 29 – Taking long time to name Somchai’s cabinet lineup for royal approval

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New Thai prime minister submits cabinet lineup for royal approval Monsters and Critics.com –

Sompong, New Thai Foreign Minister Bernama, Malaysia –

Thai caretaker justice minister to become foreign minister Xinhua, China –

PM: First meeting of new cabinet later this week Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

PM says cabinet is good-looking Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Somchai Needs To Prove His Worth – Fast Sin Chew Jit Poh, Malaysia –

Historical background of Thai Govermnent House Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

New Thai First Lady no simple houseiwfe AsiaOne, Singapore –

Cabinet constructed Bangkok Post, Thailand –

PM confirms cabinet finalised Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Biggest test since 1997 awaits Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 23, 2008 at 2:41 am

Posted in Burma's Geopolitics

Tagged with , , ,

Day 28 – “The Philippines has Marcos, Indonesia has Suharto, Thailand has Thaksin and Samak.

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Is Chavalit fostering false hope in the deep South Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Somchai completes his team Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Friends of Newin deny lobbying cabinet seats Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

ROUNDUP: Thailand’s new prime minister yet to announce cabinet Earthtimes (press release), UK –

Thailand’s new prime minister still deciding on cabinet Monsters and Critics.com –

Thailand: Calming the Political Turmoil International Crisis Group, Belgium –

THAILAND: Fighting domestic violence Reuters AlertNet, UK –

Meet my brother-in-law PeaceReporter, Italy –

Cabinet constructed Bangkok Post, Thailand –

PAD presents ‘New Politics’ Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Thai PM completes new cabinet line-up Xinhua, China –

‘Democracy protesters’ present unique election method as ‘New … Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

New cabinet line-up remains unsettled Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Poonpirom to leave Energy Ministry Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Thailand: Caretaker deputy FM Suchart elected leader of Puea Thai … Mathaba.Net, UK –

Complete cabinet line-up expected Monday evening Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Suchart to lead Puea Thai party Bangkok Post, Thailand –

PAD drops 70:30 split for House under revised plan Bangkok Post, Thailand –

THAI POST COLUMNIST PLAEW SI-NGERN: Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Somchai has a golden chance Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Do not hold your breath over cabinet Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Politics still casts shadow despite entry of new premier Bangkok Post, Thailand –

White knights in Bangkok Indian Express, India –

PAD brainstorms over “New Politics” Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Ten great ways to punish Thai democracy Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

This week in Focus Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

suchart throws hat in ring Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Political situation to improve under PM Somchai : NIDA rector Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Most Bangkokians think PM can settle political conflicts : survey Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

New Thai prime minister to name cabinet amid suspicious opposition Earthtimes (press release), UK –

Democracy – ready or not Manila Times, Philippines –

Opposition urges ‘clean’ cabinet ministers Bangkok Post, Thailand –

New Thai PM vows to heal social rifts ABC Online, Australia –

War without limits among the privileged International Viewpoint, UK –

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 22, 2008 at 3:08 am