Aug 29 2008

Understanding Thailand’s Crisis of Democracy

Feature Stories | Published 29 Aug 2008, 10:46 am | Comments Off on Understanding Thailand’s Crisis of Democracy -

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Thousands of activists in Thailand have occupied a government office compound demanding that Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s government resign. Nearly 2000 police surrounded the mass sit-in by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) yesterday and clashed with them, leaving several people injured. A court has issued warrants for 9 of the protest leaders. This confrontation is the culmination of months of protests to unseat the current government. But going further back, the PAD was instrumental in fomenting a December 2006 military coup that toppled the previous government of Thaksin Shinawatra. Since then, under military rule, the country has drafted a new constitution and had a general election which brought into power Sundaravej’s party run by Mr. Shinawatra’s allies. The demonstrations have brought central Bangkok to a halt and so far there is no end in sight.

GUESTS: Kevin Hewison, Director of the Carolina Asia Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been researching and writing on Thailand for 30 years

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