Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>  ASEAN ANALYSIS


Asean Affairs   27 February 2014

Thailand "faces civil war risks"

BANGKOK - Thailand risks sliding into civil war after a wave of political violence that has claimed 21 lives including several children, top security and army officials warned on Tuesday.

Near-daily gun and grenade attacks in protest-hit Bangkok have raised concerns that a nearly four-month-old political crisis is entering a dangerous new phase with both sides refusing to back down.

More than 700 people have been wounded since demonstrators took to the streets for rolling rallies aimed at ousting Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and ending the political dominance of her billionaire family.

The head of Thailand's equivalent of the FBI warned on Tuesday that the situation may "escalate into civil war".

Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith urged "restraint and patience" on both sides of the political divide, during a televised address by officials handling the security response to the crisis.

His comments echoed a similar warning from the head of the coup-prone army.

"Absolutely, there will be civil war if all sides do not respect rules," General Prayut Chan-O-Cha wrote in an SMS to AFP.

"The military will do everything for the country and the people... not for a particular side," he added.

Protest and government leaders bear "responsibility for the losses", Prayut wrote, a day after warning in a rare televised speech that the country risks "collapse" unless it pulls back from the brink.

Government supporters have accused opposition demonstrators of trying to incite the military to seize power, in a country which has seen 18 successful or attempted coups since 1932, but so far the army has remained largely above the fray.

Thailand has been bitterly divided since a bloodless coup by the military in 2006 ousted Yingluck's elder brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, as prime minister, unleashing years of political instability.

The latest unrest is the deadliest since more than 90 people died during protests by pro-Thaksin "Red Shirts" in 2010 that sparked street clashes and a bloody military crackdown.

Concerns are mounting that the Red Shirts could return to the streets of Bangkok to defend the government, bringing the risk of clashes between rival protesters.

Gunfire rang out on early Tuesday near a rally camp in a Bangkok park occupied by demonstrators.

Two people were slightly wounded, officials said. A rally spokesman said that gunmen had attacked the camp but it was not possible to verify his account.

- Reds to mobilise -

The Red Shirts, mainly drawn from the rural north and northeastern provinces, have held back from demonstrations in the capital since November when several people died after clashes broke out near one of their rallies at a stadium in Bangkok.

They have stepped up their rhetoric in recent days as Yingluck comes under growing pressure.

"We must be ready to come to Bangkok within 24 hours for one purpose... to protect democracy," senior Red Shirt leader Nattawut Saikuar said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Reds will stage rallies over the coming weekends in the northeast as a show of strength, he added.

Yingluck has been summoned by an anti-corruption panel to hear neglect of duty charges on Thursday that could lead to her removal from office, although it is unclear if she will personally attend the hearing.

The opposition says the Shinawatra family and its allies, who have won every election for more than a decade, have fostered widespread corruption and used taxpayers' money to buy the loyalty of rural voters.

The demonstrators accuse Thaksin of running the country by proxy while living in self-exile to avoid jail for a corruption conviction.

Protest leaders want to install an unelected "people's council" to reform the country before new elections are held in around a year to 18 months.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for a series of violent incidents, sometimes involving shadowy gunmen armed with semi-automatic weapons. The authorities and the protesters blame each other for the attacks.

A four-year-old boy and his sister, 6, were killed on Sunday by a grenade at a protest site in an upscale Bangkok shopping district, a day after a five-year-old girl was shot dead at a rally in eastern Thailand.- AFP/ir

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below




1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Today's  Stories    February 27, 2014 Subsribe Now !
• Girl, 5, succumbs to wounds from Trat rally attack Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Nation gains $244m trade surplus
• Semen Indonesia eyes 2014 sales rise
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

• Textiles and Garments Industry
• Coffee industry
• Leather and footwear industry
• Shrimp industry

• Indofood, Asahi targets sales of Rp 5 trillion in 2017
• No oil for up to five years: Cambodian government
Asean Analysis                    27 February  2014 Advertise Your Brand

• Asean Analysis-February 27, 2014
India’s Solar Energy Future & U.S. Engagement
The Biweekly Update
• The Biweekly Update  February 21, 2014
• Asean Analysis-February 27, 2014
Thailand "faces civil war risks"
Asean Stock Watch    26 February 2014
• Asean Stock Watch-February 26, 2014

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand