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Thailand

Yearbook 1997

1997 ThailandThailand. In February 1997, a deteriorating economy forced major budget cuts. According to Countryaah, more signs of an imminent crisis came in March, when Thailand's largest finance company was rescued from bankruptcy and the government was forced into support measures to avoid a financial crash. To counter the intense speculation against the currency, Baht, the central bank bought Baht for more than $ 10 billion but was forced July 2 to allow the currency to flow freely, which immediately led to the Baht falling by 17% relative to the US dollar.

At the end of the month, Thailand requested assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which contributed $ 17.2 billion. In return, the IMF demanded remediation of state finances and the financial sector. Major budget cuts were decided and a number of tax increases were introduced. The central bank was given the power to replace the management of weak financial companies and 56 of them went bankrupt.

Behind the crisis were speculative investments in unproductive sectors such as the real estate market. Thailand had incurred a foreign debt of $ 90 billion and a government debt twice as large as GDP. Exports had fallen sharply. Thailand's crisis spread to most other East Asian tiger economies during the second half of the year.

By the end of October, the baht had lost 35% of its value against the US dollar since July 2, and during the year, stock prices fell by 75%. After many years of growth of 6-8% per year, GDP for 1997 was estimated to decline by just over 1%.

The weak coalition government collapsed under pressure. Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh tried to reform the government but was forced to step down after widespread protests. He was replaced in November by 59-year-old Chuan Leekpai, Democratic Party leader, Prachatipat. Chuan was prime minister in 1992-95.

Before the change of government, the Parliament adopted a new constitution, which was intended to make voting and other corruption in politics more difficult.

1997 Thailand

2010 Demonstrations and military dictatorship

The opposition gathered in 2009 in the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) - the so-called red shirts according to the color of their blouses they used during demonstrations. During 2009, protests against the illegal government increased. In October 2009, the UDD demonstrated at the East Asian Summit in Cha-am and Hua Tin. The protests then moved to Bangkok, where it escalated through March and April 2010. The UDD demanded immediate repression of elections, which was rejected by the illegal government, which was sure to lose such an election. The government, in turn, labeled the UDD's demonstrations as unconstitutional and the UDD itself as a terrorist organization. On April 8, Prime Minister Abhisit put the country in a state of emergency after protesters had stormed Parliament while in assembly. He also closed the radio and TV stations as well as newspapers that had supported the Foreign Ministry. On April 10, 24 people were killed and 800 injured in an unsuccessful attempt to crush the protests. Almost everyone was killed by soldiers deployed against the protesters.

The opposition to the illegal government got a constitutional aspect when Thailand's Election Commission on April 12 demanded the Prime Minister's Democratic Party dissolved. It didn't happen.

From mid-April, the government began organizing counter-protesters - the so-called yellow shirts - to fight the red shirts. However, the purpose - to present the conflict as political contradictions between two organized sections of Thai society - failed. The front went unchanged between the Foreign Ministry demanding democracy and the illegal government.

On May 3, Abhisit promised to conduct elections on November 14. This was partly accepted by the Foreign Ministry, which, however, at the same time demanded that the soldiers be withdrawn and that the commander in charge of the April 10 massacre be brought to trial. Both were rejected by the prime minister, who at the same time demanded that the UDD immediately suspend its demonstrations. The 13-19. on May, the military attacked opposition positions in Bangkok. Parts of the city were declared free-fire zones, where soldiers fired without warning - as in Copenhagen on May 18, 1993. Over 87 were killed and over 1378 injured. 1 Italian journalist was killed by the military. Journalists Without Borders and the Thai Journalists' Union, in sharp turns, criticized the government, which brutally cracked down on any independent news release. Only government propaganda these days gained access to the media and most information on the massacres was suppressed. The protests against the illegal government and the military had spread to all of Thailand's major cities at this time and were also wiped out here. Following the military's bloody slaughter of the protests, it imposed a curfew in Bangkok and 23 provinces (out of the country's 75 provinces). Curfews had not been introduced since 1992.

 

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