Return to homeThailand
Country Reports: http://www.countryreports.org/country/Thailand.htm
Travel Docs: http://www.traveldocs.com/th/index.htm The capital is Bangkok. It is located
on a bend of the Chao Phraya River.
Within its borders once flourished the kingdoms of Sukhothai,
Ayuthaya and Lanna. The Thai language has 44 consonants and 32
vowels. The country covers 513,000 sq km. Six main tribes inhabit
the region: Karen, Hmong, Lahu, Lisu, Mien, and Akha. The Thai new
year, Songkran, is celebrated in mid-April.
(WSJ, 11/22/95, p.A-7) (Hem., Nov. '95, p.33)(Hem., 3/97,
12,000BC-10,000BC The site at
Chiang Saen indicates long term occupation that dates back to the
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
1000BC Ban Prasat pottery from the site at Prasat
Hin Phanom Wan dates to this time.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.H)
1000-1BC A cemetery at the Noen U-Loke site has
revealed jewelry, bronze and iron tools and pottery.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
500BC Black Phimai pottery and
bracelets indicate that the site of Prasat Hin Phanom Wan was
occupied at this time.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
300-200BC Ban Chaibadan on the Pasak River is one
of several sites that has archaeological remains that show the
development of a complex society.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
1-600AD The Non Muang Kao was a moated settlement
of this time.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
654 The Mon kingdom of
Haripunjaya (later part of northern Thailand) was founded by a holy
man named Wasuthep. The town of Lamphun was originally the center of
the Mon Kingdom known as Hariphunchai and believed to have been
founded in the late 7th or early 8th century AD. Queen Chammathewi
introduced Buddhism into the city of Hariphunchai (later known as
(http://tinyurl.com/ycc6pgw8)(Econ 5/20/17, p.33)
800-900 Sadokkokthom was a Khmer sanctuary on the
Thai-Cambodian border in the Aranyaphrathet region.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.H)
900-1000 The site of Prasat Hin Phanom Wan was an
important Khmer sanctuary in the Upper Mun River Valley of
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
1200-1300 The site at Prang Ku was probably one of
108 hospital sites built by the Khmer king Jayavarman VII.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
c1200-1500 In 2005 researchers using
mitochondrial DNA estimated that 3-6 individuals founded the Mlabri
hunter gatherers of Northern Thailand about this time.
(Econ, 4/16/05, p.71)
1300-1400 A monarchy was established in Thailand.
(SFC, 6/10/96, C3)
1300-1700 Kilns at Intrakil date from the Lanna
kingdom of this time.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.G)
1351-1767 The Ayutthaya Kingdom, a Siamese
kingdom, existed during this period. The port city of Ayutthaya
(Thailand) was one of the capitals of the kingdom until the Burmese
invaded, sacked the city and left it in ruins. The capital was then
moved to Bangkok. Prior to this Phananchoeng was the capital.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayutthaya_Kingdom)(AM, Mar/Apr 97
p.G)(WSJ, 4/21/05, p.D7)
1431 Thai armies invaded and
plundered the Khmer civilization at Angkor Thom in Cambodia. The
court moved south of the great lake Tonle Sap and later to Phnom
(SFEC, 7/26/98, p.T6)
1457 Pattani, later southern
Thailand, was declared an Islamic kingdom.
1534 The King of Siam died of
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
c1538 A colossal gilded statue
of Buddha was erected at Ayutthaya (Siam). It survived the sacking
of the city in 1767 and in 1854 was renamed Si Mongkhon Bophit by
(WSJ, 4/21/05, p.D7)
1548 In Thailand King Chakrapat
was saved by his wife Suriyothai, who maneuvered her elephant in
front of the invading Burmese King Tabinshweeti and took the sword
thrust intended for her husband. The historical film “Suriyothai”
was directed by Chatri Chalerm Yukol and premiered in August, 2001.
It was about the 16th Queen Suriyothai who saved her husband King
Thianracha during a war with invaders from Myanmar.
(SFC, 9/30/99, p.E6)(WSJ, 8/30/01, p.A11)(SFC,
1569 Burmese King Bayinnaung
invaded Thailand and took as hostage Princess Suphankalaya. It was
later believed that the princess gave up her freedom in exchange for
her kingdom's independence from Burma. In 1999 The Thai government
offered to help Burma restore a palace in exchange for information
about the princess.
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.A11)
1571 Siam’s Naresuan the Great
(8) was taken hostage by Burmese invaders. It was the custom of the
time for the victorious nation in a battle to take a royal child of
the defeated monarch home as insurance against further aggression.
1590 Prince Naresuan (35)
became King of Thailand upon the death of his father (the puppet
monarch). Naresuan continued to drive the Burmese from the Kingdom
of Ayutthaya (Siam-Thailand).
1593 Jan 8, War elephants of
Ayutthaya King Naresuan engaged Burmese forces led by Mingyi Swa.
One Siamese account held that there was a formal elephant duel
between Naresuan and Swa. [O.S. 29 December 1592].
1767 Burmese invaded the port
city of Ayutthaya (Siam-Thailand), sacked the city and left it in
ruins. The capital was then moved to Bangkok.
(WSJ, 4/21/05, p.D7)
1782 The Wat Phra Kaew Temple
was built in Bangkok, Thailand. It houses the most sacred image of
Thai Buddhism, the Emerald Buddha.
(Hem, 3/95, p.58)(SFCM, 9/23/07, p.22)
1782 The Grand Palace was built
by King Rama I on the Chao Phraya River. The city of Bangkok grew up
(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.T14)
1800-1900 King Chulalongkorn enacted reforms that
espoused entrepreneurism, hard work, and self-reliance. King Mongkut
accepted the fealty of his subjects, but also pledged his loyalty to
(Hem., Nov. '95, p.33)(SFC, 6/10/96, C3)
1809 Sep 7, Rama I (b.1737),
King Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, died. He founded the Chakri
dynasty and established Bangkok as the capital of Siam, as Thailand
was known, in 1782. He ruled for 27 years and is best known for
repelling the last major Burmese attack on Siam, known as the Nine
Armies' Wars, from 1785 to 1786.
1824 Jul 21, Rama II (b.1767),
King Phra Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, died. King Phra Buddha Loetla
Nabhalai succeeded his father in 1809 and ruled for almost 15 years.
His reign was more peaceful. Art and literature flourished. The king
was an avid composer of poetry, plays and songs. The most notable
poet under the king's patronage was Sunthorn Phu, known as the "the
Shakespeare of Thailand" for his role in literature.
1833 Mar 20, the United States
and Siam (now Thailand) concluded a commercial treaty in Bangkok.
1834 Pres. Jackson had special
1804 silver dollars minted for the sultan of Muscat (later Oman) and
the King of Siam (later Thailand) for trade treaties negotiated by
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.A6)
1851 Apr 2, Rama III (b.1788),
King Phra Nangklao, died. King Phra Nangklao reformed the tax and
treasury system and oversaw a boom in trade with China during his
27-year rule from 1824. Siam renewed official contacts with western
powers for the first time since the late Ayutthaya period, and
supported the British in their first Anglo-Burmese War in 1824. The
king did not name a successor and the throne passed to his
1851 Rama IV (d.1868) began his
rule over Siam and played off European powers against each other.
(Econ, 1/10/04, p.76)
1854 King Monghut, a devout
reformist, renamed the colossal gilded statue of Buddha at Ayutthaya
(Siam) to Si Mongkhon Bophit.
(WSJ, 4/21/05, p.D7)
1861 Thailand's King Mongkut
offered to send a pair of elephants to the United States as a gift
of the friendship between the two countries. President Abraham
Lincoln politely declined.
1868 Oct 1, Rama IV (b.1804)
King Mongkut, died. He served as king of Siam (Thailand) from
1851-68. Probably the best-known king of Siam in the West, Mongkut
was portrayed in the 1951 Broadway musical "The King and I" and
later in a 1956 Hollywood film. Under growing Western pressure
during his 17-year reign, Mongkut signed the Bowring Treaty with the
British Empire that abolished a royal monopoly over foreign trade.
Mongkut later died from malaria that he contracted while on an
expedition to see a total eclipse of the sun. His son Chulalongkorn,
Rama V (d.1910), took over and encouraged the beginnings of a modern
5/2/19)(Econ, 1/10/04, p.76)
1873 Siam’s (Thailand) King
Chulalongkorn abolished prostration.
(Econ 5/20/17, p.33)
1895 Anna Leonowens wrote her
memoirs that included King Rama IV. These memoirs formed the basis
for the 1946 film “Anna and the King of Siam,” the Broadway musical
“The King and I” and the 1956 film “The King and I.” Leonowens was
at the court of King Mongkut.
(Hem., Nov. '95, p.34)(SFC, 11/10/98, p.E4)(SFC,
1902 Thailand annexed 3
southern provinces, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, that had been part
of a Malay Muslim sultanate called the Kingdom of Pattani.
(SFC, 1/23/04, p.A7)(Econ, 6/4/05, p.40)
1904 The Siam Society, a
bastion of Thai culture, was founded.
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A16)
1909 Siam (later Thailand)
annexed the sultanate of Pattani.
(Econ, 5/5/12, p.41)
1910 Oct 23, Rama V (b.1853)
King Chulalongkorn (b.1853), died. The 42-year reign of King
Chulalongkorn, the son of Mongkut, was known for a modernization
drive and abolition of slavery. He also ceded territories to Western
powers, including Laos and Cambodia to France, and the Malay
sultanates of Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perlis to Britain.
Chulalongkorn was the first Siamese king to send royal princes to
study King Vajiravudh succeeded his father as Rama VI and
formed a private army, the Wild Tiger Corps, on his accession.in
Europe. He visited twice and presented Siam as a modern nation to
European rulers. He had introduced state corporations as a way to
modernize Siam (Thailand). Rama V lived in the Vimanmek
Mansion in Bangkok. It was made entirely of golden teak wood.
p.A12)(Econ, 3/20/10, p.27)(Econ, 5/24/14, p.36)(Reuters,
1912 Jan 13, In Siam (Thailand)
resentful army officers attempted a coup against King Vajiravudh
1914 King Rama VI of Thailand
published a short book on the overseas Chinese in which he called
them the “Jews of the Orient.”
(Econ, 10/10/15, p.42)
1919 Chia Ek Chor moved from
China to Bangkok and set up a small shop importing seeds from his
home in China's Guangdong province. By 2020 the Charoen Pokphand
(CP) Group was Thailand's pre-eminent conglomerate.
(Econ., 5/30/20, p.54)
1923 King Rama VI wrote the
poetic drama “Madanabhada.” The 5-act play was dedicated to one of
his queen. In 2001 Somtow Sucharitkul premiered it in opera form.
(WSJ, 3/15/00, p.A16)
1923 The Bangkok Snake Farm was
established to help Thais co-exist with native poisonous snakes.
Venom was harvested to produce antivenin. It is the 2nd oldest such
farm in the world. An older one was in Brazil.
(SFEC, 3/15/98, p.T5)
1925 Nov 26, Rama VI,
Thailand’s King Vajiravudh (b.1881), died. Vajiravudh succeeded his
father as Rama VI and formed a private army, the Wild Tiger Corps,
on his accession. Vajiravudh's reign was characterized by the
creation and promotion of Siamese nationalism. He modernized the
military and sent troops to join Allied forces in World War One. He
quashed an attempted coup in 1912 by disgruntled military officers
who accused the king of financial extravagances and sought to
establish democratic rule.
1927 Dec 5, King Bhumibol
Adulyadej was born.
(SFC, 12/6/99, p.A14)
1932 Jun 24, A coup ended the
absolute monarchy in Thailand.
1932 Jun 27, In Thailand King
Prajadhipok (Rama VII) signed a new provisional constitution. The
absolute power of kings ended and a constitutional monarchy began.
By 2008 Thailand had gone thru 17 permanent or temporary
1932 Jun 29, Siam’s army seized
Bangkok and announced an end to the absolute monarchy.
1932-2001 The country experienced 16 successful
military coups, 17 constitutions and 23 prime ministers.
(SFC, 1/6/01, p.A8)
1933 Silpakorn, Thailand’s
largest fine arts university, was founded by the Italian sculptor
(WSJ, 3/5/97, p.A16)
1934 Japan began exporting
three-wheelers (tuk-tuks) to Thailand.
1935 Mar 2, King
Prajadhipok abdicated and left for England. He was replaced by
Ananda Mahidol (1925-1946), who became Rama VIII.
1939 Siam became Thailand. [see
(Hem., 3/97, p.27)
1941 May 30, Rama VII,
Thailand’s King Prajadhipok (b.1893), died. Prajadhipok was Siam's
last absolute monarch and its first constitutional monarch after the
Siamese Revolution of 1932. Educated at Eton, he succeeded his
brother in 1926. Six years later a group of military officers and
civil servants initiated a near bloodless coup. Prajadhipok
abdicated in 1935 and spent the rest of his life with his wife in
England. The couple had no children.
1941 Japanese forces land in
Thailand. After negotiations Thailand allows Japanese to advance
towards British-controlled Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Burma.
1942 Thailand declared war on
Britain and US, but Thai ambassador in Washington refuses to deliver
declaration to US government.
1943 Oct 25, Japanese
forces held an official ceremony for the 415-km Thailand-Burma
railroad. The rail was completed Oct 17 at Konkuita, Thailand.
During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died
and were buried along the “Death Railway.” An estimated 80,000 to
100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly
forced labor brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or
conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar). The movie “The
Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) was a part of this effort and is
today a big tourist attraction in Thailand.
1944 Jun 5, The first B-29
bombing raid struck the Japanese rail line in Bangkok, Thailand.
1944 The Bangkok Bank was
founded. In 2004 it was Thailand’s biggest commercial lender and the
Sophonpanich family, whose patriarch helped found the bank, still
(WSJ, 5/19/04, p.A16)
1945 At the end of World War II
Thailand was compelled to return territory it had seized from Laos,
Cambodia and Malaya. The exiled King Ananda returned.
1945-1949 A series of wars for independence during
this period spread from India to Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and
Singapore. In 2007 Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper authored
“Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia.”
(WSJ, 8/9/07, p.D7)
1946 Jun 9, Rama VIII,
Thailand’s King Ananda Mahidol (b.1925), was found shot dead in his
bedroom inside Bangkok's Grand Palace in mysterious circumstances,
four days before his planned return to school in Switzerland. Ananda
had ascended to the throne after his uncle abdicated in 1935. His
father, Prince Mahidol, was a son of King Chulalongkorn. Ananda was
nine years old and studying in Switzerland when he was chosen to
succeed Prajadhipok. The government changed the country's name to
Thailand in 1939. Ananda Bhumibol Adulyadej (b.1927) ascended the
throne as a teenage King after his older brother’s death.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananda_Mahidol)(SFC, 6/10/96, C3)(AP,
6/12/06) (Reuters, 5/2/19)
1946 The film “Anna and the
King of Siam” starred Rex Harrison and Irene Dunne and was directed
by John Cromwell.
(TVM, 1975, p.19)(SFC, 11/10/98, p.E4)
1946 Thailand’s Democratic
Party (DC) was founded as a conservative, royalist party.
(Econ, 8/4/12, p.37)
1947 In Thailand Phibun
Songkhram, a wartime pro-Japanese leader, led a Military coup. The
military retain power until 1973.
1949 May 11, Siam changed its
named to Thailand. [see 1939]
1949 Thailand’s Grand Palace
Coup took place.
(Econ, 1/10/04, p.76)
1950 May 5, In Thailand King
Bhumibol Adulyadej (22) was crowned. Bhumibol died in 2016 at age 88
after reigning for seven decades.
1950 May 21, French sources
reported that Viet Minh guerrillas had infiltrated Cambodia and
opened an arms-smuggling corridor to Thailand.
1951 Thailand’s Manhattan Coup
took place, named after a ship stormed by coup leaders.
(Econ, 1/10/04, p.76)
1954 Albert Pickerell (d.1999
at 86) served in Thailand as a Fulbright lecturer and helped
establish a School of Journalism at Thammasatt Univ.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A19)
1954 Sep 8, SEATO (Southeast
Asia Treaty Organization), a sister organization to NATO, was
created under the Manila Pact by the Southeast Asia Collective
Defense Treaty, to stop communist spread in Southeast Asia (Vietnam,
Cambodia and Laos). The United States, Australia, France, Great
Britain, New Zealand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand signed
the mutual defense treaty. SEATO dissolved in 1977.
1955 Feb 23, Eight nations (the
United States, Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, the
Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand) met in Bangkok for the first
(HN, 2/23/98)(HN, 9/8/98)
1955 Paul Grimes (1924-2002)
worked as an editor for the Bangkok Post. He joined the NY Times in
1957 and helped establish Conde Nast Traveler in 1987.
(SFC, 5/2/02, p.A27)
1957 Sep 17, The Thai army
seized power in Bangkok.
1957 Thieves looted a sacred
chamber at Wat Ratchaburana at Ayuthaya, Thailand. Much, but not
all, of the booty was recovered.
(SFC, 3/5/05, p.A2)
1960s-1973 Thanom Kittikachorn (d.2004) ran
Thailand in the 1960s and early 1970s with his son, Col. Narong
Kittikachorn, and Narong's father-in-law, Field Marshal Praphas
1962 Mar 6, US promised
Thailand assistance against "communist" aggression.
1962 May 11, US sent troops to
1962 The Int’l. Court of
Justice awarded the Preah Vihear temple, located on the
Cambodia-Thai border, to Cambodia, but did not specify where the
border should be drawn.
(Econ, 7/26/08, p.47)
1962 In southern Thailand a
tropical storm killed more than 900 people.
1967 Mar 26, Jim Thompson,
American ex-serviceman, disappeared while on holiday in the Cameron
Highlands of Northern Malaysia. He revived the Thai silk industry
after WW II. He was one of the first to adopt a classic Thai house
to the requirements of modern life, and his home is now a museum in
(Hem, Mar. 95, p.63)(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.T14)
1967 Aug 8, The Association of
Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established in Bangkok by the
five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined
on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Laos and Myanmar on 23
July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.
1968 Mar 22, In southern
Thailand Tuanku Biyo Kodoniyo set up the Pattani United Liberation
Organization (PULO). It called for an independent Islamic country.
1968 Dec 10, Thomas Merton
(b.1915), American Trappist monk and writer, died in Bangkok,
Thailand from accidental electrocution. He had just finished his 7th
journal "The Other side of the Mountain." Merton was influenced by
the Hindu scholar Mahanambrata Brahmachari (d.1999). Merton's work
also the spiritual autobiography "The Seven Story Mountain." In 1978
Monica Furlong (d.2003) authored a biography of Merton.
(SFC, 2/24/98, p.A22)(SFEC, 9/27/98, BR p.3)(SFC,
11/2/99, p.A26)(SFC, 2/3/03, p.B4)(WSJ, 3/26/03,
1969 At their peak in 1969,
68,889 combat troops from Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of
Korea, Thailand and the Philippines were deployed in Vietnam.
1971 In Thailand The Nation
newspaper was founded largely as a progressive conservative as
pro-democracy activists were struggling against a military
dictatorship. In 2019 The Nation announced it will stop its print
edition, but continue with an online version.
1973 Oct 14, In Thailand
thousands demonstrated against the military dictatorship and some 77
people were killed.
1973 Oct, Thailand’s King
Bhumibol Adulyadej sheltered pro-democracy demonstrators from the
military dictators they were seeking to overthrow. The generals who
were in power saw it was time to exit. A student-led uprising ousted
3 military figures who had ruled Thailand for much of the 1960s and
early 1970s. Thanom Kittikachorn (d.2004) was ousted in a popular
uprising. The military ruler of Thailand had helped the US during
the Vietnam War.
(AP, 12/19/05)(AP, 6/17/04)(WSJ, 9/20/06, p.A12)
1974 Jun 3, The last Air
America aircraft crossed the border from Laos into Thailand.
American forces left Laos and abandoned some 36,000 Laotians hired
to battle North Vietnamese troops. The Hmong and Iu Mien were 2 hill
tribes hired by the Americans to break codes and rescue downed
pilots. Many of the soldiers fled to Thailand where they lived in
refugee camps. Some 35,000 Iu Mien later moved to the US.
(SFC,12/27/97, p.A15)(SFEC, 1/24/99,
1975 Jul 1, Thailand and China
signed a formal agreement on diplomatic relations.
1975 Jul 31, The Bangkok
Agreement was signed as an initiative of the Economic and Social
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). As Asia’s 1st
preferential trade agreement between developing countries it aimed
at promoting intra-regional trade through exchange of mutually
agreed concessions by member countries. Five countries, Republic of
Korea, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Lao People’s Democratic
Republic, were the initial signatories. China joined in April, 2000.
Thailand and the Philippines did not ratify the agreement due to
their ASEAN commitments.
1975 Thailand issued a warrant
for the arrest of Charles Sobhraj on charges of drugging and killing
six women, all wearing bikinis, on a beach at Pattaya. Sobhraj is
also accused of killing more than 20 young Western backpackers
across Asia, usually by drugging their food or drink, in the 1970s
and 1980s. Sobhraj, serving 20 years in India, escaped from prison
in the mid-1980s, but was caught and returned to jail until 1997. In
2003 French national Sobhraj was arrested from a casino in Kathmandu
on charges that he traveled to the Himalayan nation on a fake
passport 32 years ago. He was subsequently sentenced to life in
prison for murdering an American backpacker in 1975.
1976 Jul 20, US Air Force
Brigadier General Harry Aderholt lowered the American flag for the
last time at Military Assistance Command Thailand headquarters on
Bangkok’s Sathorn Road.
1976 Aug 6, Thailand and
Vietnam established diplomatic relations.
1976 Oct 6, In Thailand
right-wing political power-brokers, including Kriangsak Chomanan and
Samak Sundaravej, provoked mobs to lynch left-wing pro-democracy
student protesters at Bangkok's Thammasat University. At least 46
protesters were killed and hundreds wounded by the police and army.
A coup installed a new military-guided, right-wing government.
(AP, 12/23/03)(WSJ, 9/20/06, p.A12)(Econ, 9/6/08,
1976 Nov 23, The Thai
government returned 26 refugees to Cambodia saying that they are a
threat to the national security. The government said some 70,000
refugees in Thailand who escaped Communist rule in other Indochina
states, including 10,000 Cambodians, would also not be permitted to
1976 Thailand’s King Bhumibol
Adulyadej showed sympathy to the forces of the establishment who
believed that students and other liberal forces were leading the
country into chaos. In response the military again took the reins of
1977 Oct 20, A bloodless
military coup was staged in Thailand. Kriangsak Chomanan was
appointed prime minister, Thailand's 15th since it became a
constitutional monarchy in 1932.
(AP, 12/23/03)(WSJ, 9/20/06, p.A12)
1978 Sep 15, In Thailand PM
Kriangsak Chomanan submitted an amnesty bill for the "Bangkok 18"
left-wing students and labor activists jailed in connection with the
1976 crackdown. He also initiated an amnesty program for former
members of the Communist Party, a reconciliation policy that
eventually helped quash its insurgency.
1878 PM Kriangsak's government
promulgated a constitution setting up a timetable for the
restoration of parliamentary democracy, beginning with a 1979
1979 Jan 7, The Vietnamese army
captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh overthrowing the Khmer
Rouge government. The People’s Party, a Hanoi installed Khmer Rouge
faction, took power with Hun Sen as prime minister. This finally
ended the mass genocide depicted in the 1984 film "The Killing
Fields." The Khmer Rouge retreated into sanctuaries along the Thai
border, set up bases and picked up support from Thailand and China.
(NG, 5/85, p.574-5)(WSJ, 2/27/96, p.A-1)(SFC,
6/14/97, p.A15)(WSJ, 5/3/96, p.A-10)(SFC, 4/29/97, p.A8)(AP, 1/7/98)
1980 Thailand’s PM
Kriangsak resigned after losing the support of an influential
faction of independent-minded middle-ranking army officers known as
the Young Turks.
1980 In Thailand Prem
Tinsulanonda (d.2019) became prime minister and continued to 1988.
In 1998 the former army commander became adviser to the royal
1981 Former PM Kriangsak
staged a minor comeback, successfully running for a seat in
parliament at the helm of his own National Democracy Party.
1982 Austrian Dietrich
Mateschitz (b.1944), who had become aware of "tonic drinks" while
traveling in Asia, got the idea for the Red Bull energy drink
business while sitting at the bar in the Mandarin Hotel in Hong
Kong. In the 1970s T.C. Pharmaceuticals of Thailand, founded by
Chaleo Yoovidhya, had formulated an energy drink prototype called
Krathing Daeng, or Red Bull in English. Mateschitz and Yoovidhya
started selling the drink in Austria in 1987.
1983 Thailand experienced
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.60)
1984 Karen refugees from
Myanmar began settling in camps in Thailand. By 2011 some 140,000
refugees were living in 9 camps behind barbed wire near the border
town of Mae Sot.
(Econ, 5/21/11, p.44)
1985 Sep 9, In Thailand there
was a failed coup attempt. Former PM Kriangsak was caught with other
retired military officers at the headquarters of the plotters.
1986 Karen refugees established
the Huay Ko Lok refugee camp in Thailand. The camp was burned 3
times between 1996-1998 by the Burmese military. Residents were
relocated in Aug, 1999, to Um Phien.
(SFEC, 4/2/00, Z1 p.4)
1987 Rebel leaders of a
Thailand southern insurgency were offered general amnesty.
(SFC, 1/23/04, p.A7)
1988 Aug 28, The Yan Hee
Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand, reported on a new slimming
technique. Overweight Thais were suppressing their appetites by
sticking lettuce seeds in their ears and pressing them in ten times
1988 In Thailand a general
amnesty freed all those involved in the 1985 coup attempt.
1988 Thailand introduced its
10-baht coin. In 2002 the EU complained that it was being used in
vending machines all over Europe due to its similarity to the 2-euro
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.C7)
1989 The government of Thailand
granted investment incentives to the Sahaviriya group to build the
first mills for making steel.
(WSJ, 8/27/96, p.A10)
1989 In Thailand John Gray
formed Sea Canoe, an ecotourism venture, to show tourists the
southwestern coast limestone caves known as hongs.
(SFC, 11/23/99, p.A14)
1989 Saudi diplomat Abdullah
al-Maliki was gunned down in Bangkok. Adbullah A al-Besri, Fahad AZ
Albahli and Ahmed A Alsaif were assassinated in January 1990. All
were linked to the so-called Blue Diamond theft committed by Thai
laborer Kriangkrai Techamong, who was working at Prince Faisal's
palace in Saudi Arabia in 1989. The legendary diamond was among
several valuable stones and jewelry pieces stolen from the palace of
a Saudi Prince when he was employed as a gardener in the Arab
1989 In Thailand Typhoon Gay
left more than 400 dead.
1991 Feb 23, Tanks rolled in
the streets of Bangkok and a coup was held to get rid of the corrupt
government of Chatichai Choonhavan. After months of investigations a
military-appointed committee seized the assets of 10 men from the
ousted administration. Gen. Suchinda Kraprayoon toppled a civilian
government in a bloodless takeover. He was ousted in 1992 following
(WSJ, 12/11/96, p.A16)(AP, 9/20/06)
1991 May 26, An Austrian Lauda
Air Boeing 767 crashed in Thailand, killing all 223 people aboard.
Crash investigators blamed an engine thrust reverser that had
inexplicably deployed shortly after takeoff. The plane was enroute
to Vienna and crashed shortly after takeoff from the Bangkok
(AP, 5/26/97)(WSJ, 11/13/01, p.A14)
1991 In Bangkok the Kaset Thai
sugar mill was built for some $200 million by the Siriviriyakul
(WSJ, 4/2/99, p.A9)
1992 Mar 8, Ninety people were
killed when a ferry carrying pilgrims to a Buddhist shrine collided
with an oil tanker in the Gulf of Thailand.
1992 Mar, The military Junta
formed a party with politicians it had investigated in 1991 to
contest the elections.
(WSJ, 12/11/96, p.A16)
1992 Apr 7, Suchinda
Kraprayoon, leader of a military coup, became PM of Thailand he
served until 24 May 1992.
1992 May 17, Pro-democracy
protests began in Thailand; in four days of clashes with troops, 44
people reportedly were killed, although activists charged that
1992 May 20, Thailand's
much-revered monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, called for an end to
violent clashes between troops and pro-democracy protesters.
1992 May 24, Thailand protests,
supported by numerous political movements, climaxed with the
resignation of PM Suchinda. Deputy PM Meechai Ruchuphan took office
for a transitional period until the new government was assigned. He
was succeeded by Anand Panyarachun.
1992 The Hmong began living at
the Tham Krabok Buddhist monastery after monks traveled into the
mountains to free 2,000 Hmong from opium addiction.
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.A10)
1992 The Asian Development Bank
began building and improving transport and telecom links between
China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
(Econ, 11/8/03, p.42)
1992 The Greater Mekong
Subregion was created grouping 5 South-East Asian countries
(Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam) and 2 Chinese
1992-1995 Chuan Leekpai served as Prime Minister
until a land scandal split his coalition and the government
1993 Mar, The Supreme Court
threw out the cases against the 10 politicians who were ousted in
the 1991 coup.
(WSJ, 12/11/96, p.A16)
1993 May, A fire at Bangkok’s
Kader doll factory killed 187 people and injured 600.
(SFC, 11/26/96, p.B1)
1993 Jul, In Nakhon Ratchasima
a 6-story hotel collapsed and crushed 102 people.
(SFC, 11/26/96, p.B1)
1993 Southeast Asia accounted
for 1.4% of the world’s agricultural land and 3.6% of global
pesticide imports by value. The highest use was in Thailand.
(WSJ, 10/3/96, p.B11B)
1994 Feb, Hot-rolled coil steel
(WSJ, 8/27/96, p.A10)
1994 The lower Mekong River was
spanned for the first time with a bridge between Nong Khai, Thailand
and Vientiane, Laos.
(SFC, 5/14/97, p.A22)(Econ, 1/3/04, p.29)
1994 In Thailand The Pak Mun
Dam along the Mun River, a major tributary of the Mekong, was
completed with money from the World Bank. It is a 56 foot high, 984
foot long wall of concrete and severely impacted fish life on the
(WSJ, 3/12/96, p. A-15)(Econ, 1/3/04, p.30)
1994 The Australian foreign
minister, Gareth Evans, accused “freelance military personnel and
business spivs” (shady dealers) in Thailand of providing refuge for
Khmer Rouge leaders and helping them get gems and timber out of
Cambodia. The statement was made after 2 Australians were murdered
by the Khmer Rouge.
(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)
1995 Apr 5, The Mekong
Agreement created the Mekong River Commission with Cambodia, Laos,
Thailand and Vietnam as members.
1995 Jul 13, In Thailand
Banharn Silpa-archa (1932-2016), a provincial political powerbroker,
began serving as prime minister.
1995 Aug 21, Prince Thitiphan
Yugala (60), aka Luk Pla (Baby fish) was poisoned by his new wife
Chalasai Yugala (23). He died after 8 days and Luk Pla ran off with
Uthet Choopwa (19), a chestnut peddler. She had become his lover at
14 and wife at 23. In 2002 she was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
(SFC, 2/20/02, p.A2)
1995 Thailand announced that it
would close all of its refugee camps. This would force the 4,500
Hmong remaining in those camps to either go to the US or return to
(SFC, 5/26/96, p.C-8)
1995 PepsiCo Inc. bought out
its Thai partner and took over a production plant and hired 1500
farmers to grow potatoes according to company spec.
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.A1)
1995 Thailand experienced
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.60)
1996 Mar 1, The first
Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) opened in Bangkok, Thailand, with 25
countries and the EU Commission participating.
(Econ, 10/9/10, p.63)(http://tinyurl.com/25mhkw7)
1996 Mar, Thailand authorities
arrested 3 N. Korean diplomats and Yoshimi Tanaka for supplying
counterfeit US $100 bills. The bills were very high quality and
called “Super K” notes. The arrest opened up the possibility for the
first case of state-sponsored counterfeiting since WW II.
(SFC, 6/16/96, p.A10)
1996 May 16, GM is expected to
pick Thailand over the Philippines for a $1 billion vehicle assembly
(WSJ, 5/16/96, p.A-1)
1996 May 16, A joint venture
between Texas Instruments, Acer of Taiwan, and Alphatec of Thailand
plan a $200 million chip facility. Operations are to start in 1997.
(WSJ, 5/16/96, p.A-11)
1996 Jun 2, Bangkok voters
elected Pichit Rattakul, an independent environ-mentalist, as mayor.
The city is one of the most polluted in the world.
(SFC, 6/3/96, p.A11)
1996 Jun 13, Citicorp’s
Citibank has captured 40% of Thailand’s credit-card market.
(WSJ, 6/13/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in Thailand was $1.90.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Parade, p.17)
1996 Jul, 29, A report from the
economics faculty of Bangkok’s Thammasat Univ. warned that the
economy was sick.
(WSJ, 7/29/96, p.A8)
1996 Sep 21, Thai Prime
Minister Banharn Silpa-archa resigned after 14 months in offices
under charges of corruption and ineptitude.
(SFC, 9/21/96, p.A10)
1996 Nov 18, Chavalit
Yongchaiyudh, former defense minister, led the New Aspiration Party
to victory in elections and recruited 5 other parties to form a
coalition government. He was later endorsed and called “fatso” by
Buddhist monk Luang Phor Khoon Parisuttho. The government lasted
(SFEC, 11/19/96, p.A15)(SFC, 11/26/96, p.B1)
1996 Thanong Siriprechapong, a
former member of the Thai parliament, was arrested for smuggling 49
tons of hashish into the US. The case was later hampered due to a
kickback made by a key informant to US Customs agent, Frank
Gervacio, in Aug, 1992.
(SFC, 9/11/98, p.A18)
1996 In Thailand Salang Bunnag
directed a hostage rescue operation that freed all the captives from
a drug gang. Bunnag was later accused of ordering the summary
execution of the 6 kidnappers while they were in custody.
(SFC, 8/27/01, p.A9)
1997 Jan 1, The Buddhist Era
year is 2540.
(Hem., 3/97, p.27)
1997 Feb 26, Thai soldiers
pushed Karen refugees back across the border into Burma as Burmese
troops massed for an offensive.
(WSJ, 2/27/97, p.A1)
1997 May 31, The 7-member ASEAN
alliance, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, met in Kuala
Lumpur and agreed to allow Burma to become a member in July. Laos
and Cambodia were also to be admitted. The members were Thailand,
Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.
(SFEC, 6/1/97, p.D3)
1997 Jun 5, The film "Sunset at
Chaopraya" by Euthana Mukdasnit was an Int’l. film festival award
winner and premiered in the Bay Area.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.E3)
1997 Jun 18, It was reported
that in this year 25,000 Hmong lived in Laos, 18,000 in Thailand and
140,000 in the US with some 48,500 in the San Joaquin Valley of
Calif. A clan of 15,000 lived at the Tham Krabok Buddhist monastery
north of Bangkok.
(SFC, 6/18/97, p.A8)
1997 Jun 21, It was reported
that operators of illegal logging ventures in northern Thailand were
feeding their elephants amphetamine-laced bananas to speed up work
before the rainy season. The practice began a few years ago and 10
animals have died of overwork and exhaustion.
(SFC, 6/21/97, p.A11)
1997 Jul 1, Thailand let its
currency, the baht, float and it devalued about 20%. This event
marked the beginning of the Asian economic crises. In 1999 Thailand
sought to extradite Rakesh Saxena, a currency trader, from Canada
for his role in an alleged fraud that drained over $2 billion from
the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, which led to the devaluation of the
baht. Pin Chakkaphak was blamed for the collapse of the currency and
fled Asia. He was ordered back from Britain in 2001 to face
accounting and theft charges. In 2009 Saxena (57) arrived in
Thailand after his extradition from Canada to face charges he
embezzled $88 million from the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, which
collapsed in 1995. Saxena was also implicated in backing the
attempted 1997 coup in Sierra Leone.
(SFC, 7/3/97, p.D4)(WSJ, 7/21/97, p.A1)(SFEC,
5/31/98, p.D1)(WSJ, 5/7/99, p.A1)(SFC, 3/9/01, p.A16)(Econ, 3/25/06,
p.80)(AP, 10/30/09)(Econ, 11/7/09, p.42)
1997 Jul 9, It was reported
that elephants were dying around pineapple orchards, possibly from
chemical poisoning. Only some 500 elephants remained in Thailand.
(SFC, 7/9/97, p.A7)
1997 Jul 11, In Thailand a
kitchen fire went out of control at the 450-room Royal Jomtien Hotel
in Pattaya and killed 91 people with 64 injured.
(SFC, 7/12/97, p.A10)(WSJ, 7/11/97, p.A12)(AP,
1997 Aug 11, Int’l. donors
offered Thailand a $16-17 bil loan package.
(SFC, 8/12/97, p.A8)(SFC, 1/8/98, p.A7)
1997 Sep 15, From Thailand it
was reported that layoffs, salary cuts and downsizing was spreading
across the economy under an expensive foreign debt load and a 40%
fall in the value of the baht.
(SFC, 9/15/97, p.A10)
1997 Sep 27, The parliament
passed a “good governance” constitution intended to fight government
corruption and rejected a no-confidence motion against Prime
Minister Chavilit. It called for the old-guard politicians to be
replaced by a new, 200-member elected body. National
Counter-Corruption Commission was formed.
(WSJ, 9/29/97, p.A1)(SFC, 3/3/00, p.A20)(SFC,
1997 Sep 30, The cabinet
officially scrapped the $3.2 billion rail and road system under
construction by Hopewell Holdings. The Bangkok Elevated Rail and
Transport System known as Berts was one fifth built and several
years behind schedule.
(WSJ, 10/1/97, p.A18)
1997 Nov 3, Prime Minister
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh announced that he would step down later in the
week. Stock and currency markets rallied on the news.
1997 Nov 9, Former Prime
Minister Chuan Leekpai formed a new government with a coalition of 8
1997 Dec 8, The government
announced that it will liquidate 56 of 58 insolvent finance
companies shut down by the Central Bank earlier in the year. The
move was part of the conditions of the $17.2 billion IMF bailout.
1997 The radio program “Ruam
Duay Chuay Kan” (Let’s Get Together and Help Each Other) began
broadcasting from Bangkok.
(SFC, 6/20/00, p.A12)
1997 The Thai constitution
guaranteed citizens 12 years of free education. This effectively
reduced the number of Thai girls sold into the sex industry.
(SFC, 2/6/02, p.A12)
1997 Thailand’s King Bhumibol
developed his “sufficiency economy” theory during the Asian economic
crises of this year. In 2007 it was described as a plan for
sustainability, moderation and broad-based development.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.38)
1997 In Rangoon, Burma, talks
between the Karen National Union and Burmese officials broke down
when the Karen refused to disarm. After the talks broke the Burmese
army swept through Karen territory and forced thousands of refugees
(SFEC, 4/2/00, Z1 p.4)
c1997 Luangta Maha Bua, a
revered monk from Wat Pa Ban Tad Temple, used his status and the
threat of suicide to urge the Thai people to help replenish the
state coffers with donations.
(SFC, 9/26/00, p.A11)
1997-2002 Thailand and Indonesia were hit the
hardest in an Asian financial crises and suffered a slump in GDP
during this period of around 35%.
(Econ, 6/30/07, p.79)
1998 Jan 28, Officials at
Chulalongkorn Univ. posted posters forbidding the wearing of
(SFC, 1/29/98, p.A11)
1998 Mar 31, It was reported
that in Thailand’s Mae Hong Son province, women of the Padaung tribe
of Burma were attracting tourists with their necks elongated by
wearing brass coils. They began fleeing Burma’s Kayah state over a
(SFC, 3/31/98, p.B4)
1998 Apr 17, A Thai military
team collected evidence from the body of Pol Pot, former chief of
Cambodia's Khmer Rouge guerrillas, to confirm that one of the
century's worst tyrants was truly dead.
1998 Jun 26, Four Pakistanis
were reported to have been arrested in Bangkok. They were suspected
of planning to assassinate US Ambassador William Itoh and to launch
a terrorist strike against the US embassy.
(SFC, 6/27/98, p.A14)
1998 Jul 8, Thailand was
expected to withdraw a plan to deport foreign workers and planned to
announce proposals to widen work opportunities for migrant workers
from Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh.
(SFC, 7/9/98, p.A10)
1998 Sep 23, The economy was
expected to contract by 7-10%. Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai called
for an investigation into the sale of medical supplies.
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A12,16)
1998 Nov 2, In Thailand 6
Buddhist worshippers were killed and dozens injured when 3 giant
ceremonial incense sticks collapsed at the Phra Pathom Pagoda.
(SFC, 11/2/98, p.A16)
1998 Dec 11, A Thai Airways
Airbus A310-200 jet crashed near the airport at Surat Thani. 45
people survived and 101 died.
(SFC, 12/12/98, p.A15)(WSJ, 12/14/98, p.A1)
1998 Three prominent academics
published the book “Guns, Girls, Gambling and Ganja.”
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A16)
1998 Dr. Chris Baker and Pasuk
Pongpaichit published “Thailand’s Boom and Bust.”
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A16)
1998 The film “Fun, Bar,
Karaoke” was directed Penek Ratanaruang. It satirized Bangkok’s
juxtaposition of modern ways and ancient folk religion.
(SFC, 5/20/98, p.E3)
1998 Thaksin Shinawatra, former
police officer and telecom entrepreneur, founded the Thais Love
Thais (Thai Rak Thai) party.
(SFC, 1/6/01, p.A8)
1998 Hong Kong suffered a slump
in GDP of over 6% as did Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea and
(Econ, 11/22/08, p.51)
1998 Burmese refugees in
Thailand created the Backpack Health Worker Team to effectively
sneak health into eastern Burma (Myanmar), where the military junta
provides little health care.
(SSFC, 3/22/09, p.A8)
1998 Officials in 2001 reported
that AIDS accounted for 16% of all deaths in 1998.
(SFC, 9/1/01, p.A10)
1999 Mar 10, Michael Wansley
(58), an auditor for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, was shot to death on
his way to the Kaset Thai sugar mill. The murder was traced to
Pradit Siriviriyakul, one of the brothers running the family mill.
(WSJ, 4/2/99, p.A9)
1999 Oct 1, In Thailand the
Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors took 38 diplomats as hostages at
the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok. Two Thai officials were exchanged
for the hostages and 12  students were reported to have flown to
the Thai-Burma border by helicopter, where they were released. The
students demanded the release of political prisoners, dialogue
between the military and Aung San Suu Kyi and an elected parliament.
(SFC, 10/2/99, p.A12)(SFEC, 10/3/99, p.A25)
1999 Oct 2, Bo Mya, leader of
the Karen National Union, said he would grant sanctuary to the
Burmese students who were flown to the Thai-Burma following a 26
hour takeover of the Burmese Embassy.
(SFEC, 10/3/99, p.A25)
1999 Nov 27, It was reported
that at least 26 people had died recently in Phrae province from
leptospirosis, a disease transmitted by rat urine. Farmers not
wearing boots and gloves in their fields were vulnerable.
(SFC, 11/27/99, p.A17)
1999 Dec 5, In Bangkok the
15-mile $1.4 billion light rail Sky Train began operating on the
72nd birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
(SFC, 12/21/99, p.A16)
1999 The Thai film "Nang Nak"
was a stylish ghost story.
(SFC, 9/30/99, p.E6)
1999 The Thai historical film
"Suriyothai" was directed by Chatri Chalerm Yukol. It was about the
16th century Queen Suriyothai who saved her husband King Thianracha
during a war with invaders from Myanmar.
(SFC, 9/30/99, p.E6)
1999 Thailand’s Siam Winery
launched its first label, Chatemp. In 2003 the "Monsoon Valley"
range was introduced abroad by Chalerm Yoovidhya, whose father
Chaleo gave the world the "Red Bull" energy drink.
2000 Jan 24, Security forces
stormed a hospital and ended a 22-hour standoff with Burmese
guerrillas. 10 rebels of the "God's Army" were reported killed. The
hostage-takers were executed after surrendering to security forces.
(SFC, 1/25/00, p.A10)(SFC, 1/27/00, p.A12)
2000 Jan, The Karen of Burma,
displaced in Thailand, celebrated their new year 2739.
(SFEC, 4/2/00, Z1 p.4)
2000 Jan 26, In Thailand the
legendary 24-year leader of the Karen National Union (KNU), was
voted out of the chairmanship. Saw Ba Thin was elected as the new
chairman of the Karen National Union (KNU).
(SFC, 1/28/00, p.A14)(SFC, 2/22/00, p.A8)
2000 Mar 29, Sanan
Kachornprasart (64) resigned as interior minister after the National
Counter-Corruption Commission charged that he had concealed his
assets in a fabricated million-dollar loan.
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.A18)
2000 Apr 2, It was reported
that some 100,000 Karen refugees from Burma lived in 8 refugee camps
along the Thailand border.
(SFEC, 4/2/00, Z1 p.1)
2000 May 7, In Thailand
thousands of protestors besieged the annual meeting of the Asian
Development Bank. The 13 nations agreed to rescue each other’s
currencies to fend off economic crises.
(SFC, 5/8/00, p.A14)
2000 Sep 25, Flooding left 47
(WSJ, 9/26/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 22, In Thailand 9
inmates escaped from Samut Sakorn prison with 7 prison officials.
Thai commandos killed the inmates.
(SFC, 11/23/00, p.D8)
2000 Nov 24, It was reported
that recent monsoon flooding killed 10 people in Malaysia and at
least 5 people in Thailand. The death toll from flooding in Thailand
reached over 30, mostly children. At least 49 died from mudslides in
(SFC, 11/24/00, p.D8)(WSJ, 11/27/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 19, It was reported
that swiftlet colonies in Thailand were threatened due to the
excessive harvesting of their edible nests for Chinese restaurants.
(SFC, 12/19/00, p.A16)
2000 Dec 26, An anti-corruption
body ruled that Thaksin Shinawatra, the leading candidate for prime
minister, engaged in financial wrongdoings that disqualified him
from holding office.
(SFC, 12/27/00, p.A15)
2001 Jan 6, Thailand government
elections pitted PM Chuan Leekpai’s Democratic Party against the
Thais Love Thais (Thai Rak Thai) party of Thaksin Shinawatra (51).
Elections for 500 seats in the lower parliament were scheduled with
new laws to reduce vote-buying. Shinawatra, Thailand’s richest man,
won with 248 seats and divested his assets to relatives.
(SFC, 1/6/01, p.A8)(SSFC, 1/7/01, p.D1)(WSJ,
2/2/01, p.A1)(Econ, 2/5/05, p.11,24)
2001 Jan 16, Luther and Johnny
Htoo, twin adolescent leaders of an ethnic Karen rebel group,
surrendered to Thai border police.
(WSJ, 1/17/01, p.A1)
2001 Jan 17, Electoral
officials annulled the victories of 14 candidates.
(WSJ, 1/18/01, p.A1)
2001 Jan 18, A court agreed to
hear a corruption case against Prime Minister-elect Thakson
(SFC, 1/19/01, p.D4)
2001 Jan 18, In Bangkok 2 bombs
exploded and at least 8 people were killed.
(SFC, 1/19/01, p.A17)
2001 Jan 23, Electoral
authorities ordered re-votes in 62 of 400 districts.
(WSJ, 1/24/01, p.A1)
2001 Feb 6, It was reported
that Thailand planned to open a chain of over 3,000 Thai restaurants
world-wide over the next 5 years with 1,000 slated for the US. The
fast-food branches would be named Elephant Jump, Cool Basil for the
mid-priced, and Golden Leaf for the upscale eateries.
(WSJ, 2/6/01, p.B1)
2001 Feb 11, Thai troops fought
a gunbattle with some 200 Burmese soldiers who crossed the border
chasing Shan rebels.
(SFC, 2/12/01, p.B2)
2001 Feb 12, It was reported
that Thailand’s bad loans mounted to 20 billion and accounted for
20% of all bank lending. Thai Petrochemical Industries (TPI) was the
largest debtor and owed banks over $3.5 billion.
(WSJ, 2/12/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 2, In Thailand a bomb
blast gutted a Thai Airways Boeing 737-400 in Bangkok just before PM
Shinawatra was to board. One crew member was killed. It was later
reported that the empty center fuel tank of the plane had exploded.
(SFC, 3/5/01, p.A12)(WSJ, 6/26/08, p.A12)
2001 Apr 15, The annual water
festival of Songkran was reported to have turned from a gentle
ritual of respect to a youthful melee that included water bombs,
squirt guns, water rifles and vats of ice.
(SSFC, 4/15/01, p.D8)
2001 Aug 3, The Constitutional
Court acquitted PM Thaksin Shinawatra of corruption charges.
(SFC, 8/4/01, p.A7)
2001 Aug 11, In northern
Thailand heavy rains triggered flash floods that left at least 86
people dead and 70 missing.
(SSFC, 8/12/01, p.A18)(WSJ, 8/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 27, It was reported
that AIDS victims in Thailand were packing stadiums to receive V-1
Immunitor, a locally produced drug advertised as a clinically tested
oral AIDS vaccine. Salang Bunnag sponsored the giveaway directed at
Thailand’s 755,000 AIDS patients.
(SFC, 8/27/01, p.A1)
2001 In Thailand Jaruvan
Maintaka (54) was appointed to head the new auditor-general's
office, an independent body created to track state financial
transactions and spot signs of corruption. By 2005 with only half of
her term gone she amassed a menagerie of adversaries, from vested
interests to corrupt politicians, and in the process became a target
for elimination. In 2004 a court ruled that she was illegally
appointed. In 2005 the Senate endorsed a replacement, but the king
did not approve. In 2006 she was reinstated.
(AP, 9/19/05)(WSJ, 2/9/06, p.A7)
2002 Apr 8, It was reported
that a Thai version of the TV show “The Weakest Link” was “promoting
fierce competition and selfishness among recipients,” in contrast to
general Thai generosity.
(SFC, 4/8/02, p.A2)
2002 Jun 3, In Thailand 3
gunmen attacked a school bus and killed 2 teenage students in the
Ratchaburi province near Burma. 15 others were injured.
(SFC, 6/4/02, p.A12)
2002 Jul 8, In southern
Thailand a bomb tore through a parked passenger railway coach
injuring a policeman and a security guard.
2002 Jul 29, On a mission to
stamp out Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia, U.S. Secretary of
State Colin Powell held talks with Thai leaders, who deny their
country is facing a Muslim insurgency.
2002 Aug 29, A joint force of
Thai police and soldiers killed six armed drug traffickers and
seized a million methamphetamine pills after ambushing a drug convoy
near the Golden Triangle.
2002 Aug 30, Floodwaters along
the lower stretches of the Mekong have wreaked havoc in Laos,
Cambodia (18), Thailand (12) and Vietnam (25), claiming at least 55
lives and leaving thousands homeless across the region.
2002 Sep 2, At least 14 people
were killed and more than 20 were missing after their makeshift
houses on the banks of an overflowing stream collapsed after heavy
rain in northern Thailand.
2002 Dec 4, Thailand released
thousands of prisoners, including many jailed for minor narcotics
offences, to mark the 75th birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the
world's longest reigning monarch.
2002 Dec 19, It was reported
that AIDS in Thailand infected 1 in 60 people and that by 2006 some
50,000 annual deaths would result from AIDS-related causes.
(SFC, 12/19/02, p.A18)
2003 Jan 29, In Cambodia
protesters looted and set fire to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh.
The protest was against a Thai TV star who was quoted in the media
as saying Cambodia had stolen the famous Angkor Wat temple from
2003 Jan 30, Thailand sealed
its border with Cambodia, recalled its ambassador and sent military
planes to evacuate hundreds of terrified Thais after rioters looted
and torched its embassy in the Cambodian capital.
2003 Feb 13, Thailand officials
arrested SF financier Thomas Frank White at the request of the
Mexican government for the rape of a teenage boy. In 2004 White was
indicted in SF on 2 counts of sex tourism.
(SSFC, 9/11/05, p.A2)
2003 Feb 14, A Thai court ruled
to extradite Florida millionaire James Vincent Sullivan (61), wanted
in the US for the 1987 murder of his socialite wife. He was accused
of paying another man $25,000 to kill Lita McClinton Sullivan to
avoid losing property in a divorce. In 2006 he was convicted of
murder and sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 2/15/03)(AP, 3/14/06)
2003 Feb, Thailand’s PM Thaksin
Shinawatra began a war on drugs aimed primarily at the
methamphetamine market. Some 5% of the population were reported to
be addicts. A 3-month shooting spree left more than 2,800 people
(SFC, 5/29/03, p.A7)(Econ, 1/26/08, p.42)(Econ,
2003 Mar 5, Cambodia
sealed its border with Thailand, due to sluggish progress “to
normalize relations in border areas” since January’s anti-Thai
2003 Mar 25, In Thailand police
said they shot and killed 42 people during a 7-week-old crackdown on
drugs that has drawn protest from human rights groups. Nearly 400
drug makers and more than 12,000 dealers were arrested.
2003 Apr 11, Cambodia and
Thailand agreed to resume full diplomatic relations, which were
suspended after anti-Thai riots shook Cambodia's capital in January.
2003 May 2, Chuwit Kamolvisit,
A sex club operator in Thailand, was arrested for unlawfully
demolishing a downtown Bangkok block housing scores of bars and
shops to make way for another massage parlor, the Taj Mahal. He soon
claimed to have spent about $289,156 each month in payoffs to
2003 Jun 5, Thailand's
Constitutional Court ruled that Thai women will no longer be
required to take their husband's family name when they marry.
2003 Jun 13, In Thailand Narong
Penaman (44) was arrested with as much as 66 pounds of radioactive
cesium-137 for sale.
(SFC, 6/14/03, p.A3)
2003 Aug 11, Hambali (39), an
Indonesian whose real name is Riduan Isamuddin, was captured in a
raid in the ancient temple city of Ayutthaya, Thailand. Hambali, the
operational head of Jemaah Islamiyah, was handed over to US
authorities and flown out of the country. He was al Qaeda's top man
in Southeast Asia and the suspected mastermind behind a string of
deadly bombings including the Bali attacks.
(Reuters, 8/15/03)(SFC, 8/15/03, p.A3)(AP,
2003 Oct 16, Laos and Thailand
signed a pact aimed at stamping out border attacks by unknown
(ST, 10/17/03, p.A13)
2003 Oct 19, President Bush met
with Thailand's PM Thaksin Shinawatra and pressed him to help
restore democracy in neighboring Myanmar. Some 1,000 protesters
marched in downtown Bangkok on against a summit of 21 economic
(AP, 10/19/03)(SFC, 10/20/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct 21, Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation leaders ended their two-day annual summit in
Thailand with a statement seeking to boost trade and intensify the
fight on terror.
2003 Oct, The Thai government
planned to launch 2 "Vayupak" mutual funds for retail and
(Econ, 8/23/03, p.59)
2003 Nov 19, In Canada Justice
Minister Martin Cauchon has ordered fugitive banker Rakesh Saxena to
surrender to Thailand to face allegations that he looted a Bangkok
2003 Dec 23, Kriangsak Chomanan
(b.1917), an army general who became PM of Thailand in 1977 through
a series of coups, died at age 87. He helped steer Thailand to
(AP, 12/23/03)(Econ, 1/10/04, p.76)
2003 Dec 27, In Iraq insurgents
launched 3 coordinated attacks in the southern city of Karbala,
killing 12 people, including six Iraqi police officers, 2 Thai
soldiers and 5 Bulgarians.
(AP, 12/27/03)(AP, 12/28/03)(SSFC, 12/28/03,
p.A3)(WSJ, 12/29/03, p.A1)
2003 PM Thaksin Shinawatra set
a 2005 growth target for Thailand of 10%. The rate for 2003 was
projected to be 6.4% and 7.5% for 2004. The economic boom raised
(WSJ, 11/28/03, p.A6)
2003 In Thailand Chuvit
Kamolvisit was accused of the unauthorized, overnight demolition of
scores of unlicensed bars and shops from a downtown Bangkok block he
owned. The move erupted into a major public scandal. When the police
failed to protect him, Chuvit fought back by exposing the behemoth
bribes he had to pay to keep his mighty empire of flesh running.
2003 Thailand produced some
470,000 pick-up trucks and ranked behind the US as the world’s 2nd
largest producer. Production in 2004 was expected to approach
(Econ, 9/11/04, p.60)
2004 Jan 4, In southern
Thailand assailants set fire to 21 schools and stormed a military
armory, killing four soldiers in nearly simultaneous raids. The
attacks took place in Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala provinces.
(AP, 1/4/04)(SFC, 1/24/04, p.A7)
2004 Jan 5, In Thailand 2 bombs
exploded in the southern town of Pattani, killing 2 policemen and
injuring several people, police said. Two other bombs were found
before they could go off.
(AP, 1/5/04)(WPR, 3/04, p.32)
2004 Jan 8, It was reported
that Thailand's PM Thaksin Shinawatra had ordered the Finance
Ministry and stock exchange to set up a task force to examine the
balance sheets of listed companies.
(WSJ, 1/8/04, p.A14)
2004 Jan 13, Thai and Malaysian
military forces began joint land and air patrols along their jungle
border for the first time since the 1970s.
2004 Jan 22, In southern
Thailand a Buddhist monk was hacked to death. Muslim extremists were
(WSJ, 1/23/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 24, In Bangkok,
Thailand, a world record for a mass jump was set by 672 skydivers
from 42 countries who leaped from six aircraft.
2004 Jan 26, A 6-year-old Thai
boy became Asia's seventh confirmed bird flu fatality.
2004 Feb 2, A 6-year-old Thai
boy, who had been in contact with roosters used in cock fights, died
in Bangkok of bird flu. Thailand breeders began hiding their
valuable fighting roosters.
(WSJ, 2/10/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 16, Thailand officials
said bird flu has been detected in a previously unaffected Thai
province and has resurfaced in eight other provinces that were under
2004 Mar 10, Thai PM Thaksin
Shinawatra replaced his finance, interior and defense ministers in a
Cabinet reshuffle as the government faces a Muslim insurgency in the
south, a volatile stock market and a public outcry over a
2004 Mar 12, Somchai
Neelapaichit, Thailand human rights lawyer, was kidnapped in Bangkok
and never heard from again. 2 days before he vanished he had
formally accused the police of torturing 5 Muslim men in custody.
(Econ, 3/14/09, p.46)
2004 Mar 16, China declared
victory in its fight against bird flu, saying it had "stamped out"
all of its known cases, while a factory worker in Thailand became
Asia's 23rd victim of the virus.
2004 Mar 28, The Thailand
government said violence in the Muslim-dominated south was at a
"crucial stage" and pledged tougher measures, after a bombing in the
region injured 29 people, including 10 Malaysian tourists.
2004 Apr 23, In Thailand a
massive fire raced through a slum in downtown Bangkok, snarling
traffic and spewing plumes of black smoke over embassies and
five-star hotels in the area. Armed assailants fatally shot an army
officer, just hours after unidentified attackers set fire to about
50 public buildings in all 13 districts of Narathiwat in the worst
day of arson attacks in Thailand's Muslim-dominated south.
2004 Apr 28, In Thailand police
gunned down machete-wielding militants who stormed security outposts
in Thailand's Muslim-dominated south, killing at least 112 people.
The 16th century Krue-sae Mosque was damaged by soldiers who fired
automatic weapons, tear gas and grenades at it and killed 32
suspected Islamic insurgents.
2004 Jun 10, In Thailand hooded
assailants with assault rifles slashed the throat of a night guard
outside a government school in the Muslim south and seized weapons
from other security personnel who were inside.
2004 Jun 16, Thanom
Kittikachorn (92), ex-military ruler of Thailand died at the age of
92. He helped the US during the Vietnam War before being ousted in a
popular uprising in 1973. Thanom came to be known as one of
Thailand's "Three Tyrants" when he ran the country in the 1960s and
early 1970s with his son, Col. Narong Kittikachorn, and Narong's
father-in-law, Field Marshal Praphas Charusathien.
2004 Jul 4, Australia and
Thailand signed a free-trade agreement that officials believe will
boost the economies of both countries by billions of dollars over
the next two decades.
2004 Jul 11, The 15th Int’l.
AIDS conference began in Bangkok, Thailand. UN chief Kofi Annan
challenging world leaders to do more to combat the raging global
(SFC, 7/13/04, p.A1)(AP, 7/11/05)
2004 Jul 15, The Gates
Foundation announced a $44.7 million award at the AIDS Conference in
Bangkok to a consortium of TB and AIDS researchers. The 2 diseases
were often linked.
(WSJ, 7/15/04, p.B1)
2004 Jul 15, Thailand officials
said avian flu had been detected in 10 of its 76 provinces.
(SFC, 7/16/04, p.A3)
2004 Jul 16, In Thailand the
15th Int’l. AIDS Conference ended in Bangkok.
(SFC, 7/17/04, p.A14)
2004 Aug 20, Thailand’s PM
Thaksin said he would overturn the country’s current ban on
commercial production and trade in genetically modified food (GMOs).
(WSJ, 10/29/04, p.A13)
2004 Sep 8, In Thailand a young
man died from bird flu and increased fears of an avian influenza
pandemic. Asian deaths from bird flu for the year totaled 28.
(WSJ, 9/10/04, p.A2)
2004 Sep 27, In Thailand
officials announced that a case of avian-flu was possibly caused by
(SFC, 9/28/04, p.A3)
2004 Oct 3, In central Thailand
a huge explosion at a fireworks factory killed eight workers and
injured three others.
2004 Oct 19, A Thailand tiger
zoo housing hundreds of the big cats was shut down as bird flu tests
confirmed 23 tigers had died of the virus since Oct 14, and another
30 had fallen ill. They caught the flu from feeding on chicken
(AFP, 10/20/04)(Econ, 4/16/05, p.36)
2004 Oct 25, In southern
Thailand 78 people were suffocated or crushed to death after being
arrested and packed into police trucks following a riot over the
detentions of Muslims suspected of giving weapons to Islamic
separatists. Over 1,300 people were packed in 6-wheeled trucks and
taken on a 5-hour journey to barracks in Pattani province.
(SFC, 10/27/04, p.A7)(AP, 10/25/05)(Econ,
2004 Oct 28, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded outside a bar, killing two people and
2004 Nov 2, In Thailand Jaran
Torae, a local Buddhist official, was beheaded by suspected Muslim
insurgents as revenge for the deaths of 85 rioters last week.
2004 Nov 4, In southern
Thailand 9 Buddhists were killed including 2 policemen.
(WSJ, 11/5/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 13, In Thailand's
Muslim-majority south a 60-year-old Buddhist man was killed and at
least 13 people injured in the 2 latest two bomb blasts. 5 bombs hit
in the last 24-hours.
2004 Nov 25, The 3rd IUCN World
Conservation Congress closed in Bangkok. Its final resolutions
included a resolution urging governments to limit the use of loud
noise sources in the world’s oceans.
(SFC, 12/13/04, p.C1)
2004 Nov, China signed a free
trade deal with Thailand.
(WSJ, 10/3/05, p.A1)
2004 Dec 5, Thailand airdropped
nearly 100 million Japanese-style origami cranes over the
predominantly Muslim southern region in a psychological effort
toward peace. A series of bomb attacks followed the next day.
2004 Dec 26, The world's most
powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that
slammed into villages and seaside resorts across southern and
southeast Asia. The initial estimated death toll of 9,000 soon rose
to some 230,000 people in 14 countries. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake
was the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the largest since a 9.2
temblor hit Prince William Sound Alaska in 1964. The epicenter was
located 155 miles south-southeast of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh
province on Sumatra, and six miles under the seabed of the Indian
Ocean. In Indonesia at least 166,320 people were killed.
Bangladesh reported 2 killed; India: at least
9,691 deaths: thousands were missing and possibly dead in India's
remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia: At least 101,318
people were killed on Sumatra island and small islands off its
coast. Kenya reported 1 killed. Malaysia: At least 68 people,
including an unknown number of foreign tourists, were dead. Myanmar:
At least 90 people were killed. Sri Lanka: At least 30,680 were
killed in government and rebel controlled areas. The Maldives, an
archipelago of 1,190 low-lying coral islands and a tiny population
of 280,000, at least 82 people were killed and missing. At least 42
islands were flattened in the low-lying atoll nation. Somalia: At
least 298 were killed. Tanzania: At least 10 killed. Thailand: The
confirmed death toll for Thailand reached 5,322, but many suspected
Myanmar migrants were not counted. Some 230,000 people were killed
in a dozen countries.
(SFC, 12/28/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/30/04)(SSFC, 1/2/05,
p.A12)(AP, 1/7/05)(Econ, 1/22/05, p.41)(AP, 12/25/09)(AP, 11/12/13)
2004 Dec 26, The confirmed
death toll for Thailand reached 5,322, but many suspected Myanmar
migrants were not counted.
(Econ, 1/22/05, p.41)
2004 Dec 31, Thai authorities
said more than 2,230 foreigners from 36 nations were confirmed dead
from Thailand's southern resorts alone.
(AP, 12/31/04)(SFC, 1/1/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 1, Thailand was
forecast for 5.3% annual GDP growth with a population at 65.1
million and GDP per head at $2,610.
(Econ, 1/1/05, p.92)
2005 Jan 2, Thailand's
confirmed death toll from the Dec 26 tidal wave disaster approached
5,000, including more than 2,400 foreign holidaymakers.
2005 Jan 9, In Thailand a
6-story building caught fire and collapsed in Bangkok, trapping five
firefighters inside the wreckage.
2005 Jan 17, In Thailand a
collision on Bangkok’s new subway injured 200 and suspended service
for a week. A crew error was blamed.
(WSJ, 1/18/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 24, In Thailand a
tourist boat returning from Pa Ngan island capsized and at least 7
people were dead. Another 20 were missing.
(WSJ, 1/25/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 6, Thailand voters
handed PM Thaksin Shinawatra a 2nd term with an expanded mandate. In
his 1st term he broadly managed to keep 3 promises centering on
cheap health care, debt forgiveness for farmers and micro-credits
for villages. Under his tenure public debt fell from 54% of GDP to
(AP, 2/6/05)(Econ, 2/5/05, p.11,23)
2005 Feb 15, The Thailand
Cabinet approved establishing a new infantry division of 12,000
troops to be based permanently in southern Thailand, where violence
blamed on Muslim insurgents has claimed more than 650 lives in the
2005 Feb 17, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded near a tourist hotel in the border town of
Sungai Kolok, killing 5 people and wounding over 40.
(AP, 2/17/05)(SFC, 2/18/05, p.A3)
2005 Feb 19, Former Presidents
George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited a Thai fishing village
that had been devastated by the December 2005 tsunami.
2005 Feb 26, Thailand police
reported 4 more people killed in surging violence in the Muslim
south. PM Shinawatra defended his hard-line policies and accused his
critics of sympathizing with separatists.
2005 Apr 3, in southern
Thailand 2 near-simultaneous bombs exploded, including one at the
airport in Hat Yai city killing one person and wounding a dozen.
2005 Apr 4, Chevron announced
plans to purchase Unocal Corp. for $18.4 billion. Chevron’s eventual
acquisition of Unocal included a stake in the Yadana project in
Myanmar, in which Unocal invested in the 1990s along with France’s
Total, Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and the petroleum Authority of
Thailand. Total with a 31% stake operated the project. The Yadana
project brought in an estimated $969 million to the government
undercutting international sanctions to isolate the regime.
(SFC, 4/5/05, p.A1)(SFC, 10/4/07,
p.A10)(SFC, 4/29/08, p.D3)
2005 Apr 24, In southern
Thailand suspected Islamic separatists detonated a bomb, killing two
police officers and wounding three other people.
2005 May 1, Thai fishermen
netted a 646-pound Mekong giant catfish believed to have been the
world's largest freshwater fish ever caught in Thailand.
2005 May 13, In southern
Thailand a roadside bomb exploded near a passing military truck,
killing two Thai marines and seriously wounding eight others.
2005 May 26, In Tham Krabok,
Thailand, the largest refugee camp for ethnic Hmong, who had fled
communist Laos, was officially closed.
2005 May 30, Miss Canada,
Natalie Glebova, was crowned Miss Universe in the 54th annual
pageant held in the Thai capital of Bangkok.
2005 Jun 3, Thai Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in New Delhi, India, for talks on a free
trade agreement and civil aviation liberalization.
2005 Jun 18, The beheaded
bodies of a Laotian couple were found in southern Thailand over the
weekend and were believed to be the latest victims of Muslim
2005 Jun 20, In Thailand 3
Muslim men were shop dead in Pattani.
(Econ, 7/23/05, p.40)
2005 Jun 22, A lawmaker from
Thailand's ruling party fell to his death from his 10th floor
apartment, followed a few hours later by a woman with whom he had
been quarreling. Separately suspected Islamic separatists beheaded a
man at a teashop and then left his head in a sack on the side of the
2005 Jun 24, Thailand police
reported that attackers in Yala province had slashed the necks of a
couple, almost severing their heads in the latest killings
attributed to Islamic separatists.
2005 Jun, India's tsunami-hit
Andaman islands signed a tourist deal with Thailand’s resort town of
Phuket. Environmentalists slammed the deal saying such a move would
destroy the fragile ecology of the Andaman and Nicobar islands and
encourage the sex trade.
2005 Jul 5, Thousands of poor
ethnic Hmong refugees from Laos were living without shelter in
northern Thailand, forced from their homes under a Thai campaign to
pressure them to return to their native land. Landlords said the
government had set a July 4 deadline for them to evict the some
6,500 refugees from their bamboo shelters.
2005 Jul 11, Thailand reported
the discovery of 10 new cases of bird flu just as it was about to
declare the country free of the disease.
2005 Jul 14, In southern
Thailand at least 60 insurgents plunged Yala city into darkness by
destroying electrical transformers, then roamed the streets with
fire-bombs, explosives and guns, targeting an area near a hotel,
convenience stores, a restaurant and the railway station. Suspected
Islamic separatists set off 5 bombs and exchanged gunfire with
security personnel in an attack, killing a police officer and
wounding 19 other people.
(AP, 7/14/05)(AP, 7/17/05)
2005 Jul 15, Thailand's
government, reeling from bold attacks by suspected separatists in
the Muslim-dominated south, granted PM Thaksin Shinawatra sweeping
powers to tap phones, directly command security forces and order
2005 Jul 17, In Thailand an
emergency decree was signed into law that granted PM Shinawatra
sweeping powers to tap phones, directly command security forces and
order curfews. It also granted immunity to security forces in
(Econ, 7/23/05, p.40)
2005 Sep 19, Lukman B. Lima, a
veteran leader of Thailand's insurgency, issued a warning: militants
from Indonesia and Arab nations might join the fight for a separate
homeland if the Thai government continues a crackdown that's
provoking a new generation of Muslim fighters.
2005 Sep, In Thailand a weekly
talk show on government run TV hosted by Sondhi Limthongkul, founder
of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), was cancelled. Weekly
rallies soon followed in which Mr. Sondhi unveiled fresh allegations
of official corruption and misconduct.
(Econ, 12/17/05, p.42)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.47)
2005 Oct 5, In southern
Thailand suspected Islamic insurgents shot and killed five soldiers
as they ate dinner at a military outpost.
2005 Oct 16, In southern
Thailand about 20 suspected Muslim separatists stormed a monastery,
hacked an elderly Buddhist monk to death and fatally shot two temple
2005 Oct 18, Thailand's Cabinet
announced it was extending a state of emergency in three southern
provinces to cope with an escalating Muslim insurgency.
2005 Oct 20, Thailand PM
Thaksin Shinawatra said new lab results confirmed the country's 13th
death from bird flu.
2005 Oct 26, Suspected Muslim
insurgents raided 60 targets in southern Thailand, stealing 90
weapons and causing at least seven deaths.
2005 Nov 2, In southern
Thailand several bombs exploded in Narathiwat, killing one attacker
and knocking out electricity.
2005 Nov 3, Thailand's
government imposed martial law in two Muslim-dominated districts of
its insurgency-wracked south, a day after Islamic separatists staged
a new show of strength with bombings that blacked out a provincial
2005 Nov 7, In Thailand at
least three people were killed, two others injured and dozens of
suspected Muslim insurgents arrested as militants attacked more than
20 government targets in the southern Yala province.
2005 Nov 16, In Thailand
suspected Muslim separatists stormed 2 houses in a southern village
and opened fire on the families with assault rifles, killing 9
people and injuring 9 others.
2005 Dec 7, In Thailand a
5-year-old boy became the country’s 2nd bird flu fatality in two
2005 Dec 4, Thailand's King
Bhumibol Adulyadej publicly rebuked PM Thaksin for pursuing lawsuits
against media outlets that oppose his policies.
2005 Dec 20, Troops in southern
Thailand struggled through mountains of mud in an effort to reach
thousands stranded by floods and landslides that have killed at
least 35 people.
2005 Dec, In Thailand Steward
Keith McLeod of Australia beat his Canadian wife, Barbara Lynn (61),
to death with a hammer and dumped her battered body in bushes along
a residential street in Bangkok. In 2006 McLeod (45) was sentenced
to 34 years in prison.
2005 In southern Thailand the
Buddhist vigilante group Ruam Thai, or Thais United, was established
late this year by police officials led by Maj. Gen. Phitak Ladkaew,
then chief of investigation in Yala, one of the 3 Muslim-majority
2006 Jan 9, Jaruvan Maintaka,
locked out of her auditor-general office, launched a Web site with
other activists to track graft in Thailand.
(WSJ, 2/9/06, p.A7)
2006 Jan 10, In Thailand
protesters pushed through a police barricade outside a hotel where
negotiators were trying to hammer out a US-Thai free trade pact, as
demonstrations against the deal gained momentum but failed to
disrupt the talks.
2006 Jan 18, In Thailand 2
fishermen were sentenced to death in the rape and murder of a
British tourist, a crime that prompted the PM to demand the maximum
penalty. Bualoi Posit (23) and Wichai Somkhaoyai (24) pleaded guilty
to the New Year's Day slaying of Katherine Horton, a 21-year-old
student from Wales.
2006 Jan 18, An American couple
claiming to be of Lao royal descent were shot dead in northeastern
Thailand. Anouwong Sethathirath IV (49) and Oulayvanh Sethathirath
(38) were killed at a Buddhist monastery in Nong Khai. The next day
Thai police said they might have been targeted by Laos' government
on suspicions that they were working against the communist regime.
2006 Jan 23, The family of Thai
PM Thaksin Shinawatra sold their controlling stake in the telecom
Shin Corp. for $1.87 billion to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Legal
loopholes were used to avoid taxes on the sale.
(WSJ, 2/6/06, p.C10)(Econ, 3/4/06, p.39)
2006 Feb 4, Tens of thousands
of people filled a plaza near the Thai parliament, chanting slogans
demanding that PM Thaksin Shinawatra step down amid allegations of
official corruption. Thaksin said he would step down if the king
2006 Feb 8, In Thailand
skydivers from 31 countries set a new world record of 400 people
holding hands in a midair free-fall formation.
2006 Feb 11, Thailand's PM
Shinawatra, facing growing calls for his resignation, agreed to hold
a national referendum on amending the country's constitution.
2006 Feb 17, French President
Jacques Chirac has arrived for his first visit to Thailand as head
of state, with Paris hoping to secure lucrative contracts in one of
the most dynamic countries in the region.
2006 Feb 24, Thailand's
embattled PM Shinawatra dissolved parliament, a move forcing
national elections three years early and guaranteeing a showdown
with his political opponents.
2006 Feb 26, In Thailand some
50 thousand people gathered in Bangkok for a new mass rally to
demand the ousting of PM Thaksin Shinawatra as opposition parties
said they were considering boycotting a snap election which he has
called in response.
2006 Mar 5, Tens of thousands
of Thais marched to Government House, demanding the resignation of
PM Thaksin Shinawatra in the fourth protest against him in as many
2006 Mar 14, Thailand's PM
Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to declare an emergency if anti-government
protests turned violent, as tens of thousands marched on his office
to demand his resignation for alleged corruption.
2006 Mar 21, In Thailand
demonstrators seeking the resignation of PM Thaksin Shinawatra
brought their protests to Bangkok's commercial district.
2006 Mar 22, In Thailand a
truck crashed through a railroad crossing barrier and slammed into a
passenger train in Ratchaburi, causing a derailment and killing at
least six people.
2006 Mar 25, Tens of thousands
rallied in Bangkok, begging their king to intervene in a last-ditch
effort to force PM Thaksin Shinawatra from office.
2006 Mar 29, In Thailand tens
of thousands of protesters seeking the ouster of PM Thaksin
Shinawatra descended on Bangkok's busiest shopping district,
disrupting business and traffic in the heart of the capital.
2006 Mar 29, In Thailand 7
decomposed bodies found in a jungle near the border with Myanmar.
The remains of four Hmong Americans are believed to be among the
dead. Eight men, including four Hmong with US citizenship, were
reported missing March 16.
2006 Apr 2, Thailand citizens
voted in snap parliamentary elections. Thailand's PM urged citizens
to ignore an opposition boycott, saying the vote was crucial to
ending the country's deepening political stalemate amid demands for
his resignation. Bombs exploded at three polling stations in restive
southern Thailand, injuring four soldiers and a police officer.
2006 Apr 3, PM Thaksin claimed
victory in Thailand's general election that followed weeks of
anti-government protests, saying his party won more than half of the
popular vote, the threshold he had set for staying in office.
2006 Apr 4, Thailand’s
Embattled PM Thaksin Shinawatra abruptly announced he will step down
from office, bowing to a mounting opposition campaign seeking his
ouster over allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
2006 Apr 5, Thailand’s PM
Thaksin Shinawatra handed over power to a longtime friend and fellow
police officer, less than 24 hours after saying he would step down
over allegations of corruption and abuse of power.
2006 Apr 18, Thailand's
government said it will extend a state of emergency in southern
Thailand as part of measures to combat a Muslim insurgency that has
left over 1,000 people dead.
2006 Apr 23, Opponents of
Thailand's outgoing prime minister wore black and tore up their
ballots to protest parliamentary elections they said were unfair.
Weekend elections failed to fill several seats in Parliament,
deepening the country's political crisis.
(AP, 4/23/06)(AP, 4/24/06)
2006 Apr 27, Reports from
Myanmar and Thailand said Myanmar troops were waging their biggest
military offensive in almost a decade and have uprooted more than
11,000 ethnic minority civilians in a campaign punctuated by
torture, killings and the burning of villages.
2006 May 7, A fire broke out at
a club in the Thai resort town of Pattaya, killing at least seven
people and injuring at least 49.
2006 May 8, Thailand's
Constitutional Court invalidated last month's parliamentary
elections and ordered fresh polls in a bid to end a political
impasse that has left the country unable to form a new government.
2006 May 10, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded at a tea shop near a busy market, killing
at least three people and injuring more than a dozen.
2006 May 23, In Thailand PM
Thaksin Shinawatra resumed his duties as challenges to his hold on
power mounted even after a self-imposed leave of absence for seven
2006 May 23, In northern
Thailand flash floods left thousands of people stranded on rooftops
and trapped inside trains. 9 people were reported killed.
2006 Jun 9, Thailand's King
Bhumibol Adulyadej (b.1927), the world's longest-reigning monarch,
began celebrating his 60th anniversary on the throne. He became the
9th king of the Chakri dynasty, succeeding his older brother,
Ananda, killed by an unexplained shooting on June 9, 1946.
2006 Jun 15, In Thailand
suspected Muslim insurgents exploded more than 40 bombs in attacks
on government offices across the restive south, killing at least two
2006 Jun 27, In Thailand
prosecutors asked the Constitutional Court to disband both the
governing Thai Rak Thai (TRT) and the main opposition Democrats for
gross misconduct in the April elections. In southern Thailand 7
people were killed by suspected Islamic insurgents in attacks,
including a bombing that left five security officers dead.
(Econ, 7/1/06, p.38)(AFP, 6/27/06)
2006 Jul 13, In Thailand a top
court decided to accept a case that accuses PM Thaksin Shinawatra's
ruling party and its main rival of electoral fraud.
2006 Jul 25, Thailand's three
election commissioners, seen as close allies of embattled PM Thaksin
Shinawatra, were convicted of allowing unqualified candidates to run
in parliamentary elections and sentenced to four years in prison.
2006 Aug 1, Assailants carried
out at least 40 bomb and arson attacks in Thailand's three
Muslim-dominated southernmost provinces. At least three people were
2006 Aug 2, In southern
Thailand a bomb planted along a railroad exploded and killed three
2006 Aug 16, John Mark Karr
(41), a former American school teacher, was arrested in Thailand for
the December, 1996, murder JonBenet Ramsey in Boulder, Colo. He said
he tried to kidnap JonBenet for a $118,000 ransom but that his plan
went awry and he strangled her. Karr's confession that he had killed
JonBenet was later discredited.
2006 Aug 22, Thailand police
arrested 175 North Koreans, mostly women and children, who illegally
entered the country and were found hiding in an abandoned home in
2006 Aug 31, In southern
Thailand nearly two dozen bombs exploded almost simultaneously
inside commercial banks, killing two people in a region bloodied by
a Muslim insurgency.
2006 Sep 7, A Thai court
decided to extradite a Vietnamese dissident to face charges of
violating airspace for a stunt that involved hijacking a plane and
dropping 50,000 anti-communist leaflets over Ho Chi Minh City. Ly
Tong, a South Vietnamese air force veteran who later became a US
citizen, hijacked the twin-engine plane from Thailand in November
2006 Sep 16, In southern
Thailand bomb blasts killed four people including a Canadian (29),
who became the first Westerner to die in the two-year Muslim
insurgency. At least five bombs exploded: two in department stories;
two in front of a bar and a parking lot at the Odean Shopping Mall;
and a fifth at a nearby massage parlor in Songkhla province's Hat
2006 Sep 19, In Thailand a
6-man military junta launched a coup against PM Thaksin Shinawatra,
circling his offices with tanks, seizing control of TV stations and
declaring a provisional authority pledging loyalty to the king. This
was the 18th coup since 1932. General Prem Tinsulanonda was widely
seen as the mastermind of the coup.
(AP, 9/19/06)(Econ, 9/23/06, p.27)(Econ, 12/6/08,
2006 Sep 20, Gen. Sondhi
Boonyaratkalin, the army commander who seized Thailand's government
in a quick, bloodless coup, pledged to hold elections by October
2007. He received a ringing endorsement from the country's revered
2006 Sep 21, Thailand's new
military rulers said that four top members of deposed PM Thaksin
Shinawatra's administration had been detained. The regime also
assumed the duties of parliament, which was dissolved when the
government was ousted in a coup earlier this week, and banned
meetings by all political parties.
2006 Sep 24, Thailand's
military council issued new orders intended to stave off any
possible opposition to their coup, banning political activities at
the district and provincial levels.
2006 Sep 28, Thailand's auditor
general, Jaruvan Maintaka, told reporters that Gen. Surayud
Chulanont (62), a highly regarded retired officer, would lead the
country until promised elections next year. The US suspended $24
million in military aid due to the coup.
(AP, 9/29/06)(WSJ, 9/29/06, p.A1)
2006 Sep 28, Thailand’s new
Suvarnabhumi Airport, built on an area known as "Cobra Swamp,"
officially opened its doors, more than four decades after the
(AP, 9/27/06)(AP, 9/28/06)
2006 Oct 1, In Thailand retired
army commander Gen. Surayud Chulanont (b.1943) was sworn as interim
prime minister following the announcement of a temporary
constitution that reserved considerable powers for the military coup
(AP, 10/1/06)(WSJ, 10/2/06, p.A7)
2006 Oct 2, Thailand's
respected central bank chief said he has agreed to join the interim
Cabinet, a move that appeared likely to reassure the business
2006 Oct 3, Thailand's deposed
premier Thaksin Shinawatra resigned from his once all-powerful party
in a letter faxed from London.
2006 Oct 5, Thai coup leaders
agreed to talk with southern rebels reversing Thaksin’s
confrontational approach to the insurgency.
(WSJ, 10/6/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 5, The Latvian and
Thai candidates dropped out of the race to become the next U.N.
chief on Thursday, leaving South Korea's foreign minister as the
lone remaining contender and near-certain successor to Kofi Annan.
2006 Oct 9, Thailand's king
approved a post-coup Cabinet lineup, ushering in an interim
government expected to rule the country for one year until the next
elections are held.
2006 Oct 14, Thailand's
military-installed premier Surayud Chulanont visited Vientiane on
the first stop of a weekend tour aimed at reassuring neighbors Laos
and Cambodia that Bangkok won't pull any more surprises.
2006 Oct 18, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents attacked an army base, killing
one soldier and leaving four others injured.
2006 Oct 20, Thailand's
military government said it had extended emergency rule in the
Muslim-majority south where another 21 people were killed this week
despite moves to resolve bloody unrest.
2006 Oct 21, The death toll
from severe flooding in Thailand and neighboring Myanmar has jumped
to 143 after Thai authorities confirmed another 16 victims. The
severe flooding began in late August in Thailand's central and
2006 Oct 26, Thailand's
military-installed PM Surayud Chulanont visited Vietnam for the last
of a series of trips aimed at reassuring Bangkok's neighbors after
last month's coup.
2006 Oct, In Thailand Queen
Sirikit saw news reports that showed footage from a nearby
motorcycle shop that had hired a group of Coyote Girls to promote
its wares. The dancers were named after the 2000 American film
"Coyote Ugly," about a group of sassy 20-somethings who dance
seductively on a New York City bar top. The queen’s reaction
prompted a crackdown that turned Coyote Girls into a subject of
national debate and official disapproval.
2006 Nov 5, In Thailand a bomb
blast killed two soldiers and injured three others in the restive
south. 4 people were shot dead and six wounded in a string of
shootings and simultaneous bomb attacks in the south. PM Surayud
Chulanont apologized to Muslims for the government's failure to
quell the long-running insurgency.
2006 Nov 9, In southern
Thailand 8 bombs exploded almost simultaneously at car and
motorcycle showrooms, wounding nine people.
2006 Nov 15, In southern
Thailand suspected Islamic militants over the last 2 days shot dead
three people in separate drive-by shootings, while one soldier was
hurt in a bomb attack.
2006 Nov 17, In southern
Thailand 3 bomb blasts killed one person and wounded at least 30
2006 Nov 22, In southern
Thailand a woman was shot and her body burnt in Narathiwat, while a
second victim, believed to be Buddhist man, was shot several times
in the face. A separatist leader said the Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI) extremist network is helping groups of young fighters
stage attacks in Thailand's Muslim-majority south.
2006 Nov 24, In Thailand
attackers shot a school principal, and then set his body on fire.
The principal became the 59th teacher or school official killed in
three years of violence.
2006 Nov 25, In Thailand a
regional representative for teachers said more than 300 schools in
the south will close indefinitely Nov 27, after attacks by suspected
Muslim insurgents left two teachers dead.
2006 Nov 28, Thailand's
military-installed government agreed to lift martial law in Bangkok
and in more than half of the country's provinces.
2006 Dec 9, In Thailand a
police informant who survived two attacks by suspected Muslim
insurgents was killed in a drive-by shooting in the restive south.
2006 Dec 13, Two
Laotian-American men were shot to death at a bus station in
northeastern Thailand after returning from a trip to Laos. Thai
police said they suspect a political connection to the killings.
2006 Dec 19, Thailand’s stock
market experienced a record decline as the government moved to clamp
down on foreign investment. Thailand’s SET index lost 15% of its
value. By the end of the day the government partially lifted its
(WSJ, 12/20/06, p.C1)(SFC, 12/21/06, p.C3)(Econ,
2006 Dec 24, Bo Mya (79), a
longtime leader of the Karen National Union, died in Thailand. The
KNU was Myanmar's largest guerrilla group.
2006 Dec 29, In southern
Thailand 2 teachers were shot and burned to death and a government
worker gunned down in attacks blamed on Muslim insurgents.
2006 Dec 31, In Thailand 6 bomb
blasts rocked Bangkok on New Years Eve and 3 more just after
midnight. 3 people were killed 38 wounded. The city cancelled its
major New Year's Eve celebrations just as revelers had begun to
gather ahead of the countdown.
2006 Paul M. Handley authored
“The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumidiol
Adulyadej. The import of Handley's book into Thailand was banned by
police order even before its publication.
(Econ, 7/29/06, p.74)(AP, 1/10/08)
2006 Phantarak Rajadej (104), a
former police chief in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, died. He had
begun making and selling Jatukam Ramathep amulets in the 1980s to
raise money for a Buddhist shrine and was believed to have mastered
the art of black magic to ward off his enemies. Production of the
amulets surged following his death. In 2008 the market collapsed.
(WSJ, 4/7/08, p.A9)
2007 Jan 13, In southern
Thailand a Buddhist man and his wife were working at a rubber
plantation in Yala province when a group attacked them, shooting the
man three times in the chest before beheading him and killing his
wife. Another Buddhist was killed in a drive-by shooting in a
separate attack in Yala. The Islamic insurgency, that flared in
January 2004, has killed more than 1,900 people.
2007 Jan 14, Two passenger
trains collided near a beach resort town south of Bangkok, killing
three people and injuring more than 100 others.
2007 Jan 17, In Thailand
suspected separatist rebels shot dead two Buddhist villagers in the
Muslim-majority south. The insurgency there has killed more than
1,800 people in three years.
2007 Jan 26, Suspected Muslim
separatists ambushed police patrols and torched a school as PM
Surayud Chulanont returned to southern Thailand for a third attempt
at ending the bloody insurgency.
2007 Jan, In Thailand the film
“The Legend of King Naresuan,” directed by Chatrichalerm Yukol, set
a new box office record taking in $3.4 million (120 million baht) in
its 1st four days. The 2nd episode of the trilogy was scheduled to
open February 15.
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.44)
2007 Feb 12, Thailand, which
has upset big drug companies by issuing patent-overriding licenses
for generic versions of heart and HIV/AIDS pills, said it would
issue more unless the firms cut prices.
2007 Feb 18, In Thailand 29
bombings and 20 other attacks rocked the country's four southernmost
provinces. Most of the attacks took place in a span of 45 minutes.
2007 Feb 19, In Thailand
violence continued as bombs exploded at four locations in the south,
killing an army major and wounding two soldiers, three policemen and
2007 Feb 21, Thailand police
said suspected Islamic separatists had set ablaze Thailand's biggest
rubber warehouse and shot dead four people in fresh attacks across
the Muslim-majority southern provinces. A top economic aide to
ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra resigned from his position in the
current military-appointed government following sharp criticism from
(AFP, 2/21/07)(AP, 2/21/07)
2007 Feb 27, Pridiyathorn
Devakula, Thailand’s finance minister and deputy prime minister,
(Econ, 3/3/07, p.49)
2007 Mar 2, In the jungles of
southern Thailand soldiers killed five suspected Muslim insurgents
during a raid on a weapons training camp.
2007 Mar 6, Thailand's
military-installed government took over the country's only
independent television station and said it would be temporarily
pulled off the air after it failed to pay millions of dollars in
unpaid license fees.
2007 Mar 9, Thailand's junta
chief urged people living in restive Muslim-majority provinces to
act as informants for security forces trying to quell three years of
2007 Mar 14, Thai prosecutors
said they would charge the wife of deposed premier Thaksin
Shinawatra with tax evasion. In southern Thailand suspected Muslim
insurgents opened fire on nine Buddhists who were riding in a
commuter van, killing all of them execution-style.
(AP, 3/14/07)(AFP, 3/14/07)
2007 Mar 17, In southern
Thailand attackers hurled explosives and opened fire on an Islamic
school, killing three students and sparking a riot by angry Muslim
villagers. Shortly after the attack, three Buddhists were shot dead
in the same district.
2007 Mar 19, In Thailand
suspected Muslim separatists shot and killed three Buddhist women
involved with a project for victims of the insurgency.
2007 Mar 22, Malaysia and
Thailand agreed to map out a series of socio-economic measures to
end rising sectarian tensions and violence in the kingdom's
2007 Mar 29, A Swiss man was
jailed for 10 years for insulting Thailand's revered king by
vandalizing his portraits during a drunken spree.
2007 Apr 2, Thailand's premier
hailed ties with Japan as he prepared to sign a free-trade agreement
with his country's top investor, easing international isolation of
the kingdom since last year's coup. Army-installed PM Surayud
Chulanont will sign the deal April 3, which Thailand hopes will
boost investment from Japan.
2007 Apr 3, Japan and Thailand
signed a free trade agreement that will cut tariffs on a wide range
of traded goods, from seafood to automobiles.
2007 Apr 5, Attackers fired a
grenade into a mosque in Thailand's restive south, wounding 16
Muslim worshippers in an act of defiance after authorities imposed a
strict curfew to contain escalating violence.
2007 Apr 12, Thailand police
said the king has pardoned a Swiss man who was given a 10-year
sentence for spray-painting over images of the revered monarch, but
the longtime Thailand resident has been ordered to leave the
2007 Apr 14, Flash floods swept
over two waterfalls on a southern Thai mountain packed with
picnickers and swimmers celebrating the country's New Year, killing
at least 35 people and leaving dozens more missing.
2007 Apr 29, Suspected Muslim
insurgents in southern Thailand killed two Buddhist villagers,
beheading one of them, and left a note saying the attack was revenge
for a deadly weekend bombing at a mosque.
2007 Apr 30, In southern
Thailand suspected Islamic insurgents exploded a bomb at a busy
night market and wounded 20 people.
2007 May 2, Thailand's
military-installed PM Surayud Chulanont said he has tasked his
southern army commander with developing a detailed amnesty proposal
for Islamic militants.
2007 May 4, Delegates meeting
in Thailand from 120 countries approved the first roadmap for
stemming greenhouse gas emissions, laying out what they said was an
affordable arsenal of anti-warming measures that must be rushed into
place to avert a disastrous spike in global temperatures.
2007 May 8, Thailand and the
United States launched their annual war games.
2007 May 11, In southern
Thailand separatist militants killed two policemen in a raid on a
security checkpost, attacking it with guns and grenades before
setting it ablaze with the victims inside.
2007 May 20, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed two Buddhist
civilians and wounded a third, while a bomb wounded 11 people,
including five policemen.
2007 May 23, In southern
Thailand 7 people including two teenagers were killed, while 11
others were injured in a spate of bombings by suspected separatist
2007 May 27, In southern
Thailand 6 bombs ripped through a key commercial district, wounding
2007 May 28, In southern
Thailand a bomb in a market in Kolomudo killed four Buddhists,
including two children.
2007 May 29, Senior Thai judges
began deliberating on whether to dissolve the kingdom's two main
political parties as thousands of troops were put on alert amid
security fears ahead of the court verdict.
2007 May 30, Two senior
officials with Thailand's Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party were found
guilty of election fraud in a ruling that could doom the political
powerhouse founded by ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra. A court
disbanded the political party of Shinawatra, barring him and 110
party executives from politics for five years due to election law
(AFP, 5/30/07)(AP, 5/31/07)
2007 May 31, In southern
Thailand suspected insurgents sprayed gunfire into a mosque, killing
7 worshippers. Black-uniformed raiders roared into Kolomudo, a
Muslim village, firing assault rifles and hurling grenades from a
pickup truck at a group of teenagers relaxing near the mosque. When
the attack was over, five of the youths lay dead. Buddhist
vigilantes were suspected. A roadside bomb killed 11 paramilitary
troops almost simultaneously in some of the worst recent violence. A
12th soldier died the next day.
(AP, 6/1/07)(AP, 8/7/07)
2007 Jun 9, Thailand deported
163 ethnic Hmong asylum-seekers to Laos who authorities said had
entered the country illegally in recent years trying to reach a
large refugee camp.
2007 Jun 14, In
insurgency-wracked southern Thailand a bomb exploded during a soccer
match, wounding 14 police officers who were providing security.
2007 Jun 15, In southern
Thailand a roadside bomb and shootings killed seven soldiers in one
of the deadliest attacks on security forces this year.
2007 Jun 16, Thailand's
military-installed government offered to negotiate with ousted PM
Thaksin Shinawatra over his recently frozen assets, as thousands of
people protested in support of the former leader.
2007 Jun 19, Police charged
ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife with concealing assets and
ordered the exiled leader to return to Thailand.
2007 Jun 20, Thailand’s
legislature approved an anti-rape law that widens the definition of
the crime and makes it illegal for a husband to have sex with his
wife without her consent.
2007 Jun 21, Thai prosecutors
filed corruption charges against ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra in the
Supreme Court, in the first formal charges lodged against the exiled
former premier. Separatist militants in southern Thailand shot a
Muslim man and then partially severed his head, while the nation's
junta leader was visiting the region. A 54-year-old Buddhist was
gunned down in a drive-by shooting.
(AP, 6/21/07)(AFP, 6/22/07)
2007 Jun 22, In southern
Thailand 10 people, including five soldiers, were hurt in two
2007 Jun 25, The Thai
government said it will freeze an additional $147 million in assets
believed to be controlled by ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
2007 Jun 26, The Asian
Development Bank in Thailand said Asian governments must promote
clean energy such as wind and solar power to maintain their booming
economies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in coming decades.
2007 Jul 5, Thailand's military
junta unveiled a new outline constitution with controversial
proposals that could limit the role of any future elected prime
2007 Jul 11, In southern
Thailand suspected separatists over the last 24 hours shot dead 4
people including a government official, as the Thai premier began a
two-day visit to the region.
2007 Jul 12, In southern
Thailand suspected rebels killed five people.
2007 Jul 17, In southern
Thailand twin bomb attacks killed one policeman and wounded 18 other
people, as the junta formally extended a state of emergency in the
2007 Jul 18, Thailand’s
Computer Crime Act, intended to prevent cybercrimes, came into
force. Most prosecutions that followed under the act were for online
content that supposedly endangered national security.
2007 Aug 1, In southern
Thailand a rebel ambush and bombs left 11 people dead.
(SFC, 8/2/07, p.A3)
2007 Aug 2, In Thailand a
lawyer said the wife of Thailand's deposed premier Thaksin
Shinawatra will seek 1.4 billion dollars in compensation from
military-backed authorities that have frozen her assets.
2007 Aug 6, PM Surayud
Chulanont said Thailand will return some 8,000 ethnic Hmong refugees
to Laos despite their claims that they face persecution in their
2007 Aug 14, A Thailand judge
issued arrest warrants for ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife
for failing to appear at their trial on corruption-related charges.
2007 Aug 19, A new constitution
for Thailand, that is to usher in December general elections and end
military rule, was approved by millions of voters in the country’s
first ever nationwide referendum. This was the 18th constitution
since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.
(AP, 8/19/07)(Econ, 8/25/07, p.38)
2007 Aug 31, The Thai
government said it has lifted a four-month ban on YouTube after the
popular video-sharing Web site's operator agreed not to allow videos
that violate the country's laws or are deemed offensive to Thai
people. 3 people including a state railway worker were shot dead in
separate attacks in the restive Muslim-majority south.
2007 Sep 3, A Thai court issued
arrest warrants for former PM Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife over
their alleged violations of stock-trading laws.
2007 Sep 15, In Thailand a
roadside bomb planted by suspected separatist rebels killed one
soldier and wounded five others in the insurgency-torn south. 2 men
were killed in a drive-by shooting by suspected militants in Pattani
2007 Sep 16, In Thailand a
One-Two-Go Airlines passenger plane filled with foreign tourists
crashed as it tried to land in pouring rain on the island of Phuket,
splitting in two and bursting into flames. 89 people were killed.
(AP, 9/17/07)(AP, 9/16/08)
2007 Sep 30, Thailand's General
Sonthi Boonyaratglin, who led last year's coup, stepped down as head
of the nation's junta, paving the way for him to join the cabinet.
2007 Oct 2, Thailand's coup
leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin was officially named a deputy
prime minister, but he denied that his appointment to the cabinet
was an attempt to cling to power.
2007 Oct 13, In southern
Thailand 6 European tourists and their two Thai guides died when a
flash flood engulfed a cave they were exploring.
2007 Oct 19, Christopher Paul
Neil (32), a Canadian schoolteacher suspected of sexually abusing
boys, was arrested in rural Thailand and charged after a 3-year
international manhunt that relied on digitally unscrambled photos
and tips from the public. Neil later pleaded guilty to sexually
abusing a 13-year-old boy and was sentenced to three years and three
months in jail; he faces other charges involving the victim's
(AP, 10/19/07)(AP, 10/19/08)
2007 Oct 30, Thailand's
military-installed government lifted martial law in more than half
of the 400 districts where it remained after being imposed during a
coup last year.
2007 Nov 21, In southern
Thailand unidentified gunmen killed four local government employees
in the same district where a prominent political party leader was
2007 Nov 28, In southern
Thailand a Muslim military informant was shot and crucified, while
two Buddhist men were beheaded by suspected Islamic separatists.
2007 Dec 4, In southern
Thailand a bomb killed six people and injured 20 in one of the
deadliest attacks in recent months.
2007 Dec 6, The 24th Southeast
Asian Games officially opened in Korat, Thailand.
2007 Dec 12, Thailand smashed
through the 100-gold barrier at the SEA Games as they continued
their relentless pursuit of top spot on the medals table.
2007 Dec 13, An official said
Thai tax authorities have seized assets worth about $34.2 million
from family members of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
2007 Dec 18, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed four people
before beheading one victim, days before the country's first
election since last year's coup.
2007 Dec 20, Thailand's
military-installed parliament approved a controversial internal
security law. Critics warned it will allow the military to maintain
a grip on power even after this weekend's general election.
2007 Dec 23, In Thailand allies
of deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra appeared to emerge as victors in
the post-coup election but failed to secure an absolute majority in
parliament. Thaksinites won 233 seats, 8 short of a majority in the
480-seat lower house.
(AP, 12/23/07)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.33)
2007 Dec 24, The Thai political
party allied with deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra said that it has
recruited enough other parties to form a coalition government
following its win in the country's first election since a 2006 coup.
2007 Dec 25, Deposed PM Thaksin
Shinawatra said he was planning to return home from exile and might
advise the victorious party in last weekend's elections, sparking
fears of another year of intense political conflict in Thailand.
2007 Dec 27, In Thailand
officials said deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra would be arrested if he
returns home from a self-imposed exile as planned, even if his
victorious allies form a government following last weekend's general
2007 Dec 31, In Thailand a bomb
attack wounded 27 people in Sungai Kolok, a tourist town where
people had gathered to celebrate the New Year.
2007 In Thailand 751 people
died in prison or under police custody this year.
(Econ, 4/19/08, p.55)
2008 Jan 8, The wife of ousted
PM Thaksin Shinawatra was handed an arrest warrant after she
returned to Thailand to face corruption charges that could put her
behind bars for 20 years.
2008 Jan 13, In Thailand six
suspected militants escaped in a jailbreak.
2008 Jan 14, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents killed eight soldiers, leaving
one beheaded, in a bomb and shooting attack.
2008 Jan 15, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents exploded a bomb that left at
least 39 people injured in a market in Yala.
2008 Jan 24, In southern
Thailand Muslim militants fatally shot a Buddhist teacher as he
pulled out of his driveway to head to work.
2008 Jan 26, In western
Thailand a bus packed with passengers heading to a funeral tumbled
down a mountain, killing nine people and injuring 26 others.
2008 Jan 28, Thailand’s
parliament chose Samak Sundaravej, representing ex-PM Shinawatra’s
interests, as premier easily beating the Democratic party candidate
(SFC, 1/29/08, p.A4)
2008 Jan, In southern Thailand
killings rose sharply this month to 55. Some 2,800 deaths were
counted since 2004.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.45)
2008 Feb 1, The US announced it
will resume military and other aid to Thailand as a result of the
country's successful election and its formation of a democratically
2008 Feb 3, Thailand's new PM
Sundaravej said he will also become the defense minister in a
soon-to-be unveiled Cabinet to deter the military from staging a
coup against his government.
2008 Feb 4, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded outside an Islamic boarding school, killing
one person and wounding 12. A separate bombing wounded six people,
in the latest violence attributed to an Islamic separatist rebellion
that has entered its fifth year.
2008 Feb 6, Thailand made an
uneasy return to democracy with the swearing-in of a Cabinet
dominated by loyalists to the prime minister ousted nearly 17 months
ago in a military coup. Suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a bomb
near a Chinese shrine in southern Thailand, killing one soldier and
wounding six other people.
2008 Feb 14, In Thailand
General Secretary Mahn Sha (64), leader of the Karen National Union
(KNU), was shot and killed at his home in Mae Sot by three men who
arrived in a pickup truck. The KNU is one of the biggest ethnic
groups fighting Myanmar's military government. Initial
investigations showed that the assailants were also Karen.
2008 Feb 19, In Thailand Glenn
Richard Allen (61), an American man was sentenced, to 16 years in
prison for raping a 13-year-old girl and sexually abusing a second
teenager in Pattaya, a Thai seaside resort town notorious for its
2008 Feb 19, In Thailand Glenn
Richard Allen (61), an American man was sentenced, to 16 years in
prison for raping a 13-year-old girl and sexually abusing a second
teenager in Pattaya, a Thai seaside resort town notorious for its
2008 Feb 28, Former Thai
premier Thaksin Shinawatra vowed to clear his name on corruption
charges and called for national unity as he flew home to a jubilant
welcome from thousands of supporters.
2008 Mar 2, Thais went to the
polls to vote in the country's first elections for the upper house
of Parliament since a 2006 military coup ousted elected PM Thaksin
2008 Mar 6, Viktor Bout, a
suspected Russian arms dealer, was arrested at a five-star hotel in
downtown Bangkok on allegations that he supplied Colombian rebels
with arms and explosives. He had been accused of flouting UN
embargoes and was wanted by Interpol.
2008 Mar 15, In southern
Thailand a bomb exploded in the parking lot of an upscale hotel,
killing two people and wounding 14 others.
2008 Apr 1, Poor countries at a
UN conference in Thailand said they won't sign a global warming pact
unless industrialized nations guarantee them billions of dollars
needed to adapt to the impact of climate change.
2008 Apr 2, Thailand's Health
Ministry ordered hospitals and medical clinics to temporarily stop
performing castrations for non-medical reasons, saying that the
procedure performed on transsexuals needs stricter monitoring.
2008 Apr 4, In Thailand climate
negotiators ended 5 days of talks. More than 160 nations agreed to
consider how to reduce rapidly growing emissions from air and sea
travel as they worked toward drafting an ambitious new treaty on
(AFP, 4/4/08)(WSJ, 4/5/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 7, It was reported
that Thailand’s market bubble in religious talismans had popped
leaving many small business people in debt. The market in Jatukam
Ramathep amulets had swelled to $1.5 billion in 2007.
(WSJ, 4/7/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 9, Thai police dropped
charges against Viktor Bout (41), a Russian man accused of being one
of the world's most prolific black market arms dealers, saying they
will proceed with hearings to extradite him to the United States.
2008 Apr 10, In Thailand 54
illegal migrant workers from Myanmar suffocated in the back of an
unventilated truck, while the rest of the passengers being smuggled
to Thailand pounded on the container and screamed in vain for the
driver's help. 37 of the dead were women and 17 were men. A Thai
court the next day convicted some 64 survivors of illegal entry and
rule to send them back to Myanmar.
(AP, 4/10/08)(Reuters, 4/11/08)
2008 Apr 18, Thailand's PM
Samak Sundaravej said that Thais should be honored the Olympic torch
is passing through their country and protesters have no reason to
disrupt the relay. Up to 2,000 police will guard the April 19 relay,
a 6.3-mile run.
2008 Apr 21, Thailand’s
government said more than 10 million people in parts of its rice
bowl region have been hit by drought causing further concerns as
prices of the staple grain soared.
2008 May 20, Ian Shuttleworth
(42), a former British police officer, was arrested in Bangkok in an
international crackdown on a sex trafficking ring that saw nine
Thais detained last month in London. He was arrested at his
apartment in downtown Bangkok, where he had set up a security
company providing bodyguards to Thailand's elite. He is accused of
luring Thai women into prostitution by promising them well-paid
restaurant jobs in London, and then selling them to a madam.
2008 May 22, Thailand's PM
Sundaravej pledged to sell rice to Manila at "negotiable" rates, as
he began a visit to the Philippines, which is working to boost its
stocks of the grain.
2008 May 28, Thailand police
said 3 soldiers and four suspected separatist rebels have been
killed in a series of incidents across the far south, including a
shootout at a wedding party.
2008 Jun 11, In Thailand
thousands of truckers went on a half-day strike demanding government
help against rising fuel prices, the latest in a series of protests
that have swept across Asia and Europe.
2008 Jun 18, Thousands of
demonstrators accused the Thai government of yielding a disputed
border region with an ancient temple to Cambodia, the latest trouble
for the embattled prime minister who has been facing daily protests
calling for his resignation.
2008 Jun 20, In Thailand
several thousand protesters pushed through a heavy police cordon
around the seat of government, vowing to besiege the compound until
PM Samak Sundaravej resigns. They accused Samak's government of
interfering with corruption charges against former PM Thaksin and
trying to change the constitution for its own self-interest. A Thai
army helicopter crashed in southern Thailand, killing all 10 people
2008 Jun 22, Thailand’s PM
Samak Sundaravej agreed to resign if he lost a no-confidence vote in
2008 Jun, In Thailand 3 legal
advisers of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra were jailed after giving
court officials a bag holding $60,000.
(Econ, 7/12/08, p.52)
2008 Jul 1, Thailand’s deputy
prime minister said the Thai government has suspended its decision
to support Cambodia's bid to have an 11th century temple near the
Thai border declared a world landmark. In 1962, the International
Court of Justice awarded the Preah Vihear temple and the land it
occupies to Cambodia.
2008 Jul 5, In southern
Thailand suspected insurgents shot up a bustling cafe, killing three
customers and injuring four others.
2008 Jul 7, A UNESCO official
said that an 11th century temple that sits on Cambodia's disputed
border zone with Thailand has been designated as a world heritage
site. Hindu-themed Preah Vihear reflects the beliefs of the kings
who ruled what was then the Angkorean empire.
2008 Jul 11, Thai prosecutors
filed new corruption charges against ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra
for alleged abuse of authority to benefit his family business.
2008 Jul 16, Cambodia assembled
its troops near the Thai border in the second day of alleged
incursions by Thai soldiers amid tensions over disputed border land
near a historic temple.
2008 Jul 17, An organization
claiming to represent groups involved in southern Thailand's Muslim
insurgency announced it will end all violence in the region as of
July 14. Former army commander and Defense Minister Chetta Thanajaro
said the organization that made the announcement represented 11
different underground groups operating in southern Thailand.
2008 Jul 18, Thailand sent more
military reinforcements to a disputed part of the Cambodian border,
after the tense four-day standoff nearly erupted into gunfire during
2008 Jul 21, Talks between
Cambodia and Thailand to resolve a military stand-off on their joint
border ended without a solution.
2008 Jul 22, Cambodia asked the
UN Security Council and its Southeast Asian neighbors to intervene
in resolving a military standoff over disputed border territory
around an ancient temple, stepping up its rhetoric against Thailand.
2008 Jul 31, In Thailand the
wife of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra was found guilty of evading
millions of dollars in taxes and sentenced to three years in prison,
dealing a staggering blow to a man who was once one of the richest
and most powerful in Thailand.
2008 Aug 3, Cambodia said that
Thai soldiers are occupying a second temple site on their border in
an escalation of an ongoing armed standoff that nearly led to
clashes between the neighbors last month.
2008 Aug 6, President George W.
Bush flew into Bangkok on the latest leg of a pre-Olympics Asian
tour, although his focus in Thailand is mainly on the "outpost of
tyranny" junta in neighboring Myanmar.
2008 Aug 7, In Thailand first
lady Laura Bush, meeting with refugees who fled a brutal campaign by
Myanmar's military junta, urged China and other countries to join
the US in imposing sanctions against the country.
2008 Aug 11, Thailand's Supreme
Court issued arrest warrants for ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra and
his wife after they failed to appear at a hearing on corruption
charges and fled to London, saying they could not get justice in
2008 Aug 12, Somali pirates
hijacked the Thor Star, a Thai cargo ship with 28 crew members
2008 Aug 16, A monthlong
standoff between Cambodia and Thailand appeared to be ending as both
sides pulled back their troops from disputed territory around a
temple near their shared border.
2008 Aug 21, Forbes magazine
reported that Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej (80) is the world's
richest royal sovereign with a fortune estimated at 35 billion
dollars, and oil-rich Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (60) of Abu
Dhabi is far back at No. 2 with 23 billion.
2008 Aug 26, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government demonstrators pushed into the Thai
prime minister's office compound and rallied outside several
ministries. A violent masked mob from the same protest group forced
a state-run TV station off the air.
2008 Aug 27, Thailand issued
arrest warrants for protest leaders besieging the main government
complex, as authorities scrambled to find a peaceful end to the
administration's most serious challenge yet.
2008 Aug 30, Thai PM Samak
Sundaravej vowed not to quit in the face of intensifying protests
aimed at toppling his seven-month-old government.
2008 Aug 31, Thailand's
Parliament convened an emergency session at the request of the
country's prime minister, who acknowledged that his administration
cannot control spiraling anti-government protests.
2008 Sep 2, Thailand's prime
minister declared a state of emergency in the capital Bangkok after
a week of political tension exploded into violent street clashes
between supporters and opponents of the government that left one
2008 Sep 9, Thailand's PM Samak
was forced to resign along with his Cabinet after a court ruled that
he had violated the constitution by hosting TV cooking shows while
in office. The Cabinet will remain in a caretaker position until a
new administration is installed.
2008 Sep 12, Samak Sundaravej
ended his bid to return to power as Thailand's prime minister, after
a revolt within the ruling party torpedoed his re-election in
2008 Sep 15, Thailand's ruling
party chose the brother-in-law of ousted former leader Thaksin
Shinawatra as its nominee to become the next prime minister,
immediately drawing opposition from anti-government protesters and
dozens of its own members.
2008 Sep 16, Thailand's ruling
People's Power Party announced that it has reconciled with a
renegade faction, clearing a hurdle toward the selection of Somchai
Wongsawat as a consensus candidate for prime minister.
2008 Sep 17, Thai lawmakers
turned to Somchai Wongsawat, the brother-in-law of deposed leader
Thaksin Shinawatra, to be the new prime minister, setting up a
showdown with protesters determined to tear down his political
2008 Sep 20, The Thai
government said floods have killed 14 people and sickened more than
53,000 others, including many who contracted waterborne ailments.
The 14 people were swept away by flash floods that hit 36 of
Thailand's 76 provinces over the past nine days.
2008 Oct 3, Soldiers from both
Cambodia and Thailand were wounded in a brief clash along their
2008 Oct 5, Apirak Kosayodhin,
the leader of Thailand's opposition Democrat Party, won re-election
as governor of Bangkok, defeating the ruling party candidate as well
as a one-time sex tycoon. Thai police arrested Chamlong Srimuang, a
key protest leader and one-time Bangkok mayor, on charges of
insurrection in a continuing crackdown against an anti-government
movement that spearheaded the ouster of a prime minister last month.
2008 Oct 7, Thai riot police
clashed with thousands of opposition PAD protesters who barricaded
Parliament and vowed to block the government from exiting the
building. 2 people were killed. Deputy PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
resigned to take responsibility for the chaos.
(AP, 10/7/08)(SFC, 10/9/08, p.A16)(Econ,
2008 Oct 9, The leaders of
Thailand's anti-government protesters said they will surrender to
police after a court dropped treason charges against them, but vowed
to continue their occupation of the prime minister's office after
2008 Oct 10, Leaders of Thai
anti-government protests were granted bail after surrendering to
police and immediately vowed new rallies, raising fears of mounting
turmoil days after deadly street clashes. At least 22 people were
killed and 24 others injured when a bus packed with passengers
crashed in eastern Thailand.
2008 Oct 11, Thailand's
embattled PM Somchai Wongsawat, indicated that he may resign in the
wake of fierce anti-government protests earlier this week that left
two people dead and hundreds injured. Thousands of supporters of the
ruling coalition gathered on the outskirts of Bangkok in a show of
strength, two days ahead of a planned major protest by a group
hoping to topple the elected government.
2008 Oct 13, Cambodian PM Hun
Sen gave Thailand an ultimatum to withdraw troops from a disputed
stretch of jungle-clad border within 24 hours or his forces would
turn the area into a "death zone." Thai troops retreated the next
(Reuters, 10/13/08)(AP, 10/14/08)
2008 Oct 13, Swiss authorities
said they have found high concentrations of melamine in biscuits
from Thailand and Sri Lanka and have called on other European
countries to withdraw the products.
2008 Oct 15, Cambodia and
Thailand exchanged fire on the border in a clash over disputed land
which left two soldiers dead and several wounded.
2008 Oct 16, Cambodia and
Thailand agreed to joint patrols of disputed border areas after
deadly clashes, but made little progress toward resolving their
long-standing territorial spat.
2008 Oct 17, In southern
Thailand a 25-year-old man was shot dead in a gunfight with security
officials after the arrests of five other suspected militants.
2008 Oct 18, In southern
Thailand 2 Muslim men were killed in separate drive-by shootings.
2008 Oct 18, Somali pirates
released a Thai ship after receiving a ransom.
2008 Oct 20, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the streets
of Bangkok, calling the prime minister a "murderer" and demanding he
resign over the violent quashing of a previous rally.
2008 Oct 21, A Thai court found
former PM Thaksin Shinawatra (59) guilty of corruption and sentenced
him to two years in prison. His wife, Pojaman (51), was acquitted.
2008 Oct 30, In Thailand
assailants threw a grenade into a crowd of anti-government
protesters occupying a bridge, wounding 10 people ahead of a
demonstration outside the British Embassy in Bangkok.
2008 Nov 4, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents detonated two bombs at a tea
stall and shopping area, killing one person and wounding at least
2008 Nov 9, Kuo Te-tsai (42), a
Taiwanese drug trafficker, was arrested at a Thai beach resort with
229 pounds of heroin worth millions of dollars in a joint operation
by American, Taiwanese and Thai drug enforcement authorities.
2008 Nov 13, In Thailand
assailants hurled explosives at vendors protesting a rent increase
by new managers of a government-owned market in Bangkok, wounding 13
2008 Nov 18, The Indian naval
frigate Tabar sank a suspected pirate "mother ship" in the Gulf of
Aden and chased two attack boats into the night. Separate bands of
pirates also seized a Thai ship with 16 crew members and an Iranian
cargo vessel with a crew of 25 in the Gulf of Aden. The pirate
"mother ship" was later reported to have been the Thai fishing
trawler seized hours earlier by pirates. One crew member was killed,
14 were missing and one was rescued 4 days later. The Iranian
vessel was released on Jan 9, 2009.
(AP, 11/19/08)(AP, 11/26/08)(SFC, 11/26/08,
2008 Nov 20, In Thailand a
grenade attack on demonstrators occupying the Thai premier's offices
killed one person and wounded 29, prompting protest leaders to call
for a new march against the government.
2008 Nov 23, In Thailand
protesters seeking the resignation of the prime minister massed in
the capital for what they said would be their biggest rally yet and
a final showdown with the government. Thousands of soldiers and
police were ordered to use nonviolent means to keep the peace.
2008 Nov 24, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government protesters fanned out across Bangkok,
causing Parliament to shut down and forcing a group of riot police
to retreat in what the activists called their final bid to oust a
2008 Nov 25, In Thailand
Bangkok's main international airport halted all flight operations
after anti-government protesters stormed the departures area.
2008 Nov 27, Thailand's
government prepared to crack down on protesters occupying the
capital's two airports, but called on the public not to panic as
rumors of a coup swept through the city.
2008 Nov 30, In Thailand
attackers set off explosions at anti-government protest sites,
wounding 51 people and raising fears of widening confrontations in
Thailand's worst political crisis in decades, which has strangled
its economy and shut down its main airports. Thousands of government
supporters wearing red shirts, headbands and bandanas joined a rally
against the protest alliance. So far six people have been killed in
bomb attacks, clashes with police and street battles between
government opponents and supports.
2008 Dec 1, In Thailand a
senior tourism official said an estimated 350,000 passengers have
been unable to fly out since anti-government protesters shut down
Bangkok's two airports last week.
2008 Dec 2, Thailand's PM
Somchai Wongsawat resigned after weeks of protests closed the
capital's airports, stranding 300,000 travelers. Protesters promised
to lift their siege, and international flights were expected to
resume on Dec 5. Deputy PM Chaowarat Chandeerakul will become the
caretaker prime minister. Parliament will have to pick a new prime
minister within 30 days.
2008 Dec 3, In Thailand the
first commercial flight in a week arrived in Bangkok as
anti-government protesters ended their siege of the country's two
main airports, declaring victory after PM Somchai Wongsawat was
ousted by a court ruling.
2008 Dec 5, In southern
Thailand 4 people were killed by a bomb at a drugstore suspected to
have been planted by Muslim insurgents.
2008 Dec 7, Thailand's main
opposition party called for an emergency parliament session to prove
its majority in a bid to form the next government and end months of
political chaos, as loyalists of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra
struggled to stay in power.
2008 Dec 12, In Thailand a
commercial fishing commission agreed to cut the catches of bigeye
tuna in parts of the Pacific Ocean, a small step in an effort to
save a threatened species that is a favorite among sushi lovers.
Environmentalists lambasted the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission's decision to reduce catches by only 10 percent
in each of the next three years. They wanted an immediate 30 percent
reduction that scientists advising the body had recommended.
2008 Dec 15, In Thailand
Abhisit Vejjajiva, a patrician 44-year-old with an Oxford education,
was elected the prime minister in a parliamentary vote amid hopes
that he can calm the political storms that have battered the country
for the past three years. On Feb 24, 2011, Abhisit Vejjajiva
publicly acknowledged his dual Thai-British nationality for the
first time during a debate in Parliament.
(AP, 12/15/08)(AP, 2/24/11)
2008 Dec 28, In Thailand
thousands of supporters of exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra began
converging on Parliament, vowing to stage demonstrations until the
new government holds elections.
2008 Dec 29, The Indian Coast
Guard rescued two people off India's east coast during a search for
more than 300 illegal immigrants missing for the past four days and
feared dead. Survivors told Indian authorities that more than 300
people from Bangladesh and Myanmar, members of the ethnic Rohingya
minority, had jumped from a rickety boat that had been drifting for
13 days in the Indian Ocean and tried to swim to shore near the
Andaman Islands. On Jan 16 a refugees' advocacy group accused the
Thai navy of tying up four illegal immigrants and throwing them into
the ocean before abandoning hundreds of others on a barge in open
water, where some 300 drowned. At least 100 were rescued in Indian
waters. Survivors at the time told Indian authorities they had been
detained by Thai authorities, who towed them into the open sea and
(AP, 12/30/08)(AP, 1/16/09)(SSFC, 1/18/09, p.A5)
2008 Dec 30, In Thailand
anti-government protesters abandoned their siege of the Foreign
Ministry building, easing a standoff that threatened to re-ignite a
long-running political crisis.
2008 Dec 31, In Bangkok,
Thailand, a New Year's Eve fire erupted at the Santika nightclub.
Before the revelry was over, 62 people were killed and more than 200
injured after they tried to flee what swiftly became a charred,
gutted ruin in a glitzy Bangkok entertainment area.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/4/09)
2009 Jan 11, New Thai PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva's government won the most seats in by-elections,
strengthening his shaky coalition in its first test at the polls.
2009 Jan 19, In Thailand Harry
Nicolaides (41), an Australian writer, was sentenced to three years
in prison for insulting Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare
conviction of a foreigner amid a crackdown on people and Web sites
deemed critical of the monarchy. Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced
Nicolaides to six years behind bars but reduced the term because he
had entered a guilty plea. His 2005 book “Verisimilitude” had sold 7
copies. Nicolaides returned home on Feb 21, after he was granted a
(AP, 1/19/09)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A3)(AP, 2/21/09)
2009 Jan 26, The Economist
magazine said this week's edition has not been distributed in
Thailand because of local objections to an article about the royal
family, the second disruption in two months.
2009 Jan 26, The Thai navy
detained a boat filled with 78 illegal Rohingya migrants, many of
whom had lacerations and burns they said were inflicted by Myanmar
2009 Jan 28, A Thai court
convicted 66 barefoot, disheveled migrants detained at sea of
illegally entering the country, raising the prospect they could be
sent back to Myanmar despite fears they would be persecuted there.
2009 Jan 31, In Thailand some
30,000 supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra gathered in
Bangkok, promising to fight on indefinitely unless the new Thai
government leaves office within 15 days. In northeastern Thailand a
grenade blast killed eight people and wounded 27 others during an
outdoor celebration next to a Buddhist temple.
(AFP, 1/31/09)(AP, 2/1/09)
2009 Feb 2, Indonesia's navy
picked up 198 starving, dehydrated boat people from Myanmar who said
they drifted for three weeks after authorities in Thailand forced
them to sea in a boat without an engine. Indonesian fishermen had
discovered the 40-foot (12-meter) boat off Aceh's coast in northern
Sumatra and towed it to shore.
2009 Feb 20, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents ambushed a military convoy and
beheaded two soldiers in the second such attack this month.
2009 Feb 24, In Thailand
thousands of protesters surrounded the prime minister's office
demanding that parliament be dissolved and new elections held, the
latest challenge to the two-month old coalition government.
2009 Feb 28, In Thailand
prominent activists from military-ruled Myanmar and Cambodia were
barred from a meeting with Southeast Asian leaders (ASEAN),
upstaging the opening of the annual summit billed as a historic step
toward greater human rights in the region.
2009 Mar 1, In Thailand
Southeast Asian leaders (ASEAN) vowed to push ahead with ambitious
plans to become a European Union-style economic community by 2015
despite roadblocks posed by the global financial crisis and
Myanmar's dismal human rights record.
2009 Mar 6, In Thailand
Chiranuch Premchaiporn was arrested for violating the country’s
Computer Crime Act. She faced 10 charges for not preventing comments
on bulletin boards that might have offended the royal family.
(http://tinyurl.com/4j6w77d)(Econ, 2/5/11, p.54)
2009 Mar 8, Off southern
Thailand a 60-foot (18-metre) diving boat, carrying 30 people
including 19 foreigners, was reported missing in the Similan
islands. Police and navy rescued 23 passengers and crew the next day
but two Swiss nationals, two Austrians, a Japanese, a German and a
Thai member of the crew remained missing. The body of one woman was
found on March 10.
2009 Mar 12, Thailand's
opposition filed a censure motion against PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and
five government ministers, accusing them of corruption.
2009 Mar 13, In Thailand
suspected Muslim militants killed 3 soldiers in an ambush in
southern Narathiwat province.
(SFC, 3/14/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 19, A Thailand army
spokesman said a roadside bomb had killed four paramilitary rangers
on an intelligence-gathering operation in southern Pattani province.
2009 Mar 26, In Thailand more
than 20,000 protesters ringed the prime minister's office, demanding
the government resign and deriding its distribution of checks to
millions of low-income workers as a payoff.
2009 Mar 27, Thai PM Abhisit
Vejjavija's rejected calls for his resignation by thousands of
anti-government protesters who ringed his office for a second day in
a boisterous rally.
2009 Mar 30, Thailand's prime
minister avoided his office, as thousands of protesters calling for
his resignation surrounded the seat of government for the fifth day
and ignored police warnings to disperse.
2009 Apr 1, In Thailand
thousands of demonstrators defied a court order to clear a road they
have blocked to the prime minister's office, vowing to continue
ringing the compound until the government resigns.
2009 Apr 3, Cambodian and Thai
soldiers traded fire with machine guns and rocket launchers along a
disputed border, killing as many as four people in an escalation of
tensions in a long-standing feud over an 11th century temple.
2009 Apr 3, Thai citizen
Suvicha Thakhor was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of
insulting the king and his family by posting edited photos of the
monarchy on the Internet. On June 28, 2010, Thakhor was pardoned by
(AP, 4/3/09)(AFP, 6/30/10)
2009 Apr 7, In Thailand
protesters surrounded the prime minister's car and smashed a window
as he rode in it, escalating tensions a day before a massive
anti-government rally that the leader said has sparked concerns of
2009 Apr 8, Thailand’s central
bank cut its benchmark interest rate by .25% to 1.25% to help prop
up the worsening economy. more than 100,000 anti-government
protesters rallied in Bangkok in their biggest bid yet to topple
premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, deepening the political crisis ahead of a
key Asian summit.
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.C2)(AFP, 4/8/09)
2009 Apr 11, In Thailand
anti-government protesters stormed a convention center in Pattaya
where leaders of Asian nations planned to meet, smashing doors and
searching room by room for the prime minister. Thailand canceled the
summit and airlifted the leaders out by helicopter.
2009 Apr 12, Thailand's ousted
PM Shinawatra, called for a revolution after rioting erupted in the
capital, with protesters commandeering public buses and swarming
triumphantly over military vehicles in unchecked defiance after the
government declared a state of emergency.
2009 Apr 13, Thai troops
unleashed volleys of gunfire in street battles with anti-government
protesters across Bangkok, forcing them back to their main rallying
site in a final push to end days of turmoil.
2009 Apr 14, Thailand issued an
arrest warrant for fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra for
inciting street battles between anti-government protesters and
troops. Leaders of the demonstrations called off their protests
after rioting killed two and injured more than 120. Police issued
warrants for 14 people, including the ousted prime minister at the
heart of three years of turmoil.
2009 Apr 16, Thailand’s former
PM Thaksin was reported to have received a Nicaraguan passport.
(WSJ, 4/16/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 17, In Thailand the
founder of the “yellow shirt” protest movement that shut down
Bangkok's airports last year was shot and wounded in a possible
assassination attempt, just days after troops quelled rioting by a
rival, anti-government group. Sondhi Limthongkul, a media tycoon and
supporter of the current government, was in stable condition after
surgery that removed "small pieces of bullet" from his skull.
2009 Apr 24, Malaysia's PM
Najib Razak vowed to investigate a scathing report by US lawmakers
saying thousands of Myanmar refugees were handed over to human
traffickers and ended up working in Thai brothels.
2009 Apr 25, In Thailand around
2,000 anti-government protesters gathered for a rally in Bangkok, a
day after PM Abhisit Vejjajiva lifted a state of emergency imposed
amid violent demonstrations earlier this month.
2009 Apr 27, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim rebels killed 10 civilians in a flurry of
attacks, just ahead of the fifth anniversary of a bloody assault by
security forces against militants at the Krue Se mosque.
2009 May 3, In Thailand an
American identified as Jill St. Onge (27) a bartender and artist
from Seattle, died while staying at a popular destination for budget
travelers. Norwegian Julie Michelle Bergheim (22) died the next day.
Both died after suddenly falling ill within hours of each other at
the Laleena guesthouse on Koh Phi Phi in southern Thailand.
2009 Jun 4, David Carradine
(72), star of TV series "Kung Fu" (1972-1975), was found dead in
Thailand. At first suicide was suspected but a forensics expert said
circumstances suggested that he may have died from autoerotic
asphyxiation. His career had roared back to life when he played the
assassin-turned-victim in Quentin Tarentino's "Kill Bill" (2003).
(AP, 6/4/09)(SFC, 6/6/09, p.E3)
2009 Jun 5, In Myanmar refugees
began streaming out of the Ler Per Her camp in eastern Karen state
and into Thailand as Myanmar forces shelled near a camp where they
2009 Jun 7, In southern
Thailand Islamic insurgents shot dead a villager and then detonated
a car bomb as a crowd gathered, killing one and wounding 19 in the
Yi-ngo district of Narathiwat.
2009 Jun 8, In Thailand gunmen
opened fire on a mosque in Narathiwat province’s Hoh-I-Rong district
killing at least 10 people and wounding 19 others.
(SFC, 6/9/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 13, In Thailand 2
suspected insurgents riding a motorcycle hurled a bomb at a bus,
killing one passenger and wounding 13 others in downtown Yala city.
In Yala province's Bannang Sata district, a husband and wife were
shot dead in an ambush while riding their motorcycle. In Narathiwat
province a village headman's wife was killed and another person
wounded while riding a motorcycle to a market.
2009 Jun 14, Thai PM Abhisit
Vejjajiva urged the country not to panic about swine flu, after the
number of cases grew nine-fold in four days and a cluster emerged in
a key tourist hub. Health authorities reported that confirmed cases
of the H1N1 virus soared to 150, compared with just 16 on June 10,
including a number of foreigners.
2009 Jun 18, Thailand security
forces killed four suspected Muslim militants in a gunbattle in
southern Yala province.
2009 Jun 27, In Thailand more
than 18,000 "Red Shirt" protesters loyal to fugitive premier Thaksin
Shinawatra gathered in Bangkok for the biggest anti-government rally
since bloody riots two months ago.
2009 Jul 1, In southern
Thailand a rampaging elephant stomped three rubber tappers to death
after it was left to wander freely by its handler.
2009 Jul 12, Thailand's swine
flu death toll rose to 18 as the government confirmed three more
fatalities and opened a vaccine plant to prevent tens of thousands
of infections across the country.
2009 Jul 19,
In Thailand’s Yala province a 48-year-old rubber plantation owner
was shot dead in a drive-by shooting as he returned home by
motorcycle. In another attack a gold shopkeeper was killed after
suspect insurgents fired assault rifles into his shop in Narathiwat
province before fleeing on a motorcycle.
2009 Jul 20, In Thailand
Southeast Asian foreign ministers (ASEAN) endorsed the region's
first human rights watchdog, rejecting criticisms that the body
would be powerless to tackle rogue members such as Myanmar. 2
assailants on a motorcycle shot and killed a Buddhist man who was
traveling on a road in Pattani province.
(AFP, 7/20/09)(AP, 7/20/09)
2009 Aug 4, In Thailand a
passenger plane skidded off the runway and crashed into a building
after landing on the Thai resort island of Samui, killing the chief
pilot and injuring at least seven people including foreign tourists.
2009 Aug 11, A Thai court
rejected a US request to extradite Viktor Bout, an alleged Russian
arms smuggler dubbed the "Merchant of Death," dealing a setback to
American efforts to try him on charges of plotting to supply weapons
to Colombian rebels. The court rejected the extradition request
because Bout had not been accused of committing any crimes against
Thailand, which has not listed FARC as a terrorist group.
2009 Aug 17, In Thailand
thousands of supporters of deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra rallied in
central Bangkok and then marched to the royal palace, seeking a
pardon for the fugitive leader.
2009 Aug 21, A massive oil and
gas leak forced the evacuation of an oil rig off Australia's
northwest coast. PTTEP Australasia, a branch of Thai-owned PTT
Exploration and Production Co. Ltd., said about 40 barrels of oil
had been discharged in the initial incident, and it was still
attempting to bring the leak under control at the rig, owned by
Norway's Seadrill. After 2 days PTTEP said plugging the leak will
take weeks. Government officials said there was little threat of
environmental damage. By the end of October an estimated 400 barrels
a day of oil continued leaking from the fissure off the Australian
coast. PTTEP Australasia has failed repeatedly to stop the leak but
said it is still trying.
(AFP, 8/22/09)(AP, 8/23/09)(AP, 10/30/09)
2009 Aug 26, In Thailand
suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a car bomb outside a crowded
open-air restaurant during lunchtime, wounding 26 people.
(SFC, 8/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Aug 28, In Thailand former
journalist Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul was sentenced to 18 years in
prison for insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej during a speech in
(SFC, 8/29/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 2, In Thailand a
number of drive-by shootings in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani
and Yala left eight dead, including a Muslim teacher and his son
(13). Security forces raided a rubber plantation in Yala and a house
in Narathiwat, sparking separate gunbattles in which two suspected
insurgents were killed.
2009 Sep 3, In Thailand a bomb
hidden in a motorcycle parked outside a row of open-air shops and
restaurants in Pattani city exploded, killing a Buddhist man and
wounding 24 others.
2009 Sep 4, In southern
Thailand bomb believed to have been planted by Islamic insurgents
exploded outside a restaurant where security forces were eating
breakfast, killing a policeman and wounding 12 other people.
2009 Sep 9, Thailand's national
police chief resigned after being transferred to an inactive post in
the wake of an official recommendation that he be prosecuted for his
role in a deadly crackdown against anti-government protesters last
2009 Sep 9, A teacher (29) in
Bangkok, Thailand, was captured on film beating a student (14) and
bashing his head against a blackboard. The 50-second clip, filmed by
a classmate using a mobile phone, was broadcast Sep 21 on a
nationally televised morning news program, sparking national outrage
and pledges from education officials to crack down on corporal
punishment in classrooms.
2009 Sep 13, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed five
paramilitary troops in Yala province.
2009 Sep 19, Thai nationalists
clashed with police and villagers as they tried to march toward an
ancient temple on the Cambodian border, while anti-government
protesters in the capital marked the third anniversary of a coup
that continues to create political turmoil.
2009 Sep 24, In Thailand an
experimental combination of two previously unsuccessful vaccines cut
the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31%, in the
world's largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers.
This was the first time an experimental vaccine has prevented
infection with the AIDS virus.
2009 Sep 25, An environmental
group said a gecko with leopard-like spots on its body and a fanged
frog that eats birds are among 163 new species discovered last year
in the Mekong River region of Southeast Asia, which included Laos,
Thailand and Vietnam.
2009 Sep 28, In Thailand
climate talks kicked off in Bangkok with the UN urging nations to
break the deadlock over a global warming deal that is supposed to be
finalized in just 70 days time, and warning that failure to act
would leave future generations fighting for survival.
2009 Oct 5, In Thailand a train
derailed during heavy rains near the coastal city of Hua Hin,
killing 7 people, including a 2-year-old girl, and injuring 88
others. A fact-finding panel later said the deadly crash was the
fault of the driver who fell asleep after taking antihistamines and
other cold medicine.
(AP, 10/5/09)(AP, 10/13/09)
2009 Oct 11, In Thailand
thousands of supporters of deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra, all in red
shirts, rallied in Bangkok to demand the government step down and
call fresh elections.
2009 Oct 17, In Thailand some
17,000 "Red Shirt" supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra rallied in
Bangkok to pressure the Thai government over their petition seeking
a royal pardon for the fugitive former prime minister.
2009 Oct 23, In Thailand the
annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations began
inauspiciously when half the bloc's 10 leaders failed to show up at
the opening of the 3-day conference due to a tropical storm,
domestic politics, a VIP visit and a possible illness. ASEAN nations
inaugurated their first regional human rights commission, a watchdog
immediately derided as toothless by activists who walked out of a
meeting to protest being snubbed by five of the governments
2009 Oct 25, In Thailand Asian
leaders heard competing plans from Australia and Japan for a massive
EU-style community covering half the world's population as they
wrapped up their annual East Asian summit. Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva
said leaders of 16 Asian countries gave high priority to finding a
new economic growth model to free half the world's population from
merely serving as producers for the West.
2009 Oct 28, In Thailand
suspected Muslim insurgents shot and killed two Buddhist civilians
in separate drive-by attacks in the insurgency-plagued south.
2009 Nov 2, A Thai official
said about half of Thailand's national lawmakers are taking
advantage of a new government plan allowing them to purchase guns at
a discount and receive a license to carry them anywhere.
2009 Nov 4, Cambodia said it
has appointed former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as
economic adviser to premier Hun Sen and his administration.
2009 Nov 5, Cambodia and
Thailand recalled their ambassadors from each others' countries,
deepening a diplomatic row after Cambodia made fugitive former Thai
PM Thaksin Shinawatra an economic adviser.
2009 Nov 6, Japan pledged $5.5
billion in aid over 3 years for Southeast Asia's 5 Mekong River
nations (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam), seeking to
deepen ties with the region amid growing influence from China.
2009 Nov 10, Thailand's ousted
PM Thaksin Shinawatra, whose political battle against his successors
has left his country bitterly divided, received a warm welcome in
neighboring Cambodia, which shares his disdain for the current
government in Bangkok.
2009 Nov 15, In Thailand
thousands of demonstrators attended a protest by the royalist
"Yellow Shirt" movement against a visit to Cambodia by their
arch-foe, fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
2009 Nov 16, Thai police
arrested Samart Chokechoyma (36) and Kanokwan Wongsaroj (38) on
charges of smuggling African ivory into the country to supply shops
that sell jewelry and trinkets, including to customers in the US.
DNA tests showed that it was of African origin.
2009 Nov 24, In Thailand Samak
Sundaravej (74), a firebrand right-wing politician and TV cooking
show host who served a brief and tumultuous term last year as prime
minister, died of cancer.
(AP, 11/24/09)(Econ, 12/5/09, p.96)
2009 Dec 8, In Cambodia
Siwaraks Chothipong (31), a Thai employee of the Cambodia Air
Traffic Service, was ordered to serve seven years in prison for
spying on Thailand's former prime minister while he was in Cambodia
as a guest of the government. Chothipong was accused of stealing
Thaksin's flight schedule before his Nov. 10 arrival and sending it
to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh. The case threatened to
worsen a diplomatic feud between the two neighbors. On Dec 11
Cambodia's king pardoned Chothipong.
(AP, 12/8/09)(AP, 12/11/09)
2009 Dec 10, In Thailand
thousands of red-shirted supporters of former Thai PM Thaksin
Shinawatra flooded back into the streets of Bangkok in an attempt to
step up pressure on the embattled government.
2009 Dec 12, In Thailand 4
Kazakhs and a Belarusian were detained and their New Zealand
registered aircraft impounded after it landed in the Thai capital
with tons of war weaponry on board that originated in North Korea.
The Ilyushin 76 transport from Kazakhstan was allegedly traveling
from North Korea to Sri Lanka when it asked to land in Bangkok to
refuel. According to a flight plan seen by arms trafficking
researchers, the aircraft was chartered by Hong Kong-based Union Top
Management Ltd. to fly oil industry spare parts from Pyongyang to
Tehran, Iran, with several other stops, including Bangkok, Colombo
in Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. A New Zealand shell company,
SP Trading Ltd., had leased the airplane.
(AP, 12/12/09)(AP, 12/23/09)(AP, 1/22/10)
2009 Dec 27, Human rights
groups warned that the Thai government's planned expulsion of 4,000
ethnic Hmong to Laos could turn violent.
2009 Dec 28, Thailand sent army
troops with shields and batons to evict more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong
asylum-seekers and send them back to Laos despite strong objections
from the US and rights groups who fear they will face persecution.
2009 Thailand authorities
arrested Maksym Shynkarenko of Ukraine for distributing child
pornography. In 2012 he was extradited to the US and charged in a
(SFC, 6/12/12, p.A6)
2010 Jan 22, New Zealand’s
commerce minister, Simon Power, said New Zealand is reviewing its
liberal system of company registration after investigators found a
shell company based here leased an airplane that smuggled arms from
North Korea. A New Zealand shell company, SP Trading Ltd., leased an
airplane seized last month in Thailand carrying an illegal arms
shipment from North Korea.
Dec 24, In Mexico a group of armed men stormed
the town of El Platanar de Los Ontiveros in Sinaloa state and shot 9
men to death. The town had become part of a dispute between the
sinaloa cartel and remnants of the Zetas.
(SFC, 12/27/12, p.A2)
2010 Jan 24, Cambodian and Thai
troops exchanged fire near a disputed border temple, the latest in a
string of gun battles between the countries since last year.
2010 Jan 27, In Thailand 13
tiger range states attended the first Ministerial Conference on
Tiger Conservation. The aim of the 3-day meeting was to convince
countries to pledge to spend more on tiger conservation and set
targets for boosting their numbers. The meeting was being organized
by Thailand and the Global Tiger Initiative, a coalition formed in
2008 by the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institute and nearly 40
conservation groups. It aimed to double tiger numbers by 2022. The
13 countries attending were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China,
India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand
2010 Jan 29, In Thailand a
dozen Asian nations and Russia vowed to double the number of wild
tigers by 2022, crack down on poaching that has devastated the big
cats and prohibit the building of roads and bridges that could harm
2010 Feb 1, Thailand and the
United States began their annual Cobra Gold military exercise, now
in its 29th year, with South Korea taking part for the first time.
Singapore, Japan and Indonesia will also participate in the
three-week training exercise, describes as the largest of its type
in the world.
2010 Feb 11, Thai prosecutors
said they have dropped charges against the five-man crew of an
aircraft accused of smuggling weapons from North Korea, saying the
men, arrested on Dec 12, might be guilty but would be deported to
preserve good relations with their home countries. The decision was
made after the governments of Belarus and Kazakhstan contacted the
Thai Foreign Ministry and requested the crew's release so they can
be investigated at home.
2010 Feb 16, Thailand officials
said tests conducted by the government have found that British-made
bomb detectors it bought for a total of $21 million have an accuracy
rate of only 20 percent, but they will continue to be used.
2010 Feb 24, Thailand officials
seized two tons of elephant tusks from Africa hidden in pallets
labeled as mobile phone parts in the country's largest ivory
2010 Feb 26, Thailand's highest
court ruled to seize 46 billion baht ($1.4 billion) from ousted PM
Thaksin Shinawatra's $2.29 billion in frozen assets, saying he had
abused his political power for personal gain.
2010 Feb 27, In Thailand 4
banks were targeted with small explosives, but no one was hurt.
(SFC, 3/1/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 3, In Laos senior
officials from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam met in Luang
Prabang to discuss the Mekong River. The Mekong River Commission in
a draft report said severe drought has dropped the river to its
lowest level in nearly 20 years, halting some cargo traffic and boat
tours on the waterway, the lifeblood for 65 million people in six
2010 Mar 7, In Thailand some
3,000 supporters of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra
demonstrated a week ahead of a crucial mass anti-government protest.
2010 Mar 12, In Thailand tens
of thousands of supporters of deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra
gathered near ministry buildings in Bangkok to rally against the
government, sporting their signature red shirts. Two months of
protests followed leaving 92 people dead.
(AFP, 3/13/10)(SSFC, 3/13/11, p.A4)(Econ, 6/4/11,
2010 Mar 14, In Thailand as
many as 150,000 anti-government demonstrators vowed to march on
military barracks housing Thailand's top leaders as their icon,
deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra, urged them from exile not to
(AFP, 3/14/10)(Econ, 4/10/10, p.45)
2010 Mar 15, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva, backed by a formidable military force, rejected
an ultimatum to dissolve Parliament as tens of thousands of
red-shirted protesters vowed to splatter the seat of government with
their own blood if their demands weren't met.
2010 Mar 16, Thai protesters
poured several jugs of their own blood at the front gate of the
government headquarters and outside the ruling party's offices in a
symbolic sacrifice to press their demands for new elections.
2010 Mar 19, Thai
anti-government protesters announced plans to snarl up the capital
with a travelling rally in a bid to win support after rejecting a
conditional offer of talks by PM Abhisit Vejjajiva.
2010 Mar 21, Thailand was mired
in political deadlock as demonstrators used their own blood to
create a giant piece of protest art and rejected the government's
offer of talks designed to end their rally.
2010 Mar 25, China agreed to
share water level data at 2 dams to ease pressure from nations
downstream, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
(SFC, 4/6/10, p.A3)
2010 Mar 27, Thai troops
retreated from security posts in the capital, bowing to demands from
80,000 jubilant red-shirted protesters who mounted a rally to demand
2010 Apr 1, In Thailand 6
people were shot dead by suspected militants and 10 police officers
were wounded by a roadside bomb in the latest attacks in Thailand's
2010 Apr 3, In Thailand tens of
thousands of protesters swarmed Bangkok's tourist heartland, defying
a warning to leave or face arrest.
2010 Apr 5, In Thailand
thousands of defiant anti-government demonstrators fanned out to
other parts of Thailand's capital and threatened businesses with
ties to the government after ignoring police orders to leave
Bangkok's paralyzed commercial district.
2010 Apr 6, In Thailand tens of
thousands of red-shirted protesters took over sections of Bangkok,
pelting police with eggs and dancing in the streets as they pushed
through barricades to press the prime minister to call new
2010 Apr 7, Thai PM Abhisit
Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok, handing the army
broad powers to restore order after anti-government protesters broke
into Parliament, forcing some lawmakers to flee by helicopter.
2010 Apr 8, Thailand's
beleaguered government shut down a satellite television station and
Web sites of anti-government demonstrators after declaring a state
of emergency, while the activists vowed to retaliate by escalating
their nearly monthlong protests.
2010 Apr 9, Thai
anti-government protesters stormed into a telecom company compound
where authorities had shut down their vital TV channel, as soldiers
and riot police failed to hold them back with tear gas and water
2010 Apr 10, Thai soldiers and
police fought pitched battles with anti-government demonstrators in
streets enveloped in tear gas, but troops later retreated and asked
protesters to do the same. At least 23 people were killed, including
a Japanese journalist, and more than 500 wounded, according to
hospital officials. Hiro Muramoto (43), a Japanese TV cameraman who
worked for Reuters for more than 15 years, was among those killed in
the bloody clash.
(AP, 4/10/10)(AP, 4/11/10)(Econ, 4/17/10, p.16)
2010 Apr 11, In Thailand
anti-government protesters dug into their encampments around Bangkok
and rejected talk of negotiations after a monthlong standoff
escalated into clashes that have left 21 people dead in the
country’s worst political violence in nearly two decades.
2010 Apr 12, Thailand's
Election Commission ruled that the ruling party be dissolved for
alleged misuse of poll donations, in a potential victory for
anti-government protesters who paraded slain comrades through
Bangkok to press the prime minister to resign.
2010 Apr 14, Thailand's "Red
Shirt" protesters poured into Bangkok's commercial heart, saying
they were ready for the "final round" in their fight to overthrow
the embattled government.
2010 Apr 18, Thailand's
military declared Bangkok's main shopping boulevard unsafe because
of large crowds of anti-government protesters and sent soldiers to
nearby high-rise buildings to watch for any violence. The
elite-backed "Yellow Shirts" vowed to take action if the government
fails to deal with red-clad protesters within a week, raising fears
of clashes between the rival groups.
(AP, 4/18/10)(AFP, 4/18/10)
2010 Apr 22, In Thailand a
series of blasts were detonated near a massive encampment of
anti-government protesters in Bangkok, wounding as many as 28
people. At least one person was reported killed.
2010 Apr 24, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva rejected scaled-back demands that he dissolve
Parliament in 30 days, prompting anti-government protesters to pull
out of negotiations and dashing hopes for an imminent resolution to
the country's political crisis.
2010 Apr 26, Thailand's
elite-backed "Yellow Shirts" called for a state of martial law to
end anti-government protests as the rival "Red Shirts" blocked
police convoys heading to the strife-torn capital.
2010 Apr 27, In Thailand
anti-government protesters forced a rush hour shutdown of Bangkok's
busy elevated train system and promised to expand protests that have
plunged the Thai capital into chaos by sending teams of
demonstrators throughout the city.
2010 Apr 28, Thai security
forces fired into a crowd of anti-government protesters during a
clash just outside Bangkok as they tried to keep the Red Shirts from
expanding their demonstrations from a base in the capital. One
soldier was killed, and at least 18 protesters were hurt.
2010 Apr 29, Thailand's "Red
Shirt" protesters called on the European Union to send observers to
prevent a crackdown by the army, but the government warned others
not to meddle in its internal affairs. Theo-establishment activists
demanded military action against anti-government protesters and an
end to "anarchy" in the capital.
(AFP, 4/29/10)(AP, 4/29/10)
2010 May 3, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva promised to produce a political roadmap that would
end a stand-off with "Red Shirt" protesters after the country's
deadliest civil violence in almost two decades.
2010 May 4, Thai
anti-government protesters welcomed a proposed compromise to end the
violent political crisis that has paralyzed central Bangkok for
nearly two months, but asked for more details on the plan before
wrapping up their demonstrations.
2010 May 6, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would dissolve Parliament in September,
paving the way for new elections demanded by anti-government
protesters if they end their crippling occupation of Bangkok's
2010 May 8, Thailand's
government and "Red Shirt" protesters committed themselves to a
faltering peace process despite twin attacks that left two police
2010 May 11, Thai
anti-government demonstrators insisted that they would continue
their two-month protest until the country's top leaders face
criminal charges for a violent crackdown on their rallies, rejecting
a government gesture of concession.
2010 May 13, In Thailand Maj.
Gen. Khattiya Sawasdiphol, a renegade army officer accused of
marshaling a paramilitary force among the Red Shirt protesters, was
shot in the head, apparently by a sniper, and taken to a hospital.
2010 May 13, The UN General
Assembly approved all 14 candidates for the 14 seats on the
47-member Human Rights Council. Human rights groups criticized the
poor human rights records 7 of the candidates: Angola, Libya,
Malaysia, Mauritania, Qatar, Thailand and Uganda.
(SFC, 5/14/10, p.A2)
2010 May 14, Thai troops fired
bullets at anti-government protesters and explosions thundered in
the heart of Bangkok. An army push to clear the streets and end a
two-month political standoff sparked clashes that left 5 people dead
and dozens wounded. Demonstrators the next day accused the
government snipers of picking people off with head shots.
(AFP, 5/14/10)(AP, 5/15/10)
2010 May 15, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva defended the deadly army crackdown on the Red
Shirt protesters besieging the capital, saying there was no turning
back as clashes raged in the center of Bangkok. Violence Bangkok
claimed 8 more lives as the embattled premier vowed no turning back
and the army threatened a crackdown on thousands of protesters.
(AP, 5/15/10)(AFP, 5/15/10)
2010 May 16, Thailand's main
emergency medical center said 30 people have been killed in four
days of street fighting between Red Shirt protesters and troops in
central Bangkok. The latest deaths raise to 59 the number of people
killed in related violence since April 10. Most of the dead are
2010 May 17, The Thai
government said it would accept a cease-fire offer from a Red Shirt
protest leader if their fighters return to their camp in central
Bangkok, as street battles that have killed 37 people raged for a
2010 May 18, The Thai
government rejected a proposal for peace talks with leaders of the
Red Shirt protesters to end the deadly mayhem gripping Bangkok,
saying negotiations cannot start until the demonstrators disperse.
2010 May 19, Downtown Bangkok,
Thailand, became a battleground as an army assault forced
anti-government protest leaders to surrender, enraging followers who
shot grenades and set fire to landmark buildings, cloaking the
skyline in black smoke. The Central World mall was in charred ruins.
Italian freelance photographer Fabio Polenghi (48) was killed by
gunfire in clashes between the military and demonstrators. A 2013
inquest said Polenghi was shot by a high-velocity bullet like those
issued to soldiers.
(AP, 5/19/10)(Econ, 5/29/10, p.46)(AP,
2010 May 20, The Thai
government declared it had mostly quelled 10 weeks of violent
protests in the capital as buildings still smoldered, troops rooted
out small pockets of resistance and residents attempted to return to
2010 May 22, Thailand's
government displayed to foreign diplomats a huge cache of weapons it
said had been confiscated from anti-government protesters, to quash
criticism of a deadly crackdown. The recent clashes and blasts left
91 dead and 1,900 injured.
(AFP, 5/22/10)(Econ, 7/10/10, p.39)(Econ,
2010 May 22, At the
Cannes film festival “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,"
a surreal tale of the afterlife with giant monkeys and an erotic
catfish scored gold for Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
2010 May 24, In Thailand
opposition leaders moved to impeach PM Abhisit Vejjajiva for his
handling of rioting and violence in Bangkok, and an army official
said the capital would remain under curfew for another week as a
precaution against further unrest.
2010 May 25, A Thai court
issued an arrest warrant for ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra on
terrorism charges, accusing the fugitive former leader of fomenting
two months of unrest in Bangkok that left 88 people dead.
2010 May, In Thailand state
troops ended the “red shirt” protests with the loss of 91 lives.
(Econ, 2/19/11, p.42)
2010 Jun 1, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva defended himself against a censure motion in
Parliament and said there would be an independent investigation into
whether the army used undue force to clear anti-government
protesters from Bangkok's streets.
2010 Jun 2, Thailand's prime
minister survived a no-confidence vote that was called after
anti-government protests crippled the capital and 89 people were
killed in street battles.
2010 Jun 8, In Thailand a
drive-by bombing near a mosque wounded 23 people in the turbulent
south. Police the next day called it an attack by Muslim insurgents.
2010 Jun 21, The UN Human
Rights Council unanimously elected Thailand's ambassador in Geneva
as its president for the coming year. Sihasak Phuangketkeow succeeds
Belgium's Alex Van Meeuwen after being nominated as the Asian
region's sole candidate.
2010 Jun 29, In Thailand Karl
Joseph Kraus (90), a Berlin-born Australian, was arrested at his
home near the northern city of Chiang Mai, where police confiscated
about 100 photographs of naked children. He was charged with raping
four young sisters whom he allegedly lured to his home with imported
chocolates and English lessons.
2010 Jul 18, Thai police
arrested American Ronald John Fanelli (37) on charges of killing
Wanpen Satienjai (33) and concealing the crime and cause of murder.
Fanelli, who has lived on the southern resort island of Phuket for
three years, told investigators he took the victim home from a bar
on the morning of June 18 and stabbed her to death with a penknife.
2010 Jul 23, Thailand’s Culture
Ministry said Facebook and Twitter are causing deteriorating
language skills among Thai students and authorities want them to
return to the bygone tradition of letter-writing.
2010 Jul 25, In Thailand a bomb
at a bus stop in downtown Bangkok killed one person and wounded 11
shortly after polls closed in a parliamentary election that pitted a
government candidate against a jailed leader of recent mass
(AP, 7/25/10)(SFC, 7/26/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 1, In Thailand several
hundred Red Shirt protesters defied a state of emergency in Bangkok
to stage a symbolic protest, with hundreds of people sprawling on
the ground and chanting, "People died here!"
2010 Aug 12, Leicester City,
the English Championship soccer club, announced that a consortium
led by Thai businessman Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn has bought the
2010 Aug 14, In Thailand formed
US Marine Dashawn Longfellow was beaten and stabbed to death
following a brawl at a Phuket bar. In 2012 British kickboxer Lee
Aldhouse was indicted for the stabbing.
(SFC, 12/27/12, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/dynf6av)
2010 Aug 20, A Thai appeals
court ordered the extradition of suspected Russian arms smuggler
Viktor Bout to the United States, angering Moscow but paving the way
to put the man dubbed the "Merchant of Death" on trial.
2010 Sep 1, Thailand long
running high school gang violence was highlighted when students
opened fire on a public bus in Bangkok. 4 stray bullets killed a boy
(9), shaking parents and educators.
2010 Sep 2, A US federal
indictment charged 6 recruiters from Global Horizons manpower Inc.
of luring 400 laborers from Thailand to the US with promises of
lucrative jobs, then confiscated their passports and failed to honor
their employment contracts.
(SFC, 9/3/10, p.A4)
2010 Sep 19, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government "Red Shirt" protesters defied an
ongoing state of emergency in Bangkok to stage their first major
demonstration since their street protests were ended by a deadly
military crackdown in May.
2010 Sep 24, A Thai court
ordered the ex-wife of deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra to return a
valuable plot of land she bought from the government while her
husband was the country's leader. The Civil Court ruled that the
2003 purchase by Potjaman na Pombejra was void because it violated
an anti-corruption law.
2010 Sep 28, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents disguised as policemen killed
five people in an attack on a warehouse in Pattani province.
2010 Oct 5, In Thailand a blast
blew out the side of a residential building in a Bangkok suburb
killing 4 people and injuring nine. Police found bomb-making
materials in the apartment, including fertilizer contained in fire
extinguishers, electrical circuit boards and high-voltage batteries.
Samai Wongsuwan, a Red Shirt supporter, was believed to be one of
(AP, 10/5/10)(AP, 10/6/10)
2010 Oct 17, Thousands of
Thailand's anti-government "Red Shirts" joined a mass rally in the
latest large-scale demonstration by the movement in recent weeks.
2010 Oct 21, Thailand said
floods in the northeast have left 17 people dead over the last 2
weeks with damages estimated at $650 million. 28 of the country’s 77
provinces were affected.
(SFC, 10/22/10, p.A9)
2010 Oct 22, Thai police raided
a warehouse where wildlife smugglers were storing thousands of
illegally collected reptiles for shipment overseas.
2010 Oct 27, Thailand
authorities said heavy downpours that caused rivers to burst have
killed 57 people in nearly two weeks of flooding.
2010 Nov 2, Thailand battled to
rescue thousands of people stranded in their homes after flash
floods, several meters deep in places, swept through a southern
city, cutting power and communications. The floodwaters swamped vast
areas of southern Thailand and inundated its largest city killing 12
people. The death toll from across the country soon passed 120.
(AFP, 11/2/10)(AP, 11/4/10)
2010 Nov 8, In Myanmar fighting
between ethnic rebels and government troops has sent at least 10,000
refugees fleeing into Thailand just after a widely criticized
election expected to usher in a parliament sympathetic to the
military regime. Thai officials said that fighting had died down,
and government troops had regained control of Myawaddy.
2010 Nov 9, About 20,000
refugees from Myanmar headed home after fleeing to Thailand as
fighting followed a general election that is certain to keep
Myanmar's military and its allies in power.
2010 Nov 16, Viktor Bout (43),
a suspected Russian arms dealer dubbed the "Merchant of Death," was
flown out of Thailand to face trial in the United States following a
long legal battle and fierce opposition from Moscow.
2010 Nov 19, Thai police found
the remains of almost 1,700 illegally aborted fetuses hidden at a
Buddhist temple in Bangkok as the full extent of the grisly
discovery emerged. Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took
to the streets of Bangkok, peacefully marking the six-month
anniversary of the military's crackdown on their protest.
(AFP, 11/19/10)(AP, 11/19/10)
2010 Nov 21, A global tiger
summit meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, approved a wide-ranging
program with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in
the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that
still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China,
India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam
and Russia. Experts said wild tigers could become extinct in 12
years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action
to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching.
2010 Nov 24, Australia said
that a Thai-owned oil firm's "widespread and systematic
shortcomings" caused the worst offshore drilling accident in the
country's history, which created a massive oil slick. Thousands of
barrels of oil gushed into the sea from a damaged well after a blow
out on the West Atlas rig on August 21, 2009, prompting the
evacuation of workers.
2010 Dec 1, Spain’s Interior
Ministry said police over the last 24 hours have arrested seven
people in Spain and three in Thailand in an international operation
against a group suspected of forging passports for an
al-Qaida-linked Islamic terrorist group.
2010 Dec 20, In Malaysia a
double-decker bus carrying Thai tourists overturned on a highway,
killing 28 people on their way back from a hill resort.
2010 Dec 22, Thailand's
government withdrew armed soldiers from skytrain stops in Bangkok
and other key sites as it lifted an eight-month-old state of
emergency imposed when protesters overran the capital.
2010 Dec 24, Thailand film
director Tanwarin Sukkhapisit said she plans to appeal a decision by
the National Film Board that her film, "Insects in the Backyard,"
cannot not be shown in Thailand because it is immoral and
pornographic. The movie was about a transgender father struggling to
raise two children.
2010 Dec 28, In Thailand US and
Thai officials arrested a group of 12 Chinese nationals accused of
obtaining fake visas to try to gain entry to the United States. The
visas bore the same numbers as authentic ones issued by the US
Embassy in Warsaw to Polish citizens.
2010 Dec 30, A Thai court
ordered prison terms for 79 members of the right-wing, nationalist
"Yellow Shirt" movement who stormed a state television station two
years ago armed with guns, knives and clubs.
2010 Dec 30, Cambodia charged
seven Thais, including a ruling party politician, with illegal entry
and put them in jail awaiting possible trial, despite strong
protests from Thailand. The detainees were inspecting contested
territory from Thailand's eastern Sa Kaeo province when they were
captured a day earlier by Cambodian soldiers.
2010 Thailand’s population
numbered about 67 million people.
(Econ, 9/18/10, p.58)
2011 Jan 1, In southern
Thailand 2 bomb disposal policemen were killed and 9 other people
wounded in a blast after warnings of New Year violence in the
2011 Jan 9, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched in Bangkok,
saying they had learned lessons from chaotic violence last year and
had a new strategy for the new year. A Red Shirt leader vowed to
hold "frequent and symbolic gatherings" twice a month, a change from
the large sit-in last year that lasted 10 weeks and prompted a
2011 Jan 11, Thailand's
government approved a package of social welfare measures slammed by
critics as populist handouts designed to woo voters in a key
2011 Jan 19, In southern
Thailand four soldiers were killed in an attack on their post by at
least 20 armed men. The attackers also set fire to two shelters in
the base and took away an unknown number of M16 assault rifles in
2011 Jan 25, Thailand's
government faced renewed street protests as the right-wing
nationalist group that seized Bangkok's airports two years ago
gathered in the capital to pressure the prime minister over a land
dispute with Cambodia. In the south 9 people were killed by a
roadside bomb, where an Islamic separatist insurgency has entered
its eighth year.
2011 Feb 1, A Cambodian court
sentenced two Thais to lengthy prison terms for illegally crossing
the border and spying. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court found Veera
Somkwamkid, who heads a political pressure group, the Thailand
Patriot Network, and his assistant Ratree Pipatanapaiboon, guilty of
espionage, illegal entry and trespassing in a military zone. Veera
was sentenced to eight years in prison and Ratree to six years.
2011 Feb 3, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents opened fire on a grocery store,
killing five Buddhist bystanders.
2011 Feb 3, In Thailand a
47-year-old Thai woman died at a hotel. A 23-year-old New Zealand
woman died Feb. 6 at the same Downtown Inn in Chiang Mai. Her two
female companions, who became sick, recovered. A British couple in
their 70s were found in their hotel room at the same hotel on Feb.
19. A later investigation reported exposure to some toxic chemical,
pesticides or gas.
2011 Feb 4, Cambodian and Thai
soldiers exchanged heavy fire on the two countries' shared border
near the 11th century Preah Vihear temple killing one soldier and a
civilian, as tensions between the neighbors boiled over.
(AFP, 2/4/11)(Econ, 2/12/11, p.50)
2011 Feb 5, Renewed fighting
between Cambodian and Thai troops along the countries' disputed
border killed a Thai soldier and sent thousands of people fleeing
before military commanders agreed on the second cease-fire in two
2011 Feb 6, The Cambodian
government said part of an 11th century temple was damaged by the
Thai army as the two sides exchanged artillery and mortar fire
across their disputed border, shattering a shaky cease-fire and
2011 Feb 7, Cambodian and Thai
troops clashed for a 4th straight day as the UN chief called for
"maximum restraint" in a border dispute that has claimed 7 lives and
displaced thousands. On April 6 the London-based Cluster Munition
Coalition said Thailand's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva
confirmed the army had fired 155mm cluster shells into Cambodia.
(AFP, 2/7/11)(AP, 4/6/11)
2011 Feb 10, A new Thai airline
reported the hiring of transsexual ladyboys as flight attendants,
aiming at a unique identity to set itself apart from competitors as
it sets out for the skies. PC Air, a charter airline set to start
operations on Asian routes in April, has thus far chosen 4 ladyboys,
along with 19 female and 7 male flight attendants.
2011 Feb 13, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government protesters massed in Bangkok for the
latest in a series of rallies by rival political factions ahead of
elections expected this year. A car bomb exploded in the
insurgency-plagued far south, injuring 18 people, including four
2011 Feb 14, In Thailand a
couple in Pattaya locked lips for 46 hours, 24 minutes and 9 seconds
to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A previous world record of 32 hours
was set by a Germany couple in 2009.
(SFC, 2/15/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 19, In Thailand
thousands of "Red Shirts" gathered in Bangkok to mark nine months
since a bloody crackdown on their anti-government rally and to press
for the release of detained leaders. In the south suspected Muslim
insurgents detonated a car bomb and raked a karaoke restaurant with
gunfire, wounding at least 17 people in back-to-back attacks in the
(AFP, 2/19/11)(AP, 2/19/11)
2011 Feb 25, Thai authorities
displayed a ton of illicitly smuggled African elephant ivory and
rhino horns seized at Bangkok's airport, a haul described as a
victory for better international intelligence sharing among wildlife
2011 Mar 3, In Germany a former
folk music star (65) was sentenced to 9 years in prison for abusing
hundreds of underage girls in Thailand by having unprotected sex
with them while being HIV-positive. The member of Godewind was
accused of 403 cases of unprotected sex the occurred in Pataya
(SFC, 3/4/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 5, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim militants fatally shot a Buddhist monk in
a drive-by motorcycle attack in the Kok Pho district of Pattani
province. In nearby Kapo district insurgents detonated a roadside
bomb as a military truck passed by, wounding three soldiers.
2011 Mar 6, In southern
Thailand six gunmen opened fire in a busy area of Pattani province's
Yarang district and killed a retired police officer. Two insurgents
on a motorcycle also in Pattani shot at a mother and son riding a
motorbike back from a market. The 23-year-old son died and the
mother was wounded.
2011 Mar 9, Thailand police
officers in Phitsanulok province, acting on information from a
previous operation, interrupted the loading of drugs onto trucks
overnight. Seven or eight suspects fled during the raid, leaving
four bags with 986,000 methamphetamine pills and more than 100
pounds (48 kg) of crystallized methamphetamine.
2011 Mar 12, In Thailand tens
of thousands of anti-government “Red Shirt” protesters rallied in
Bangkok on the anniversary of the start of their 2-month protests
last year that left 91 dead.
(SSFC, 3/13/11, p.A4)
2011 Mar 15, A Thailand court
sentenced Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul (38), the administrator of an
anti-government website, to 13 years in prison on charges of
defaming the monarchy and violating the computer crime act.
(SFC, 3/16/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 25, In Thailand a
court ordered leaders of the self-styled People' Alliance for
Democracy to pay millions of dollars to airport operators in
compensation for occupying Bangkok's airports for a week in 2008.
2011 Mar 29, Thailand police
raided secret ivory carving workshops in central in Nakorn Sawan
province, seizing an allegedly illegal haul of elephant and walrus
2011 Mar 30, Thailand mobilized
its only aircraft carrier to rescue thousands trapped on the
storm-swept resort island of Koh Samui after severe flooding across
the south killed 15.
(AP, 3/30/11)(SFC, 3/31/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 30, Thailand
confiscated two tons of African elephant tusks worth millions of
dollars being smuggled through a Bangkok port. This was the
country's largest ivory seizure.
2011 Mar 31, Thailand's navy
used helicopters and an aircraft carrier to rescue more than 800
tourists stranded by heavy rains on the country's picturesque
2011 Apr 1, In southern
Thailand heavy rains finally eased, where flooding and mudslides
over the past week killed 25 people.
2011 Apr 7, Thailand
authorities seized 1,800 Bengal monitor lizards being smuggled on
pickup trucks to the capital. Their meat could sell for $7.50-$15
per pound ($16-$33 per kg) in China, making them worth more than
2011 Apr 8, In Thailand rich
and poor nations agreed on a roadmap for UN climate talks this year,
but only after long-running feuds flared over a wide range of
actions they must take to combat global warming. The talks in
Bangkok will be followed by other rounds in Germany, before the
annual summit in Durban, South Africa.
2011 Apr 18, In southern
Thailand Muslim insurgents set off a car bomb that killed one
soldier and wounded 25 people.
2011 Apr 22, Cambodia and
Thailand exchanged artillery and gunfire for several hours in a
flare-up of a long-running border dispute that left six soldiers
2011 Apr 23, A 2nd day of
fighting between Cambodian and Thai troops killed at least four
soldiers, bringing the two-day death toll to 11, the worst bloodshed
since the United Nations called for a ceasefire in February.
2011 Apr 24, Cambodian and Thai
troops exchanged artillery fire in a third day of fighting that has
killed 10 soldiers and uprooted thousands of villagers from their
2011 Apr 25, Cambodian and Thai
troops clashed with guns and artillery after almost a full-day break
in fighting that has killed at least 12 people in four days and sent
nearly 50,000 into evacuation centers.
2011 Apr 26, Cambodian and Thai
troops fought with short-range rockets and guns near 900-year-old
Preah Vihear temple, opening a second front in a five-day
confrontation that has killed 13 people.
2011 Apr 26, Thai authorities
forced the closure of 13 anti-government radio stations in the
biggest crackdown on dissident media since a state of emergency
during street protests last year. Police said the stations broadcast
illegal statements defaming the monarchy.
2011 Apr 27, Thailand pulled
out of talks with Cambodia and deadly border clashes continued for a
2011 Apr 28, Cambodia and
Thailand called a ceasefire halting their bloodiest clashes in
decades, after seven days of fighting left 15 dead and around 75,000
2011 Apr 29, Cambodian and Thai
troops broke a brief cease-fire and clashed for an eighth day,
shattering hopes of a quick end to a long-running border conflict
that has forced nearly 100,000 villagers to flee. The death toll
rose to 16.
2011 Apr 30, Troops from
Cambodia and Thailand exchanged fire at the countries' contested
border, marking the ninth straight day of clashes that have left at
least 16 people dead and displaced nearly 100,000.
2011 Apr 30, Two Thai troops
died and nine were injured in bombings that struck the restive
2011 May 1, A Cambodian soldier
was killed in fighting with Thailand, bringing the total number of
dead to 17 as the Southeast Asian nations' festering border conflict
2011 May 3, In Thailand a
cabinet meeting of Abhisit Vejjajiva’s administration approved 102
spending proposals totaling billions of dollars. Elections were soon
(Econ, 5/7/11, p.44)
2011 May 7, In Thailand
militants detonated a homemade bomb near a football field in Pattani
province, killing four policemen and wounding a dozen others who had
come to play a friendly match with villagers. In Yala province
insurgents set off a roadside bomb and shot at an army patrol,
killing three soldiers and wounding two. In Narathiwat province two
men on a motorcycle fatally shot a former local official in his
2011 May 7, Cambodia accused
Thailand of invading its territory on the opening day of a summit of
Southeast Asian leaders that was supposed to focus on plans to
create a regional economic zone.
2011 May 9, Thailand's PM
Abhisit Vejjajiva announced that he is dissolving the lower house of
Parliament to hold early elections July 3, setting off a political
battle that could inflame tensions in the divided nation.
2011 May 13, In Thailand
authorities at Bangkok's international airport arrested a
first-class passenger whose suitcases were filled with baby
leopards, panthers, a bear and monkeys. The animals had been drugged
and were headed for Dubai.
2011 May 21, Thailand police
arrested a man suspected of being a key player in one of Thailand's
largest tiger trafficking rings.
2011 May 24, Thai authorities
arrested American citizen on charges he insulted the country's
monarchy, in part by posting a link on his blog four years ago to a
banned book about the Southeast Asian nation's ailing king. Lerpong
Wichaikhammat (aka Joe Gordon), a 54-year-old Thai-born man, had
lived in the US state of Colorado for around 30 years before
returning recently to Thailand for medical treatment. In August
Gordon was charged with lese majeste for allegedly translating parts
of an unauthorized biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and writing
articles that defamed the royal family.
(AP, 5/27/11)(AP, 8/18/11)
2011 Jun 1, In Thailand customs
authorities found 431 turtles and other rare reptiles stuffed into
four suitcases and smuggled into the Bangkok airport.
2011 Jun 24, In southern
Thailand 3 hidden roadside bombs killed two people and wounded 13
others. Police believed Islamist militants were responsible.
2011 Jun 25, Thailand announced
its withdrawal from the UN's World Heritage Convention, at a meeting
of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris. Thailand said it
was withdrawing because the committee's consideration of Cambodia's
plan for managing the Preah Vihear temple site could threaten Thai
sovereignty and territory.
2011 Jun 27, In Geneva more
than 80 states began meeting for the first four-day intercessional
meeting on the Convention on Cluster Munitions to advance their
commitments to a world free of cluster bombs. During the meeting
Thailand and Cambodia indicated their intention to join in the near
2011 Jul 3, Thailand held
elections. PM Abhisit Vejjajiva conceded his party lost national
elections to the opposition led by Yingluck Shinawatra (44), the
sister of ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra. Her Pheu Thai
party won a majority of 265 seats in the 500-seat lower house of
parliament outright. The Democrat party won 159 seats. The apparent
election result paved the way for Yingluck to become Thailand's
first female prime minister. An international monitoring group later
said up to one million Thais were disenfranchised ahead of the
kingdom's crucial recent election because of outdated lists of
(AP, 7/3/11)(AP, 7/4/11)(AFP, 7/5/11)(Econ,
2011 Jul 4, Thailand's military
eased concerns of renewed turmoil by accepting the sweeping
electoral win of toppled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra's party,
while his sister vowed to reconcile the deeply divided nation as its
first female prime minister.
2011 Jul 12, In Germany a plane
being used by Thailand's Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn was been
impounded as part of a long-running battle over payments for a
building project in Thailand. The Thai government allegedly owed the
now-bankrupt German construction firm Walter Bau AG builder 30
million euros because of a contract agreed to more than 20 years ago
to build and operate a toll highway to Bangkok's Don Muang airport.
On July 20 a German court ordered the release of the impounded jet
upon receipt of a hefty bank guarantee. On July 21 Thailand's
foreign minister ruled out paying a multi-million dollar bank
guarantee to secure the release of the prince's jet.
(AP, 7/13/11)(AFP, 7/20/11)(AFP, 7/21/11)
2011 Jul 17, In southern
Thailand a girl (5) and a local government official were shot dead
and 11 people were injured when gunmen burst into a Buddhist temple
during an annual fair.
2011 Jul 18, The UN's highest
court ordered troops from both Thailand and Cambodia to immediately
withdraw military forces from disputed areas around a World Heritage
temple straddling their border.
2011 Jul 19, A Thailand Black
Hawk helicopter crashed during bad weather in a forested area near
Myanmar. 9 dead included an infantry division commander and a
television cameraman. The craft had been sent to retrieve the bodies
of five soldiers killed in the crash of another helicopter on July
2011 Jul 25, Thailand's
anti-corruption body filed complaints against three former Cabinet
ministers and an ex-governor of Bangkok that allege wrongdoing in a
2004 contract to buy fire trucks and boats for the Thai capital.
2011 Aug 3, Thai police
arrested a Swedish man wanted in Scandinavia for a $3 million
banking scam committed 1998-2001. Carl-Gustav Alexander Tartagni
(52) was detained in the seaside town of Hua Hin, where he had been
living for a year.
2011 Sep 6, Thailand
authorities arrested two men in the northeast for trying to smuggle
more 120 dogs into Vietnam to be sold for human consumption. 31 of
the dogs were dead.
2011 Sep 9, In northern
Thailand 8 people were killed and two were missing after a mudslide
engulfed several villages in the mountainous region of Uttaradit
2011 Sep 12, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra, in her fist state visit to Indonesia, vowed to improve
economic cooperation with Indonesia, particularly in the
agriculture, energy and tourism sectors.
2011 Sep 12, The Thai
government announced a new campaign against illegal drugs but said
it will not repeat the mistakes of an earlier push in 2003 when at
least 2,300 accused dealers were killed.
2011 Sep 13, A Thailand court
ordered the military to stop labeling transgender people as being
mentally ill in a decision praised by activists.
2011 Sep 15, New Thai premier
Yingluck Shinawatra held her first official talks with her Cambodian
counterpart seeking to patch up relations after deadly border
2011 Sep 16, In southern
Thailand bombs concealed in a car and two motorcycles killed at
least three people and wounded at least 30 in the border town of
2011 Sep 17, Thailand
incinerated about $80 million worth of drugs from over 130,000
seizures across the country as officials warned there were an
increasing number of very young users. Thailand, along with other
countries in the region, has seen a marked increase in seizures of
2011 Sep 25, Thailand
authorities rescued nearly 100 endangered pangolins, scaly anteaters
worth about $32,000, that they say were to be sold and eaten outside
2011 Sep 27, In southern
Thailand 16 militants in two pick up trucks and motorcycles opened
fire on a military outpost in Narathiwat, killing a 21-year-old
private and injuring two other troops. A 47-year-old Muslim man was
gunned down in a drive-by attack.
2011 Sep 28, In southern
Thailand more than a dozen suspected Muslim insurgents attacked a
school, killing four soldiers and seriously wounding one child.
2011 Oct 2, The government in
Thailand said heavy floods have also killed 206 people since August.
2011 Oct 5, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra met Myanmar's president during her first visit to the
military-dominated country since she took office in August.
2011 Oct 5, Suspected drug
traffickers hijacked two Chinese cargo ships on the Mekong River in
northern Thailand. The bodies of 13 crew members were found near
Chiang Rai, Thailand on Oct 7,8 and 10. Burmese drug lord Naw Kham
was arrested in Laos in May. In Nov, 2012, he and 3 of his
associates were sentenced to death by a court in Kunming. Thai
police continued to search for 9 Thai soldiers believed to have been
(AP, 10/10/11)(Econ, 11/10/12, p.43)
2011 Oct 6, The humanitarian
group Doctors Without Borders says it is ending its operations in
Thailand after 35 years because it could not reach agreement with
the government on conditions under which it could provide medical
care to illegal migrants.
2011 Oct 8, Thailand's PM
Yingluck Shinawatra warned that rising floodwaters, which have
wreaked havoc across the nation, are now threatening the capital,
Bangkok, as the death toll from the worst monsoon rains in decades
rose to 253.
2011 Oct 11, Thailand workers
raced to complete three critical flood walls with only one or two
days to go before the already swollen river that winds through the
capital bursts its banks. Nationwide flooding has already killed
nearly 270 people. A preliminary estimate by the central bank showed
economic losses from flooding that began in late July range from
baht 60 billion to baht 80 billion ($1.9 billion to $2.6 billion).
2011 Oct 13, Thailand issued a
flood warning for parts of Bangkok's northern outskirts after a dyke
burst, in a setback to efforts to protect the city of 12 million
people from the rising water. Unusually heavy monsoon rains have
killed at least 283 people.
2011 Oct 15, Thailand PM
Yingluck in a radio address called current flooding "the worst in
Thai history." The government said the floods, which have killed 297
people, are the worst to hit the Southeast Asian kingdom in half a
2011 Oct 19, Thailand's new
premier acknowledged that the country's flood crisis has overwhelmed
her government, and she pleaded for mercy from the media and
solidarity from the country in battling the relentless waters. The
death toll in nationwide flooding reached 317, mostly from drowning,
with nearly 9 million people affected and 27 of the country's 77
provinces still inundated. Bangkok's city government urged residents
in seven northern districts of the city to move belongings to safe
spots, but did not yet call for an evacuation.
2011 Oct 21, In Thailand
millions of nervous Bangkok residents were warned to move their
belongings to safety as the kingdom's worst floods in decades poured
into the outskirts of the sprawling city.
2011 Oct 23, In southern
Thailand at least seven people were killed in back-to-back shooting
and bomb attacks in a town in Narathiwat province.
2011 Oct 25, Bangkok's second
airport shut down as floodwaters advanced into the Thai capital,
forcing authorities in "crisis mode" to declare a five-day public
holiday in preparation for the deluge.
2011 Oct 25, In southern
Thailand a series of explosives planted by suspected Muslim rebels
ripped through Yala town, killing at least 3 people and wounding
(AFP, 10/25/11)(SFC, 10/26/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct 27, In Thailand
thousands of Bangkok residents flocked to bus, rail and air
terminals while heavy traffic snaked out of the sprawling Thai
capital in an exodus from a mass of approaching floodwater. By
month’s end the flooding left more than 381 people dead and millions
of homes and livelihoods damaged.
(AFP, 10/27/11)(SFC, 10/31/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct 31, China, Laos,
Myanmar and Thailand signed a regional security agreement pledging
to share intelligence and to engage in joint patrols along a stretch
of the Mekong between China and the Golden Triangle.
(Econ, 11/19/11, p.45)
2011 Nov 2, The Thai government
said the flood disaster has now killed 427 people, an increase of 42
from the figure reported a day earlier. While drowning was the most
common cause of death, dozens have also been electrocuted. Suspected
Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand killed six civilians in a
bomb attack on their vehicle in the south.
(AFP, 11/2/11)(AP, 11/2/11)
2011 Nov 6, The death toll from
Thailand's worst floods in half a century climbed past 500, as
advancing pools of polluted black water threatened Bangkok's subway
system and new evacuations were ordered in the sprawling capital.
2011 Nov 13, The death toll
from Thailand's worst floods in half a century reached 536, and
authorities told more residents of Bangkok to evacuate their
2011 Nov 15, Lawmakers from
Thailand's ruling political party submitted a parliamentary motion
to begin discussions over possibly shifting the capital city to
prevent future flooding chaos. Bangkok, which is built on swampland,
is slowly sinking and the floods currently besieging the city of 12
million people could be merely a foretaste of a grim future.
2011 Nov 16, US Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a $10 million aid package for
flood-ravaged Thailand during a visit to express solidarity.
2011 Nov 19, Thailand's Premier
Yingluck Shinawatra declared central Bangkok safe from the kingdom's
devastating floods, as the death toll passed 600 and President
Barack Obama vowed the US will give whatever help it can.
2011 Nov 22, In Indonesia the
Southeast Asian Games were formally closed by Indonesia Vice
President Budiono. Indonesia earned a table-topping 182 golds among
476 medals, followed by Thailand with 109 among 329.
2011 Nov 23, A Thai criminal
court sentenced Amphon Tangnoppakul (61) to 20 years in prison for
sending text messages deemed offensive to the country's queen. On
May 7, 2012, Tangnoppakul (62) died in prison of liver cancer.
(AP, 11/23/11)(AP, 5/9/12)
2011 Dec 7, In Thailand Arisman
Pongruangrong, a militant leader of Thailand's "Red Shirt" protest
movement, surrendered to authorities on terrorism charges over his
role in opposition rallies last year, after almost 20 months on the
2011 Dec 8, In Thailand Joe
Gordon, an American who translated a banned biography of Thailand's
king and posted the content online while living in Colorado, was
sentenced to two and a half years in a Thai prison for defaming the
country's royal family. On July 10, 2012, Gordon (55) was granted a
(AP, 12/8/11)(AFP, 7/11/12)
2011 Dec 9, In Thailand some
100 supporters of a grandfather jailed for 20 years in Thailand for
insulting the king held a rare public protest against the kingdom's
strict lese majeste laws in the capital Bangkok. Amphon Tangnoppakul
(61) was found guilty on Nov 23 of four counts of offending the
royals in text messages last year. Article 112 of the criminal code
contains the rules protecting the royals.
2011 Dec 13, Three Thai
soldiers were killed and one was critically wounded when an old
landmine exploded as they were trying to defuse it on the country's
border with Cambodia.
2011 Dec 15, A Thai activist
was sentenced to 15 years in prison for insulting the king in the
third case in a month involving the strict law against defaming the
monarchy that is increasingly being criticized as an infringement on
free speech. Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, nicknamed "Da Torpedo" for
her aggressive speaking style, has been detained since July 2008
after speaking at a rally using impolite language that was recorded
2012 Jan 5, Thai wildlife
officials said body parts from a dead wild elephant, found on Jan 2
without its tusks, tail and penis, were likely destined for
restaurants in tourist areas. The creature, which was discovered in
Kaeng Krachan National Park near the Myanmar border.
2012 Jan 12, In Thailand gunmen
shot dead journalist Wisut Tangwitthayaporn (40), a local newspaper
owner and political activist in a targeted attack on the island of
2012 Jan 12, A Thai navy patrol
caught a gang of dog smugglers on the shore of the Mekong River in
Nakhon Phanom province. At least 750 dogs were to be transported
through Laos to Vietnam, where dog meat is a delicacy.
2012 Jan 16, In Thailand a
foreign suspect, identified as Atris Hussein, with alleged links to
Hezbollah militants led police to a warehouse filled with materials
commonly used to make bombs. Hussein, a Lebanese man, was carrying a
valid Swedish passport when he was arrested on Jan 12. On Sep 18,
2013, Hussein was convicted and sentenced to 2 years and 8 months
for illegal possession of ammonium nitrate.
(AP, 1/16/12)(SFC, 9/19/13, p.A4)
2012 Jan 19, Thailand said that
it has recognized a Palestinian state, in a move hailed by
Palestinian leaders eager to boost their international standing amid
a stalemate with Israel.
2012 Jan 21, Thailand police
seized 3.8 million methamphetamine tablets in the country’s largest
drug bust in years.
2012 Jan 24, In central
Thailand fireworks set off during an official Chinese New Year
celebration sparked a blaze that burned homes, killed three people
and injured others.
2012 Jan 26, A Thailand
wildlife official said a worrisome new practice of Thais consuming
elephant meat could threaten the national animal with extinction.
Thailand's elephant population was under 3,000 wild elephants, plus
some 4,000 domesticated.
2012 Jan 29, Thai
paramilitaries shot dead four people including an elderly man and a
teenager in the far south because they feared they were under
attack. On March 21 the military admitted troops had shot dead four
Muslim villagers on their way to a funeral due to a
(AFP, 1/30/12)(AFP, 3/21/12)
2012 Feb 14, In Thailand an
Iranian man, Saeid Moradi, carrying grenades lost at least one leg
in a grenade blast and wounded four civilians in Bangkok after an
earlier blast shook his rented house. Mohammad Kharzei, a 2nd man
was arrested in Bangkok as he tried to board a flight to Malaysia.
(AP, 2/14/12)(AP, 2/15/12)
2012 Feb 15, Malaysia police
arrested Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, a third Iranian suspect sought after
explosive blasts in Bangkok.
2012 Feb 28, A Thailand court
sentenced media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul (64), one of the kingdom's
most controversial political figures, to 20 years in prison for
corporate fraud. Sondhi is the founder of the royalist "Yellow
Shirt" protest movement.
2012 Mar 2, Thai police said
they confiscated over 4 million methamphetamine tablets near the
border with Myanmar, where much of it is produced.
(SFC, 3/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 8, In Thailand a fire
at a high-rise hotel in Bangkok's main tourist district sent smoke
billowing through the upper floors, killing at least one foreigner
and injuring almost two dozen other people.
2012 Mar 17, Thailand
billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya (89), the co-founder of energy drink
Red Bull and the second richest man in Thailand, died. Chaleo had
founded T.C. Pharmaceuticals. In the 1970s, it formulated an energy
drink prototype called Krathing Daeng, or Red Bull in English. He
co-founded a company with Austrian marketing whiz Dietrich
Mateschitz in 1984, who helped turn Red Bull into a global brand.
Mateschitz had become aware of "tonic drinks" while traveling in
Asia. They started selling the drink in Austria in 1987.
(AFP, 3/17/12)(AP, 3/17/12)
2012 Mar 23, PM Yingluck
Shinawatra said Thailand will spend more than $70 billion on
infrastructure over the next five years as she outlined the
challenges facing the country after last year's floods.
2012 Mar 15, CH. Karchang, a
Thailand construction giant, officially began work on the $3.5
billion dam at Xayaburi in northern Laos. A December agreement by
the Mekong River Commission had called for further study on the
environmental impacts of the dam.
(Econ, 5/5/12, p.43)(Econ, 9/7/13, p.40)
2012 Mar 31, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents staged the most deadly attack
in years, killing 14 people and wounding 340 with car bombs that
targeted shoppers just before lunchtime in Yala city. Five people
were killed and dozens injured in a fire at a hotel in Hat Yai, the
largest city in southern Thailand.
(AFP, 3/31/12)(AP, 4/1/12)
2012 Apr 3, Thailand censors
banned a Thai film based on William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", saying
the tale could sow "disunity" in the politically divided kingdom.
2012 May 5, In eastern Thailand
a large blaze at a chemical factory killed 12 people, injured more
than 100 and spewed toxic smoke into the air in Rayong province.
2012 May 17, Thailand police in
Bangkok seized 6 human fetuses, which had been roasted and covered
in gold leaf as part of a black magic ritual, from Chow Hok Kuen
(28), a British citizen. The corpses had been packed into luggage
and were set to be smuggled to Taiwan.
2012 May 19, In Thailand
Buddhist monks led prayers as tens of thousands gathered in Bangkok
to mark the 2nd anniversary of deadly clashes between soldiers and
"Red Shirt" protesters.
2012 May 30, Thai online editor
Chiranuch Premchaiporn was handed a suspended jail term for failing
to remove a comment critical of the revered monarchy on her website,
prompting Google to issue a stark warning over Internet freedom.
2012 May 31, In Thailand Aung
San Suu Kyi used her first foreign trip in 24 years to fight for her
Myanmar countrymen suffering abroad, millions of economic migrants
unable to work at home but vulnerable to exploitation elsewhere.
2012 Jun 1, In Thailand Suu Kyi
spoke to the World Economic Forum in Bangkok where she urged the
international community to exercise "healthy skepticism" toward
Myanmar's much-touted reform process.
2012 Jun 20, In Thailand
Michelle Elizabeth Smith (60), an Australian tourist, was stabbed
and killed as 2 men tried to steal her bag on the resort island of
Phuket. Two Thai men were arrested and pleaded guilty on June 26,
saying they meant only to slash her pocketbook strap and never meant
to stab her.
2012 Jun 25, A Malaysian court
ruled that Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, an Iranian man accused of plotting
to attack Israeli targets in Bangkok on Feb 14, must be extradited
2012 Jul 4, In Thailand an
explosion at an oil refinery in an industrial area of Bangkok
sparked a massive fire. There were no reported injuries, but it
prompted the government to close the 120,000 barrels-a-day refinery
for at least 30 days.
2012 Jul 10, Myanmar state
media said dozens of Thai nationals will face charges after they
were held for illegally crossing the border to run rubber
2012 Jul 13, Thailand customs
officials discovered a half ton of ivory hidden in crates aboard a
flight from Kenya. One official estimated that the 158 pieces of
ivory were from the tusks of around 50 elephants.
2012 Jul 16, In Thailand 8
suspected drug dealers were killed in a clash with Thai security
forces who seized weapons and a large amount of illegal
2012 Jul 18, Cambodia and
Thailand pulled hundreds of soldiers out of a disputed strip of
border land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple, a year after a
ruling by the UN's highest court, replacing them with police and
2012 Jul 31, Australian police
seized a record half a ton of methamphetamine and heroin worth up to
A$500 million ($525 million) hidden in a shipment of terracotta pots
from Thailand. Seven people, including four from Hong Kong, were
arrested after a year-long investigation following a tip-off from US
2012 Aug 17, In Thailand a fire
ripped through a nightclub popular on the resort island of Phuket
early today, leaving at least 4 people dead and more than 20 others
injured. The venue was said to be officially closed at the time of
the fire but about 70-80 people were still inside sheltering from
2012 Aug 24, In Thailand 300
inmates were pardoned including two imprisoned in 2010 for insulting
the revered monarchy (lese majeste).
2012 Aug 31, In Thailand
militants in the Muslim-majority south carried out a wave of
coordinated attacks, wounding several soldiers and hoisting the
Malaysian flag across the restive region.
2012 Sep 3, In Thailand
Vorayuth Yoovidhya (27), a grandson of the creator of the Red Bull
energy drink, was arrested for driving a Ferrari that struck a
police officer and dragged his dead body down a Bangkok street in an
2012 Sep 21, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a car bomb that
killed six people in Pattani province's Sai Buri district after
businesses received warnings against opening on the Muslim holy day.
2012 Sep 29, In southern
Thailand suspected Islamist insurgents fired 2 grenades at a fair in
Narathiwat injuring some 30 people.
(SFC, 10/1/12, p.A2)
2012 Oct 9, In southern
Thailand 11 people were killed as the Muslim insurgency continued to
(Economist, 10/13/12, p.18)
2012 Oct 31, In southern
Thailand a school teacher and his 11-year-old son were shot dead.
(Econ, 1/19/13, p.44)
2012 Nov 18, President Barack
Obama began his 3-day Asian tour in Thailand.
2012 Nov 22, In southern
Thailand the headmistress of Bna Tha Kam Cham school was killed
while driving home.
(Econ, 1/19/13, p.44)
2012 Nov 24, In Thailand some
10,000 royalist protesters of the new Pitak Siam movement, calling
for Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra to step down, rallied in the heart
of Bangkok, clashing with police in the first major demonstration
against the government since it came to power last year.
(AP, 11/24/12)(Econ, 12/8/12, p.42)
2012 Dec 6, Thai law
enforcement authorities announced that they will file murder charges
against former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy in the first
prosecutions of officials for their roles in a deadly 2010 crackdown
on anti-government protests. On Aug 28, 2014, a Thai court dismissed
the murder charges against Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy.
(AP, 12/6/12)(AFP, 8/28/14)
2012 Dec 15, Thai social
activist Sombath Somphone (60) disappeared in Vientiane, Laos. A
colleague later said that police had taken Somphone into custody.
(SFC, 12/19/12, p.A3)
2012 Dec 20, A Thai court
ordered the extradition of Vito Roberto Palazzolo (65), a fugitive
Italian banker found guilty of laundering money for some of Italy's
top mobsters through New York pizzerias from 1975-1984. Palazzolo
has written about his legal woes and getting swept up in the Pizza
Connection probe on his website, www.vrpalazzolo.com.
2012 Dec 27, In Thailand
leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy, also known as the
Yellow Shirts, were indicted for storming the prime minister's
office compound and sealing off Parliament during massive
anti-government rallies in 2008 at the height of political turmoil,
which left the country deeply divided to this day.
2012 Dec 11, In southern
Thailand armed men with assault rifles burst into the canteen of Ban
Ba Ngo school in Pattani province and shot dead two teachers. In
Narathiwat's Rangae district gunmen on a pickup truck fired AK-47
and M16 assault rifles into a tea shop, killing three people
instantly including a toddler, and wounding six others at the scene.
One of the wounded died later in hospital.
(Econ, 1/19/13, p.44)(
2012 Thailand’s rice subsidy
cost the government $12.5 billion in its first year of operation.
This was expected to increase to $15 billion for 2013.
(Econ, 8/10/13, p.33)
2012 In Thailand Blake Dinkin
(42), a Canadian, began producing coffee made from beans plucked out
of elephant dung. The coffee sold for $1,100 per kg ($500 per
pound), making it among the world's priciest.
2013 Jan 17, In Thailand
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra agreed to
work together to solve bilateral and regional problems.
(SFC, 1/17/13, p.A8)
2013 Jan 23, In Thailand Somyot
Pruksakasemsuk, a prominent activist and magazine editor, was
sentenced to a decade in prison for defaming the country’s monarchy.
2013 Feb 10, In southern
Thailand suspected militants killed 5 soldiers and wounded 5 others
in two roadside attacks.
(SFC, 2/11/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 12, Thailand marines
fending off a militant assault on their base in Narathiwat province
killed 16 insurgents in a shootout.
(AP, 2/13/13)(Econ, 2/16/13, p.44)
2013 Feb 13, British couple
Peter Root (34) and Mary Thompson (34), who had been chronicling
their round-the-world cycling odyssey in a blog, died when they were
hit by a pickup truck in a province east of Bangkok.
2013 Feb 28, Thailand's
government signed a breakthrough deal with Muslim insurgents for the
first time ever, agreeing to hold talks to ease nearly a decade of
violence in the country's southern provinces that has killed more
than 5,000 people. The agreement was announced in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, between Thai authorities and the militant National
2013 Mar 3, Thailand's PM
Yingluck Shinawatra vowed for the first time to work toward
ending her country's trade in ivory, but gave no timeline for
implementing a ban. Conservationists warned that the unprecedented
slaughter of elephants in Africa would continue until she does.
2013 Mar 11, CITES
conservationists in Bangkok voted to regulate the trade of shark
species threatened because their fins are used for expensive
delicacies in Asia.
(SFC, 3/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 14, In Thailand the
Convention on Int’l. Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ended its
meeting in Bangkok with final decisions to expand protection to for
dozens of animal and plant species including 5 types of sharks.
(SFC, 3/15/13, p.A4)
2013 Mar 28, A Thai court
jailed a man for three years and four months on for selling video
CDs showing sections of an Australian news series that contained
content deemed offensive to Thailand's royal family. Akachai
Hongkawan (37) was also fined 66,666 baht ($2,300).
2013 Apr 28, In Thailand a
suspension bridge over the Pasak River collapsed killing at least 4
people near Ayutthaya.
(SFC, 4/29/13, p.A2)
2013 May 11, Marcin Skowronek,
an investigator at Europol's European Cybercrime Center in The
Hague, said "We are seeing an unprecedented number of cyberscams
that include phishing for financial data, viruses, credit card fraud
and others." Police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin, chief of Thailand's
Technology Crime Suppression Division, said in a telephone interview
that Thai police have arrested more than 20 suspects involved in the
recent $45 million cyber heist including those from Bulgaria,
Bangladesh and eastern Europe.
2013 Jun 10, Thai police said
they found 14 albino lions imported from Africa and hundreds of
other protected animals in a warehouse near Bangkok. Pet shop owner
Montri Boonprom-on (41) was arrested and faced up to four years in
jail and a fine of 40,000 baht ($1,300).
2013 Jun 29, In southern
Thailand 7 soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack in Yala
(SSFC, 6/30/13, p.A6)
2013 Jun 30, Thailand's PM
Yingluck Shinawatra sacked the commerce minister who had come under
fire over a rice intervention scheme that resulted in huge losses to
the budget and saw the country lose its place as the world's top
rice exporter. Shinawatra added the post of defense minister to her
2013 Jun, Thailand monk Wirapol
Sukphol (33) was shown taking a private jet ride on a YouTube video.
It soon emerged that he had accumulated assets of $32 million. In
July authorities issued an arrest warrant after having him
defrocked. He was believed to have fled to the US.
(SFC, 7/19/13, p.A3)
2013 Jul 15, The Cook Islands
fined Luen Thai Fishing Venture $120,000 and revoked its fishing
license for breaking a ban on shark finning.
(SSFC, 7/21/13, p.A4)
2013 Jul 23, In Thailand a
double-decker passenger bus caught fire after colliding with a truck
on the Mitraphab highway in Kaeng Khoi district, killing 19 people
and injuring 23.
2013 Jul 27, In Thailand about
50,000 liters (13,200 gallons) of oil, about the amount contained in
one and a half tanker trucks, spilled into Prao Bay on the west
coast of Samet Island from a leak in a pipeline operated by PTT
Global Chemical Plc., a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas
company PTT Plc.
2013 Aug 6, A Thailand inquest
found that 6 unarmed people killed at a Buddhist temple during a
2010 military crackdown on anti-government protesters in Bangkok
were slain by bullets fired by Thai soldiers.
2013 Aug 9, A Thai official
said authorities have captured Ko Myo (42), the suspected leader of
a human trafficking gang. Myo confessed to selling some migrants
from Myanmar into slavery on Thai fishing boats and possibly
murdering as many as seven.
2013 Aug 20, In southern
Thailand 87 Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers escaped from an
immigration detention center, highlighting the growing desperation
of a stateless minority fleeing sectarian violence in Myanmar.
2013 Aug 22, A Thai court
sentenced Saeid Moradi (29), an Iranian man, to life in prison and
his compatriot, Mohammad Kharzei (43), to 15 years in jail for their
roles in a Feb, 2012, botched bomb plot that was exposed when an
accidental explosion blew apart the Bangkok villa where they were
2013 Sep 4, In Thailand tens of
thousands of rubber farmers, protesting against a sharp drop in
prices, escalated protests across southern Thailand, cutting off
access to large swathes of the region by blocking roads leading to
tourist and commercial hubs.
2013 Sep 5, In southern
Thailand rubber farmers clashed with police and threatened to shut
down city halls in 14 southern provinces after the government
rejected their demands for price rises.
2013 Sep 6, Thailand's
government said it had reached a deal with most rubber farmers in
the country's south demanding greater state support for rubber
prices, signaling a breakthrough in a two-week long protest.
2013 Sep 10, Thailand's
government doubled its offer of subsidy to help rubber farmers but
protesting growers insisted it should meet other demands before they
consider cancelling demonstrations planned for the weekend.
2013 Sep 11, Thai rubber
farmers called off demonstrations planned for the weekend after the
government doubled its subsidy for production and offered help for
people arrested in protests last week.
2013 Sep 17, In southern
Thailand protesters blocked a highway for a second day in a bid to
force the government to increase a subsidy for rubber farmers, even
though a curfew was imposed in the area after clashes with riot
police a day earlier.
2013 Sep 25, Thai officials
said 9 people have died and more than 1 million have been affected
by flooding. Authorities offered assurances that floodwaters would
not reach central industrial areas.
2013 Oct 1, A Thai court
sentenced Sondhi Limthongkul, the founder of a pro-royalist protest
movement, to 2 years in jail for insulting the monarchy by repeating
comments deemed offensive made by a political rival.
2013 Oct 1, Thailand
authorities said flooding over the last two weeks has killed 23
people. 32 of the country’s 77 provinces were affected.
(SFC, 10/2/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 19, In southern
Thailand bombings and drive-by shootings killed 5 people and injured
13 others including 8 soldiers and 5 journalists.
(SSFC, 10/20/13, p.A6)
2013 Oct 24, Thailand’s top
Buddhist leader, Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara (100),
2013 Oct 28, Thailand rubber
farmers took to the streets again to demand that the government buy
their produce at prices higher than the market, rejecting a subsidy
offered last month and threatening violence if their demands are not
2013 Oct 31, Thai
anti-government protesters returned to the streets of Bangkok as
parliament debated a political amnesty which opponents fear will
"whitewash" past abuses and allow ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra
2013 Oct, Thailand’s Supreme
Court sentenced former Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenont to
12 years imprisonment and a Bangkok fire department chief to 10
years in jail for malfeasance in public office and price fixing. The
pair fled and are the subjects of arrest warrants.
2013 Nov 1, Thailand's
Parliament moved a step closer to granting amnesty to people
involved in a wrenching political conflict that has divided the
country for almost a decade, prompting thousands to protest in the
streets and renewing fears of violence. The bill was aimed to bring
back Thaksin Shinawatra, the elder brother of PM Yingluck
(AP, 11/1/13)(Econ, 11/9/13, p.44)
2013 Nov 3, In Thailand at
least 6 passengers including three foreigners died after a tourist
ferry sank off the Thai resort of Pattaya.
2013 Nov 4, In Thailand
thousands of people emptied onto the streets of Bangkok to protest
an amnesty bill passed by the lower house of parliament in the dead
of night three days earlier. The opposition People’s Democratic
Reform Committee (PDRC) was led by Suthep Thaugsuban, a former
deputy prime minister.
(Econ, 11/2/13, p.44)(Econ, 11/30/13, p.42)(Econ,
2013 Nov 11, The International
Court of Justice said a 1962 ruling by its judges gave Cambodia
sovereignty over the Preah Vihear promontory and Thailand is now
obligated to withdraw any military or police forces stationed there.
Cambodia thus held sovereignty over a 1,000-year-old Khmer temple on
the disputed promontory.
2013 Nov 12, Thai premier
Yingluck Shinawatra appealed for anti-government groups to end
ongoing street protests after the parliamentary defeat of an amnesty
bill failed to defuse political tensions.
2013 Nov 24, Thailand police
estimated that about 90,000 opponents of PM Yingluck Shinawatra and
her crisis-hit administration had gathered in three sites in
Bangkok, calling for her government to be toppled.
2013 Nov 25, Thailand PM
Yingluck Shinawatra invoked an emergency security law in large parts
of Bangkok and surrounding areas to cope with escalating protests
against her government. Anti-government protesters forced their way
inside the Finance Ministry and burst through the gates of the
Foreign Ministry compound, in an escalating bid to overthrow PM
(AP, 11/25/13)(Reuters, 11/25/13)
2013 Nov 26, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra fought a two-front political war, fending off attacks
during a parliamentary no-confidence debate while protesters
besieged and occupied several ministries in their attempt to topple
her from power.
2013 Nov 27, Thousands of
demonstrators massed outside four Thai government ministries, a
major state office complex and 24 provincial halls on Wednesday in a
widening effort to cripple the administration and oust Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
2013 Nov 28, Thailand's
embattled PM Yingluck Shinawatra Thailand's begged protesters to
call off their sustained anti-government demonstrations and
negotiate an end to the nation's latest crisis. Shinawatra easily
won a no-confidence vote in parliament, but failed to pacify
anti-government protesters who rejected calls for talks and massed
by the thousands in the capital.
2013 Nov 28, A Thai court
sentenced British kickboxer Lee Aldhouse to 25 years in prison for
the 2010 murder of former US Marine Dashawn Longfellow (23)
following a bar fight on the island of Phuket. The sentence was
reduced from life imprisonment because Aldhouse pleaded guilty to
the stabbing death.
2013 Nov 29, In Thailand about
1,500 anti-government protesters forced their way into the compound
of the army headquarters, the latest escalation in a city-wide
demonstration seeking to topple PM Yingluck Shinawatra.
2013 Nov 30, In Thailand
tensions escalated in Bangkik as opposition protesters tried to
force their way into PM Yingluck Shinawatra's heavily guarded
offices and attacked a bus carrying her supporters.
2013 Dec 1, Thailand police
fought off mobs of rock-throwing protesters armed with petrol bombs
who tried to battle their way into the government's
heavily-fortified headquarters in Bangkok. PM Shinawatra fled a
police complex during the sharpest escalation yet of the country's
2013 Dec 2, Thailand's PM
Shinawatra said she is willing to do anything it takes to end
violent protests against her government and restore peace, but
cannot accept the opposition's "unconstitutional" demand to hand
power to an unelected council.
2013 Dec 3, Thailand's
government ordered police to stop confronting protesters demanding
the resignation of the prime minister, raising hope that days of
political violence may end, but the leader of the campaign said the
fight would go on.
2013 Dec 6, The UN called for
an urgent investigation into allegations in a Reuters report that
Thai immigration officials moved Myanmar refugees into human
2013 Dec 7, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra ruled out a political comeback for her influential
self-exiled brother and said an unpopular amnesty bill that would
have allowed him to return has been scrapped.
2013 Dec 8, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra proposed a referendum on her future and promised to
resign if that was what the people wanted, as anti-government
protesters prepared for a final push to try to force her from power.
Thailand's main opposition party resigned from Parliament.
(Reuters, 12/8/13)(AP, 12/8/13)
2013 Dec 9, Thailand's PM
Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the lower house of Parliament and
called for early elections.
2013 Dec 10, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra pleaded for anti-government protesters to clear the
streets after she called a snap election, but protests leaders said
she should step down within 24 hours. Elections were scheduled for
2013 Dec 12, In Thailand
protesters cut off electricity to the prime minister's office
compound and demanded that police abandon the premises, piling fresh
pressure on Thailand's government in a political crisis that has
dragged on for weeks.
2013 Dec 14, In Thailand
leaders of the protest movement trying to overthrow the government
outlined their aims at an armed forces seminar, but military leaders
declined to take sides or say if a February election should take
2013 Dec 15, Thailand's
military offered to help the politically polarized country hold a
"fair and clean" election next year, suggesting the armed forces may
play a role in a vote aimed at ending protests seeking to topple the
2013 Dec 21, Thailand's main
opposition party announced it would boycott an election in February,
deepening uncertainty about the poll and fuelling a campaign to
overthrow PM Yingluck Shinawatra's government.
2013 Dec 22, In Thailand tens
of thousands of anti-government demonstrators massed peacefully
across Bangkok in their latest bid to topple PM Yingluck Shinawatra
before a February election the main opposition party will boycott.
2013 Dec 23, In Thailand
anti-government protesters determined to unseat PM Shinawatra
surrounded a Bangkok sports stadium in an unsuccessful attempt to
block political parties from registering for February elections.
2013 Dec 25, Thailand's PM
Yingluck Shinawatra proposed a "national reform council" to seek a
way out of the political crisis gripping the kingdom, following
weeks of mass street protests against her government.
2013 Dec 26, Thailand's
government rejected a call from the Election Commission (EC) to
postpone a February vote. Violence erupted when protesters tried to
storm a venue where a draw for election ballot numbers was being
held and police fired teargas and rubber bullets to keep the
rock-throwing crowd back. A policeman was killed and three were
wounded by gunshots from an unknown attacker.
2013 Dec 26, In Thailand a bus
carrying New Year travelers plunged off one of the country’s highest
bridges around midnight in the kingdom's northeast, leaving at least
29 people dead.
2013 Dec 27, The Thai
government appealed to the military to provide security for February
elections after violent clashes between police and opposition
protesters left two people dead and more than 150 wounded.
2013 Dec 28, In Thailand gunmen
killed an anti-government activist and wounded two others in
Bangkok, while protesters elsewhere blocked candidates from
registering for upcoming elections.
2013 Dec 30, Thai police staged
a protest to show their frustration after weeks of dealing with
aggressive and often violent anti-government demonstrators, with
officers saying that the order for them to show restraint has left
them vulnerable and humiliated.
2014 Jan 5, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government protesters marched through Bangkok, a
prelude to a broader action next week when they say they will shut
down the city in their bid to scuttle a February election and topple
PM Yingluck Shinawatra.
2014 Jan 7, In Thailand
protesters trying to topple PM Shinawatra marched in Bangkok to drum
up support for their plans to bring the capital to a halt next week
by blockading major roads and preventing the government from
2014 Jan 9, Thai protesters
trying to topple PM Shinawatra marched in Bangkok again, testing
support for a planned "shutdown" of the capital next week.
2014 Jan 11, In Thailand seven
people were wounded after gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on
anti-government protesters in Bangkok.
2014 Jan 12, Thai protest
leader Suthep Thaugsuban ruled out talks with the government in a
published interview, but said he would stand down his movement if,
as some fear, violence escalates and civil war looms.
2014 Jan 13, In Thailand tens
of thousands of anti-government protesters came out in an effort to
"shut down Bangkok" and try to force caretaker PM Yingluck
Shinawatra to resign in favor of an unelected "people's council"
that would initiate political reforms.
2014 Jan 13, In Thailand an
American woman went missing in Kaeng Krachan National Park. Her body
was found five days later, apparently trampled by elephants.
(SFC, 1/24/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 14, Thailand's PM
Shinawatra insisted she wouldn't quit as protesters seeking her
ouster blocked key roads in the heart of Bangkok for a second day,
leaving the country's political crisis firmly deadlocked.
2014 Jan 17, In Thailand 35
people were wounded in Bangkok when a grenade blast ripped through a
crowd of marching anti-government demonstrators. One person was
(Reuters, 1/17/14)(Reuters, 1/18/14)
2014 Jan 18, In Thailand
anti-government protesters marched defiantly through Bangkok, with
one group entering a police compound, undeterred by a grenade
explosion the day before. The military urged both sides to settle
(Reuters, 1/18/14)(Reuters, 1/19/14)
2014 Jan 19, In Thailand 28
people were wounded, seven seriously, in explosions at a camp of
anti-government protesters in Bangkok.
2014 Jan 20, In Thailand
anti-government protesters besieged government offices in a dozen
southern provinces as part of their campaign to force PM Yingluck
Shinawatra from power.
2014 Jan 21, Thailand's
government declared a 60-day state of emergency in Bangkok and
surrounding areas to cope with protests that have stirred up violent
attacks, adding to the country's monthslong sense of crisis.
2014 Jan 22, In northeast
Thailand a leading pro-government activist was shot and wounded. A
60-day state of emergency began in Bangkok where protesters were
trying to force PM Yingluck Shinawatra from power.
2014 Jan 24, Thailand's
Constitutional Court opened the way to put off a general election
the government has set for February 2, piling pressure on Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who looks increasingly cornered by
legal challenges to her grip on power.
2014 Jan 26, In Thailand
anti-government demonstrators swarmed dozens of polling stations to
stop advance voting for next week's general elections. One protest
leader was shot dead.
(AP, 1/26/14)(AFP, 1/26/14)
2014 Jan 26, Thailand police
detained 531 men, women and children in a raid at a camp near the
town of Sadao in the southern province of Songkhla, on a
well-established route for human smugglers near the border with
Malaysia. It was the first raid on illegal Rohingya smuggling camps
since January 9, 2013.
2014 Jan 31, A Thai court
ordered more than $1.4 million in assets seized from a former top
civil servant whose wealth was revealed when burglars robbed his
house. The Civil Court said former Transport Ministry Permanent
Secretary Supoj Saplom could not prove his wealth was honestly
2014 Feb 1, In Thailand gunfire
rang out across an intersection in Bangkok for more than an hour as
government supporters clashed with protesters trying to derail tense
nationwide elections before the vote begins.
2014 Feb 2, Thailand held
nationwide elections without bloodshed despite widespread fears of
violence. Although balloting was largely peaceful, protesters forced
thousands of polling booths to close in Bangkok and the south,
disenfranchising millions of registered voters.
2014 Feb 3, In southern
Thailand two army volunteers shot dead 3 boys and wounded their
parents to seek revenge for one of their families. Both men later
confessed to the killings.
2014 Feb 4, Pressure on
Thailand's embattled government mounted, when a flagship rice-buying
scheme vital to its support stumbled closer to collapse. The
commerce minister said China had canceled an order for 1.2 million
tons of rice due to a corruption probe, while state-run Krung Thai
Bank (KTB) joined other lenders in saying it would not provide loans
urgently needed to rescue it. The opposition filed legal challenges
that could void a disrupted weekend election.
2014 Feb 10, Thai police made
their first arrest of a senior leader of the antigovernment
protests. Sonthiyarn Cheunruethainaitham was arrested for violating
the country’s emergency law.
(SFC, 2/11/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 14, Thailand riot
police cleared anti-government protesters from a major boulevard in
(SFC, 2/15/14, p.A2)
2014 Feb 18, In Thailand
gunbattles broke out as hundreds of riot police made their strongest
attempt to clear anti-government protest sites around Bangkok. At
least 4 people and one policeman were killed and 64 others injured.
(AP, 2/18/14)(Econ, 2/22/14, p.34)
2014 Feb 20, In Thailand
protesters campaigning to oust PM Yingluck Shinawatra turned to
Facebook and other social media to attack businesses linked to her
family and rallied outside the offices of a property developer whose
share price tumbled.
2014 Feb 22, In Thailand a
5-year-old girl was killed and about three dozen people wounded in
an attack on an anti-government rally in the eastern province of
2014 Feb 23, In Thailand an
apparent grenade attack against anti-government protesters occupying
an upscale shopping area of Bangkok killed 3 people, including 2
children. On Sep 4, 2015, a court sentenced four men to life
imprisonment over the deaths. The verdict was commuted from the
death sentence because they had confessed to the charges.
(AP, 2/23/14)(AFP, 9/4/15)
2014 Feb 24, Thai PM Yingluck
Shinawatra, the target of anti-government protests in Bangkok, has
been staying outside the city and ruled out resigning despite a
series of deadly attacks heaping pressure on her administration.
2014 Feb 25, Thailand announced
a slump in trade figures with the biggest drop in imports in more
than four years in January, as months of anti-government protests
extended their economic toll.
2014 Feb 25, In Thailand an
accident at a hospital construction site near Bangkok killed at
least 11 people and injured 18 others.
2014 Feb 28, In eastern
Thailand at least 15 people, including 13 children, were killed when
a bus carrying students on a trip to the seaside collided with a
2014 Mar 2, Thai police
arrested Avelino de Jesus (33), a man with joint
French-Portuguese citizenship wanted by authorities in France on
suspicion of attempting to smuggle hundreds of kgs of cocaine.
2014 Mar 7, In Thailand 6
suspected drug dealers were shot dead during a firefight with Thai
security forces who seized illegal amphetamines in the Mae Sai
district of northernmost Chiang Rai province.
2014 Mar 9, Two Indonesian
naval personnel were killed during an inspection aboard a Thai
fishing boat in Indonesian waters. Thailand police soon arrested
three suspects. Four more were arrested in April.
2014 Mar 12, Thailand police
rescued about 200 suspected Muslim Uighurs, believed to be from
China's troubled far-western region of Xinjiang, from a human
smuggling camp in southern Thailand.
2014 Mar 13, Malaysian police
arrested 62 people who had illegally crossed the porous border
between Thailand and Malaysia.
2014 Mar 14, In southern
Thailand a Buddhist teacher was fatally shot on her way to school
and then set ablaze, becoming the 170th teacher killed by suspected
Muslim insurgents in the country's decade-long insurgency.
2014 Mar 21, Thailand’s
Constitutional Court nullified the Feb 2 election because voting was
not conducted nationwide on the same day.
(SFC, 3/22/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 25, Thai police seized
147 kg (323 pounds) of heroin they believe was from Myanmar and
destined for Australia. The single haul exceeded some of Thailand's
recent yearly seizure totals.
2014 Mar 29, In Thailand tens
of thousands of anti-government protesters rallied across Bangkok in
their latest bid to topple PM Yingluck Shinawatra.
2014 Mar 30, Thais voted for
half of the country's 150-seat Senate in a key test for Yingluck
Shinawatra's troubled government.
2014 Apr 1, In Thailand gunmen
killed one person and wounded four others in an attack on
anti-government protesters in central Bangkok.
2014 Apr 2, In Thailand workers
at a scrap shop in Bangkok accidentally detonated a large bomb
believed to have been dropped during World War II, killing at least
7 people and injuring 19 others.
2014 Apr 5, Thousands of Thai
pro-government "Red Shirts" massed in a show of support for PM
Yingluck Shinawatra, warning that they would resist attempts to oust
her through the courts.
2014 Apr 6, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents launched a wave of attacks in
Yala that killed one person and wounded 24 others.
2014 Apr 9, Thai police
arrested Englishman Michael Alan France (53), whom French police
accuse of masterminding a gang that sought to smuggle cocaine and
heroin through France into England six years ago.
2014 Apr 11, Thai security
forces shot dead 7 suspected drug smugglers and seized hundreds of
thousands of methamphetamine pills after a firefight in the Golden
Triangle border region.
2014 Apr 17, Thai authorities
charged two journalists with defaming Thailand's navy in an online
news report about the trafficking of refugees from Myanmar, amid
concerns about press freedom in the country.
2014 Apr 17, In southern
Thailand suspected insurgent Muktar Ali-mama (31) and his 6-year-old
son were shot dead. They were attacked at a rubber plantation in
Bannang Sata district, Yala province.
2014 Apr 23, In Thailand Kamol
Duangphasuk, a pro-government activist who opposed a law punishing
critics of the monarchy, was fatally shot by gunmen on a motorcycle
2014 Apr 30, Thailand's
Election Commission and PM Yingluck Shinawatra agreed to hold a
general election in July, but anti-government protesters who
disrupted a vote in February said they still wanted to see electoral
reforms before a new poll.
2014 Apr 30, A Thai court
ordered former Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Maleenont and the
widow of former PM Samak Sundaravej to pay $36 million to the city
of Bangkok after corruption inflated the price it paid for fire
trucks and boats made abroad.
2014 Apr 30, In western
Thailand a six-wheeled truck crashed into a passenger truck on a
dangerous mountain road, killing 14 people.
2014 Apr, Ethnic Karen leader
Por Cha Lee Rakcharoen, known as Billy, disappeared while working on
a lawsuit accusing officials of destroying homes in Kaeng Krachan
national park. In April 2019 divers found a burnt fragment of
Billy's skull stuffed in an oil drum in a reservoir inside the park,
giving relatives their first confirmation of his death. In Sept.
2019 the Department of Special Investigations, the Thai equivalent
of the FBI, ruled the case a murder and vowed to arrest those
2014 May 5, A magnitude 6.3
earthquake hit Myanmar and northern Thailand leaving at least one
(SFC, 5/6/14, p.A2)
2014 May 6, In southern
Thailand two bombs exploded in Hat Yai city, popular to local and
foreign tourists, leaving nine people injured.
(SFC, 5/7/14, p.A2)
2014 May 7, Thailand’s
Constitutional Court ordered PM Yingluck Shinawatra to step down
with nine members of her cabinet over her decision in 2011 to remove
the country’s head of national security in favor of a relative.
Minister of commerce and former CEO of broadcaster iTV,
Niwatthamrong Boonsongphaisan (66), will hold the fort until
elections tentatively slated for July 20.
(Reuters, 5/7/14)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.12)
2014 May 8, Thailand's
anti-graft agency indicted former PM Yingluck Shinawatra for
negligence, a ruling that came a day after a court threw her out of
office and could kill off any hopes she has of staging an electoral
2014 May 9, Thai police fired
tear gas and water cannons to push back hundreds of protesters
trying to force their way into a government compound, the latest
indication that ousting the premier will not solve the country's
tense political crisis.
2014 May 10, Supporters of
Thailand's beleaguered government gathered on the outskirts of
Bangkok, saying they were determined to safeguard democracy as rival
anti-government protesters pressed their campaign in the city.
2014 May 14, In Thailand 2
people were killed and 22 wounded after an attack on an opposition
PDRC protest camp.
(Econ, 5/17/14, p.40)
2014 May 15, In northern
Thailand hundreds of armed men descended on a village and
overpowered residents blocking the road to a goldmine said by locals
to have caused environmental damage so that trucks could take ore
away in the Khao Luang district of Loei province. Residents of Khao
Luang have for years contested the mining operations of Tungkum Ltd,
a subsidiary of Tongkah Harbour Plc.
(SFC, 5/15/14, p.A2)(Reuters, 5/16/14)
2014 May 20, Thailand's
powerful military chief intervened for the first time in the
country's latest political crisis, declaring martial law and
dispatching gun-mounted jeeps into the heart of the capital with a
vow to resolve the deepening conflict as quickly as possible.
2014 May 21, Thailand's army
chief assumed the role of mediator by summoning the country's key
political rivals for face-to-face talks one day after imposing
2014 May 22, Thailand's army
chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized control of the government in
a coup, two days after he declared martial law, saying the military
had to restore order and push through reforms after six months of
2014 May 23, In Thailand ousted
members of the former government turned themselves in to the
country's new military junta, as soldiers forcefully dispersed
hundreds of anti-coup activists who defied a ban on large-scale
gatherings to protest the army's seizure of power.
2014 May 24, Thailand's coup
leaders said that they would keep former PM Yingluck Shinawatra,
Cabinet members and anti-government protest leaders detained for up
to a week to give them "time to think" and to keep the country calm.
9 bombs exploded in the restive south, killing 2 people and wounding
2014 May 26, In Thailand Gen.
Prayuth Chan-ocha secured the royal imprimatur for his coup four
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.32)
2014 May 27, In Thailand armed
troops detained Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang who defiantly
emerged from hiding to condemn last week's military coup and urge a
return to civilian rule.
2014 May 28, Thailand's junta
appointed two retired generals with palace connections as advisers,
putting powerful establishment figures hostile towards former Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra firmly in the ascendant in the country's
long-running power struggle. The junta also freed leaders of the
"Red Shirt" movement allied to the civilian government ousted in a
recent coup, after holding them without charge for nearly a week.
2014 May 29, More than 1,000
Thai troops and police sealed off one of Bangkok's busiest
intersections to prevent a planned protest, as authorities said they
would no longer allow any demonstrations against last week's
2014 May 31, Australia said
that it has banned Thailand's coup leaders from visiting and
downgraded their military ties.
2014 Jun 1, Thailand's ruling
junta deployed thousands of security forces on the streets of
Bangkok to thwart another round of small-scale protests denouncing
last month's military coup. The military junta presented a list of
emergency measures such as price caps on fuel and loan guarantees
for small firms to kick-start an economy threatened by recession
after months of political turmoil.
(AP, 6/1/14)(Reuters, 6/2/14)
2014 Jun 3, Thailand's military
rulers said they are monitoring a new form of silent resistance to
the coup, a three-fingered salute borrowed from "The Hunger Games,"
and will arrest those in large groups who ignore warnings to lower
their arms. The junta lifted the military's curfew at three popular
beach resorts — Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya — to ease the impact
of the May 22 coup on tourists.
2014 Jun 6, Thai police warned
online critics of the military junta that they will "come get you"
for posting political views that could incite divisiveness.
2014 Jun 9, Miss Universe
Thailand renounced her title over remarks she made on social media
including one that "red shirt" activists, supporters of ousted prime
minister Yingluck Shinawatra, should all be executed.
2014 Jun 11, A delegation of
Thai military commanders travelled to China for talks on regional
security and joint training amid Western reproach of the army's
seizure of power in a coup last month.
2014 Jun 13, Thailand's
military government fully lifted a curfew it imposed nationwide
after seizing power last month, saying there is no threat of
2014 Jun 13, Thailand deported
Moua Toua Ter, a former ethnic Hmong resistance leader, to Laos
after being held in Bangkok since March last year. He had been
sheltering in Thailand for eight years while seeking resettlement in
a third country.
2014 Jun 14, A Cambodian
official said Cambodian workers were leaving Thailand in growing
numbers, with the total who have returned to their homeland this
month topping 160,000. Rights groups say Thai authorities are
coercing the Cambodians to go home and abusing them.
(SSFC, 6/15/14, p.A6)(AP, 6/16/14)
2014 Jun 20, A US State
Department blacklist included Thailand and Malaysia for their
failure to meet minimum standards in fighting human trafficking.
2014 Jun 22, Thailand police
arrested eight people for demonstrating against the nation's
increasingly repressive military junta, including a man who was
dragged away by undercover officers for reading a copy of George
Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" outside one of Bangkok's most
luxurious shopping malls.
2014 Jun 23, The European Union
said it is suspending all official visits to and from Thailand and
shelving important agreements, to protest last month's military
coup. It is putting on hold the signing of an agreement to deepen
political and business ties with Thailand "until a democratically
elected government is in place."
2014 Jun 24, Thailand’s former
Interior Minister Charupong Reuangsuwan, a member of the elected
government ousted by last month's coup, formed an opposition group
in exile, invoking historical symbols of resistance and revolution
while rejecting as illegitimate the new military regime.
2014 Jun 26, Thai officials
said military authorities are setting up a network of panels to
closely monitor domestic and international media and crack down on
criticism of what the junta sees as its efforts to right the
2014 Jun 26, Cambodia's PM Hun
Sen said at least 250,000 of his countrymen who were migrant workers
in Thailand returned home this month under circumstances that
initially violated their human rights. Both countries are now
seeking the migrants' return to Thailand, which has a shortage of
2014 Jun 30, Thailand's
military government said it had begun an overhaul of the electoral
system following an announcement by junta leader General Prayuth
Chan-ocha that polls could take place by late 2015.
2014 Jul 1, Cambodia agreed to
free Thai nationalist Veera Somkwamkid. He was imprisoned for more
than three years for illegally crossing its border to claim
territory for Thailand.
2014 Jul 2, The wildlife group
TRAFFIC said the number of ivory products on sale in Bangkok nearly
trebled from 5,865 in January last year to 14,512 in May 2014.
2014 Jul 5, In southern
Thailand a raid at a palm plantation exposed a ring that trafficked
Myanmar's minority Rohingya Muslims into the country.
2014 Jul 7, Thailand's navy
inaugurated a state-of-the-art headquarters and training center for
its submarine squadron, even though it has no subs to command.
2014 Jul 8, In Thailand the
body of a raped girl (13) was discovered early today near the train
tracks in Prachuap Khirikhan province's Pranburi district. She had
disappeared the night of July 5 from a sleeping berth en route from
the southern province of Surat Thai to the capital, Bangkok. Railway
worker Wanchai Saengkhao was arrested and faced charges of rape,
concealing a body and murder. On Sep 30 Saengkhao (22) was sentenced
(AP, 7/8/14)(AP, 9/30/14)
2014 Jul 11, In Thailand
the manager of the conservation center said poachers have killed and
sawed the tusks off Klao, a 50-year-old elephant that performed in
Thai royal processions and was featured in Oliver Stone's 2004 movie
2014 Jul 14, Nepal's former
crown price Paras Shah, notorious for his flamboyant lifestyle, was
released on bail for marijuana possession in Thailand. In 2012 he
was arrested for marijuana possession on the resort island of Phuket
in southern Thailand.
2014 Jul 21, Thai media
organizations called on the military government to ease restrictions
after the junta said it would shut down news outlets putting out
what it considers critical coverage.
2014 Jul 22, Thailand's junta
won approval from King Bhumibol Adulyadej (86) for an interim
constitution mapping out year-long political reforms expected to
curb the influence of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra. The
new constitution allows the leader of the ruling junta to serve as
interim prime minister. Section 44 gave the junta power to stop and
suppress “any act which undermines public peace and order or
national security, the monarchy, national economics or
administration of state affairs.”
(AFP, 7/22/14)(SFC, 7/24/14, p.A5)(Econ, 1/26/17,
2014 Jul 25, In southern
Thailand a car bomb killed at least two people and injured 36
outside a hotel in Betong.
2014 Jul 27, In southern
Thailand a roadside bomb was detonated as soldiers were patrolling
near a mosque in Pattani. A girl was killed and five people were
2014 Jul 28, In southern
Thailand a soldier and 3 suspected Muslim separatists were killed in
a clash in Narathiwat.
2014 Jul 30, Thailand officials
said the military government has approved a massive budget to
upgrade the country's railways including high-speed rail that would
eventually link with China as part of an eight-year plan to improve
2014 Aug 7, Thai police said
authorities are investigating the discovery of nine surrogate babies
in a Bangkok condominium who are believed to share the same Japanese
biological father. On Aug 22 Interpol said it has launched an
investigation into the “Baby Factory” case in which Mitsutoki
Shigeta (24), a Japanese businessman, fathered 16 surrogate babies.
(Reuters, 8/7/14)(SFC, 8/23/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 8, Thailand's new
military-stacked National Legislative Assembly convened for the
first time, electing a president in a key step towards crafting a
new constitution likely to embed the army's political influence.
2014 Aug 21, Thailand's
legislature voted overwhelmingly to name Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha as
prime minister. Prayuth was the only candidate and the assembly was
hand-picked by the military junta.
2014 Aug 22, In Thailand 26
people accused of plotting an attack were indicted by a military
court on charges including weapon possession and conspiring to
commit terrorism. Most of them were seized in an apartment a day
after army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha overthrew an elected government
allied to Thaksin.
2014 Aug 25, Thailand's junta
leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a military coup
three months ago, officially assumed his new post as prime minister
following an endorsement from the country's monarch.
2014 Sep 2, Thailand's ruling
junta ordered that a rights talk at a journalists' club in Bangkok
be shut down, further stoking concerns over freedom of expression in
the country since a military power grab in May.
2014 Sep 4, Thai PM Prayuth
Chan-ocha set out broad criteria for the selection of a 250-member
council to draw up sweeping political reforms and approve a new
2014 Sep 15, In Thailand
British tourists Hannah Witheridge (23), and David Miller (24) were
found battered to death on a beach on Koh Tao, a small island in the
Gulf of Thailand. An autopsy indicated that Witheridge had been
raped. On Oct 2 police said two workers from Myanmar have confessed
to the murders. On Oct 21 Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 21, sent a
retraction letter to prosecutors handling their case claiming they
were tortured and forced to confess under police custody. On Dec 24,
2015, Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin were sentenced to death.
(AP, 9/15/14)(AP, 10/2/14)(AP, 10/22/14)(AP,
2014 Sep 25, Thailand's
military-dominated legislature gave itself the power to impeach
political office holders, edging a step closer to rooting out the
influence of controversial former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
2014 Oct 11, Thai authorities
arrested 53 Rohingya migrants and two suspected Thai traffickers en
route to neighboring Malaysia. Myanmar views its population of
roughly 800,000 Rohingya -- described by the UN as one of the most
persecuted minorities in the world -- as illegal Bangladeshi
immigrants, and denies them citizenship.
2014 Oct 13, Thai police found
scores of sick and exhausted boat people hiding on a remote island.
All but one of the 79 suspected human-trafficking victims were from
Bangladesh. The discovery brought to more than 130 the number of
people found since Oct 11 in Phang Nga province.
2014 Oct 14, Thailand's Cabinet
approved a ban on the import of hookah-style water pipes and
electronic cigarettes, copying a similar move by neighboring
Cambodia earlier this year.
2014 Oct 19, In Thailand a
tourist speedboat collided with a fishing vessel near Phuket. The
bodies of two tourists from South Korea were found two days later.
(SFC, 10/20/14, p.A2)(AP, 10/21/14)
2014 Oct 24, Prosecutors in
Thailand charged two people with defaming the country's monarchy in
a stage performance at a university last year. A male university
student (23) and a woman (26) were charged with lese majeste, which
mandates a prison term of up to 15 years for anyone insulting
2014 Nov 3, In Thailand Hans
Fredrik Lennart Neij (36), one of the founders of popular
file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, was arrested under an Interpol
warrant as crossed into Thailand from Laos. Neij, along with other
Pirate Bay co-founders, was convicted of aiding copyright
infringement by a court in Sweden in 2009. He fled the country after
being released on bail.
2014 Nov 4, A Thai court
sentenced a university student to 2 1/2 years in prison for posting
a message on Facebook that the court said insulted the country's
2014 Nov 10, Thailand police
said 259 migrants will be put back on boats and sent back to
Myanmar. The Rohingya migrants were found at sea on Nov 8 and were
arrested for illegal entry.
2014 Nov 11, Thai police banned
a British journalist's book about politics in Thailand for
"defaming" the monarchy, in a country with one of the world's
strictest lese majeste laws. The sale and distribution of "A Kingdom
in Crisis" by freelance journalist and author Andrew MacGregor
Marshall, formerly based in Bangkok, was banned in Thailand a month
after it was published by London-based Zed Books.
2014 Nov 17, A Thai military
helicopter carrying 9 army personnel crashed in northern Thailand
killing all on board in Phayao province.
2014 Nov 18, Thailand's
military-installed Cabinet approved a bill curbing public gatherings
after years of political demonstrations led to violence and often
paralyzed the country's capital.
2014 Nov 18, Thai Web radio
host Kathawut Boonpitak was sentenced to five years in prison, in
the first verdict by a military court in cases involving alleged
defamation of the country's monarchy.
2014 Nov 23, Thailand
authorities arrested former Central Investigation Bureau chief Lt.
Gen. Pongpat Chayapan and six colleagues on serious charges ranging
from bribery to insulting the monarchy. More suspects were being
investigated in the high-profile scandal.
2014 Nov 24, In Thailand a
military court sentenced a Web editor to 4 1/2 years in jail for
publishing an article five years ago that it said defamed the
nation's king. The sentence against Nut Rungwong was cut in half
because he pleaded guilty to the charge.
2014 Nov 26, Thai police said
land deeds, illegal ivory, golden amulets and other antiques have
been found on properties owned by former Central Investigation
Bureau chief Lt. Gen. Pongpat Chayapan and one of his subordinates,
Col. Kowit Muangnual. In March, 2015, authorities began auctioning
off 27,000 objects seized from Chayapan.
(AP, 11/26/14)(SFC, 3/6/15, p.A5)
2014 Nov 26, In Thailand a
diplomat from the Greek Embassy died after she fell under a moving
2014 Nov 27, Thailand's interim
parliament gave initial approval to a bill banning commercial
surrogacy, the practice of hiring a woman to carry a fetus to term.
2014 Dec 8, Thailand ordered US
online taxi booking company Uber to cease operations, on the same
day taxi apps were banned in the Indian capital New Delhi.
2014 Dec 13, The Thai palace
published a statement in the Royal Gazette saying Princess Srirasmi
had relinquished her royal status, a move that ends her 13-year
marriage to Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. This followed a string
of arrests of the princess' relatives in a high-profile corruption
2014 Dec 19, China said it
would build an 867-km rail network in Thailand and buy two million
tons of its rice. Premier Li Keqiang was attending a two-day summit
of leaders of Mekong River region countries.
2014 Dec 20, State media
reported that China has offered more than $3 billion in loans and
aid to neighbors Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos to
improve infrastructure and production, and to fight poverty.
2014 Dec 29, In Thailand two
activists charged with insulting the monarchy because of a play they
produced in 2013 pleaded guilty to the offense, which carries a
punishment of three to 15 years in prison.
2014 Dec 30, Officials said
Malaysia, parts of the Philippines, and southern Thailand have been
battered by heavy rain and flash floods in recent days. At least 21
people were killed in Malaysia, 53 in the Philippines and 15 in
(Reuters, 12/30/14)(AP, 12/30/14)(AP, 12/31/14)
2015 Jan 6, Thai police said
that they have arrested Gurmeet Singh (37), a fugitive convicted in
India for his involvement in a 1995 bomb attack that killed a chief
minister of a northern Indian state and 15 other people.
2015 Jan 11, Thailand police
said dozens of children were among 98 suspected Rohingya trafficking
victims from Myanmar discovered in pickup trucks in in Hua Sai
district in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
2015 Jan 19, In Thailand
villagers living near the country’s largest gold mine asked the
government to quickly prove the source of arsenic and manganese
contamination that has led to a suspension in operations at the
mine. Testing conducted in November by a government team on 700
villagers living near the mine found that more than 300 people,
including children, tested positive for arsenic and manganese.
2015 Jan 23, In Thailand
embattled former PM Yingluck Shinawatra decried the "death of
democracy" in Thailand after the junta-stacked parliament impeached
her and prosecutors announced corruption charges that could see her
2015 Jan 28, In Thailand
Jatuporn Prompan, a top leader of the "Red Shirt" political
movement, was sentenced to two years in jail for insulting a former
PM Abhisit Vejjajiva in 2009.
2015 Feb 3, Thai police said
they have arrested six people accused of being part of a conspiracy
to slander the country's monarchy on the Internet.
2015 Feb 14, In Thailand dozens
of anti-coup activists held a demonstration in central Bangkok,
handing out roses and copies of George Orwell's "1984" -- a rare
expression of public dissent in a nation still under strict martial
2015 Feb 19, Former Thai
premier Yingluck Shinawatra was formally indicted over a bungled
rice subsidy scheme in the latest legal move against her polarizing
family that could see her jailed for up to a decade.
2015 Feb 19, Thailand passed a
law banning foreign couples from using Thai women as surrogates
after a series of high-profile scandals tainting the image of the
hitherto unregulated industry.
2015 Feb 20, In southren
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents detonated a car bomb that
wounded 13 people. A Thai air force F-16A fighter jet crashed during
a drill in central Thailand, killing the pilot.
2015 Feb 21, In Thailand Juan
Francisco Guillermo (47), a Chilean cyclist, was hit by a pickup
truck and immediately killed on a highway in Nakhon Ratchasima
province. Guillermo was attempting to set a Guinness World Record by
cycling 250,000 km (155,350 miles) on five continents in five years.
His journey started in November 2010 and was scheduled to end in
November this year.
2015 Feb 23, Thailand sentenced
two students, Patiwat Saraiyaem (23) and Porntip Mankong (2), to
jail for 2-1/2 years for insulting the monarchy in a university
2015 Mar 5, A Thai court
sentenced 15 members of the "Red Shirt" political movement to four
years in prison for inciting rioting that disrupted an important
regional conference in 2009.
2015 Mar 18, Thai authorities
said they had issued emergency measures across at least nine
provinces as thick smoke caused by farmers burning vegetation to
clear their fields chokes the north of the country.
2015 Mar 19, Thailand police
today arrested Boon Ching Teo (51) of Malaysia, and Sirichai
Sridanont (50) of Thailand, after seizing 51 pieces of African ivory
Dec. 31 in the northeastern province of Surin.
2015 Mar 25, Thailand security
forces killed 4 people when they raided a village in Pattani, one of
three Muslim-dominated provinces bordering Malaysia, as part of an
operation to arrest rebels. On April 8 an investigating team said
the four Muslim men were not members of any extremist group and
called for legal action against those responsible.
2015 Mar 25, The US government
and major business leaders renewed their call on the Thai government
to crack down on slavery in its fishing fleets, and to punish people
who force migrant workers to catch seafood that can end up in the
2015 Mar 27, In eastern
Indonesia an estimated 4,000 foreign fishermen were reported
stranded on a number of remote islands, including men reported to
have been enslaved. Some migrant workers from Myanmar said they had
been brought to Indonesia from Thailand and forced to work on
trawlers with Thai captains.
2015 Mar 31, A Thai military
court sentenced Bangkok businessman Thiensutham Suthijitseranee to
25 years in prison on charges of defaming the country's monarchy in
what appears to be the longest sentence handed down in recent years
for the crime of lese majeste.
2015 Apr 1, Thailand's ruling
junta, known as the National Council for Peace and Order, announced
in a televised statement that it had lifted martial law, which had
been in place nationwide since just before a coup 10 months ago.
Coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha said he will invoke a special security
measure in the junta-imposed interim constitution called Article 44.
Critics say it gives Prayuth unchecked authority over all three
branches of government and absolves him of any legal responsibility
for his actions.
2015 Apr 18, Thailand customs
officials seized 4 tons of ivory hidden in bean sacks, tracked from
Congo and bound for Laos, in what authorities said was the biggest
bust in the country's history. 739 elephant tusks, were seized upon
arrival in Bangkok.
2015 Apr 25, Thailand officials
seized three tons of ivory hidden in tea leaf sacks from Kenya and
destine for Laos.
(SFC, 4/28/15, p.A2)
2015 May 1, Thailand police
found dozens of shallow graves, a corpse and an ailing survivor at
an abandoned jungle camp in a southern area that is regularly used
to smuggle Rohingya Muslims, Bangladeshis and other migrants to
third countries. By the next day police dug up 26 bodies. Smugglers
reportedly escaped days earlier with around 100 Rohingya Muslims, a
long-persecuted religious minority in Myanmar.
(AP, 5/1/15)(AP, 5/2/15)(Reuters, 5/2/15)
2015 May 4, Thailand police
arrested two Padang Besar deputy village chiefs and a member of the
Padang Besar municipal council a day earlier. They faced a variety
of charges related to human trafficking. Police said they also
arrested a Myanmar citizen, Zaw Naing Anu (40), or Anwar, who had
previously been arrested in Thailand for fraud and for kidnapping
2015 May 4, A series of raids,
codenamed "COBRA III" and organized by Thailand, began across Asia,
Africa and Europe. By May 27 they resulted in more than 300 arrests
and over 600 seizures of assorted wildlife contraband — from several
tons of ivory and rhino horns to whale ribs and sea horses.
2015 May 5, Thailand police
found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims
— one recently abandoned and the other containing a buried skeleton.
2015 May 8, Thailand's police
chief announced the arrest of a powerful provincial mayor and said
50 police officers are being investigated in a widening human
trafficking scandal spanning four Asian countries. Police said 111
suspected Rohingya migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been
found in southern Songkhla province.
(AP, 5/8/15)(Reuters, 5/8/15)
2015 May 14, In southern
Thailand at least a dozen bombs exploded, wounding several people in
and around Yala where ethnic Malay insurgents are active.
2015 May 14, Malaysia turned
away two crammed migrant boats filled with Rohingya and Bangladeshis
abandoned at sea by traffickers. Thailand kept at bay a large vessel
with hundreds of hungry people.
2015 May 15, In Indonesia more
than 1,000 weak, hungry people fleeing persecution in Myanmar and
poverty in Bangladesh came ashore, describing murder, extortion and
near starvation after surviving a harrowing journey at sea. Dozens
were reported killed in violent clashes between the Bangladeshis and
Rohingya on board. A group of 106 people were found on a Thai
2015 May 16, A boat crammed
with migrants was towed out to sea by the Thai navy and then held up
by Malaysian vessels, the latest round of "maritime ping-pong" by
Asian states determined not to let asylum seekers come ashore.
2015 May 18, In Thailand
Pajjuban Aungkachotephan (aka Ko Tong), a former regional official
accused of being a major people trafficking kingpin, turned himself
in, as the kingdom continues a belated blitz against the lucrative
2015 May 29, In Thailand
southeast Asian nations agreed to intensify search and rescue
efforts to help vulnerable "boat people" stranded in the region's
seas. Myanmar said its navy had seized a vessel off its coast with
more than 700 migrants aboard.
2015 May 30, In southern
Thailand roadside bombs killed one police officer and wounded seven
members of the security forces.
2015 Jun 1, Malaysian media
reported that Muslim Rohingya women who were held at
human-trafficking camps in Thailand and Malaysia were subjected to
gang rapes by their captors, assaults that left at least two of them
2015 Jun 2, In Thailand
three-star Lieutenant General Manus Kongpan, accused of involvement
in human trafficking, turned himself in to authorities.
2015 Jun 3, In southern
Thailand 4 soldiers were killed in an attack by suspected insurgents
on a rural road in Raman district, Yala province.
2015 Jun 18, Thailand's
army-dominated national assembly approved amendments to the
country's draft constitution at a third reading, paving the way for
a referendum on the newly drafted charter next year.
2015 Jun 18, Thailand confirmed
its first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus
in a businessman from Oman.
2015 Jun 26, Thailand's
military government forced a human rights group to cancel the public
launch of its report on the Vietnamese government's persecution of
an ethnic minority, saying it could affect national security and
bilateral relations. The report by the New York-based Human Rights
Watch describes persecution of Montagnard Christians in Vietnam's
2015 Jun 26, Thailand police
arrested 14 students who had been protesting against the ruling
junta, in defiance of a ban on public gatherings. On July 7 a
military court released the 14 student activists from detention but
said they still face sedition charges.
(Reuters, 6/26/15)(AP, 7/7/15)
2015 Jun 30, A total of 173
people, mostly women and children, from the minority Chinese Muslim
community of Uighurs arrived in Turkey from Thailand, where they
were being held after fleeing China. They were being resettled in
the central city of Kayseri, which boasts a strong Uighur community.
2015 Jul 9, Thailand sent back
to China more than 100 ethnic Uighur refugees, drawing harsh
criticism from the UN refugee agency and human rights groups over
concerns that they face persecution by the Chinese government.
2015 Jul 9, In Turkey
protesters stormed the Thai Consulate in Istanbul early today to
denounce Thailand's decision to deport 109 ethnic Uighur migrants
back to China.
2015 Jul 10, In southern
Thailand 3 women were killed by a motorcycle bomb that exploded late
today near a karaoke bar in the border town of Padang Besar. Arson
was blamed for the deaths of 3 people at a shop in Sungai Kolok,
another border town, where eight other people were wounded,
including three women from Laos, by an improvised bomb hidden in a
planter in front of a hotel.
2015 Jul 11, Thailand sent
eight more ethnic Muslim Uighur refugees to Turkey, days after the
Thai government faced intense international criticism for deporting
109 refugees back to China despite fears they could face persecution
there. 52 Uighurs remained in Thailand.
2015 Jul 14, A Thai military
court sentenced 10 people to prison terms for distributing online
content that it said insulted the country's monarchy. Eight of the
10 were ordered to serve 5-year jail terms and two others, found to
have only abetted the others, were given three years each.
2015 Jul 16, In southern
Thailand unidentified gunmen shot dead 2 soldiers in an ambush.
Dozens of banners were found in the provinces of Pattani, Yala and
Narathiwat, home to a Muslim majority in predominantly Buddhist
Thailand, calling for independence.
2015 Jul 24, Thailand said it
would indict 72 people including a senior army officer over human
trafficking after the plight of desperate Myanmar and Bangladesh
migrants stranded at sea triggered an international outcry over the
2015 Jul 25, In southern
Thailand a Buddhist monk and a policeman were killed and six other
people wounded in a bomb attack by suspected Muslim insurgents in
2015 Jul 27, The US State
Department took Malaysia and Cuba off its “tier 3” list of countries
failing to combat modern-day slavery, leaving the US open to
criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in
its annual human trafficking report. Burundi, Belize, Belarus,
Comoros and South Sudan were downgraded to Tier 3, where Thailand
remained for a second year.
(AP, 7/27/15)(Reuters, 7/27/15)
2015 Aug 4, Thailand police
said they have arrested five people suspected of trafficking Thai
women into sex slavery in China and believed to be part of a ring
that has also trafficked women into Malaysia and Singapore.
2015 Aug 7, Two Thailand
military courts handed down the country’s harshest sentences in
recent decades for insulting the monarchy. A man in Bangkok was
sentenced to prison for 30 years for six Facebook postings, and a
mother of two young girls in the province of Chiang Mai was
sentenced to 28 years for seven postings.
2015 Aug 7, It was reported
that Thailand’s new Inheritance Tax Act 2015 has gone into effect
and that it will start collecting inheritance tax for the first time
2015 Aug 11, In southern
Thailand a pickup truck carrying a group of students careened onto a
traffic island and hit some trees, killing 8 of the students and the
driver. . A WHO survey has ranked Thailand the second worst traffic
fatality rates in the world after Namibia.
2015 Aug 12, Indonesian
authorities seized the Thai-owned Silver Sea 2, a massive
refrigerated cargo ship believed to be loaded with slave-caught
fish. It was escorted about 80 miles (130 km) to a naval base in
2015 Aug 13, Thailand's
military-installed interim PM Prayuth Chan-ocha defended a new law
that places tight restrictions on public gatherings and warned it
will be strictly enforced as the Public Assembly Act took effect.
2015 Aug 14, Thailand's
legislature voted against impeaching 248 members of the previous
Parliament, sparing them a ban from politics for trying to amend the
2015 Aug 17, In Thailand a bomb
exploded just outside a Hindu shrine in Bangkok, killing 20 people,
including 14 foreigners, with 123 wounded. The government said the
attack was a bid to destroy the economy. A man suspected of the
bombing at the Erawan shrine was seen in grainy CCTV footage
entering the compound with a backpack on, sitting down against a
railing and then slipping out of the bag's straps. On Nov 24 two
ethnic Uighurs from China’s Xinjiang region, alleged members of a
people-smuggling gang, were indicted.
(Reuters, 8/17/15)(Reuters, 8/18/15)(Reuters,
8/20/15)(SFC, 11/25/15, p.A2)
2015 Aug 19, In Thailand prime
minister and coup leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-Ocha attended the opening
in Hua Hin of a new park containing the colossl statues of seven
long-dead Thai kings built by the army at a cost of about $20
(Econ, 8/22/15, p.34)
2015 Aug 26, Thailand destroyed
over two tons of ivory, a victory for animal rights groups fighting
against the trade in a country renowned for being a hub for illegal
2015 Aug 29, Thai police
arrested a foreigner (28) who matched the description of a man who
left a bag at the site of a Bangkok blast that killed 20 people on
August 17. The DNA of the suspect, later identified as Mieraili
Yusufu or Yusufu Meerailee, did not match the bomber’s DNA but did
match DNA at two apartments where bomb-making material was
(Reuters, 8/29/15)(SFC, 9/5/15, p.A2)
2015 Aug 31, Thai police issued
arrest warrants for two more suspects, Thai woman Wanna Suansun (26)
and a foreign man of unknown nationality, as part of a widening
investigation in connection with the Aug 17 deadly bombing in
2015 Sep 1, Thailand police
arrested a second foreign suspect in connection with the August 17
attack that killed 20 people.
2015 Sep 6, Thailand's
military-backed legislature rejected an unpopular draft of a new
constitution, delaying a return to democracy following a coup last
2015 Sep 12, Thai authorities
issued an arrest warrant for a 12th suspect in connection with last
month's bombing at a Bangkok landmark that killed 20 people,
identifying him as a 27-year-old ethnic Uighur from China.
2015 Sep 16, Thailand police
arrested former primary school teacher Decha Pradit, who they said
admitted to having sexually abused 24 schoolgirls, after a tip-off
from the US Department of Homeland Security. The abuse occurred over
a decade ago while he had worked as a gym teacher at a school in
northern Uttaradit province from 2002 to 2004.
2015 Sep 17, In southern
Thailand nine bomb blasts targeting different areas of Narathiwat
province killed 3 people and injured 14 others. Police blamed
separatist insurgents for the explosions.
2015 Sep 19, In Thailand some
200 pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok defied a ban on protests and
staged a rare rally against the country's ruling military
2015 Sep 20, In southern
Thailand a court in Songkhla province issued arrest warrants for
four military officers in connection with the trafficking of ethnic
2015 Sep 20, Thailand police
arrested former Philippines Gov. Joel Reyes of western Palawan
island province and his brother Mario Reyes, an ex-municipal mayor.
They were among the country's most-wanted crime suspects for the
2011 murder of a radio anchor and prominent environmentalist.
2015 Sep 26, Thai authorities
said they were now "convinced" their first arrest, a man named as
Adem Karadag, planted the bomb on August 17 which killed 20 people
after weeks of an often confusing and contradictory police
investigation. The other man in custody has been identified as
Yusufu Mieraili, who was seized with a Chinese passport marking
Xinjiang as his birthplace.
2015 Sep 26, Indonesia arrested
the Thai captain of a seized cargo ship carrying an estimated $2
million worth of seafood on suspicion of illegal fishing.
2015 Sep 30, In Thailand three
city policemen in Bangkok were fired after failing to appear for
questioning about their alleged role in extorting 1 million baht
($27,500) from a Japanese businessman.
2015 Sep 30, In Thailand
protesters began blocking access to several government websites over
a plan to route all Internet traffic though a single gateway.
2015 Oct 11, In Thailand an
angry crowd hurled homemade fire bombs and torched vehicles at a
police station overnight on the resort island of Phuket to protest
the deaths of two young men who died in a motorcycle crash while
being chased by police.
2015 Oct 22, Southern Thailand
was hit by the most severe haze ever from forest fires in Indonesia,
forcing all schools in a province to close and disrupting flights in
a popular tourist area.
2015 Oct 23, In Thailand police
Major Prakrom Warunprapa, charged under a controversial royal
defamation law, died in custody after "hanging" himself in his cell.
He was accused of embezzling money by falsely claiming links to the
(AFP, 10/24/15)(Econ, 11/14/15, p.42)
2015 Oct 25, In western
Thailand 8 people were killed and over 20 injured when a bus
carrying workers back from a holiday weekend crashed in Kanchanaburi
2015 Nov 5, Thailand's junta
launched a crackdown on organized crime, its latest effort to clean
up the country and improve the image of the military government as
it struggles to get a sluggish economy on track.
2015 Nov 5, Thai authorities
said police have cracked down on a sex ring that lured underage
girls to work as prostitutes whose services were sold to
high-ranking military officers, Buddhist monks and a variety of
2015 Nov 7, In Thailand
prominent fortuneteller Suriyan Sujaritpalawong, accused of
insulting the monarchy, died of a blood infection at a military
prison where he had been detained since mid-October. He became the
second person in connection with the high-profile case to die behind
2015 Nov 11, The Mekong-Lancang
Cooperation forum (China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and
Vietnam) was created by China to promote sustainable development and
boost the quality of life for the millions of people living in the
Mekong subregion. The forum was seen as a rival to the Mekong River
Commission, formed in 1995, but excludes China and Myanmar.
2015 Nov 17, The UN refugee
agency criticized Thailand for deporting two refugees who were about
to be resettled in a third country. The US branch of Amnesty
International issued a statement on Nov 16 identifying them as Jiang
Yefei and Dong Guangping, and said they were most likely sent to
China on Nov 13.
2015 Nov 22, In Malaysia ASEAN
nations (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) established a formal
community that attempts to create freer movement of trade and
capital in an area of 625 million people with a combined economic
output of $2.6 trillion.
2015 Nov 30, Thai soldiers and
police detained two top leaders of the anti-government Red Shirt
movement as they prepared to visit a park celebrating past Thai
kings that is at the center of a corruption scandal linked to the
2015 Nov 30, In Thailand Andre
Cabau (39), a French drug trafficker, was arrested in Bangkok. He
was part of a notorious international network that authorities say
copied tactics from Hollywood's "Fast and Furious" films.
2015 Dec 4, The New York Times
decried limits on media freedom in Thailand after its local printer
refused to publish articles about the Southeast Asian country for a
2015 Dec 7, Thailand's military
government blocked an anti-corruption protest, detaining about three
dozen students and other activists who were headed to a park
honoring past kings that was allegedly built with money from shady
dealings involving several senior officers.
2015 Dec 13, In Thailand Thanet
Anantawong was arrested for sharing an infographic on Facebook
detailing alleged graft in an army-built park. Plainclothes security
officers took him by force from a hospital while he awaited an
operation. Anantawong was granted bail on Dec 18.
(Reuters, 12/14/15)(Reuters, 12/18/15)
2015 Dec 15, In Thailand
Chayapa Shokpornbudsri (49) was found guilty of defaming the
monarchy on Facebook at a hearing held without her lawyer's
presence. She was handed a 19-year sentence which was cut to 9½
years after she pleaded guilty.
2015 Dec 20, In northern
Thailand 12 Malaysian tourists and a Thai guide were killed after
their bus crashed in the Doi Saket district, near the city of Chiang
2015 Dec 21, Thailand's
government said it is not ignoring the slavery and forced labor in
its lucrative shrimp industry.
2015 Dec 29, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents attacked police and a
government office, killing one official as they seized hostages in
2015 A study guessed that the
value of Thailand’s Crown Property Bureau, a firm that manages the
royal family’s properties and investments, was worth about $44
(Econ, 7/23/16, p.30)
2016 Jan 13, International
hacking movement Anonymous said it attacked hundreds of Thai
government websites over death sentences handed down to two migrant
workers for the murder of two British tourists.
2016 Jan 21, In Thailand four
members of the New Democracy Movement were taken to military court
to be charged with violating an order banning groups of five or more
people from gathering publicly for political purposes. All were
released pending a court appearance.
2016 Jan 25, Thailand’s health
ministry said it has quarantined 32 people as it seeks to prevent
the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) after a second
case of the virus was detected on Jan 22.
2016 Feb 1, In Thailand
Scottish tourist Gareth Crowe was gored to death by an elephant that
he and his stepdaughter (16) were riding on the resort island of
2016 Feb 5, Thailand police
released photos of Artur Segarra Princep (37), a Spanish man,
suspected of involvement in the killing of fellow Spaniard David
Bernat, whose dismembered body was recovered piece by piece from
Bangkok's Chao Phraya River. Princep was arrested in Cambodia on Feb
7 and returned to Thailand.
(AP, 2/5/16)(AP, 2/8/16)
2016 Feb 11, Thailand's nomadic
fishermen urged the government to help resolve a dispute over access
to ancestral shrines on land taken over by developers, following
violence in which dozens were injured last month.
2016 Feb 26, Thailand, the
world's second-biggest rice exporter, announced measures worth
around $285 million to help farmers in the country who have been hit
hard by a severe drought and low prices for their crop.
2016 Feb 27, In southern
Thailand a roadside police patrol camp was attacked by an improvised
car bomb that left seven officers and two civilians injured in
2016 Feb 27, Thailand's state
tobacco company said that it would launch a new, cheaper brand of
cigarettes to keep smokers from rolling their own or buying
illegally imported untaxed ones due to higher prices from a recently
imposed tax hike.
2016 Feb 29, Thailand police
said they will have to tighten security on Koh Kut island after four
French tourists were brutally assaulted, including two women who
were raped. The next day Cambodia said that five of its citizens
were involved in the attack.
(AP, 2/29/16)(AP, 3/1/16)
2016 Mar 2, Thailand police
seized 895,897 counterfeit brand-name sunglasses at a warehouse
where they also arrested two Chinese nationals accused of importing
them from China. the sunglasses were purported to be famous brands
such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
2016 Mar 13, In Thailand 8
people died and seven were injured when they accidentally triggered
a fire extinguisher system inside the vault of at the Bangkok
headquarters of the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and released a
suffocating cloud of chemicals.
2016 Mar 15, In Thailand
Mercedes driver Janepob Verraporn (37), the son of a wealthy Thai
businessman, crashed into a slower car while driving at an estimated
240 km (150 miles) per hour. Two graduate students in their 30s died
at the scene of the accident. Verraporn survived with minor injuries
and refused both alcohol and drug tests.
2016 Mar 29, Thailand's junta
chief gave the military broad new police-like powers to arrest and
detain criminal suspects.
2016 Mar 27, Thailand seized 87
ivory tusks, worth an estimated $800,000, found in a dozen barrels
sent from Mozambique on a Kenya Airways flight. A routine X-ray at
Suvarnabhumi International Airport detected the contraband.
2016 Apr 3, In central Thailand
a train smashed into a double-decker bus carrying Thai tourists at
an unguarded railway crossing in Nakhon Pathom province. Local media
reported that three people were killed and more than two dozen
2016 Apr 8, Thailand
authorities said they were investigating 16 citizens with reported
ties to offshore companies set up by a Panama-based law firm.
2016 Apr 12, In Indonesia three
Thai fishing captains were detained when they were found operating
trawlers under Malaysian flags that were fishing off Kalimantan,
Indonesia's part of Borneo island. The captains escaped on May 7
after scaling the wall of their detention center in the middle of
2016 Apr 13, In Thailand an
elderly British couple (65 and 68) and their son (43) were savagely
attacked and beaten unconscious during a family vacation in Hua,
Hin. The attack was captured on video. On April 28 police said they
have arrested the four suspected attackers. On May 23 the attackers
were sentenced to two years in prison.
(AP, 4/28/16)(AP, 6/6/16)
2016 Apr 18, Authorities in
Thailand said that 442 people died in traffic accidents during the
just concluded traditional New Year holiday — a 21 percent rise over
the same period last year despite stern efforts to curb drunken and
2016 Apr 23, In Thailand
Banharn Silpa-archa (83), a provincial political powerbroker who
served a scandal-ridden 16 months as prime minister in 1995-96,
2016 Apr 26, In Thailand a
same-sex American-Spanish couple won a high-profile custody battle
against a surrogate mother who gave birth to their child but then
decided she wanted to keep the baby when she found out they were
2016 Apr 27, Thailand's
military government turned up the pressure on its opponents, filing
a legal complaint against critics of a proposed new constitution and
detaining 10 people in connection with social media postings.
2016 May 9, Thailand media
reported that a top Thai medical college has caught students using
spy cameras linked to smartwatches to cheat during exams.
2016 May 10, Thailand ordered
the closure of its only active gold mine by the end of the year
after more than 300 people tested positive for arsenic and manganese
at Akara Resources' Chatree mine.
2016 May 19, Thailand’s
Department of Land Transport put the brakes on motorbike-hailing
services offered by Uber and Singapore-based GrabBike barely two
months after they started.
2016 May 22, In northern
Thailand a nighttime fire at a dormitory of a primary school killed
18 girls, many of whom had been roused by a dorm-mate but went back
to sleep, thinking it was a prank.
2016 May 23, In Thailand
twenty-one Rohingya men escaped from the Phang Nga Immigration
Detention Center in the early hours today after sawing through an
iron bar in their communal cell. One was shot dead and three caught.
2016 May 26, In southern
Thailand 3 foreign tourists were killed and a British man left
missing after a speedboat crashed and capsized in bad weather near
the island of Samui.
2016 May 30, In Thailand
wildlife officials began removing some of the 137 tigers held at a
Buddhist temple following accusations that the monks were involved
in illegal breeding and trafficking of the animals.
2016 Jun 1, Thai authorities
found dozens of dead tiger cubs inside a freezer at the Wat Pha
Luang Ta Bua temple in western Kanchanaburi province.
2016 Jun 2, Thai authorities
uncovered a trove of animal parts and intercepted a monk trying to
leave the controversial “tiger temple” with tiger skins and fangs,
the latest discovery to fuel accusations that the zoo is involved in
the illegal wildlife trade.
2016 Jun 7, In Thailand police
raided a massage parlor and arrested 121 sex workers, including 15
who were under the age of 18. Five men running the brothel in
Bangkok were soon charged with human trafficking.
2016 Jun 7, The European Union
warned Thailand to take "swift and determined action" by next month
to improve its fisheries and labor practices or face a serious
economic threat of an EU ban on Thai seafood.
2016 Jun 8, In southern
Thailand two speedboats packed with 62 tourists crashed off the
coast, leaving at least two dead and more than 20 injured.
2016 Jun 16, Thai police raided
the Wat Dhammakaya Buddhist temple complex to arrest a popular abbot
accused of accepting $40 million in embezzled money but were
thwarted by thousands of his followers who said he is too ill to be
taken into custody. Phra Dhammachayo was accused of money laundering
and links to embezzling 1.4 billion baht ($40 million) from a
now-defunct credit union.
2016 Jun 17, Indian PM Narendra
Modi and Thailand’s PM Prayuth Chan-ocha agreed in New Delhi to
increase cooperation in tackling terrorism, threats to
cybersecurity, narcotics, transnational economic offenses and human
2016 Jun 25, The Thai air force
lost contact with a helicopter and three crewmen during heavy rains
while on a mission to resupply a radar station in Chanthaburi
province. Searchers on June 28 found wreckage of the helicopter and
the bodies of the crewmen.
(AP, 6/26/16)(AP, 6/28/16)
2016 Jun 30, The United States
placed Myanmar on its list of worst human trafficking offenders for
failing to do more to curb widespread abuses, and upgraded Thailand
from the lowest grade for what was deemed to be an improved record.
2016 Jul 1, Military-ruled
Thailand said it will buy three submarines worth around $1 billion
from China a move that signals warming ties with the regional
superpower as relations with the United States cool.
2016 Jul 10, A Thai journalist
was detained by police in Ratchaburi province while reporting on the
New Democracy Movement, a group opposed to the military government.
Three activists of the group were also detained. Taweesak Kerdpoka
was the first journalist to be arrested under a new law that makes
it illegal to criticize the planned August 7 referendum on a new
2016 Jul 11, Thai journalist
Taweesak Kerdpoka and four activists were charged under a draconian
law banning criticism of the junta's new constitution which will be
voted on in a referendum next month.
2016 Jul 11, Thai country
singer and political activist Thanat Thanawatcharanon, known by his
stage name Tom Dundee, was sentenced by a military court to more
than three years in jail for insulting the monarchy, adding to a
7½-year sentence a criminal court imposed on him earlier for the
2016 Jul 24, In northern
Thailand about 100 macaques tore up voter lists publicly posted
ahead of the August 7 referendum on a proposed constitution.
2016 Jul 27, Thai police
captured a Japanese lawyer who altered his appearance through
plastic surgery to escape arrest for an alleged stock share
manipulation scheme more than a decade ago. Yasuo Tsubaki (62) was
sought by Japanese authorities for securities fraud amounting to
more than 12 billion yen ($116 million) from 2001-2005.
2016 Aug 12, In Thailand
attackers using firebombs and homemade explosives struck a series of
popular resort cities and beach towns across the country over the
last 24 hours. At least 4 people were killed and dozens wounded,
including 11 foreigners.
2016 Aug 14, Thai police over
the weekend found and defused five explosive devices that had failed
to detonate when an as yet unidentified group carried out a series
of deadly bomb attacks on popular tourist spots late last week.
2016 Aug 23, A Thai military
tribunal indicted eight people with sedition for running a Facebook
page that mocked the kingdom's junta chief, making them the latest
victims of the regime's crackdown on dissent.
2016 Aug 23, A Thai military
court rejected allegations by two Uighur defendants that they were
tortured in custody to confess to bombing a popular Hindu shrine in
Bangkok last year that left 20 people dead. The court then postponed
the rest of the hearing to next month because no Uighur-language
translator was available.
2016 Aug 23, In southern
Thailand two bombs exploded near a hotel in Pattani, killing one
employee and wounding 29 people.
2016 Aug 25, Thailand's
military government suspended Bangkok Gov. Sukhumbhand Paribatra,
the country's most senior elected official, on allegations of
corruption and misuse of city funds. The order to suspend
Sukhumbhand came hours after he left Bangkok for South Korea's
capital, where he was due to take part in celebrations cementing the
friendship between the two cities.
2016 Sep 4, Thai police seized
3,155 kg (6,940 pounds) of marijuana from a warehouse in Chonburi.
Police arrested two men from Thailand and Taiwan suspected of
smuggling the marijuana from Laos for shipment to Australia.
2016 Sep 28, Thailand’s coup
leader and prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha promised to turn
Thailand into a developed country by 2036.
(Econ, 9/24/16, p.37)
2016 Sep 29, Thailand’s
government said it has decided to suspend seahorse trade because of
concern about threats to its wild population. The decision was
announced at a meeting in South Africa of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
2016 Oct 5, Thailand stopped
Hong Kong teen pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong from entering the
country to give a talk and sent him home, raising questions about
whether it acted at China's behest.
2016 Oct 13, Rama IX,
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej (b.1927), died. He was revered as
a demigod, a humble father figure and an anchor of stability through
decades of upheaval at home and abroad. Bhumibol had succeeded his
brother in 1946 and reigned for 70 years, the world's longest
reigning monarch when he died. He was succeeded by Crown Prince Maha
2016 Nov 18, Thailand's
military government announced a $1.5 billion effort to help
struggling rice farmers in part by guaranteeing prices well above
market rates. Global prices for the grain have plummeted to their
lowest in nearly a decade, severely weakening an industry crucial to
Thailand's economic well-being.
2016 Nov 22, Thailand's
military government approved a one-time payout for low-income people
in an effort to stimulate the country's weak economy. People who
make less than 30,000 baht ($846) a year will receive 3,000 baht
($86), while people who make 30,000 to 100,000 baht ($846 to $2,821)
a year will receive 1,500 baht ($42).
2016 Nov 25, In southern
Thailand two men suspected of involvement with violent unrest were
killed in a shootout with police and soldiers who had been tracking
2016 Nov 29, Thailand's
parliament named Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn as the new king,
completing a formal step for the heir to take the throne following
the death of his father last month.
2016 Dec 1, In Thailand Crown
Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn (64) became the new king after he
accepted an invitation from parliament to succeed his father, King
Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died in October.
2016 Dec 3, Thai police
arrested anti-junta activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa for defaming
the monarchy in what rights groups said was the first case of
lese-majeste brought under Thailand's new king.
2016 Dec 6, Thailand’s interior
ministry said severe flooding due to heavy rain in southern Thailand
has killed 14 people, including five students. Six days of floods
have affected 582,345 people in 11 of the country’s 76 provinces.
2016 Dec 7, Thailand’s military
said Muslim separatist militants have shot dead six civilians over
the last 24 hours in the southern provinces of Narathiwat and
(SFC, 12/8/16, p.A2)
2016 Dec 7, In northern
Thailand six drug smugglers were fatally shot late today in a
gunbattle when they were confronted by soldiers. 554,000
methamphetamine tablets, 30 kg (66 pounds) of heroin, 1 kg (2.2
pounds) of opium, an AK-47 assault rifle and a short-barreled rifle
2016 Dec 16, Thailand
prosecutors indicted 19 senior members of the anti-coup Red Shirt
movement for violating a ban on political activities when they
sought to open an office to monitor last August's referendum on a
2016 Dec 16, Thailand's
military-appointed legislature approved a bill tightening the
country's already harsh Computer Crime Act, defying critics who said
it infringes on the right to free expression.
2016 Dec 19, Thailand’s Defense
Ministry website went temporarily offline as hackers protested the
Dec 16 passage of a bill restricting internet freedom. They have
been attacking Thai government computer servers, temporarily
disabling public access and reportedly copying restricted documents.
2016 Dec 22, In Thailand
pro-democracy activist Jatupat 'Pai' Boonpattararaksa was
re-arrested after his bail was revoked in a case accusing him of
sharing online a Thai-language BBC story about the country's new
2016 Dec 26, Thailand said
police have detained nine people suspected of hacking government
websites to protest against amendments to a cyber security law that
critics say strengthens the authorities' oversight of the internet.
2016 Dec 27, Thai police put
more pressure on the wealthy, politically influential Buddhist
Dhammakaya temple where the leader is wanted for alleged money
laundering and related crimes involving millions of dollars of
2016 Dec 29, Thailand's
military government granted the king power to appoint the Buddhist
country's top monk, a move aimed at resolving a bitter power
struggle over the venerated post.
2017 Jan 2, In eastern Thailand
a van and a pickup collided and caught fire on a highway, killing 25
people in Chonburi province.
2017 Jan 5, Thailand’s Interior
Ministry said flooding in the south has killed at least five people,
disrupted transportation and spoiled tourists' holidays at one of
the country's most popular resort islands.
2017 Jan 6, Thai authorities
warned of flash floods across the south as torrential rains lashed
the region leaving at least eight people dead, delaying flights and
disrupting holidays during peak tourist season.
2017 Jan 14, A Thai air force
pilot died when his fighter jet crashed at an air show during the
country's Children's Day.
2017 Jan 17, Thailand's
Eastern Special Development Zone (ESDZ), a special economic zone,
was setup for three provinces in eastern Thailand. Collectively,
these provinces occupy an area of 13,266 square km (5,122 sq mi).
2007 Jan 17, In Thailand
suspected separatist rebels shot dead two Buddhist villagers in the
Muslim-majority south. The insurgency there has killed more than
1,800 people in three years.
2017 Jan 24, In Thailand Briton
Tony Kenway was the victim of a gangland-style slaying in the resort
town of Pattaya.
2017 Jan 27, Thai police said
they have arrested a gang of wedding crashers led by a Buddhist monk
who scammed couples by pretending to be officials with royal links
and demanding money for their prestigious presence at nuptials.
2017 Jan 27, A Thai military
court halved the sentence for Burin Intin from an original 22 years,
8 months for two offenses because he pleaded guilty to the lese
majeste charge as well as to violating the Computer Crime Act by
posting illegal content.
2017 Feb 2, Thai media
organizations protested a bill that would require journalists to be
licensed and would establish a council that can penalize news
outlets for violating professional standards. The bill was submitted
today to a military-appointed body tasked with reforming the Thai
2017 Feb 2, Wildlife
anti-trafficking organization Freeland said that almost three tons
of scales from endangered African pangolins, hidden in sacks, were
seized last December at Bangkok's main airport. The haul was worth
more than $1 million dollars on the illegal market, and represented
as many as 6,000 dead animals. The scales were sent from Kinshasa in
Congo, via Turkey with a final destination listed as Vientiane,
2017 Feb 7, Thailand’s PM
Prayuth Chan-ocha said that Somdej Phra Maha Muniwong (89) has been
appointed by King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun as the 20th
supreme patriarch of the Buddhist order. His predecessor died in
2013 at age 100.
2017 Feb 7, Thailand's cabinet
approved measures worth $1 billion to help farmers in its flood-hit
2017 Feb 7, A Thai court
sentenced Australian Antonio Bagnato (28) to death for the murder of
a countryman who was an alleged confederate in a drug smuggling
gang. He was found guilty of killing former Hells Angels member
Wayne Schneider in November 2015 after he and accomplices beat and
kidnapped the victim from his luxury villa in the Pattaya resort
2017 Feb 10, In southern
Thailand Sama-ae Doloh, a sub-district chief in Pattani province,
was fatally shot by heavily armed men who stopped him on his way to
work. In neighboring Narathiwat province, two people were fatally
shot by five masked men at a rubber trading store.
2017 Feb 17, Thailand’s PM
Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that a government committee has approved
construction of an 800-megawatt coal power plant near pristine
beaches on the Andaman Sea.
(SFC, 2/18/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 25, Thailand's
military junta removed the chief of the department responsible for
overseeing Buddhist affairs and replaced him with a police officer,
amid a stand-off between officials and monks at the country's
2017 Mar 3, In Thailand former
Air Vice Marshal Chitpong Thongkum, a former palace medical adviser,
was jailed for five and a half years for insulting the monarchy and
other charges, a day after another disgraced aide to the new king
was charged in a separate case.
2017 Mar 6, In Thailand a
statement from the Royal Palace said King Vajiralongkorn
Bodindradebayavarangkun has approved stripping the honorary title
from Phra Dhammajayo (72), head of the Dhammakaya sect, because of
the criminal charges against him.
2017 Mar 8, Britain's BBC
announced it is ending its shortwave transmissions from Thailand
after 20 years of operation because it failed to reach agreement
with Thailand's military government on a renewal of its operating
2017 Mar 9, Thai transport
officials said that services using private vehicles to transport
passengers, such as Uber or Southeast Asia's GrabCar, are illegal
because the vehicles aren't registered for public transport. The
government said it plans to introduce its own cellphone app, TAXI
OK, for passengers to call government-endorsed taxis featuring GPS
tracking systems and closed-circuit cameras
2017 Mar 10, A court in
Thailand sentenced Jumpol Manmai, a former high-ranking police
officer and aide to the country's king, to three years in prison for
dereliction of duty and land encroachment.
2017 Mar 18, Thai police
uncovered a plot to assassinate the country's prime minister after
seizing a weapons cache at a house belonging to red shirt leader
Wuthipong Kochathamakun, who has been on the run since the military
2017 Mar 27, Thailand's
broadcast regulator ordered television channel Voice TV to suspend
its over-the-air broadcasting for a week for what it called biased
reports affecting national security. The station is controlled by
the family of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by a 2006
army coup and is in exile to avoid a prison term for corruption.
2017 Mar 28, Thailand
authorities escalated their effort to collect taxes they say are due
from ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, posting a bill for 17.6 billion
baht ($503 million) at the house where he lived before fleeing into
exile in 2008 to avoid a prison term for conflict of interest. A
lawyer for Thaksin contended that under the law in existence at the
time of the 2006 sale, the shares were exempt from tax.
2017 Mar 29, In southern
Thailand a gunbattle at a police checkpoint resulted in the deaths
of two gunmen in Narathiwat province.
2017 Mar 30, In southern
Thailand an army ranger was found shot dead. Five gunmen opened fire
at a police station in Narathiwat province, killing a policeman and
wounding three others in the latest killings in a region troubled by
violent Muslim separatism.
2017 Mar, In Thailand Vivat
Yodprasit, dubbed the "Popcorn Gunman," received a 37-year, 4-month
sentence for murder, attempted murder and illegal possession of
weapons, halved from the original term because of his confession to
police for opening fire with an assault rifle concealed in a sack
during a political confrontation in February 2014. However, he
recanted his confession in court, claiming he had been tortured. On
June 27 a court ruled that there was not enough evidence to convict
Yodprasit in the shootings.
2017 Apr 3, In southern
Thailand gunmen with grenade launchers and other heavy weapons
attacked a police checkpoint, injuring six officers, in what
appeared to be the latest violence by Muslim separatists who have
been fighting for more than a decade.
2017 Apr 6, Thailand's King
Maha Vajiralongkorn signed a military-backed constitution into law,
an essential step toward an election the junta has promised will
restore democracy after the 12th successful coup in little over 80
2017 Apr 7, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents set off dozens of bombs,
bringing down power lines and setting tires on fire to block roads.
2017 Apr 14, In Thailand hordes
of revellers armed with plastic water guns poured onto streets for a
2nd day of watery warfare to ring in Songkran, its traditional new
2017 Apr 14, In Thailand a 1936
plaque marking the country's 1932 transition to democracy was
discovered missing and replaced in Royal Plaza. It was replaced by
one celebrating the monarchy. Srisuwan Janya, a veteran social
activist, was detained by soldiers when he tried to submit a letter
to PM Prayuth Chan-ocha asking that the act of vandalism be
2017 Apr 20, It was reported
that authorities in Bangkok are banishing its world-famous
street-food vendors as part of a clean-up drive by Thailand’s
military government, outraging foodies and threatening the
livelihoods of the road-side cooks.
2017 Apr 25, Thailand's top
defense official said the government has approved the purchase of
its first submarine in more than half a century, calling the $393
million deal with China necessary and a bargain. Thailand
decommissioned its last one in 1951.
2017 Apr 25, In Thailand a
Brazilian woman (22) arrived at Don Muang airport from Malaysia and
had asked to be driven to central Bangkok. Instead she was driven to
an area outside Bangkok, where the driver is accused of beating and
raping her before leaving her by the side of the road. Police the
next day arrested the driver on charges of rape, illegal detention,
and theft with violence.
2017 Apr 27, In southern
Thailand suspected Muslim insurgents killed four paramilitary army
rangers in an ambush in Narathiwat province.
2017 Apr 28, In Thailand a
Bangkok court approved an arrest warrant for an heir to the Red Bull
energy drink fortune accused of a deadly hit-and-run accident,
moving the case forward after almost five years without charges
being pressed. Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya is accused of fleeing the
scene of a 2012 crash in his Ferrari after allegedly fatally hitting
a police officer on motorcycle patrol.
2017 Apr 29, Thai authorities
arrested Prawet Prapanukul (57), an activist lawyer, and five other
people. On May 3 they were charged with defaming the monarchy,
pushing the tally of people charged with lese majeste to more than
100 since the military seized power in 2014.
2017 May 1, In Thailand the
Protection of Media Rights and Freedom, Ethics and Professional
Standards Act was passed by the National Reform Steering Assembly, a
200-member body appointed by the military after it took power in a
2017 May 3, Thai media
organizations called on the military government to withdraw a bill
that would set up an appointed council to regulate print and online
media and require journalists to be licensed or risk jail.
2017 May 4, Thai police said
Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya (32), a fugitive heir to the Red Bull
energy drink fortune, had left Singapore after abandoning his
private jet and disappeared.
(AP, 5/4/17)(AP, 5/5/17)
2017 May 5, Thai authorities
revoked the passport of Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya (32), a fugitive
heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune, who is wanted on deadly
hit-and-run charges. Thailand began the process of having Interpol
issue a Blue Notice advising officials in 190 countries that
Vorayuth is wanted.
(AP, 5/4/17)(AP, 5/5/17)
2017 May 5, Thai police found
35 migrants from Myanmar abandoned and wandering in a southern
forest, raising fears that smuggling and trafficking routes are
flourishing despite a crackdown by authorities.
2017 May 9, In southern
Thailand Muslim militants fighting for a separate state were
suspected of carrying out a car-bomb attack outside a supermarket in
the city of Pattani that wounded 60 people.
2017 May 16, Thailand backed
off a threat to block Facebook, instead providing the social media
site with court orders to remove content that the government deems
2017 May 22, In Thailand a bomb
exploded at the army-run Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok, the
third anniversary of a military coup. More than 20 people were
reported wounded. On June 15 police arrested Wattana Pumret (61), a
retired electrical engineer, who reportedly confessed to the
bombing. Pumret later said he carried out the bombing as a "symbol
of defiance" against the military government.
(AP, 5/22/17)(AP, 6/15/17)(AP, 6/20/17)
2017 May 23, In southern
Thailand attackers detonated a bomb and then shot two army rangers
as they patrolled a community village on motorcycles.
(SFC, 5/24/17, p.A2)
2017 May 25, Thailand's
telecoms regulator said anyone wanting to use or buy a pre-paid SIM
card for a mobile phone in the deep south will have to have their
fingerprints verified and face scanned to stop insurgents from using
them to trigger bombs.
2017 Jun 8, Thailand arrested a
fugitive (38) on an international arrest warrant He was suspected of
rapes that took place in several locations in Sweden on May 17-19.
2017 Jun 9, A military court in
Thailand sentenced a salesman, identified as Wichai, to 35 years in
prison for social media posts deemed defamatory to the monarchy, a
punishment believed to be the longest ever handed down for the
offense of lese majeste. The sentence was halved from 70 years
because he had pleaded guilty.
2017 Jun 11, Thai police
arrested three Chinese men for operating a "click farm," using
hundreds of cellphones and several hundred thousand SIM cards to run
up "likes" and views on WeChat, a Chinese social media mobile
2017 Jun 12, Thai police
displayed more than 1 million methamphetamine tablets seized this
month, as trade in the illicit drug shows little sign of abating.
2017 Jun 15, Thailand’s PM
Prayuth Chan-ocha, head of the military government, used his special
powers to cut through regulations and launch work on a much-delayed
179 billion baht ($5.27 billion) joint Thai-Chinese project for a
new railway from Bangkok to the northeast.
2017 Jun 19, In southern
Thailand a bomb planted in a dirt road killed six soldiers.
2017 Jun 22, Thailand's
military-installed parliament passed a bill that allows the ruling
junta to continue to impose its policies after it holds elections
and officially relinquishes power.
2017 Jun 30, Thai customs
officials they have seized 15 of 42 luxury cars that British
authorities said were stolen and sent to Thailand.
2017 Jul 3, Thailand
immigration officials said tens of thousands of migrant workers,
most of them from Myanmar, have fled from Thailand in fear after new
labor regulations adopted by the military government. About 60,000
workers left between June 23 and June 28, and the number has risen
2017 Jul 4, Thailand's junta
delayed parts of a new labor law aimed at regulating the foreign
workforce after the decree sparked panic and prompted more than
60,000 foreign workers to flee from the country.
2017 Jul 10, In southern
Thailand a group of gunmen barged into the home of Worayuth
Sanglhung, a village headman in Krabi province, and killed eight
members of his family, including three children, by shooting them in
the head. On July 16 police said local businessman Surikfad
Bannopwongsakul, who had a dispute with Sanglhung, has been arrested
along with seven others.
(AP, 7/11/17)(AP, 7/17/17)
2017 Jul 12, In Thailand
Alexandre Cazes (25), the Canadian founder of dark web marketplace
AlphaBay, died in a Bangkok jail.
(SFC, 7/21/17, p.C1)(Reuters, 7/24/17)
2017 Jul 17, In Thailand a law
became effective that placed the Crown Property Bureau, essentially
a holding company for the royal palace's assets, under King Maha
Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun's direct control. This was
the world's richest royal fortune, estimated to be worth more than
2017 Jul 18, Thai police said
Wirapol Sukphol (aka Luang Pu Nenkham), a former Buddhist monk
wanted on child sex charges, will be sent home from the United
States to face trial.
2017 Jul 19, Thai army Lt. Gen.
Manas Kongpaen was one of dozens of people found guilty in a major
human trafficking trial that included 103 defendants accused of
involvement in a modern-day slavery trade. Kongpan (61) was
condemned to 27 years in prison for profiting from human
trafficking, an extraordinarily rare conviction of a senior member
of an army that dominates the kingdom.
(AP, 7/19/17)(AFP, 7/22/17)
2017 Jul 20, European and US
authorities said they had shut down AlphaBay and Hansa Market and
arrested their operators. AlphaBay, the largest so-called darknet
market, was taken down in early July at the same time that
authorities arrested Alexandre Cazes (25), a Canadian man living in
Bangkok. Dutch police said they had taken control of Hansa market in
June. Two men accused of operating Hansa were arrested in Germany.
(SFC, 7/21/17, p.C1)
2017 Jul 24, Thailand's
military government began freeze the assets of former PM Yingluck
Shinawatra in relation to a $1-billion fine it imposed in 2016 over
her government's 2012-2013 rice buying scheme.
2017 Jul 24, Thai police said
they have arrested a gang of 44 people from China and Taiwan for
running an elaborate phone scam that conned $3 million from scores
of victims mainly in China.
2017 Jul 24, Thai police said
they have seized nearly $21 million worth of assets, from cars to
cryptocurrency, belonging to Alexandre Cazes (5), the late founder
of dark web marketplace AlphaBay, who died in a Bangkok jail on July
2017 Aug 1, It was reported
that the number of North Koreans slipping illegally into Thailand
has surged in recent months. An immigration official said an average
of 20 to 30 North Koreans arrive each week now in northern Thailand
2017 Aug 3, Thailand’s interior
ministry said floods have killed at least 23 people in the
northeastern farming region.
2017 Aug 8, In Thailand
journalist Pravit Rojanaphruk was charged with sedition and
violation of the country’s computer law for online postings
(SFC, 8/9/17, p.A2)
2017 Aug 8, Germany’s wind
power group Siemens Gamesa said it has installed Asia's tallest wind
turbines, with a total height of 210 meters (230 yards), in
2017 Aug 9, A Thai military
court sentenced a man named Tara to 20 years in prison in the
country's latest conviction on charges of insulting the monarchy.
2017 Aug 9, In Thailand
reporter Nattaporn Weeranont of the Isra News Agency, who was
looking into the assets of a brother of one of the top members of
the country's military government, was arrested for trespassing.
2017 Aug 11, In Nepal seven
South Asian and Southeast Asian nations (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar,
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal) agreed to conclude early a
free trade accord, implement the Paris agreement on climate change
and step up cooperation among their security agencies to combat
2017 Aug 15, Thai student
activist Jatupat Boonpattaraksa, also known as Pai, was jailed for
two and a half years for posting on Facebook a BBC article deemed
offensive to Thailand's king.
2017 Aug 16, In Thailand at
least eight people, first arrested in May, were re-arrested and
charged with insulting the monarchy for allegedly burning portraits
of members of the royal family.
2017 Aug 17, Thai law
enforcement officials arrested Kim South Korean Hyoung-joon,
suspected of involvement in trafficking of Thai women into South
Korea's sex industry.
2017 Aug 25, Thailand
authorities searched for Yingluck Shinawatra, the prime minister
whose government he ousted in a coup three years ago, after she
failed to appear for a verdict in a criminal case that could send
her to prison for 10 years. Thailand’s Supreme Court imposed a
42-year sentence on Yingluck’s former commerce minister for offences
related to those that she was alleged to have committed.
(AP, 8/25/17)(Econ, 9/2/17, p.33)
2017 Aug 29, In Thailand the
political party of former PM Yingluck Shinawatra, who fled into
exile last week, said it would overcome the obstacles it faces and
was committed to democracy and working for the good of the people.
2017 Sep 1, Thailand's
government announced $2.2 billion in loans and handouts to help
stabilize prices for rice farmers, a politically influential group
whose heartland is in regions where opposition to the military junta
2017 Sep 1, It was reported
that Thailand's prestigious Chulalongkorn University has removed the
head of its student council, a vocal critic of military rule, after
he was accused of disrupting a royalist initiation ceremony. But
Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal (20) and the student council said they
refused to accept the university order against him and four other
members, and would appeal against the decision.
2017 Sep 11, In Thailand a
group of villagers won a 10-year lawsuit against a mining company
for polluting their land and water. Lead Concentrates Co. was
ordered to pay 36 million baht ($1.1 million) in compensation by the
Supreme Court, but its representatives did not even show up for the
2017 Sep 14, In southern
Thailand a soldier and a policeman were killed and 26 other people
wounded by two bombs believed to have been set off by Muslim
separatists in Yala province.
2017 Sep 20, Thai authorities
detained Buddhist monk Apichart Punnajanto for posting online videos
that harshly denounce Islam.
2017 Sep 21, In Thailand
thirteen activists of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) were
ordered to pay a total of $16 million in compensation for shutting
down Bangkok's two main international airports during protests in
2017 Sep 27, A Thai court
sentenced former PM Yingluck Shinawatra, whose government was ousted
in a 2014 military coup, in absentia to five years in prison for
alleged negligence in a money-losing rice subsidy program.
2017 Sep 28, A Cambodian court
sentenced British man Toby James Nelhams, suspected of involvement
in the Jan 24 gangland-style slaying of Briton Tony Kenway in the
Thai resort town of Pattaya, to eight months in prison for fraud.
The whereabouts of two other suspects were unknown.
2017 Oct 2, Shares worth over
$500 million in Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank were transferred on
behalf of King Maha Vajiralongkorn from the Crown Property Bureau,
which manages palace assets. The ultimate beneficiary of the shares
was not identified.
2017 Oct 10, Thai authorities
arrested two Chinese citizens suspected of smuggling rhinoceros
horns worth about $300,000 through Bangkok's main airport.
2017 Oct 25, Thailand marked
the start of a lavish, five-day funeral for King Bhumibol Adulyadej
with a Buddhist religious ceremony attended by senior members of its
2017 Nov 10, In Thailand
Distorn Vajarodaya, a senior official in the Royal Household Bureau,
was sacked for "evil acts" including having an extramarital affair
and forcing his alleged mistress to get an abortion.
2017 Nov 29, In Thailand Surin
Pitsuwan (68), former Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Secretary-General (2008-2012), died in Bangkok of a heart attack.
2017 Dec 7, A Thai court issued
arrest warrants against five people over the discovery of a cache of
weapons, including figures with links to the "Red Shirt" followers
of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Police believed the
weapons were hidden during the instability that led up to a coup in
2017 Dec 11, The European Union
said it will resume political contact "at all levels" with Thailand,
after putting relations on hold following a 2014 coup by the Thai
2018 Jan 10, Cambodian PM Hun
Sen and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were joined by leaders from
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar over development in the Mekong
subregion. The leaders agreed in a joint statement to enhance
connectivity between their countries to accelerate
industrialization, urbanization, trade and financial integration.
They also called for greater cooperation in managing and utilizing
2018 Jan 10, Thailand police
arrested Shigeharu Shirai (74) in a province north of Bangkok where
he has been hiding for over 10 years to evade murder charges in
Japan in connection with the death of a rival gang member. The
fugitive was recognized when photos of his full-body tattoos were
2018 Jan 19, Thailand police
arrested Boonchai Bach, a 40-year-old Thai of Vietnamese descent, in
the northeastern border province of Nakhon Phanom in connection with
the with smuggling of 14 rhino horns worth over $1 million from
Africa into Thailand last month. He had allegedly fueled much of
Asia's illegal trade for over a decade.
2018 Jan 20, In Thailand
hundreds of police blocked protestors planning to march from Bangkok
to Khon Kaen in the northeast of the country in a rare display of
public discontent in the junta-ruled country.
2018 Jan 21, In Myanmar
thousands of Buddhist monks gathered in Mandalay for an event partly
organized by a scandal-hit Thai temple whose abbot is wanted for
questioning on money-laundering allegations. Mandalay is home to the
monk Wirathu, the self-styled "Buddhist bin Laden" famous for his
anti-Islamic sermons, but there was no sign that he attended the
2018 Jan 28, In Thailand
student activist Chanoknan Ruamsap became the latest political
dissident to flee Thailand, explaining on her Facebook page that she
made a snap decision to leave after learning she had been charged
with insulting the monarchy because she shared a BBC article about
the country's new king.
2018 Jan 30, It was reported
that Thailand's ruling military junta has filed charges against
seven democracy activists for calling for elections and an end to
2018 Jan, In Thailand street
artist Headache Stencil, whose nickname alludes to the pain he hopes
to inflict on the mighty, catapulted to fame with a piece skewering
junta number two Prawit Wongsuwan, who was struggling to explain his
collection of undeclared luxury watches.
2018 Feb 2, Thailand police
arrested Russian national Sergey Medvedev in Bangkok. On Feb. 7 a US
indictment accused him of running an online cybercrime marketplace
where everything from stolen credit card information to hardware for
compromising ATM machines could be purchased. The Infraud
Organization's main servers were seized in Paris on February 6.
2018 Feb 4, Thai police
arrested construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta and three others for
poaching in a protected wildlife sanctuary. Photos of hunting
equipment and animal carcasses including a black leopard soon
circulated on social media.
2018 Feb 5, Thailand’s former
national police Commissioner Somyot Pumpanmuang acknowledged he
borrowed $9.5 million from brothel owner Kampol Wirathepsuporn, who
is wanted on human trafficking charges.
2018 Feb 8, Thailand’s
Pollution Control Department said that concentrations in Bangkok of
tiny particles known as PM 2.5, a benchmark measure of air quality,
were almost double the levels considered safe.
2018 Feb 8, Nearly three dozen
Thai democracy activists turned themselves in to police after being
summoned in connection with a protest calling for the ruling
military government to step down and relinquish power through
elections. All were released the same day.
2018 Feb 9, A Thai court issued
arrest warrants for four pro-democracy activists for staging a
public protest amid growing pressure on the junta to hold elections
2018 Feb 9, Cambodia arrested a
woman, Sam Sokha, after she was repatriated from Thailand, where the
UN refugee agency reportedly had formally recognized her as a
refugee. She had thrown a shoe at a billboard depicting PM Hun Sen.
2018 Feb 10, In Thailand around
four hundred people gathered at a monument to democracy in Bangkok
to urge the military government not to delay a national election
planned later this year, in one of the biggest anti-junta
demonstrations since the military took power in 2014.
2018 Feb 13, In Thailand
garbage collectors found four fetuses in the trash in Hua Hin, a
popular resort town.
2018 Feb 16, Thailand awarded
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Myanmar's army chief, a royal
decoration amid allegations of crimes by Myanmar security forces
against Rohingya Muslims that have prompted international
2018 Feb 20, A Thai court
granted sole custody of 13 surrogate children to Mitsutoki Shigeta
(28) of Japan. He is the son of the founder of Japanese telecom and
insurance company Hikari Tsushin and, as a major shareholder, earns
millions of dollars a year in dividends.
2018 Feb 24, In Los Angeles
Thai dynamo Srisaket Sor Rungvisai retained his World Boxing Council
title by beating challenger Juan Estrada, holding on in the later
rounds to come out with a close majority decision.
2018 Feb 26, Thai police
arrested a group of 10 Russians who were running a sex training
class for their compatriots in the seaside town of Pattaya, and have
charged them with working in Thailand without permission.
2018 Feb 28, In Thailand
Anastasia Vashukevich, a Belarusian woman jailed for offering sex
lessons without a work permit, said she has a story to tell
involving the Kremlin, Russian billionaires and even the president
of the United States.
2018 Mar 8, It was reported
that a new law, published last week, makes criticism of Thailand’s
Constitutional Court punishable by imprisonment, giving extra
protection to a body that in recent years has made controversial
rulings altering the shape of governments.
2018 Mar 10, In Thailand some
500 hundred pro-democracy supporters rallied in Bangkok to skewer
the ruling junta with T-shirts, signs and speeches, as activists
grow bolder in their defiance of a ban on protests.
2018 Mar 13, Thailand's cabinet
agreed to draft a law to oversee cryptocurrency trading, seeking to
tax the largely unregulated market. The Ministry of Finance also
proposed the new regulations to help prevent use of digital
currencies in money laundering and fraud.
2018 Mar 20, A Thai court
handed a life sentence to Laotian drug kingpin Xaysana Keopimpha,
who was notorious for a high-flying lifestyle and alleged social
connections to celebrities and other VIPs.
2018 Mar 21, In northeastern
Thailand a chartered tour bus lost control on a downhill curve and
slid off the side of the road, killing at least 18 people and
injuring dozens more.
2018 Mar 28, Thailand
authorities ordered the temporary closing of the beach made famous
by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach" to halt environmental
damage caused by too many tourists. Maya Bay, on Phi Phi Leh island
in the Andaman Sea, will be closed to all visitors for four months
annually starting this June to allow for the recovery of the
island's battered coral reefs and sea life.
2018 Mar 30, In western
Thailand a fire on a double-decker bus carrying migrant workers from
Myanmar killed 20 people early today in Tak province.
(AP, 3/30/18)(SFC, 3/31/18, p.A4)
2018 Mar 31, In Vietnam the
leaders of six countries along the Mekong River adopted an ambitious
investment plan worth $66 billion over the next five years. The
summit included the prime ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and
Vietnam, as well as a vice president of Myanmar and the Chinese
2018 Apr 2, Police in Thailand
confiscated an estimated $54 million worth of methamphetamine in one
of their biggest-ever drug seizures and arrested 11 people in recent
days as illegal drug cases surge in the country.
2018 Apr 2, A rights group said
farmers from Cambodia have filed a lawsuit in a Thai civil court
against Mitr Phol, Asia's largest sugar producer, accusing it of
rights abuses after it allegedly kicked farmers off their land.
2018 Apr 10, Thailand police
shot and killed two suspected Muslim insurgents who ambushed a
police unit in the southern province of Pattani, a day after bombs
in a neighboring province injured 12 people.
2018 Apr 11, Police in Thailand
confirmed that new charges have been filed against a self-described
Russian sex guru and a woman who claims to have evidence of Russian
ties to President Donald Trump's election campaign. Anastasia
Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, has attracted widespread
attention for claiming to have recordings of Russian oligarch Oleg
Deripaska, a crony of President Vladimir Putin, discussing
interference in the US election.
2018 Apr 17, In Thailand a
Russian sex guru and his followers, one of whom claims to have
evidence of Moscow's interference in the 2016 US presidential
election, were acquitted by a court on charges of violating labor
laws. They still faced more serious charges that could land them in
prison for more than 10 years.
2018 Apr 19, In Thailand Jack
Ma, the founder of China-based Alibaba, met with PM Prayuth
Chan-ocha, and later signed several agreements, including one to
help set up a "smart digital hub" in a showcase project called the
Eastern Economic Corridor, to facilitate trade between Thailand,
China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.
2018 Apr 27, Thailand deported
Sam Serey, the leader of a Cambodian anti-government group. He was
at risk of being extradited to his homeland for imprisonment but
said he is safely back in Denmark, where he has had political asylum
for seven years.
2018 Apr 29, In Thailand over a
thousand people gathered in the northern city of Chiang Mai to
protest against the building of a government luxury housing project
on forested land, in one of the largest demonstrations under
2018 Apr 30, In Thailand Somyot
Prueksakasemsuk, a labor activist and editor of a political
magazine, was released from prison and said he will join public
demonstrations to call for elections and an end to military rule. He
was detained in 2011 and convicted of insulting Thailand's monarchy.
2018 Apr 30, A court in
southern Thailand sentenced six men to death for several bombings in
2016 that killed two people and wounded more than 20.
2018 May 5, In Thailand
pro-democracy activists protesting in Bangkok said that they will
march on the country's seat of power later this month to demand that
an election be held this year.
2018 May 6, Thailand
environmental activists in the northern city of Chiang Mai claimed
victory after the country's military government agreed in talks not
to use forested land to develop luxury property.
2018 May 11, It was reported
that a court in Thailand has sentenced Boonchai Bach (41), believed
to be a kingpin in the illicit wildlife trade, to 2 ½ years in
prison for smuggling rhinoceros horns.
2018 May 13 Thailand's
anti-government People's Movement for a Just Society (P-Move), vowed
to resume its protests unless the ruling junta keeps the promises it
made in return for the group agreeing to end more than a week of
demonstrations ahead of a coup anniversary later this month.
2018 May 20, In Thailand
suspected Muslim insurgents set off small bombs at about two dozen
locations in the country's deep south, wounding two women.
2018 May 22, Thailand police in
Bangkok blocked a march by pro-democracy activists protesting four
years of military rule and demanding early elections. Eight
pro-democracy protest leaders surrendered to police after police
blocked the march on the anniversary of the 2014 coup.
(AP, 5/22/18)(Reuters, 5/22/18)
2018 May 24, Thai police raided
four Buddhist temples, arresting several prominent monks and
worshippers in the year's biggest such operation amid a crackdown on
illegal financial dealings by temples.
2018 May 31, A Thai appeals
court vindicated British labor rights activist Andy Hall. He has
been entangled in a years-long legal confrontation with a
fruit-packing company after he publicized alleged human rights
violations at its factory in 2013.
2018 Jun 1, A small pilot whale
died in southern Thailand after an attempted rescue failed to nurse
the mammal back to health. An autopsy revealed 80 plastic bags
weighing up to eight kg (18 pounds) in the creature's stomach. It
was reported that least 300 marine animals including pilot whales,
sea turtles and dolphins perish each year in Thai waters after
2018 Jun 15, Roger Thomas Clark
(56), a Canadian man who federal authorities say earned hundreds of
thousands of dollars working for the notorious "Silk Road"
drug-dealing website, arrived in New York after being extradited
from Thailand. He faced an indictment charging him with playing a
key role in the website by advising its founder, Ross Ulbricht.
2018 Jun 16, It was reported
that the official agency that had managed the vast wealth of
Thailand's royal family has announced that its assets have formally
been turned over to King Maha Vajiralongkorn
Bodindradebayavarangkun, who assumed the throne after the death of
his father in 2016.
2018 Jun 23, In Thailand 12
boys, aged 11-15, and their coach, entered the Tham Luang Nang Non
cave in Chiang Rai province late today and were apparently trapped
when a heavy rainstorm flooded a stream at the cave's entrance.
2018 Jun 27, A Thai court
sentenced human rights lawyer Prawet Prapanukul to 16 months in
prison, finding him guilty of sedition for material he posted online
but dropping charges of royal defamation.
2018 Jun 28, In Thailand two
British divers discovered four rescuers from the Thai Well Water
Association trapped for three days by rising waters. They had spent
two days draining water from the cave in an attempt to help the
rescue of the trapped soccer team.
2018 Jul 2, Thai navy SEALS and
two British volunteer divers helped find the "wild Boar" soccer team
on an elevated rock after struggling for hours through narrow
passages and murky waters. 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach went
missing on June 23, after they set out to explore the caves in a
forest park following a training session.
(Reuters, 7/3/18)(AFP, 7/3/18)
2018 Jul 5, In southern
Thailand two boats carrying more than 130 tourists overturned in
rough seas off the island of Phuket. 93 of the passengers Chinese
tourists. The sinking of the double-decker tour boat Phoenix left 45
Chinese tourists dead and two missing.in Thailand's biggest
tourist-related disaster in years. Everyone from the smaller second
boat, the Serenata, was rescued. The last body from the Phoenix was
recovered on July 15 putting the final death toll at 47.
(AP, 7/5/18)(AP, 7/6/18)(AP, 7/8/18)(AP,
2018 Jul 6, In Thailand Petty
Officer 1st Class Saman Gunan, a former member of the Thai navy's
elite SEAL unit, became the first casualty of the massive rescue
effort during an underwater swim in a partly flooded cave. He had
volunteered to help his old comrades in their risky mission to
evacuate a dozen boys and their soccer coach.
2018 Jul 8, In Thailand rescue
operations began for the 12 Thai schoolboys and their coach from a
flooded cave as divers launched a daring and dangerous mission to
free the children and their soccer coach who have been trapped
underground for more than two weeks.
2018 Jul 9, In Thailand four
more boys were brought out of a flooded cave by divers bringing to
eight the number extracted in the ongoing high-stakes rescue
operation. Four boys and their coach remained inside the labyrinth
2018 Jul 9, In Thailand new
information showed there were 89 tourists, 87 of them Chinese, on
the boat that sank off island of Phuket on July 5, instead of the
previous figure of 93. Five people reported to have been missing
were reported alive.
2018 Jul 10, In Thailand
rescuers freed the last four of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach
from the flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave, ending a mission that
gripped the world for 18 days.
(Reuters, 7/10/18)(AP, 7/10/18)
2018 Jul 28, In northern
Thailand landslides, triggered by days of heavy downpours, killed
seven people and left one missing.
2018 Jul 31, Thailand's PM
Prayuth Chan-ocha said Britain has been asked to extradite former
prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, overthrown in a coup in 2014 and
sentenced in absentia to jail for negligence.
2018 Aug 8, Thailand granted
citizenship to three young soccer players who were trapped with
other team members for almost three weeks in a cave in northern
Thailand along with their 25-year-old coach. All four had been
stateless, and their lack of citizenship deprived them of some basic
benefits and rights, including the ability to travel outside of
Chiang Rai, the northern province where they live.
2018 Aug 9, In Thailand former
Buddhist monk Wirapol Sukphol, infamous for a jet-set lifestyle, was
sentenced to more than 100 years in prison in connection with funds
he fraudulently raised from followers.
2018 Aug 16, A Thailand
environment ministry official said imports of 432 types of scrap
electronics will be banned within six months. Southeast Asia nations
fear they are the new dumping ground for the world's trash after
China banned the entry of several types of waste as part of a
campaign against "foreign garbage".
2018 Aug 28, Thailand's
military junta announced it will ease some restrictions on political
parties to let them conduct basic functions and prepare for
elections set for early next year, but campaigning will still be
2018 Aug 28, In Thailand more
than 160 asylum seekers from hill tribe ethnic minorities in Vietnam
and Cambodia were rounded up in a northern suburb of Bangkok and
charged with immigration law violations.
2018 Aug 30, In Nepal a two-day
summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical
and Economic Cooperation began in Kathmandu. Leaders of seven South
and Southeast Asian nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal,
Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand) met to discuss regional trade,
economic cooperation, security and peace.
2018 Sep 6, It was reported
that police in Thailand have arrested 12 people who shared a
Facebook post about a British tourist's allegation that police had
refused to accept her rape complaint on the island of Koh Tao in
2018 Sep 7, Speaking in
Thailand on the sidelines of a six-day climate conference Amjad
Abdulla, the head negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States
(AOSIS), warned that island nations like Fiji and the Maldives are
almost at the "point of no return" because of rising sea levels.
2018 Sep 9, In Thailand a
six-day international meeting in Bangkok fell short of its aim of
completing fruitful preparations to help an agreement be reached in
December on guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris climate
change agreement. A top UN official said good progress was made on
drafting a 'rule book' for the implementation of the 2015 Paris
accord before a summit in Poland this December.
(AP, 9/9/18)(Reuters, 9/9/18)
2018 Sep 10, Police in Thailand
shut down a forum organized by foreign journalists to discuss
whether senior military officers in Myanmar should face justice for
alleged human rights abuses committed by their forces against
Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities.
2018 Sep 10, A wildlife
monitoring group says research it has conducted since 2016 has found
a sharp increase in the number of people belonging to Facebook
groups in Thailand where endangered animals are bought and sold.
2018 Sep 11, The legal aid
group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said Thailand's military
government has arrested alleged sympathizers of a tiny political
movement advocating the abolishment of the constitutional monarchy,
seizing as evidence T-shirts bearing the group's logo of a red and
white flag. At least five people have been detained in the past week
and four charged with sedition.
2018 Sep 12, Thailand enacted
laws that set in motion a countdown leading to new elections by next
2018 Sep 13, Thailand police
seized 917 kg (2,020 pounds) of marijuana and arrested six people.
2018 Sep 14, In Thailand a
special order issued by the prime minister became law following its
publication in the Royal Gazette. It allows political parties to
gather funds to operate and, with the ruling junta's permission,
recruit party members and choose new leaders.
2018 Sep 14, The US government
imposed sanctions on a Thailand-based company it says provides
services to an Iranian airline that Washington accuses of supporting
terrorist activities directed by Iran's government.
2018 Sep 15, In Thailand police
arrested three people and charged them with possession of 2,060
grams (73 ounces) of crystal methamphetamine bought from a gang of
Africans in Thailand.
2018 Sep 16, In northern
Thailand a landslide at a refugee camp left one person dead and
seven missing at the Mae La Oon refugee camp, which houses about
9,000 people, mostly members of the Karen ethnic minority from
2018 Sep 16, Thai police
discovered 10 million methamphetamine pills and 37 kg (81 pounds) of
heroin hidden under sacks of chicken manure.
2018 Sep 19, In southern
Thailand suspected insurgents killed one person and wounded four
others in a roadside ambush in Yala province. Police suspected the
assault was carried out by Muslim separatists.
2018 Sep 25, Police in northern
Thailand said they have discovered the buried bodies of a missing
British expatriate and his Thai wife, and have arrested the woman's
brother for allegedly ordering their murder. The dead couple, who
had been together for 30 years, had been dead for about a week.
2018 Sep 25, Thai police handed
over around 100 kg (220 pounds) of seized marijuana for medical
research, as officials seek to produce pot-based medication.
2018 Sep 25, A Thai court
convicted nine young Muslim men from southern Thailand of planning
to set off a car bomb in the capital, in a case in which many of the
defendants said they were tortured into making false confessions.
2018 Sep 26, A court in
Thailand gave a second life sentence to Xaysana Keophimpha, a drug
kingpin from Laos, whose social connections to various celebrities
were exposed by his arrest.
2018 Sep 27, A court in
Thailand convicted a local businessman of fraud for selling fake
bomb detectors to the Thai government, five years after a court in
the United Kingdom sentenced the British head of the company that
supplied them to seven years in prison in a scandal that was
worldwide in scale.
2018 Sep 28, In Thailand
General Apirat Kongsompong (58) took command as the new chief of the
army. The royalist general will oversee a return to barracks to make
way for a civilian government after nearly five years of military
2018 Sep 29, In Thailand 4
ministers from the military government launched a new political
party, amid speculation they will back PM Prayuth Chan-ocha to
remain in power beyond a general election promised by May. The
Palang Pracharat party will be led by Industry Minister Uttama
Savanayana, who vowed to help Thailand overcome its political
2018 Oct 7, In Thailand
suspected teenage gang members were involved in a shooting that
killed a nearby Indian tourist and injured four others, two
critically, outside a Bangkok shopping arcade.
2018 Oct 10, In Thailand
Panthongtae Shinawatra, the son of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, was
indicted on charges of laundering 10 million baht ($303,500) linked
to a 2015 corruption case involving Krungthai Bank.
2018 Oct 11, Thai authorities
convicted 70 Pakistani asylum seekers of staying illegally in
Thailand despite their protestations that they face persecution if
they are sent home, as police intensified a crackdown on illegal
2018 Oct 22, Thai rappers
uploaded the song "Prathet Ku Mee" (Which is My Country), to
YouTube. It soon racked up more than 6.4 million views and tens of
thousands of comments since it went live on the platform, prompting
authorities to take notice. The video features rappers from the Rap
Against Dictatorship collective dishing out barbs about the military
and blasting corruption, censorship and the lack of elections.
2018 Oct 24, In Thailand
Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad met with PM Prayuth Chan-ocha and
discussed peace talks in Thailand's southern border provinces.
2018 Oct 27, In central England
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, a Thai tycoon and owner of the Leicester
City soccer club, was among five people on board a helicopter that
crashed and then exploded after a Premier League match. Vichai was
the fifth-richest person in Thailand with an estimated net worth of
2018 Nov 7, Thailand's Supreme
Court restored a 37-year prison term given to Vivat Yodprasert,
convicted of shooting four people during 2014 political violence. He
was dubbed the "Popcorn Gunman" because he opened fire with an
assault rifle concealed in a sack with the word "POPCORN" emblazoned
2018 Nov 7, Police in Thailand
arrested Sgt. Maj. Jakkrit Khomsing (43), an HIV-infected soldier,
who allegedly blackmailed and raped more than 70 teenage boys.
2018 Nov 10, In Thailand a
13-year-old boy was knocked out during a kickboxing match and died
two days later from a brain hemorrhage. This was his 174th match in
a career that began at age 8. His death sparked debate over whether
to ban matches involving children. The death of Anucha Tasako came
after a Muay Thai boxing match in the Bangkok suburb of Samut
(AP, 11/13/18)(AP, 11/19/18)
2018 Nov 17, Officials
recovered a boat that sank in rough weather off Thailand's southern
resort island of Phuket in July, killing 47 Chinese tourists. Two
tour boats sank off Phuket on July 5.
2018 Nov 20, Thai police
arrested British brothers Joseph Michael Mulhare and Gregory Michael
Mulhare wanted on drug trafficking charges in their homeland.
2018 Nov 27, Thailand detained
soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi, who held refugee status in
Australia, upon his entry at Bangkok's airport on a holiday with his
wife. He was held legally following a request from Bahrain's
government. He had fled Bahrain four years ago.
2018 Nov 28, In northeastern
Thailand a man was killed by a wild elephant after his speeding car
hit the animal near Khao Yai National Park.
2018 Dec 4, In Thailand Islam's
guiding council introduced new regulations requiring that marriages
of children under age 17 be approved by a religious committee.
2018 Dec 7, Rath Rott Mony
(47), a Cambodian labor activist, was arrested in Bangkok as he
attempted to travel to the Netherlands with his family after helping
produce a sex-trafficking documentary for the Russia Today channel
in October. Cambodia has dismissed the documentary as fake.
2018 Dec 9, The Australian
government called for Hakeem al-Araibi, an Australian-based refugee
soccer player, to be immediately released from detention in
2018 Dec 11, Thailand's
military government lifted a ban on political activities it imposed
when it seized power in a coup more than four years ago, an action
taken in preparation for elections promised for early next year.
2018 Dec 11, A Thai court ruled
that soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi, who holds refugee status in
Australia, can be held for 60 days pending the completion of an
extradition request by Bahrain. In 2014 Bahrain sentenced him in
absentia to 10 years in prison for vandalizing a police station, a
charge he denies.
2018 Dec 12, In Thailand a
local policeman was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing
Malik Djamel, a French man, at a shopping plaza in Bangkok. Police
said Senior Sgt.-Maj. Kantapong Huadsri had confessed to killing the
man over an argument involving a woman, but that the dispute was not
a love triangle.
2018 Dec 17, In Thailand
Catriona Gray (24) of the Philippines was named Miss Universe 2018
in the 67th competition held in Bangkok, besting contestants from 93
2018 Dec 17, In Thailand Sului
Piew (2), a son of migrant workers from Myanmar, went missing when
he went out to play near the sugarcane plantation where his parents
work. A 3-year-old friend told her parents that she saw Sului being
abducted. Piew's body was found on Dec. 25 in a sugarcane plantation
a few miles from where he disappeared.
(AP, 12/24/18)(AP, 12/26/18)
2018 Dec 22, Human rights
groups along with current and former soccer players on called on
FIFA and the Australian government to intervene to stop the
extradition of Hakeem al-Araibi, a Melbourne-based refugee and
semi-professional soccer player, from Thailand to Bahrain.
2018 Dec 25, Thailand's
legislature agreed to amend the country's drug law to allow the
licensed medical use of marijuana, as well as kratom, a locally
grown plant traditionally used as a stimulant and painkiller. The
changes become law when published in the Royal Gazette.
2018 Dec 25, In northern
Thailand two South Korean tourists died after the golf cart they
were riding fell into the Nan river.
2018 Dec 27, It was reported
that Thailand investigators have found Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, the
deputy prime minister, innocent of failing to declare assets a year
after he was discovered to have several luxury watches that would
have been out of reach of his government salary.
2018 Dec 28, In southern
Thailand four people in Narathiwat were wounded by one of several
bombs suspected of being planted by the Muslim insurgents. There was
a shootout between security forces and suspected insurgents who
attacked a defense outpost at a small rural village.
2018 Dec 29, In southern
Thailand violence presumed to have been carried out by Muslim
separatists continued for the fourth day in a row, with three
paramilitary soldiers wounded and a female civilian shot dead in
2019 Jan 1, Thailand police
said Sucheep Sornsung (41) shot and killed six family members,
including his two young children, before killing himself after a New
Year's party in southern Chumphon province.
2019 Jan 2, In Thailand tens of
thousands of tourists fled popular islands and resort areas as
Tropical Storm Pabuk closed in and threatened to batter the southern
part of the kingdom with heavy rains, winds and seven-meter
2019 Jan 4, In southern
Thailand one person was reported dead and another missing as rain,
wind and surging seawater as Tropical Storm Pabuk buffeted coastal
villages and world-famous tourist resorts, knocking down trees and
utility poles and flooding roads.
2019 Jan 6, In Thailand Rahaf
Mohammed M Alqunun, a Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport, said she
would be killed if she was repatriated by Thai immigration
officials, who confirmed the 18-year-old was denied entry to the
2019 Jan 7, The head of
Thailand's immigration police said that Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed
Alqunun (18), who was stopped in Bangkok as she was trying to travel
to Australia for asylum to escape alleged abuse by her family, will
not be sent anywhere against her wishes.
2019 Jan 8, In Thailand about
200 protesters staged a rare demonstration, demanding that there be
no further delays in holding elections, which were expected next
month but have been put in doubt.
2019 Jan 10, In southern
Thailand four paramilitary volunteers were killed while guarding a
school in Pattani province.
2019 Jan 11, Thailand's
immigration police chief said Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun,
who fled alleged abuse by her family, will leave Bangkok for Canada.
2019 Jan 15, In Thailand
Anastasia Vashukevich, a model from Belarus who claimed last year
that she had evidence of Russian involvement in helping elect Donald
Trump president, pleaded guilty in a court in Pattaya in a case
related to holding a sex training seminar and will be deported. She
and seven co-defendants were given suspended 18-month prison terms
2019 Jan 18, In southern
Thailand gunmen presumed to be Muslim insurgents stormed a Buddhist
temple in Narathiwat province, killing two monks and wounding two
2019 Jan 22, Thailand police
said DNA tests show that two bodies found washed up on the shore of
the Mekong River in the northeast are the corpses of anti-government
activists. The two, known by the pseudonyms Puchana and Kasalong,
were among three exiled activists who disappeared in December from
homes in Laos, where they took shelter after fleeing Thailand.
2019 Jan 30, In Thailand more
than 400 schools in Bangkok were shut for the rest of the week due
to increasing concern over dangerously unhealthy air pollution.
2019 Jan 31, In Thailand a
fleet of drones, trucks and small planes sprayed water to try to
reduce air pollution around Bangkok while the city's governor
invited critics to brainstorm better ideas to improve the air
quality in the capital.
2019 Feb 6, Thailand's
government insisted it cannot free detained soccer player Hakeem
al-Araibi, who has refugee status in Australia, until hearings on
Bahrain's request for his extradition are completed.
2019 Feb 8, Thailand Princess
Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi (67) shocked the nation
when she announced she would be the sole prime ministerial candidate
for the party, which is loyal to ousted ex-premier Thaksin
Shinawatra. King Maha Vajiralongkorn called her announcement
inappropriate" and unconstitutional. She lost her special royal
titles more than four decades ago when she married a commoner, an
American, but is still called and widely regarded as a princess.
(Reuters, 2/8/19)(AP, 2/8/19)
2019 Feb 9, The Thai Raksa
Chart Party swore loyalty to the king a day after its stunning
decision to nominate the monarch's sister as its candidate for prime
minister backfired when the king called the move inappropriate and
2019 Feb 11, A Thai court
ordered the release of refugee soccer player Hakeem al-Araibi after
prosecutors said they were no longer seeking his extradition to
Bahrain in a case that had drawn worldwide attention.
2019 Feb 12, Thailand's
telecoms regulator suspended the operating license of a television
channel linked to ousted former PM Thaksin Shinawatra weeks ahead of
a general election, citing national security concerns.
2019 Feb 13, Thailand's
Election Commission said it recommended the Thai Raksa Chart Party
be dissolved because its prime minister candidate was "in conflict
with the system of rule of democracy with king as head of state".
2019 Feb 15, In Thailand the
Pheu Thai, the flagship party of the political machine of former PM
Thaksin Shinawatra, held its first rally in Bangkok, as campaigning
heats up for the first election since a 2014 military coup.
2019 Feb 20, A Thai court ruled
that Dmitry Ukrainsky, a Russian man who allegedly was part of a
gang that stole millions of dollars online from bank accounts, can
be extradited to the United States to stand trial. However,
Ukrainsky's extradition to Russia was previously approved last year
by a Thai court after he agreed to return there after he finishes
serving a 10-year, 8-month prison term in Thailand for fraud, money
laundering and conducting business illegally as a foreigner.
2019 Feb 26, In southern
Thailand two police officers were abducted and later found dead in a
ditch in Narathiwat province, with the pickup truck of one of the
officers stolen and set on fire.
2019 Feb 28, Thailand's
legislature passed a cybersecurity bill that would allow authorities
access to people's personal information without a court order.
2019 Mar 7, A court in Thailand
ordered the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart Party ahead of this
month's general election because it nominated a member of the royal
family to be its candidate for prime minister.
2019 Mar 24, Thailand held its
first election since a 2014 military coup. Preliminary results
indicated that Thailand's military-backed party won the most votes
in the country's first election since a 2014 coup.
(AP, 3/24/19)(AP, 3/25/19)
2019 Mar 27, In Thailand the
leader of the Pheu Thai party, which headed the last elected
government, and the leaders of five other parties held a news
conference to say they believed they had won more than 250 seats in
the 500-seat lower house.
2019 Mar 29, Thailand's
Election Commission, facing widespread criticism for inconsistent
and delayed vote totals from the March 24 general election, said
computer software was partly to blame.
2019 Mar 30, Thailand's King
Maha Vajiralongkorn revoked royal decorations that had been awarded
to ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a document
published in the royal gazette. The royal command was for Thaksin's
2008 corruption conviction and for fleeing the country to escape a
two-year prison sentence.
2019 Mar 31, Thai demonstrators
protested against alleged cheating in the junta-ruled kingdom's
first election since a 2014 coup, a week after the controversial
poll sowed confusion over the ballot results.
2019 Apr 2, The air hanging
over Thailand's far north has become so polluted, PM Prayuth
Chan-ocha went to see in person what is being called a severe health
2019 Apr 3, Thailand's ruling
military junta filed a complaint accusing Thanathorn
Juangroongruangki, the leader of the new Future Forward political
party, of sedition and aiding criminals. He described the move as
2019 Apr 5, Thailand election
officials said that 66 winning candidates in last month's elections
face possible disqualification because of complaints filed against
2019 Apr 5, In southern
Thailand two Border Patrol Police officers were killed while praying
in a mosque in the latest violence believed linked to a Muslim
2019 Apr 6, In Thailand
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of a popular new political
party that ran a strong third in last month's general election, was
formally charged with sedition and expressed concern that he is to
be tried in a military court. 13 foreign diplomats were present at a
Bangkok police station where Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader
of a popular new political party, acknowledged charges of sedition
and other crimes. Thanathorn says the charges are politically
(AP, 4/6/19)(AP, 4/10/19)
2019 Apr 10, In Thailand a fire
broke out at one of Bangkok's biggest mall complexes, killing at
least two people and injuring more than a dozen.
2019 Apr 18, Thai authorities
raided a floating home in the Andaman Sea belonging to an American
man and his Thai partner who sought to be pioneers in the
"seasteading" movement, which promotes living in international
waters to be free of any nation's laws. Thailand's navy said Chad
Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet endangered national sovereignty.
2019 Apr 19, In Thailand a
three-day festival began in Buriram town, the latest showcase for
the use of cannabis for pain relief. Thailand became the first
country in Southeast Asia to legalize marijuana for medical purposes
2019 Apr 20, The Thai navy
boarded the floating cabin of a fugitive US citizen and his Thai
girlfriend, both prominent members of the "seasteading" movement who
possibly face the death sentence for setting up their offshore home.
Thai authorities said the structure is in its 200-mile exclusive
economic zone and therefore a violation of its sovereignty.
2019 Apr 22, The leaders of
Cambodia and Thailand met at the Thai border town of Aranyaprathet
to mark the ceremonial reopening of a rail link that will restore
train service between the two countries after more than four
2019 May 1, In Thailand an
announcement in the Royal Gazette said Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na
Ayudhya (40) is legally married to King Maha Vajiralongkorn (66),
and is now Queen Suthida.
2019 May 4, Thailand's King
Maha Vajiralongkorn (66) completed Buddhist and Brahmin rituals to
symbolically transform him into a living god as the Southeast Asian
nation crowned its first monarch in nearly seven decades.
2019 May 7, Thailand's Election
Commission officially endorsed the results from the country's March
24 general election, declaring that the Pheu Thai Party associated
with fugitive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra topped the field by
winning 136 constituencies. The commission said the rival
military-backed Palang Pracharath Party trailed it with 97 seats.
2019 May 8, Thailand's Election
Commission allocated the 150 party list seats in the 500-member
House of Representatives under a formula related to the proportion
of each party's nationwide popular vote total. Twenty-six parties
were granted seats, 14 of them one apiece.
2019 May 10, In Thailand
student activist Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, also known as Pai Dao
Din, who was arrested in Dec. 2016 for sharing a BBC article about
Thailand's king on Facebook, was released under a royal pardon. He
had been due to complete his sentence on June 19.
2019 May 10, Human Rights Watch
said three Thai activists facing charges of insulting the monarchy
have disappeared after reportedly being arrested in Vietnam.
Chucheep Chiwasut, who broadcasts political commentary to Thailand
from exile, and fellow activists Siam Theerawut and Kritsana
Thapthai were reportedly turned over to Thai authorities by Vietnam
on May 8.
2019 May 16, Thailand's
Election Commission recommended that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit,
the leader of major political party opposed to military rule, be
barred from taking his seat in the soon-to-be-convened parliament
because he is accused of violating electoral rules.
2019 May 22, An appeals court
in Thailand upheld a 10 million baht ($313,000) judgment against
British activist Andy Hall, who was sued by a fruit canning company
whose workers complained of alleged labor abuses. The case was one
of several stemming from a 2013 report Hall researched for Finnish
consumer organization Finnwatch that included allegations by migrant
workers from Myanmar at Natural Fruit's canning operation that the
company abused them and broke labor regulations.
2019 May 23, A Thai court
blocked the leader of a new anti-junta political party from taking
his seat in Parliament while it determines whether he violated
election rules. Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn
Juangroongruangkit, was accused of breaking electoral law by holding
shares in a media company.
2019 May 23, International
police group Interpol said that nine people had been arrested in
Thailand, Australia and the US and 50 children had been rescued
after investigators took down an online pedophilia ring.
2019 May 26, Former Thailand PM
Prem Tinsulanonda (98) died in Bangkok. He as an army commander,
prime minister (1980-1988) and adviser (1998-2019) to the royal
palace and was one of Thailand's most influential political figures
over four decades.
2019 May 31, In Thailand three
Thai men were found guilty of murdering British expat Alan Hogg and
his wife Nhot Suddaen last September, and were sentenced to death.
2019 Jun 5, Thailand's
Parliament convened for a vote that is expected to keep Prayuth
Chan-ocha as prime minister five years after he seized power in a
2019 Jun 6, A Thai court
sentenced former PM Thaksin Shinawatra in absentia to two years in
prison over his handling of a state lottery program he initiated
while in office more than a decade ago.
2019 Jun 11, Thailand's junta
leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha was officially proclaimed prime
minister after the king endorsed Parliament's vote for him to serve
2019 Jun 11, Thai construction
tycoon Premchai Karnasuta was sentenced to an additional one year in
prison for bribing a park ranger in relation to a high-profile case
of poaching endangered animals in a wildlife sanctuary last year.
2019 Jun 11, Thai officials
discovered 65 ethnic Rohingya Muslim refugees who were shipwrecked
and stranded in southern Thailand.
2019 Jun 15, In Thailand
Francesco Galdelli (58) and Vanja Goffi (45) were arrested at a
house on the outskirts Pattaya after an operation between Thai and
Italian authorities. Francesco confessed to claiming to be George
Clooney and opening a clothes business to trick people into sending
money. The couple is also wanted in Italy for multiple scams
including selling fake Rolex watches online.
2019 Jun 23, Southeast Asian
leaders meeting in Thailand pressed their call for self-restraint in
the disputed South China Sea and renewed their alarm over the
US-China trade war. ASEAN leaders agreed to work together on the
region's economy and security to strengthen their position to face
growing US-China tensions, as they wrapped up their summit in
(AP, 6/23/19)(Reuters, 6/23/19)
2019 Jun 26, A Thai court said
it will allow 32 pro-military lawmakers to keep their seats while it
decides whether they violated election rules by holding shares in
2019 Jun 27, The Serbian
government decided to grant citizenship to Thailand's former PM
Yingluck Shinawatra, citing a legal provision that "a foreign
citizen can also be granted Serbian citizenship if that is in line
with the country's interests".
2019 Jun 28, Thai activist
Sirawith Seritiwat, who opposes the military's role in politics, was
assaulted and left unconscious in the second attack on him this
2019 Jul 26, In Thailand new
legislation published in the Royal Gazette exempted King Maha
Vajiralongkorn from tax on some of his land property. The Thai king
has been listed as the world's richest monarch. Business Insider
estimated his personal wealth at more than $30 billion in 2018.
2019 Aug 2, Asia-Pacific
foreign ministers meeting in Thailand called for the peaceful
resolution to regional disputes at the close of an annual security
meeting, which was eclipsed by the US-China rivalry and a deepening
trade spat between Japan and South Korea.
2019 Aug 2, In Thailand six
small bombs and six incendiary devices went off as the foreign
ministers of Southeast Asian nations met in Bangkok, an event also
attended by diplomats from China, the United States and other world
2019 Aug 7, Thailand delivered
4,500 bottles of cannabis oil to treat hospital patients, its first
official use of marijuana for medical purposes since a measure
legalizing such use took effect this year.
2019 Aug 14, Thai authorities
issued arrest warrants for four more suspects believed to be
responsible for a series of bomb attacks as the capital hosted an
Aug. 2 diplomatic meeting.
2019 Aug 17, In Thailand an
orphaned baby dugong rescued earlier this year died due to pieces of
plastic clogging her digestive system.
2019 Aug 21, Thai chemicals
company Indorama Ventures said it has committed $1.5 billion of
investment in recycling as consumers become more aware of the
environmental impact of single-use plastic and regulators push for
2019 Sep 17, Thailand's PM
Prayuth Chan-ocha defended police for requesting information about
minority Muslim students from universities around the country, after
criticism of the move as discriminatory and illegal.
2019 Oct 4, In southern
Thailand Judge Khanakorn Pianchana shot himself in court and was
hospitalized after delivering a not guilty verdict in the case of
five Muslim suspects charged with murder in the predominantly
Buddhist country's restive south.
2019 Oct 9, A Thailand minister
said foreigners in the "risky" over-50 age group will have to
present proof of health insurance when applying for Thai long-term
non-immigrant visas, so the government doesn't have to pick up their
2019 Oct 11, Thailand army
chief General Apirat Kongsompong strongly criticized opposition
politicians and academics. He accused them of colluding to brainwash
and mobilize young people and of having "communist" ideas to
overthrow the monarchy.
2019 Oct 21, Thailand's King
Maja Vajiralongkorn (67) stripped his royal consort, Sineenatra
Wongvajirabhakdi (34), of her titles and military ranks for
disloyalty. This came just three months after he granted her the
(SFC, 10/23/19, p.A4)
2019 Oct 25, The United States
suspended duty-free treatment for $1.3 billion worth of Thai
imports, including seafood products, under its Generalized System of
Preferences (GSP) program, saying Thailand did not "afford workers
in Thailand internationally recognized worker rights." The tariffs
that would take effect in six months would be 4-5% instead of zero.
2019 Nov 3, In Thailand
Southeast Asian leaders, worried by the US-China trade war, pushed
for a deal on what could be the world's largest trade bloc as
officials worked behind the scenes to try to salvage progress
following new demands from India.
2019 Nov 3, Speaking in
Thailand at a meeting of ASEAN leaders UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres expressed concern over the plight of the 730,000 Muslim
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state, calling on Myanmar's
government to take responsibility by dealing with the "root causes"
of their flight to Bangladesh and working toward their safe
2019 Nov 4, China joined 14
ASEAN countries meeting in Thailand in agreeing terms for what could
be the world's biggest trade pact. India pulled out at the last
minute on the grounds that the deal would hurt its farmers,
businesses, workers and consumers.
2019 Nov 4, South Korean
President Moon Jae-in and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe had an 11-minute
conversation on the sidelines of an international conference in
Bangkok, the first time they had met in more than a year. They
reaffirmed the principle of resolving pending bilateral issues
(Reuters, 11/6/19)(SFC, 11/15/19, p.A2)
2019 Nov 6, In southern
Thailand gunmen killed 15 village defense volunteers and wounded
five security personnel.
(SFC, 11/7/19, p.A2)
2019 Nov 20, Pope Francis
arrived in Thailand as part of a two-country tour to boost the
morale of Thailand's and Japan's minority Catholic communities.
(SFC, 11/21/19, p.A2)
2019 Nov 21, Pope Francis urged
more efforts to combat the “humiliation” of women and children
forced into prostitution as he began a busy visit to Thailand, where
human trafficking and poverty help fuel the sex tourism industry.
2019 Nov 25, In northern
Thailand a wild deer was found dead in a national park with seven kg
of plastic waste and other trash in its stomach. Officials estimated
that the 10-year-old deer had died at least two days earlier.
2019 Dec 5, The Australian
Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) issued a
joint statement saying three people have been charged with importing
1,633 kg (3,600 lbs.) of methamphetamine and heroin into Australia
by hiding them inside of stereo speakers originating from Bangkok,
2019 Dec 12, The body-folding,
sharp-elbowed techniques of Thai massage was added to UNESCO's
prestigious heritage list.
2019 Dec 24, A court in
Thailand sentenced reporter Suchainee Cloitre to two years in prison
for criminal libel for a comment she tweeted about a labor abuse
grievance at a poultry farm. The case was one of twenty launched by
the Thammakaset Co. against 25 workers, activists and journalists.
(SFC, 12/25/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec, Japanese carmaker
Mazda shifted production of its SUVs from Thailand to Japan.
(Economist, 4/4/20, p.29)
2019 In Southeast Asia the
Mekong River fell to its lowest level since records began more than
60 years ago. A study in 2020 claimed that 11 dams built on the
Chinese portion of the river had exacerbated the water shortage
affecting Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Brian Eyler authored
"The Last Days of the Mighty Mekong."
2020 Jan 6, Thailand opened its
first full-time clinic specializing in traditional and alternative
cannabis-based medicine, as part of a move by the government towards
developing a medicinal cannabis industry.
2020 Jan 9, In Thailand a
masked assailant killed three people, including a boy (2) in a
shooting spree late today at a shopping mall in Lopburi province.
(SFC, 1/11/20, p.A2)
2020 Jan 12, In Thailand
thousands of anti-government demonstrators took part in "Run Against
Dictatorship" in Bangkok in the country's biggest political rally in
(SFC, 1/13/20, p.A2)
2020 Jan 13, The WHO said that
Thai officials have reported that a traveler from the Chinese city
of Wuhan has been hospitalized in Thailand with a recently
identified new type of coronavirus. The report galvanized leaders in
Beijing into recognizing the possible pandemic before them.
(AP, 1/13/20)(AP, 4/14/20)
2020 Jan 26, The health
minister in Thailand, the country with the most confirmed cases
outside China of the new coronavirus, called an emergency meeting
with the transport and tourism ministries amid rising public
discontent over the government's handling of the illness.
2020 Feb 8, In northeastern
Thailand a soldier shot multiple people and was holed up in a
shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima. The suspect was identified as
Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma. It took Thai police sharpshooters 16 hours
to Thomma and end the crisis that left 29 dead.
2/9/20)(Econ., 5/9/20, p.29)
2020 Feb 14, In Thailand
villagers along the Mekong River asked a court in Bangkok to slow
down Thai purchases of electricity from a hydropower dam in Laos,
which they say has harmed their livelihoods since it began operation
last year. The start of its full commercial operation last year
coincided with parts of the Mekong River drying to a trickle.
2020 Feb 17, Thailand's army
agreed to transfer management control of 160,000 hectares of
commercial land to the finance ministry in a drive to reform its
business practices after a soldier went on a shooting spree over a
property deal gone sour.
2020 Feb 20, China said it was
helping its downstream neighbors cope with a prolonged drought by
releasing more water from its dams on the Mekong River, adding it
would consider sharing information on hydrology to provide further
assistance in the future. The drought over the past year has
severely hurt farming and fishing in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar,
Thailand and Vietnam.
2020 Feb 21, A Thai court
dissolved a high-profile opposition political party, the Future
Forward Party, ruling that it illegally took a 191.2 million baht
($6.04 million) loan from its billionaire leader. The court also
banned party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, heir to an auto
parts fortune, and 15 other party executive board members from
politics for 10 years.
2020 Feb 26, Thailand reported
three new cases of coronavirus, taking its total tally to 40.
2020 Feb, General Motors pulled
its car production out of Thailand.
(Economist, 4/4/20, p.29)
2020 Mar 5, Thailand reported
four new cases of coronavirus, bringing its total to 47 since
2020 Mar 8, Dozens of Thai
lawmakers from a prominent opposition party that was dissolved last
month said they will join a new party together to keep their
parliamentary seats. 55 members of parliament of the disbanded party
will be officially joining an existing party called Move Forward
Party together next week.
2020 Mar 13, Thailand reported
five new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 75.
2020 Mar 15, Thailand reported
32 new cases of the coronavirus in the largest daily jump in
infections since the outbreak began, bringing its total tally to
2020 Mar 17, In southern
Thailand bombers attacked a major government office as hundreds of
local officials and Muslim clerics met to discuss fighting COVID-19.
At least 20 people were reported hurt.
(SFC, 3/18/20, p.A2)
2020 Mar 20, The Bank of
Thailand held a special meeting and cut its key interest rate by 25
basis points to 0.75%.
(Economist, 4/4/20, p.29)
2020 Mar 21, Thailand’s capital
imposed a partial shutdown from March 22 after novel coronavirus
cases surged past 400 with a rising number of people in critical
2020 Mar 22, Thailand reported
188 more coronavirus cases, the highest daily increase so far,
bringing the total to 599.
2020 Mar 23, Amnesty Int'l.
said new conscripts in Thailand military are physically, sexually
and mentally abused with some cases amounting to torture.
(SFC, 3/24/20, p.A2)
2020 Mar 23, Ford Motor Co it
has decided to temporarily halt vehicle and engine production at its
factories in India, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam in response
to the growing impact of the coronavirus.
2020 Mar 24, Thailand PM
Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that his cabinet has agreed to declare a
state of emergency to implement stricter measures to control the
spread of the novel coronavirus. The one-month state of emergency
takes effect March 26. There were just under 900 diagnosed cases of
the virus in the country.
(Good Morning America, 3/24/20)
2020 Mar 26, Thailand has
reported a total of 1,045 cases of coronavirus and four deaths since
the outbreak started in January. Honda's Thai business said it would
suspend operations at two factories after Thailand declared a state
of emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus.
2020 Mar 28, Thailand reported
109 new coronavirus cases and one death, bringing the total to 1,245
infections and six deaths.
2020 Mar 29, In northeastern
Thailand prisoners set fire to the canteen of Buriram Prison and
several inmates escaped during a riot that was sparked by rumors of
a coronavirus outbreak. The total number of coronavirus cases
reached 1,388, with 143 new cases reported today. One new
coronavirus death was reported, bringing the total in Thailand to
(Reuters, 3/29/20)(SFC, 3/30/20, p.A2)
2020 Apr 2, It was reported
that one-third of Thailand’s population has registered for
government cash handouts designed to soften the blow of the novel
coronavirus outbreak, far exceeding the funds available for the
2020 Apr 4, In Thailand cases
of coronavirus rose to 2,067 after 89 new reports. The Southeast
Asian nation also reported one new death, bringing total to 20. A
security official was removed after he allowed more than 100
returning citizens to proceed home. The errant travelers were
ordered to report to authorities.
(Reuters, 4/4/20)(SSFC, 4/5/20, p.A7)
2020 Apr 11, Thailand reported
45 new coronavirus infections and two more deaths.
2020 Apr 17, Thai PM Prayuth
Chan-ocha called on the country's 20 richest people to help in
addressing the damaging economic fall-out from the coronavirus
epidemic. Thailand has reported 2,700 COVID-19 infections and 47
deaths, and the economic blow from losses of trade and tourism and
restrictions on movement has been heavy.
2020 Apr 21, Thailand stepped
up efforts to tackle sexual harassment, pledging to protect victims
who come forward and to investigate complaints of abuse experienced
by one in five Thais.
2020 Apr 25, Thailand reported
53 new coronavirus cases and the death of a 48-year-old Thai man who
was infected with the virus along with four other family members.
Thailand has reported a total of 2,907 cases and 51 deaths.
2020 Apr 26, Thailand reported
15 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing the total
number of cases since its outbreak in January to 2,922 cases and 51
2020 May 2, Thailand reported
six new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing the total
number of cases to 2,966. Since Thailand first detected the
coronavirus in January, a total of 54 patients have died.
2020 May 3, Thailand reported
three new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, as the country
started lifting restrictions on some businesses and aspects of life.
Thailand has seen a total of 2,969 coronavirus cases and 54 deaths
since the outbreak began in January. Residents of Bangkok enjoyed
their first day of eased coronavirus restrictions.
(Reuters, 5/3/20)(Reuters, 5/4/20)(SFC, 5/4/20,
2020 May 9, Thailand reported
four new coronavirus cases and one more death, bringing the total to
3,004 cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak started in January.
2020 May 10, Thailand reported
five new coronavirus cases but no deaths, bringing the total to
3,009 cases and 56 deaths since the outbreak started in the country
in January. These numbers did not include four more infected people
from the resort island of Phuket.
2020 May 13, In Thailand
professional chefs started cooking up around 40,000 lunches in
Bangkok for communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Thailand reported no new daily cases for the first time in two
2020 May 16, Thailand reported
no new coronavirus cases or deaths as the country begins to reopen
businesses and ease restrictions. Thailand extended a ban on
international passenger flights until the end of June. A previous
order was set to run until the end of May. Thailand has reported a
total of 3,025 cases of the coronavirus and 56 fatalities.
2020 May 17, Thailand reported
three additional cases of the new coronavirus, bringing its total
cases to 3,028 as the country relaxes local restrictions and
re-opens malls and department stores.
2020 May 23, Thailand began
trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine using monkeys, one of
at least 100 potential vaccines in the works around the world.
2020 Jun 4, In Cambodia armed
men snatched Thai dissident Wanchalearm Satsaksit (37) in front of
his apartment in Phnom Penh. Wanchalearm was among 29 exiled Thai
activists accused of violating Thailand’s lese majeste law,
officially Section 112 of the Criminal Code. He fled Thailand
after the coup in 2014, but had been summoned by the military before
(https://tinyurl.com/yav37vwe)(SFC, 6/6/20, p.A2)