Thailand

The plight of the Rohingya boat people

Published on: Wed, 20/05/2015 - 07:55
Author

Gemma Short

Thousands of Rohingya migrants, fleeing Myanmar, may be facing death as they drift in the Andaman Sea in boats provided by and now abandoned by people smugglers.

The Rohingya, a persecuted minority in Myanmar, are being turned away from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Boats reaching the coasts of these countries are being towed back out to sea and left adrift after being handed basic provisions, despite starvation, disease, and increasing violence on the boats.

The UN now estimates as many as 8,000 migrants are adrift, and that as many as 25,000 migrants set off from the Bay of Bengal

Thailand: preparing for a long struggle

Published on: Wed, 18/06/2014 - 13:20

In the four weeks since the coup, the military have repressed, but not eliminated, dissent.

The wave of protests immediately after the coup was a big step and a break from the past. Showing enormous courage, Thai working people demonstrated in their hundreds and thousands. At first the military seemed nonplussed, then they started their crackdown. Even after rounds of arrests, people continued to protest in large numbers, finding inventive ways to organise such as changing the sites to places where they were not expected.

Arrests of activists have become widespread, mostly followed by release

Military tighten grip in Thailand

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 10:34

On 22 May, Thailand’s military declared martial law. On 24 May, they took power in a coup.

They have suspended the constitution, banned demonstrations and detained politicians including Yingluck Shinawatra who, until very recently, was prime minister. The head of the military, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has appointed himself the new prime minister.

The coup follows a court ruling early this month removing Shinawatra from her position as prime minister on the grounds that she had acted illegally by moving her national security chief to another position.

For many months now Thailand’s two main

Military coup in Thailand

Published on: Fri, 23/05/2014 - 13:31

On Tuesday 22 May Thailand's military declared martial law. On Thursday 22 May they took power in a coup. They have suspended the constitution, banned demonstrations and detained politicians including Yingluck Shinawatra who, until very recently, was primed minister. The head of the military, General Prayuth Chan-ocha has appointed himself the new prime minister.

The coup follows a court ruling early this month removing Shinawatra from her position as prime minister on the grounds that she had acted illegally by moving her national security chief to another position.

For many months now

Stand-off over Thai elections

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2014 - 09:27

There have been anti-government protests and a permanent protest camp in Bangkok since November 2013. With growing frequency protesters have been shot; bombs have injured dozens and killed several.

The protestors are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and for a “People’s Council” to take her place. The opposition say the council would be unelected but would oversee a transition to new elections and an end to Government corruption.

In response, the Government has called for elections on 2 February.

The Democratic Party (DP), whose supporters make up the majority

Thailand: free Somyot!

Published on: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 19:40

In recent weeks more than 100,000 anti-government protesters have taken to the streets of Bangkok and closed down numerous government offices.

The “yellow shirt” protesters are responding to the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s attempt to pass an amnesty bill that could lead to the return from exile of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck’s brother.

The amnesty bill is also criticised by left wing elements of the “red shirts” because it does not include prisoners detained under Article 112, including many union and democracy activists, such as Somyot Prueksakasemsuk.

Left-wing

Thailand: free Somyot, free all political prisoners!

Published on: Fri, 25/10/2013 - 18:37

Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a long time left-wing union and democracy activist in Thailand, has been in prison since 30 April 2011 and faces a further ten years jail under the repressive “lèse majesté” law.

Somyot became active in the democracy movement as a secondary student in the 1970s, and in the 1980s became a key figure building genuine, democratic unionism. He is the founder of the Center for Labour Information Service and Training (CLIST), which led high-profile campaigns in the 1990s for workers’ rights, particularly among women workers in the textile and garment industry. Through CLIST

Thailand: assessing the "red shirts"

Published on: Thu, 27/05/2010 - 14:12
Author

Paul Hampton

Ten weeks after they occupied the central district of Bangkok, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), known as the red shirt movement, was repressed and driven out by the Thai army last week. Overall the Guardian (22 May) estimates that 83 people have been killed and 1,800 injured over the last few months.

At the beginning of May, it seemed as though a peaceful resolution to the conflict might be possible. Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva appeared to offer to dissolve parliament in September and hold elections in November this year. However he swiftly reverted to

Thailand

Published on: Sun, 22/10/2006 - 17:23

Over 500 Thai textile workers defied the military junta’s ban on public protests to demonstrate in a dispute at their factory.

Workers from the Gina Form Bra Company marched to the US embassy in Bangkok to protest at plans by the company’s owner, Hong Kong’s Clover Group International, to shut their factory at the end of October and relocate to China. The workers manufacture lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, The Gap and other American companies. The factory employs 1,600 workers, 95% of them women.

Workers marched behind a handmade banner made of bras strung together. Many held sticks with

Students and workers against Thai coup

Published on: Fri, 06/10/2006 - 12:40

By Paul Hampton

Students and workers have taken to the streets of Bangkok in protest at the military coup on 19 September, despite universal indifference from “democratic” bourgeois governments around the world.

On Tuesday 19 September, the elected government of billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed by a military coup, apparently with the backing of the “constitutional” monarchy.
Three days after the coup, on Friday 22 September, a few hundred young people, calling themselves the “19 September Network” demonstrated in one of Bangkok’s busiest shopping areas. They were joined by some

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