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Posts Tagged ‘Thaksin

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



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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
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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 27, 2008 at 3:04 am

Thai protest turns violent

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WELT ONLINE

Thai protesters fire on govt supporters
Reuters –
By Nopporn Wong-Anan BANGKOK (Reuters) – Protesters blocked a highway to Thailand’s biggest airport on Tuesday and elsewhere opened fire on government supporters, the latest twists in their increasingly desperate bid to oust the elected administration.
Guns fired at rivals by Thai protesters in clash The Associated Press
Anti-Government Protesters Besiege Thailand Prime Minister’s Voice of America
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Guns fired at rivals by Thai protesters in clash The Associated Press –

Anti-Government Protesters Besiege Thailand Prime Minister’s Voice of America –

Thai protesters wounded in clashes Aljazeera.net, Qatar –

Thai Protesters Occupy Premier’s Temporary Office (Update4) Bloomberg –

Thai protesters ‘fire’ on rivals BBC News, UK –

Thai PM insists premiership despite protest Xinhua, China –

Thai protests turn violent, 10 hurt ABS CBN News, Philippines –

Shots fired as Thai factions clash at airport International Herald Tribune, France –

Thaksin vows to return to Thai politics PRESS TV, Iran –

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Written by Lwin Aung Soe

November 25, 2008 at 2:41 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 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

Day 26 – Thai Protesters Wary of new PM’s Call for Talks

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PPP meeting on new cabinet Bangkok Post, Thailand –

New Thai cabinet to be named in coming days — PM Inquirer.net, Philippines –

PPP’s list completed by 90 per cent: Somchai Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Talks possible soon Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Negotiations between PAD, government to start after cabinet forms Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand –

Jongrak insists police will not use force to disperse protesters Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

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Thailand: New PM inspects new temporary offices at Don Mueang airport Mathaba.Net, UK –

Security tight at Thai rally Straits Times, Singapore –

Ruangroj ready for defence, Thanong snubs PPP Bangkok Post, Thailand –

A big hand for PAD supporters Bangkok Post, Thailand –

New politics, new conflicts Bangkok Post, Thailand – 3

Thai Protesters Wary of Prime Minister Somchai’s Call for Talks Bloomberg –

Mahathir sees West’s hypocrisy in bail-outs GulfNews, United Arab Emirates –

Thaksin gives nod for key positions Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Hopes for breakthrough Bangkok Post, Thailand –

PAD restricts vote-seekers Bangkok Post, Thailand –

Politics as a family affair Bangkok Post, Thailand –

PAD supporters should dump leaders Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Somchai upbeat after ‘good’ phone talk with pad leader sondhi Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Somchai blazing a trail Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

New cabinet line-up to finish in a few days : PM Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Somchai must lead road to reconciliation Nation Multimedia, Thailand –

Thai PM Takes Actions against Crisis Prensa Latina, Cuba –

Written by Lwin Aung Soe

September 20, 2008 at 6:29 am

World focus on Burma (17 September 2008)

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NLD leader sentenced for trying to complain to ILO on use of child …
Mizzima.com, India –
… was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday for trying to lodge a complaint to the ILO on the use of child soldiers by the Burmese military junta. …

Human Rights Council holds general debate on human rights …
ReliefWeb (press release), Switzerland –
People in Burma/Myanmar continued to suffer in dire poverty and insecurity. The practice of child soldiers, forced labour and attacks on civilians were …

Action over Burma situation
Harlow Herald 24, UK –
The ruling military junta has also passed a new constitution that will serve only to institutionalise the army’s control over the state. …

Web Campaign Fights Brutal Regime in Burma
Christian Post –
… Worldwide and Partners Relief and Development – that are calling the United Nations to increase pressure for change in Burma (also known as Myanmar). …

Global week of action to support Arms Trade Treaty
UN Observer –
The ATT week of action is part of Amnesty International’s celebration of the 60th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. …

EU Faces Diminished Status in UN Human Rights Debates
Deutsche Welle, Germany –
Recent damaging defeats over human rights issues concerning Iran, Burma and Belarus — where the EU managed to gain just 80 votes in support of its motions …

A trade with deadly consequences
guardian.co.uk, UK –
And in the fragile state of Somalia, which has been blighted by conflict and where the general population has been subjected to widespread human rights …

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi Halts Food Rations Boycott
UNPO, Netherlands –
Nyan Win, a spokesman for her National League for Democracy (NLD), said Suu Kyi had decided to resume collecting the supplies after the regime granted some …

Shelterbox offers hope when disaster strikes
Lethbridge Herald, Canada –
Shelterbox was one of the first organizations on the ground in Burma after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country in May. The organization’s lack of a …

Sakharov award winners call for release of Aung San Suu Kyi
Mizzima.com, India –
The European Union in 1990 awarded the Sakhrov prize to Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Su Kyi for her unwavering commitment to usher in …

Burma monk attempts suicide at famous temple
USA Today –
RANGOON, Burma (AP) — A Buddhist monk has tried to kill himself at Burma’s most sacred temple in an apparent protest against economic hardship. …

Salt prices remain trebled following Nargis
Mizzima.com, India –
New Delhi – The price of salt remains up to 300 percent higher from rates prior to Cyclone Nargis, which destroyed over 60 percent of the salt industry in Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta, according to salt producers. While the prices of salt immediately after the storm rose to 800 kyat from 100 kyat (1 dollar = 1200 kyat) …

Burmese papers report losses due to deputy censor chief’s strict …
Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Thailand –
The censorship chief is a writer of the junta’s propaganda and is known to use the pen name Ye Yint Tint Swe. Maj. Tint Swe is still in Naypyitaw (the new …

Burma again singled out for anti-narcotics negligence
Mizzima.com, India –
For the seventh year running, Burma has been labeled as having “failed demonstrably” in its efforts to combat illicit narcotics, according to the United …

A “Golden Rule” on human rights is essential for an effective
Amnesty International, Netherlands –
From the ongoing conflict in Darfur, military crackdowns in Myanmar and Guinea to the proliferation of sectarian violence in Iraq, the report shows how and …

UN president: World powers ‘addicted to war’
WalesOnline, United Kingdom –
… ministerial session to hold talks with world leaders on issues ranging from climate change to the detention of Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. …

EU facing ‘slow motion crisis’ in UN
EUobserver.com, Belgium –
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The EU is losing its ability to push through human rights projects at the UN, with Islamic, African and Latin American states …

McCain’s White House quest affected by US economy crunch
IBNLive.com, India –

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Burma are also among the countries on list. Washington : The financial crisis on Wall Street could derail Republican John McCain’s …

US puts India on 20 major illicit drug transit list
Economic Times, India –
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Burma also figured among the countries so identified for fiscal year 2009 in a report sent to Congress on Tuesday by President …

Amnesty urges arms sales treaty
PRESS TV, Iran –

Amnesty warned that small weapons had “catastrophic” effects worldwide, whether used by the military in Myanmar to disperse protesters (in September 2007), …

Amnesty International UK says global arms treaty needed to end conflict in Darfur and human rights abuse in Burma

Amnesty International UK said the arms trade was helping disgraced regimes such as Burma suppress human rights via brutal military crackdowns. …

Toyota: Auto Industry Race to the Bottom
CorpWatch.org, CA –

Around the world, the company has been complicit in union busting in the Philippines, and engages in cozy relationships with Burma/Myanmar’s military ..

End small weapons sales, Amnesty urges
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia –
World governments should pledge to actively prevent sales of weapons that are likely to be used in human rights violations in a new arms treaty under …

Today’s Zaman, Turkey –
In March 2008 an annual human rights report released by the US State Department said the Turkish government had generally respected the human rights of its …

UN Assembly President Scores US on Cuba Embargo
New York Sun, United States –
… session to hold talks with world leaders on issues ranging from climate change to the detention of the Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. …

Bolivia joins Myanmar, Venezuela on drugs blacklist: Bush
Times of India, India –
“I hereby identify the following countries as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma …

Bush adds Bolivia to drug blacklist (Roundup) Monsters and Critics.com –

US puts Bolivia on drugs blacklist The Associated Press –

Bush adds Bolivia to drug blacklist – Summary Earthtimes (press release), UK –

US faults Myanmar for drug production International Herald Tribune, France –

US puts Bolivia on drugs blacklist The Associated Press –

..

Laura Bush Poses For Harper’s Bazaar
Huffington Post, NY –

But when a cousin suggested I read [Burmese Nobel prizewinner and activist] Aung San Suu Kyi’s Freedom from Fear, and I started realizing the military …

Burmese Children Seek Education over the Border
Free Speech Radio News, CA –
The repressive Burmese military regime spends one of the lowest amounts of money on health care and education in the world. Even basic education is very …

US gets tough on child soldier recruitment
Daily Mirror, Sri Lanka –
Both the LTTE and the TMVP have been listed by several human rights groups as well as UN organizations as being among the outfits that recruit and use child …

Manipulative Extraterrestrials and Canadian Naomi Klein’s Shock …
Cité Libre Magazine, Canada –
These include private firefighters already on the scene in Northern California’s wildfires, to land grabs in

cyclone-hit Burma, to the housing bill making …

Offshore Exploration: Bangladesh Perspective
Energy Bangla, Bangladesh –

This plate meets the Burma Micro plate at the Sunda Trench. The Nicobar Islands, and the Andaman Islands are part of the Burma Micro plate. …

Myanmar junta eases some restrictions on Suu Kyi
SmartBrief, DC –
Authorities in Myanmar have begun to slightly ease restrictions placed on Aung San Suu Kyi in her house arrest, allowing the pro-democracy leader to receive …

Suu Kyi accepts first food delivery in a month
Mizzima.com, India –
New Delhi – Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader has accepted two deliveries of fresh food supplies after rejecting such offerings for the past month, …

Let’s celebrate the great divide and grand paradox
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
By Tulsathit Tapptim Barring a court adjournment, today will be another fascinating moment in Thai politics. As the judiciary is poised to hand down a …

No hard evidence against Thaksin leaves court in a quandry
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
By Pravit Rojanaphruk The key issues that will likely be touched upon during the Ratchadaphisek case against Thaksin Shinawatra and Khunying Pojaman would …

Ratchadaphisek vase verdict will only widen political divide
Nation Multimedia, Thailand –
By Pravit Rojanaphruk It will be another big blow for ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojaman if they are found guilty today of abuse …