The current government continues
to pursue corruption charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
(who was deposed in a 2006 coup). The current government, run by members of the
coalition that had elected Shinawatra, are opposed by a smaller, largely urban
and better educated, coalition, This "urban" coalition is angry at
not having the votes to gain control of the government, and is using
increasingly violent demonstrations in the capital to get what they could not
obtain in elections. Today, a mob attacked a pro-government TV station, and
shut it down for a few hours.
coalition in power is largely rural, and the urbanites see the rural population
as ignorant, uninformed and not fit to rule. The government is weakened by its
unpopular (with many of its own members) pursuit of former Prime Minister
Thaksin Shinawatra on corruption
charges. Meanwhile, about a hundred wealthy families exercise disproportionate
control over the economy, and politics. Former Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra was one of these wealthy men, who also demonstrated a talent for
winning elections. All the unrest has caused the economy to stall, going to
about one percent annual GDP growth, from an expected five percent. The
increased unemployment will generate more unrest.
against Islamic terrorism in the south is being won, slowly. More and more of
the terrorists are being identified and arrested, and the number of violent
incidents is decreasing.
2008: Six soldiers were wounded when a
bomb went off in the south.
August 24, 2008: Over the last few days, police have arrested
eight suspected terrorists in the south. The search continues for the Islamic
terrorist cell responsible for the current round of bombings.
2008: Two bombs went off in the south,
killing a reporter and wounding 30 other civilians. The second bomb was planted
near the first, and timed to go off after the police and media arrived.
2008: A large bomb cut the main rail
line to the south.
2008: The government has agreed, with
Cambodia, to withdraw most of the their troops from the border, where there has
been a confrontation over exactly where the border is, and who controls an
2008: In the south, a bomb planted at a
crime (murder) scene, wounded 18 (most of them police investigators.)