Thailand

The plight of the Rohingya boat people

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.

Thousands of Rohingya migrants fleeing Myanmar face death as they drift in the Andaman Sea in boats now abandoned by people smugglers.

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Thailand: preparing for a long struggle

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.

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

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Military tighten grip in Thailand

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.

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

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Military coup in Thailand

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.

Coup follows months of political deadlock.

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Stand-off over Thai elections

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.

Neither wing of the Thai ruling class opposes repressive laws that have led to numerous activists being jailed.

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Thailand: free Somyot!

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

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

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Thailand: free Somyot, free all political prisoners!

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 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.

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Thailand: assessing the "red shirts"

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.

Socially Thailand's "red shirts" are mainly workers and poor peasants; politically however they are tarred by their relationship to the exiled former Prime Minister, multibillionaire telecommunications mogul Thaksin Shinawatra.

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Thailand

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.

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