Thailand’s 2006 military coup left its mark on the country in a lot of ways: Years of political instability and crippling street protests and violence, for a start. But some of the most insidious changes are only now revealing themselves, such as the effects of the very first law the junta’s assembly passed after taking power, the Computer Crimes Act.
Last week three Thais were arrested under the act and charged with posting rumors online that threatened “national security”—specifically, rumors about the health of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 81, who has been hospitalized since Sept. 19 (authorities say his health is improving). Police allege a link between the postings and a 7% drop in the Thai stock exchange Oct. 14 and 15.
Thailand’s Vaccine Strategy: What went wrong?
Questions are being asked, and not answered, over the decision to rely almost entirely on Siam Bioscience, a local, palace-owned company with no experience of making vaccines, for the country’s vaccine needs, until an unseemly scramble began this year to procure alternatives.
Last year Thailand won worldwide praise for its effective measures to contain COVID-19. This year the government is facing growing public outrage over the failure to control new covid outbreaks, and the slow acquisition of vaccines.(more…)
Thai economy in the pandemic era: can it ever be the same?
What is the way forward for Thailand, and how strong is the case for a radical overhaul of economic and development policies?
Forecasts for Thai economic growth this year have been widely slashed to less than 2%, some much lower, reflecting growing gloom about the trajectory of an economy battling the third wave of COVID-19 and resulting lockdowns and social distancing measures.(more…)
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