3 APRIL 2015
Thai junta chief threatens to shut down critical media
Thailand’s junta chief Friday vowed to shut down critical media outlets as he faced a growing international backlash against his decision to replace martial law with new powers retaining his absolute authority
1 APRIL 2015
Thai junta lifts martial law, but retains broad powers
Thailand’s ruling junta said on Wednesday it had lifted martial law imposed just before a coup 10 months ago, but it invoked a security clause in the country’s interim constitution that will mean the military will retain broad powers
25 MARCH 2015
Thai prime minister threatens to ‘execute’ journalists
Thailand’s military leader has lashed out at journalists saying he would « probably just execute » those who did « not report the truth », in the latest outburst aimed at Thailand’s media
11 MARCH 2015
New Thai Constitution Enacted By 4 Sept: Govt
Thailand’s 20th constitution will be inaugurated by His Majesty the King on 4 September 2015, government officials announced on Wednesday
24 FEBRUARY 2015
Thai anti-graft body indicts 250 former MPs over charter change
Thailand’s anti-graft agency indicted 250 former lawmakers on Tuesday, a member of the body said, in a ruling that will further erode the influence of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
19 FEBRUARY 2015
Thai ex-PM Yingluck indicted over rice subsidy scheme
Former Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra was formally indicted over a bungled rice subsidy scheme Thursday in the latest legal move against her polarising family that could see her jailed for up to a decade
28 JANUARY 2015
Thai Red Shirt leader sentenced to two years in jail
Leader of the opposition Red Shirt movement Jatuporn Prompan imprisonment for defaming ex-prime minister.
23 JANUARY 2015
Impeachment and trial for former Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra
190 MPs out of 219vote in favor of impeachment. The prosecutor orders indictment for corruption and negligence. Former Prime Minister charged with subsidies for rice production, leaving a billion dollar deficit in state coffers. For supporters the move aims to eliminate her from political life
23 JANUARY 2015
Impeachment and trial for former Thai Premier Yingluck Shinawatra
190 MPs out of 219vote in favor of impeachment. The prosecutor orders indictment for corruption and negligence. Former Prime Minister charged with subsidies for rice production, leaving a billion dollar deficit in state coffers. For supporters the move aims to eliminate her from political life
9 JANUARY 2015
Thai ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s impeachment hearing begins
Thailand’s ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is facing an impeachment hearing, proceedings that could see her banned from politics for five years and reignite the country’s bitter divisions
6 JANUARY 2015
Thai navy eyes procuring submarines following shelved bid
Thailand’s commanding naval admirals are once again reviving stalled efforts to procure submarines and have resolved recently to bring their efforts to fruition
2 JANUARY 2015
Thai PM puts hurry up on defence budgets
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is pushing the military to more quickly draft its spending plans for the 2016 fiscal year and submit them within the month.
26 DECEMBER 2014
Thai Constitution Drafters Pave Way For Unelected PM
Thailand’s junta-appointed Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) has announced that the new charter will not require the Prime Minister to be an elected member of parliament.
16 DECEMBER 2014
The making of pseudo-democracy
The further the constitution drafting goes, the uglier the expected outcome becomes. Under the guidance of the military government, the drafting is far from being democratic or fair
12 DECEMBER 2014
Thailand crown prince’s wife resigns from royalty
The wife of Thailand’s Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, Srirasmi, has resigned her royal position, the palace has announced.
2 DECEMBER 2014
The Thai government recognises Malaysia’s role as the facilitator for peace efforts in southern Thailand, said Najib Razak
1 DECEMBER 2014
Thailand’s junta unlikely to relax grip yet
As an ailing King Bhumibol Adulyadej approaches his 87th birthday this Friday, Thailand’s military regime is giving more indications that it intends to stay in power longer than previously stated. As the inevitable royal succession looms for a country that venerates the King, the army has to all intents and purposes ruled out lifting martial law any time soon http://www.asianewsnet.net/Thailands-junta-unlikely-to-relax-grip-yet-68335.html
20 NOVEMBER 2014
More held in military-led Thailand after flashing ‘Hunger Games’ salute
The central figure in « The Hunger Games, » the hit sci-fi series about an oppressed people’s struggle against a totalitarian regime, is being evoked for real, now, in Thailand among university students expressing their opposition to that southeast Asian nation’s military rulers.
5 NOVEMBER 2014
Thai junta appoints charter drafting committee
Thailand’s military-installed government has appointed a committee to draft the country’s new constitution amid speculation that it will seek to bar former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies from politics.
3 NOVEMBER 2014
Thai PM orders media to stop ‘presenting news’ on Thaksin
Thailand’s junta leader on Monday threatened to tighten controls of the media unless they stop « presenting news » about former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, after photographs of the billionaire cuddling a panda went viral
9 OCTOBER 2014
Thailand’s Coup and the Threat of the King’s Death
The Thai Army’s claim that it is politically neutral, is seeking to find a peaceful solution to the country’s crisis and that it genuinely wishes to broker reconciliation between different political factions is simply fraudulent.
6 OCTOBER 2014
Thailand’s coup government forms reform council
A committee appointed by Thailand’s military has selected a 250-member advisory group to help write a new national constitution.
25 SEPTEMBER 2014
Thai Assembly Votes Itself the Power to Impeach Politicians, Sideline Critics
Thailand’s military-dominated legislature gave itself the power to impeach political office holders on Thursday, edging a step closer to rooting out the influence of controversial former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
15 SEPTEMBER 2014
Thai king discharged after more than month in hospital
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, was discharged on Monday in what the palace said was a healthy condition after nearly five weeks of treatment at a Bangkok hospital for stomach inflammation
3 SEPTEMBER 2014
UN voices ‘serious concern’ on human rights in Thailand
The United Nations said Wednesday it was « seriously concerned » about growing restrictions on human rights activists in Thailand after a string of curbs on freedom of expression in the junta-ruled nation.
2 SEPTEMBER 2014
Thai junta blocks rights meeting in Bangkok
Three independent agencies cancelled their scheduled forum on « Access to Justice in Thailand: Currently Unavailable » on Tuesday under pressure from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/430103/ncpo-forces-rights-groups-to-cancel-forum
28 AUGUST 2014
Criminal Court declines to hear murder case against Abhisit and Suthep
The Criminal Court yesterday 28 rejected the murder lawsuit against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban on the grounds that it did not have jurisdiction in the case
25 AUGUST 2014
Thailand coup leader Prayuth sworn in as PM
Prayuth, 60, was officially sworn in during a ceremony in Bangkok after being endorsed by King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
21 AUGUST 2014
Thailand army chief, General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, appointed prime minister
Thailand’s junta-picked national assembly has chosen coup leader, General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, as prime minister in a one-horse race that entrenches the military’s hold on power
8 AUGUST 2014
Thai junta-led assembly in debut meet as army extends grip
Thailand’s new military-stacked National Legislative Assembly convened for the first time on Friday, electing a president in a key step towards crafting a new constitution likely to embed the army’s political influence
Thailand ‘key to growing China-Asean cooperation’
China sees the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC) as an opportunity for further cooperation with the region, and says Thailand can play a leading role in the strengthening of these ties.
NCPO to seek extradition of lese majeste suspects
The ruling junta will seek the extradition of Thais living overseas for allegedly offending the monarchy, General Prayuth Chan-ocha said
1 AUGUST 2014
Thai king appoints 200 National Legislative Assembly members
The King has issued a royal command to appoint 200 members of the National Legislative Assembly. More than half of them are either former or active military officers as expected
23 JULY 2014
A first look at Thailand’s new interim constitution who gives absolute power to the junta
Two months after Thailand’s military has staged a coup on May 22, 2014, the country has now adopted a new interim constitution. Army chief and junta leader General Prayuth Chan-Ocha got His Majesty’s endorsement of the country’s 19th constitution.
22 JULY 2014
Thai King has endorsed interim charter
Gen Prayuth informed the meeting of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Tuesday of the royal endorsement of the temporary constitution.
20 JULY 2014
Thai journalists concerned about junta’s move to clamp down
The Thai Journalists Association (TJA) expressed concern yesterday at the ruling junta’s order issued on Friday night barring all media from criticising its work
17 JULY 2014
Thai junta allows ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra to leave country
Deposed premier permitted to leave Thailand for first time since 22 May coup because she has stayed out of politics, junta says
28 JUNE 2014
Thailand’s military rulers plan elections for October 2015
Thailand’s military junta will install an interim constitution next month, and elections will be held around October 2015, its leader announced yesterday
27 JUNE 2014
Wealthy Thais vent anger over sanction with EU goods boycott
Wealthy Thais who have welcomed military rule are now calling for what may prove a more wrenching change: a boycott of their beloved European cars, wines and boutiques
24 JUNE 2014
Ex-minister forms Thai opposition group from exile
Former Interior Minister Charupong Reuangsuwan said Tuesday in an open letter read on YouTube and posted on Facebook that the Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy rejects the junta’s legitimacy
23 JUNE 2014
EU suspends cooperation with Thailand over military coup
The European Union on Monday condemned the military takeover in Thailand, saying it was suspending all official visits to the country and shelving important agreements to back up calls for an urgent return to democratic rule.
20 JUNE 2014
Thai government condemned in annual US human trafficking report
US downgrades Thailand to lowest ranking in human trafficking index for ‘systematic failure’ to prosecute slavers
18 JUNE 2014
Thailand launches 24-hour hotline over misbehaving Buddhist monks
Misbehaving monks face censure after Thai religious authorities said they had launched a 24-hour hotline for the public to report unruly acts by Buddhist monks
17 JUNE 2014
Cambodia slams Thailand over post-coup worker exodus
Some 188,000 Cambodians — who help keep major Thai industries afloat but often lack official work permits — have streamed across the border since the junta warned last week that illegal foreign workers face arrest and deportation
15 JUNE 2014
More than 110,000 Cambodian migrants flee Thailand after coup
On Wednesday Thailand’s military regime, which seized power in a coup on May 22, had threatened to arrest and deport all illegal foreign workers.
13 JUNE 2014
Thailand Curfew lifted nationwide
The junta on Friday announced the end of a curfew in other parts of the country minutes after coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha pledged for a quick end of the nighttime ban
11 JUNE 2014
Thailand votes against international forced labour protocol
Perpetrators of forced labour, which is estimated to affect 21 million people globally, will be punished in most countries under a UN treaty agreed on Wednesday, though Thailand voted against the treaty and nearly all Gulf countries – including Qatar – abstained
6 JUNE 2014
Thai junta arrests anti-coup activist Sombat
Sombat Boonngamanong, who spearheaded an online campaign to stage illegal flashmob rallies against the military takeover, was arrested late on Thursday in eastern Chonburi province
1 JUNE 2014
Thousands of police deployed as ‘Red Shirts’ protest in Bangkok
Thailand’s ruling junta deployed thousands of security forces on the streets of Bangkok on Sunday to thwart a round of small-scale protests planned by the country’s “Red Shirts” denouncing the May 22 military coup
30 MAY 2014
Thai coup leader rules out polls for a year
The head of Thailand’s military regime has ruled out elections for at least a year and promised that soldiers would head back to their barracks once the country’s unresolved political issues have been addressed
27 MAY 2014
Thai minister arrested for condemning military coup
Armed troops detained a Thai Cabinet minister who emerged from hiding on Tuesday to condemn last week’s military coup and urge a return to civilian rule.
26 MAY 2014
Thai king endorses army chief as new leader
General Prayuth Chan-ocha told journalists on Monday morning that the much revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 86, had officially backed him as the leader of the military council now running the country.
http://www.euronews.com/2014/05/26/thailand-king-endorses-leader-of-military-coup/25 MAY 2014
25 MAY 2014
Thai Junta dissolves Senate, set to form legislative assembly
Junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is also the acting prime minister, has dissolved the Senate, the only remaining legislative body, and is set to assume legislative power, according to an order issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) last night
Yingluck goes home from barracks
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) released former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra from an army camp on Sunday night, an army source said
24 MAY 2014
Thai Coup Leaders Tighten Grip, US Reacts
The U.S. military has canceled training and readiness exercises with Thailand, as well as a visit to the Asian nation by U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander originally scheduled for June, the Pentagon said
23 MAY 2014
Thai military detains politicians and activists
Thailand’s military has detained more than 150 politicians and activists and banned them from leaving the country, a day after the army chief seized power in a coup declared necessary to « restore order and normality » in the politically divided nation.
Timeline: Thailand’s coups
22 MAY 2014
Thai military seizes power, suspends constitution
Thailand’s army chief announced a coup d’état on Thursday, declaring that it was “necessary” to restore stability and order after six months of political deadlock and turmoil
21 MAY 2014
Who Wins in Thailand’s Military Crackdown?
Thailand’s military gingerly but decisively declared martial law in the dawn hours of May 20, closing television stations and ordering Bangkok’s 10 million-odd citizens to stay calm. A military spokesman denied the crackdown was a coup as armed troops scattered throughout the city.
20 MAY 2014
Thai Army Declares Martial Law, But Says It’s Not a Coup
Thailand’s military says martial law will stay in place until peace and order are restored, following months of sometimes deadly anti-government protests
16 MAY 2014
Thai Senate ducks call to pick unelected PM
Thai opposition protesters suffered a setback Friday in their long-running battle to topple the government as the upper house of parliament shunned their call to pick an unelected premier
15 MAY 2014
Thai election commission wants July 20 polls postponed
Thailand’s election commission has called for planned July 20 polls to be postponed, after anti-government protesters invaded a meeting between its officials and the caretaker government on Thursday morning
13 MAY 2014
‘Thai separatists’ launch series of attacks
Suspected Muslim separatists in southern Thailand have launched a wave of more than 30 attacks including shootings, bombings and arson, police said, killing one person and injuring more than 10.
10 MAY 2014
Supporters of ousted Thai PM hold first big rally
Thousands of Thai government supporters are holding a large rally just outside Bangkok, their first since the prime minister was ousted earlier this week
9 MAY 2014
Thailand police fire tear gas at protesters in Bangkok
Thai police have fired water cannons and tear gas at protesters in Bangkok, two days after a court ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
8 MAY 2014
Thailand: NACC decides to impeach Yingluck
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) resolved on Thursday to bring impeachment proceedings against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra over the rice-pledging scheme, with criminal charges
7 MAY 2014
Court Orders Thai Leader Removed From Office
The Constitutional Court ruled that Ms. Yingluck abused her power when she transferred a civil servant to another post more than three years ago. The court ordered her to step down immediately along with all members of her cabinet who were in office at the time of the transfer.
6 MAY 2014
Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra in court over abuse of power claims
Thailand’s prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has defended herself against abuse of power allegations in a crucial court case that is one of several legal challenges that could remove her from office
5 MAY 2014
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej marks 64th anniversary of coronation
World’s longest-reigning monarch and father figure for Thais makes rare public appearance aged 86 in coastal town of Thailand’s coastal town of Hua Hin
3 MAY 2014
Abhisit urges delay in July polls to allow time for reforms
Thai opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday urged that a general election planned for July be delayed by up to six months to allow time for reforms aimed at ending a protracted political crisis that threatens to explode
30 APRIL 2014
Thailand to Hold General Election July 20
Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her country’s Election Commission have agreed to hold a new vote July 20. It is unclear whether the country’s opposition, which is involved in a prolonged standoff with Ms. Yingluck, will participate in the general election
17 APRIL 2014
Two Journalists in Thailand Face Charges Due to Pulitzer Prize Report
An excerpt from a Pulitzer Prize report posted online by a website in Thailand has led to a criminal court case against two journalists in the country. They are accused of defaming the Thai navy for its alleged involvement in trafficking of some refugees from Burma.
15 APRIL 2014
Divorce rate up 27 per cent over past decade
While many Thai families continue to celebrate Songkran and enjoyed National Family Day yesterday, the Public Health Ministry highlighted the fragile state of some families after revealing the divorce rate had risen 27 per cent over the past nine years
30 MARCH 2014
Thailand Votes in Upper House Election
Thais voted Sunday to choose legislators for the upper house of parliament in a test for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s beleaguered government
21 MARCH 2014
Thai court rules general election invalid
The vote was unconstitutional because it did not take place on the same day across the country, the court said
18 MARCH 2014
Thai government lifts Bangkok emergency as tension eases
Thailand’s government lifted a state of emergency in Bangkok and surrounding provinces two months after imposing it to curb anti-government protests, as the security situation has improved due to the dwindling number of demonstrators
13 MARCH 2014
Economic Implications of Thailand’s Unrest
2 MARCH 2014
Thai poll re-runs pass peacefully as Red Shirts gather
Thailand’s first poll re-runs passed peacefully Sunday following a widely disrupted general election, as pro-government « Red Shirts » stepped up rallies in support of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s battered administration.
1 MARCH 2014
Bangkok shutdown ends but not protests
At least four major intersections in downtown Bangkok will be returned to the public as Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of Thailand’s anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), declared late last night that all his rally sites would be consolidated into just one site centred at Lumpini Park
24 FEBRUARY 2014
Thai army chief rules out intervention
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra leaves Bangkok for unknown destination, as political unrest claims another life
23 FEBRUARY 2014
Grenade kills two in Bangkok amid fears over political violence
Two people were killed — including a child — in a grenade attack Sunday in a main Bangkok shopping district, drawing the Thai prime minister’s denunciation of « terrorist acts » as fears over violence mount after a near four-month political crisis.
22 FEBRURY 2014
Gunmen kill girl, wound dozens at Thai anti-govt rally
A five-year-old girl was killed and 30 other people were wounded after gunmen sprayed bullets on an anti-government rally in eastern Thailand
20 FEBRUARY 2014
Thai Prime Minister denies corruption allegations over rice program
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has denied allegations that she failed to heed warnings of possible corruption in a rice subsidy program whose recent problems have stoked anger among farmers in the country’s rural heartland.
19 FEBRUARY 2014
Thai court bans use of force against peaceful protests
A Thai court ordered the government on Wednesday not to use force against peaceful protests, as demonstrators vowed to intensify efforts to unseat the premier a day after street clashes left five dead and dozens wounded
18 FEBRUARY 2014
Thailand: 4 dead, dozens injured in Bangkok clashes
One policeman and three civilians died and at least 57 people were injured when police and anti-government protesters clashed in Bangkok earlier today.
17 FEBRUARY 2014
Protesters surround Thai Government House
Thousands of protesters seeking to oust Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, surrounded the government’s headquarters in Bangkok on Monday, while hundreds of farmers have breached razor-wire barricades outside her temporary office in another part of the capital.
14 FEBRUARY 2014
Thai police retake protest camps in Bangkok
Hundreds of riot police have moved through parts of the Thai capital to retake areas occupied by protesters who have been demanding the resignation of the government for the past three months.
12 FEBRUARY 2014
Thai court rejects bid to nullify election
Opposition party had petitioned to annul vote and disband Shinawatra’s party, after polls were disrupted by violence.
10 FEBRUARY 2014
Thai police arrest senior protest leader
Sonthiyarn Cheunruethainaitham, former managing director of news company Tnews, arrested a hotel in northern Bangkok
4 FEBRUARY 2014
Democrats ask to have Pheu Thai dissolved
The Democrat Party yesterday lodged a complaint with the Constitutional Court against Pheu Thai Party, calling for dissolution of the ruling party for pushing the February 2 election to be held despite an Election Commission recommendation to delay the poll.
3 FEBRUARY 2014
Democrat Party to seek court annulment of Thailand election
The Democrat Party is collecting evidence to seek a Constitution Court ruling to invalidate snap election held yesterday, said party deputy leader Ong-art Klampaiboon.
2 FEBRUARY 2014
Thailand election disrupted by protests
Protests have disrupted Thailand’s general election, halting voting in parts of Bangkok and the south, but officials say that 89% of polling stations operated normally.
1 FEBRUARY 2014
Bangkok rocked by gunfire and bombs as protests grow on eve of poll
Gunfire and explosions rocked Bangkok following clashes between pro-government « red shirts » and protesters, leading to fears of further violence as Thais head to the polls.
26 JANUARY 2014
Thai protest leader shot dead in Bangkok
Suthin Tharathin, a prominent protester, shot in head as he spoke at an anti-government demonstration in Thai capital.
22 JANUARY 2014
Thai ‘red-shirt’ leader shot as emergency rule begins
Kwanchai Praipana, a local radio presenter who played a large role in Bangkok protests in 2010, was wounded at his home in Udon Thani in the north
21 JANUARY 2014
State of emergency declared for Bangkok
The Thai government has imposed a 60-day state of emergency in the capital, Bangkok, and the surrounding provinces, from Wednesday, to cope with unrest
19 JANUARY 2014
28 hurt as explosions rock anti-government protest site in Thailand
Two explosions shook an anti-government demonstration site in Thailand’s capital on Sunday, wounding at least 28 people in the latest violence to hit Bangkok as the nation’s increasingly bloody political crisis drags on
17 JANUARY 2014
Thailand crisis: Blast targets Bangkok protest rally
A blast at an anti-government rally in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, has injured more than 30 people, amid an ongoing political crisis.
16 JANUARY 2014
Yingluck to be probed, ex-ministers charged on rice scheme
The anti-graft agency will investigate caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s role in the rice pledging scheme after bringing formal charges of corruption against two of her cabinet ministers
13 JANUARY 2014
Protesters ‘shutdown’ Bangkok in bid to unseat PM
Anti-government protesters blockaded key intersections in Bangkok Monday, aiming to paralyse Thailand’s capital and increase mounting pressure on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.
Is Thailand ready for Asean Economic Community?
Much has been said about the AEC (Asean Economic Community) and its far-reaching implications for Thailand. During the past two years, the country has been the most active within Asean as far as the AEC campaign is concerned. As much as 8 billion baht (US242 million) in various forms were spent to « raise awareness and preparedness of Thailand and the Thai people for the AEC. »
11 JANUARY 2014
Thailand: Seven hurt as gunmen fire on Bangkok protest
At least seven people have been injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the protest-hit Thai capital, Bangkok.
6 JANUARY 2014
Army silence sparks coup panic
The military has emerged as the key player and is under tremendous pressure from all sides in the face of the fierce political conflict that many fear will escalate next week
4 JANUARY 2014
Thai ruling party launches election bid amid protests
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s party on Saturday kicked off campaigning for February elections in the face of an opposition boycott and protester plans to « shut down » Bangkok in a bid to derail the vote.
28 DECEMBER 2013
Gunmen kill 1 protester, injure 3 in Thai anti-government protest
Gunmen opened fire on peaceful protesters in Thailand early Saturday, killing one and wounding three, national security chief Paradon Patthanathabut said.
27 DECEMBER 2013
Thai Army Chief Calls for Restraint, Does Not Rule Out Coup
Thailand Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocah called Friday for restraint from both sides, and did not explicitly rule out the possibility of a military coup.
26 DECEMBER 2013
Thailand protests: Yingluck government rejects election delay
Thailand’s government has rejected calls to delay February’s election, amid increasingly violent protests in which a policeman has been shot dead.
25 DECEMBER 2013
Thai premier proposes reform council
Thailand’s prime minister has proposed the formation of a reform council to mollify a protest movement seeking to topple her government, but demonstrators immediately rejected the idea.
22 DECEMBER 2013
Thailand protesters call on government to step down
Tens of thousands of people take to the streets of the Thai capital Bangkok to step up efforts to oust the government and force political reforms
21 DECEMBER 2013
Thai opposition to boycott 2 February elections
Thailand’s main opposition Democrat Party has announced it will boycott snap elections set for 2 February
17 DECEMBER 2013
Thai ex-PM Abhisit re-elected as opposition party chief
Thailand’s opposition Democrat Party re-elected former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as its leader Tuesday ahead of a crucial decision over whether to boycott upcoming elections.
14 DECEMBER 2013
Thai military chief rebuffs protesters’ intervention plea
Thailand’s military chief on Saturday shrugged off an opposition rally leader’s appeal to intervene in support of protester efforts to topple the government and install an unelected ‘people’s council’.
12 DECEMBER 2013
Ex-Thai PM Abhisit indicted for murder over rally crackdown
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has been indicted for murder in connection with a deadly military crackdown on mass opposition protests in Bangkok three years ago, prosecutors said.
Officially neutral Thai military agrees to meet protest chief
The heads of Thailand’s powerful military agreed on Thursday to a weekend meeting with the leader of the movement seeking to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, deepening uncertainty about the country’s immediate political future.
10 DECEMBER 2013
Thai PM refuses to step down
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has said she will not resign ahead of national elections set for February 2, despite opposition demands she step down as the caretaker head of government.
9 DECEMBER 2013
Thai PM Yingluck dissolves parliament and calls election
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has dissolved parliament and called an election after sustained protests in the capital, Bangkok.
8 DECEMBER 2013
Thai crisis deepens as main opposition party quits Parliament
Thailand’s main opposition party resigned from Parliament on Sunday to protest what it called « the illegitimacy » of an elected government with which it can no longer work. The move deepens the country’s latest political crisis one day before new street demonstrations that many fear could turn violent.
7 DECEMBER 2013
Thai leader offers talks with protesters
Thailand’s prime minister vowed to resign and hold elections if it would help end the country’s most severe political crisis in years as Bangkok braced for a fresh outbreak of protests next week.
5 DECEMBER 2013
Thailand King makes unity call in birthday message
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has urged people to support each other for the sake of the country, in his address to the nation on his birthday.
3 DECEMBER 2013
Thai tensions ease as police lift barricades
Anti-government protesters in Thailand have crossed heavily fortified barriers and reached the gates of the prime minister’s office without resistance from the police.
2 DECEMBER 2013
Thai protests: police fire rubber bullets as protests turn more violent
Thai police fired rubber bullets to quell violent demonstrations aimed at the overthrow of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday, as the government sought to arrest the leader of the protests for “insurrection”.
1 DECEMBER 2013
Thailand clashes: PM forced to flee as violent demonstrations escalate
A Thai government supporter was shot and killed early on Sunday at protests in Bangkok, raising the death toll to two as protesters invaded a police compound and forced the evacuation of the prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, to a secret location.
30 NOVEMBER 2013
Shots fired as Thai protesters clash
At least one person has been shot dead as Thai government supporters and foes clashed for the first time in a week of demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
29 NOVEMBER 2013
Thai Protesters Storm Army Headquarters
Thai protesters briefly stormed into army headquarters in Bangkok in a bid to get the military to join their efforts to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
28 NOVEMBER 2013
Thai PM appeals to protesters after surviving no-confidence vote
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has urged anti-government demonstrators to end street protests, after surviving a no-confidence vote in parliament.
25 NOVEMBER 2013
Thai prime minister invokes security law after protesters occupy ministries
The Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, invoked an emergency security law across much of Bangkok on Monday, after protesters forced their way inside the finance ministry and through the gates of the foreign ministry compound.
24 NOVEMBER 2013
Tens of thousands join anti-government rally
Anti-government protesters estimated in the hundreds of thousands have joined Sunday’s rally at the Democracy Monument with organisers still hoping the number will swell to one million.
11 NOVEMBER 2013
UN rules for Cambodia in Thai border row
Thailand must withdraw all military and police forces from the area surrounding a 900-year-old Hindu temple on the far side of its border with Cambodia, UN judges have said in a ruling that could exacerbate tensions between the two countries.
Thailand senate rejects controversial amnesty bill
Thailand’s senate has rejected an amnesty bill which could have led to the return to the country of the former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.
6 NOVEMBER 2013
Amnesty bill would kill 25,355 graft cases: NACC
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday issued a statement opposing the amnesty bill on grounds that it would absolve thousands of graft violations, including hundreds against top politicians.
1 NOVEMBER 2013
Thai amnesty bill passes lower house
Thailand’s lower house of parliament has passed a political amnesty bill that critics say could allow the return of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
29 OCTOBER 2013
Myanmar workers in Thailand earning under minimum wage
Many Myanmar migrants working in Thailand are earning less than the minimum wage of BHT 300 a day (US$ 10), according to the Education and Development Foundation.
28 OCTOBER 2013
Ex-Thai PM Abhisit faces indictment over protest crackdown
Thailand’s attorney general has decided to prosecute former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy on murder charges related to a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests in 2010, officials said Monday
27 OCTOBER 2013
Thai parliament postpones amnesty bill readings
The House of Representatives is expected to deliberate the Amnesty Bill in the second and third readings in mid-November at the earliest, chief government whip Aumnuay Khlangpha said . Meanwhile, Aumnuay’s deputy Paijit Sreewarakan said the ruling Pheu Thai Party would order its members of parliament (MPs) to vote in support of the draft law instead of allowing them to vote freely
24 OCTOBER 2013
Supreme Patriarch dies at 100
The nation and the entire Buddhist community are mourning the loss of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana Mahathera, who passed away at Chulalongkorn Hospital
19 OCTOBER 2013
Thailand extends ISA till Nov 30
The Thai government has decided to extend the enforcement of the Internal Security Act in three Bangkok districts until November 30, the day after the parliamentary session ends, National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabutr said.
16 OCTOBER 2013
Ruling on Thai-Cambodian Temple Row Expected Next Month
The United Nations’ top court is set to deliver its verdict on a long running dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over an ancient temple site. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague will decide on Nov. 11 which country should administer a 4.6-square kilometer (1.8-square mile) tract of land surrounding the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.
11 OCTOBER 2013
With Li Visit, Thailand, China Move to Strengthen Ties
Thailand and China have moved to further strengthen bilateral economic ties during an official visit by China’s Premier Li Keqiang, who kicked off the trip by addressing parliament on Friday.
27 AUGUST 2013
Reconciliation Talks in Thailand Will Be Litmus Test of Parties’ Sincerity
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is pushing forward a reconciliation forum on September 2 in an effort to address the political divisiveness in Thailand in recent years. The government has invited key figures from the ruling Pheu Thai party, the opposition Democrat Party, and foreign leaders to participate in the forum. While the Thai private sector and international community welcome the initiative, politicians will have to act beyond their own interests to make the reconciliation talks meaningful.
12 AUGUST 2013
Chavalit urges all parties to back reconciliation forum
Former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh on Monday revealed that Yingluck Shinawatra had personally called him to invite him to take part in her proposed reconciliation forum, and urged opposing groups to get involved with discussions on how to heal the political divide in Thailand.
7 AUGUST 2013
Protest in Thailand as parliament debates amnesty bill
Thousands of anti-government protesters gathered outside Thailand’s parliament on Wednesday as lawmakers began debating a political amnesty bill that it is speculated could help ousted and exiled premier Thaksin Shinawatra return home a free man.
5 AUGUST 2013
Key Muslim leader shot dead in Thailand
A Muslim leader seen as a major figure in efforts to end bloody fighting in Thailand’s south has been shot dead, raising concern about the future of peace talks. Imam Yacob Raimanee of the Pattani Central Mosque – the main house of Islamic worship in one of several violence-plagued southern provinces – was gunned down on Monday afternoon in the town of Pattani, police said.
1 AUGUST 2013
Thousands cheer Thai king as he leaves hospital after long stay
Thailand’s revered but frail king left the hospital where he has lived for almost four years on Thursday, as thousands of flag-waving well-wishers cheered him on his way to his coastal palace.
26 JULY 2013
Thaksin calls on Thais to unite
Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday called on Thais to reconcile their differences for the sake of the country as he celebrated his 64th birthday in Beijing.
12 JULY 2013
Thailand agrees Muslim rebel Ramadan ceasefire
The Thai government and Muslim separatists in the south of the country have announced they will stop fighting each other during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23288378
3 JULY 2013
Monk had 10 bank accounts with daily transactions of Bt2m
The Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) has found 10 bank accounts under the name of Luang Pu Nenkham, who calls himself the abbot of Si Sa Ket’s « Wat Pa Khanti Dhamma » monastery, as well as records of transactions totalling up to Bt20 million per day. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Monk-had-10-bank-accounts-with-daily-transactions–30209598.html
30 JUNE 2013
Thailand’s latest Cabinet reshuffle: 3 initial observations
On Sunday June 30, Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorsed the changes to what is now the fifth Cabinet of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at nearly the halfway point of her tenure ever since she took over office in 2011. Currently, the government is under alot of fire: http://asiancorrespondent.com/110057/thailands-latest-cabinet-reshuffle-three-initial-takeaways/
21 JUNE 2013
European diplomats urge tourist safety moves on Phuket
European ambassadors on Friday 21 urged authorities on a Thai resort island work to ensure foreign tourists are safe from crime, corruption and dangerous road and swimming conditions. http://asiancorrespondent.com/109700/european-diplomats-urge-tourist-safety-moves-on-phuket/
20 JUNE 2013
Suu Kyi Blasts Proposed Law on Marriage Restrictions
Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has criticized a proposed law by a group of nationalist Buddhist monks restricting Muslim men and those of other faiths from marrying Buddhist women, saying it was discriminatory and violated human rights http://www.rfa.org/english/news/myanmar/marriage-06202013231513.html
17 JUNE 2013
Thailand cracks down on monks living it up with luxuries
Thailand’s national Buddhism body has announced it is monitoring monks for any inappropriate behavior following complaints prompted by a video showing Buddhist monks flying on a private jet http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/thailand-cracks-down-monks-luxuries http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/thailand/10124885/Thai-Buddhist-monks-criticised-over-private-jet.html
White mask rallies spread in Thailand
Anti-government protesters gathered in many provinces yesterday despite opposition from red-shirt supporters of the government http://www.asianewsnet.net/White-mask-rallies-spread-in-Thailand-48010.html
14 JUNE 013
Thai rebels say peace could be years away
Rebels from Thailand’s restive south Friday said securing lasting peace could take years, acknowledging some insurgents were trying to undermine ongoing talks through continued violence. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/thai-rebels-say-peace/710578.html
6 JUNE 2013
The Search for a Solution in Thailand’s Deep South
With negotiations apparently stalled between the Thai Government and Barisan Revolusi Patani (BRN), one of the Muslim rebel groups operating in Thailand’s deep south, one must start considering how long before a solution to this lingering insurgency problem can be found http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5477&Itemid=392
5 JUNE 2013
Thailand denies entry to Cambodia opposition leader Sam Rainsy
Thailand has denied entry to Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy over concerns he would engage in political campaigning in the neighboring Southeast Asian nation. http://asiancorrespondent.com/108704/thailand-denies-entry-to-cambodia-opposition-leader-sam-rainsy/
29 APRIL 2013
Thai ‘Yellow Shirt’ activists trial postponed
A Thai court has postponed the trial of nearly 100 Thai royalist activists who were facing charges for their roles in 2008 rallies that paralysed Thailand’s main airports stranding thousands of tourists http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/04/201342995251949888.html
28 MARCH 2013
Thailand opens peace talks with Muslim separatist rebels
Peace talks facilitated by Malaysia aim to end almost a decade of violence in Muslim-dominated provinces of southern Thailand http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/28/thailand-peace-talks-muslim-rebels http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21963399
21 MARCH 2013
A step toward peace in southern Thailand
On 28 February in Kula Lumpur, Thailand’s government signed an agreement to initiate peace talks between the Thai National Security Council and Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Coordinate (BRN-C), one of the major separatist groups in southern Thailand. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/03/21/a-step-toward-peace-in-southern-thailand/
3 MARCH 2013
Bangkok governor gets second term
Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the royalist pro-establishment Democrat party overcame a rival from the ruling Puea Thai party, which is backed by « Red Shirt » supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1257637/1/.html http://asiancorrespondent.com/100111/against-expectations-sukhumbhand-wins-second-term-as-bangkok-governor/
28 FEBRUARY 2013
Thailand and Muslim separatists agree to peace talks
Senior Thai government officials signed the deal on Thursday with members of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, where they agreed to launch a « dialogue process » in the southern border provinces. They gave no date for future meetings. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/28/thailand-muslim-separatists-peace-talks http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/02/201322822925178206.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/thailand/9899300/Thailand-signs-breakthrough-deal-with-Muslim-rebels.html
27 FEBRUARY 2013
Murder of environmentalist ‘highlights Thailand’s failure to protect activists’
An international rights group is pressing Thailand to investigate the recent murder of an environmentalist who exposed the dumping of toxic waste, and condemned the government’s « fundamental failure » to protect activists fighting for social and environmental change in the kingdom. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/27/murder-environmentalist-thailand-failure
19 FEBRUARY 2013
Thai GDP growth rises to 6.4% for 2012
Thailand’s economy grew a robust 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three months, taking the 2012 pace to 6.4 percent… http://asiancorrespondent.com/97956/thai-gdp-growth-rises-to-6-4-for-2012/
15 FEBRUARY 2013
In Thailand, 30,000 children are boxing to help their poor family
13 FEBRUARY 2013
Thai army repels mass attack in restive south
Scores of heavily armed gunmen stormed a military base in unrest-plagued southern Thailand, in a major assault that left at least 16 attackers dead, a military spokesman said. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2013/02/20132131188370718.html http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/13/16946868-muslim-insurgents-launch-raid-on-thai-military-base-16-militants-slain?lite http://www.voanews.com/content/thai-army-urges-curfew-after-insurgents-attack-base/1602719.html
18 JANUARY 2013
Justice or politics
Some say former PM Abhisit is rightfully being charged for supressing the red shirts; other see the case as business as usual. http://thediplomat.com/2013/01/19/justice-or-ruse-in-thailand/
13 JANUARY 2013
Stop the intimidation, media body tells Army
The Thai Journalists Association called on the military yesterday to stop intimidating the media, while urging media practitioners to abide by their code of conduct after dozens of uniformed officers protested twice at ASTV Manager’s offices. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Stop-the-intimidation-media-body-tells-Army-30197810.html
4 JANUARY 2013
3,380 killed in nine years of violence
A total of 3,380 people have been killed and 8,388 wounded in terror attacks since the resumption of insurgent violence in the deep South nine years ago today, according to figures released yesterday by the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/3380-killed-in-nine-years-of-violence-30197241.html
13 DECEMBER 1012
Former Thai PM charged with murder
Abhisit Vejjajiva, the former prime minister of Thailand, has been charged with murder over the death of a civilian during a crackdown on anti-government rallies two years ago, his party says.
5 DECEMBER 2012
Thais celebrate 85th birthday of revered king
In a rare public appearance, Thailand’s king has called for unity and stability in the divided nation during a speech to mark his 85th birthday
15 NOVEMBER 2012
Thailand Defence pact with US ‘only reaffirms ties’
The 2012 Joint Vision Statement for the Thai-US Defence Alliance, to be signed during the visit of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta today, posed no legal difficulties in terms of the Constitution and would have no impact on strategic ties with China, Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat said
14 NOVEMBER 2012
US defence pact ‘won’t affect’ Thai neutrality
Security experts said this week that Thailand would not lose its neutrality after the decision to sign a new defence agreement with the United States during the upcoming visit of President Barack Obama, but the country must be careful not to be seen as moving too close to the American orbit.
14 NOVEMBER 2012
Expanding Military to Military Engagement: China and Thailand
As U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta turns north from Australia on his way to Thailand and Cambodia today, he should carefully consider the trends in China’s military to military relationship with Thailand. http://cogitasia.com/expanding-military-to-military-engagement-china-and-thailand/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cogitasia%2FZCwV+%28cogitASIA+Posts%29
12 OCTOBER 2012
Thai military resists political pressure
Thailand recently released its autumn list of senior military officer promotions and reassignments, an annual exercise that determines the balance of power among competitive factions inside the armed forces. While many analysts expected self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to push for his known military allies to take key positions, Royal Thai Army (RTA) Commander-in-Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha appears at first blush to have maintained the upper hand.
12 SEPTEMBER 2012
Suspected insurgents surrender in Thailand’s south
Officials say about 100 suspected insurgents have surrendered to authorities in Thailand’s restive south, including the alleged leader of a 2004 attack that reignited longstanding violence in the region. http://asiancorrespondent.com/89109/suspected-insurgents-surrender-in-thailands-south/
18 JULY 2012
Cambodia, Thailand pull troops from temple flashpoint
Cambodia and Thailand pulled hundreds of soldiers out of a disputed border area on Wednesday, a year after a ruling by the UN’s highest court, replacing them with police and security guards.The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 18 last year ordered the neighbours to demilitarise a strip of land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple which was the scene of deadly clashes in 2011 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1214288/1/.html http://www.rfa.org/english/video?param=value&storyId=Cambodia-Preah-Vihear http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/07/201271845840265105.html
25 JUNE 2012
Thai Red Shirts stage mass protests
Tens of thousands of supporters of Thailand’s « Red Shirt » protest movement have staged a mass rally in Bangkok, police said, amid renewed political tensions in the troubled country.
31 MAY 2012
Thai parliament chaos over reconciliation debate
The Thai parliament was thrown into chaos for a second day Thursday, as lawmakers clashed over plans to push through a reconciliation debate that threatens to widen the country’s bitter divides
25 MAY 2012
Return of the king
Dressed in a military uniform, His Majesty the King yesterday May 25 left Siriraj Hospital for his first personal short trip out of Bangkok in recent years, bringing much delight to the whole nation
15 APRIL 2012
Hun Sen attacked for ‘excess generosity’
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been criticised for being overly generous to red-shirt supporters of former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is in Cambodia this weekend.
31 MARCH 2012
Bombs kill 10, injure more than 100 in southern Thailand
Pattani, Thailand – At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded as three bombs detonated in Thailand’s strife-torn far south Saturday, the authorities said
25 FEBRUARY 2012
Thai parliament votes to amend military-backed constitution
Thailand’s parliament voted Saturday to pave the way for a rewrite of the military-backed 2007 constitution. After a two-day debate, both houses voted to permit a redrafting of the charter written after the September 2006 coup toppled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra http://news.monstersandcritics.com/asiapacific/news/article_1692783.php/Thai-parliament-votes-to-amend-military-backed-constitution
17 FEBRUARY 2012
Thailand’s Thaksin prepares for war
Newly appointed Thai Minister of Defense Air Chief Marshal Sukampon Suwannathat is quietly planning to activate a new « war room », or secretive unofficial command center, to direct mass pro-government « red-shirt » demonstrations planned for the coming months, according to senior Thai military sources familiar with the situation
14 FEBRUARY 2012
Bangkok bomb attack fuels Israel-Iran tension
An Iranian man blew off his own leg and wounded four people when he lobbed a grenade in the Thai capital Tuesday, with Israel blaming the blasts on Iran. The attack comes just one day after attempted bomb attacks against Israeli diplomats
12 JANUARY 2012
Better-armed, better-trained Thai insurgents
Long seen as locked in a low-intensity stalemate, the Malay Muslim separatist conflict in southern Thailand appears to be escalating towards a new and more violent phase
23 NOVEMBER 2011
Thailand lese majeste man jailed for 20 years
The court found Ampon Tangnoppakul, nicknamed ‘grandpa’ and ‘Uncle SMS’ by the local press, guilty of sending messages insulting the monarchy to the mobile phone of the secretary of former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva last year during anti-government protests
21 NOVEMBER 2011
Thai Justice minister rules out Thaksin pardon
Justice Minister Pracha Promnok insisted yesterday that former prime minister Thaksin Shina-watra would not benefit from the draft Royal Decree seeking pardons for inmates on the occasion of His Majesty the King’s birthday.
16 NOVEMBER 2011
Thai cabinet ‘endorses Thaksin amnesty plan’
A controversial amnesty decree has been endorsed by Thailand’s cabinet that could pave the way for the return of Thaksin Shinawatra, the country’s fugitive former prime minister, according to local media reports.
16 SEPTEMBER 2011
Clashes in southern Thailand claim 4,846 dead in last eight years
There have been 11,704 violent incidents documented in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces since January 2004, claiming 4,846 dead
and 7,995 injured, according to Deep South Watch, a network of academics and civil society groups that monitors the southern unrest.
10 AUGUST 2011
Thailand’s New Yingluck Cabinet
The cabinet that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra unveiled appears to be a mixture of outsiders, people with intimate ties to her
brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, and old hands in Thai politics – and no members of the Red Shirt faction that played a key role in bringing her Pheu Thai Party to power
5 JULY 2011 Official balloting outcome[
The Election Commission on Tuesday announced the official count of votes cast on Sunday. The voter turnout was 75 per cent and Pheu Thai Party was declared victory grabbing 265 of 500 House seats, comprising 61 party-list seats via proportionate vote and 204 constituency
seats via direct vote.
3 JULY 2011
Thai opposition party wins election by landslide
Thailand’s prime minister has conceded defeat in the country’s elections, paving the way for Yingluck Shinawatra, the leader of the
opposition and the sister of the ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to form the next government. With almost all the votes counted, Puea Thai had won a clear majority with 263 seats out of 500, well ahead of the ruling Democrats with 161, according to the Election Commission, which estimated turnout at 74 per cent