Friday 20 Sep 2019 | 17:32 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Thailand

After the voting, personality beats policy in Southeast Asia

It has been an unusually intense time for elections across Southeast Asia in the past year with both a stunning upset and more predictable returns of incumbents. But the striking thing from a quick tour of some of the main battlefields is how the general absence of clear policy reform debate in

The frustrated wait for Thailand’s election outcome

As the dust settles in Thailand’s first election since a military coup in 2014, it appears that far from resolving the country’s perpetual political crisis, the election will only further contribute to instability. The military, which contested the 24 March election under the newly formed

Military on the front line in Thai election

With the 2019 Thai election the first since the 22 May 2014 coup and the recently-retired army general, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, as the candidate most likely to become prime minister, it was virtually inevitable that the role of the military would hover in the background of the campaign.

The long tail of the al-Araibi case

With Hakeem al-Araibi now landed in Australia, returned from Thailand, what seems like a totally unnecessary crisis looks to be over. After some 11 weeks of excruciating limbo, and with numerous heroic efforts here in Australia and elsewhere to free the refugee footballer, now vindicated, it

The fight to preserve the Khon Pi Luang rapids

In 2000, China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand concluded an agreement to begin clearing the Mekong River of obstacles so that cargo vessels could travel from southern Yunnan to the old royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang. Neither Cambodia nor Vietnam, the other two riverine countries, were

Thailand: the Princess vs the General

The Princess versus the General is completely new for Thai politics, which makes it both fascinating and unpredictable. Princess Ubolratana, the elder sister of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, has been declared a prime ministerial candidate for a party loyal to ousted prime minister

Caught in the net: slavery on Southeast Asian seas

About an hour south of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, down a dusty, broken-edged road, dotted with grimy stores and street stalls, with the incessant buzz of motorbikes, stands a desolate building complex. Turn right at the festering drain, past the guard dozing in his chair, and the

Wanted: Yingluck

Last month, Thailand’s military government sought the extradition of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra from the UK. A year ago, Yingluck had been due in court to face charges of dereliction of duty while in office. She failed to show. She was found guilty in absentia and handed a five

Thai cave rescue: no country for Wild Boars

The rescue last week of the Wild Boars boys soccer team trapped by floodwaters in a cave in Thailand’s north captured the world’s attention. Beyond the drama and difficulties of the rescue, the spotlight has also turned to Thailand’s “statelessness” problem. Without citizenship,

International rescue: the Thai cave response

As prime minister, Tony Abbott once called disaster response “an antidote to pessimism”. No less than eight countries – including China, the US, South Korea, and New Zealand – had gathered in the desperate search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 across the vast reaches of the

The Kra Canal: Double bypass

Recent reports that Thailand, with Chinese money, is planning to build a new canal between the Pacific and Indian Oceans have set off a new wave of alarm bells over China’s plans to dominate the region. If – and it is a big if – the project goes ahead, it will create some big winners and

Thailand: The case for optimism

My ANU colleague Nicholas Farrelly's recent Lowy Institute Analysis 'Thailand's Triple Threat' is a sombre look at Thailand's future. He canvasses bleak scenarios, including the long-term entrenching of authoritarianism or, worse, the break-up of the kingdom. Thailand's current juncture is worrisome

Enter the dragon: Thailand gets closer to China

The recent announcement that the leader of Thailand’s ruling military junta, General Prayut Chan-Ocha, would use the controversial Article 44 to speed up construction of the delayed $US15 billion Sino-Thai railway confirms warming relations between Thailand’s military-led government and