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The post-1973 years in THAILAND could better be marked as a turbulent and sometimes bloody transition from military to civilian rule . The revolution of 1973 brought in THAILAND democracy but for sometime till 6th October 1976 . This was an unstable period of democracy in the country . It ended with massacre of 6th October 1976 . It was a sort of violent crackdown by the THAI police , lynching by the paramilitary forces and bystanders against the leftist Protesters who had occupied THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY of BANGKOK and the adjacent SANAM LUANG on 6th October 1976 . As per the government report 46 people were killed from both sides and as many as 167 were wounded . But as per the unofficial report more than 100 people were killed . Apart from various demands , their main demand was to prohibit the return of the former dictator THANOM KITTIKACHORN to THAILAND . In view of such turbulence the military rule was imposed in the country after the massacre of 1976 . The most of the period of 1980s were democratically ruled by PREM TINSULANONDA , who resorted to parliamentary politics strongly . Apart from a brief period of military rule due to the THAI Coup d’etat of 1991 for the next two years , THAILAND by and large remained a democratic country in all respects .


THAKSIN SHINAWATRA , a THAI business man , a politician and a visiting professor , became the Prime Minister of THAILAND in 2001 . He was the leader of the populist party of THAILAND called THAI RAK THAI party which he formed in 1988 . He had served the THAI police from 1973 to 1987 . And he founded the mobile phone operator advanced information service called SHIN CORPORATION which ultimately made him one of the richest person in THAILAND . He was quite popular in the urban , suburban and rural poors due to his populist social programs . He declared a war on drugs in which more than 2500 people were killed . His government also launched programmes to reduce poverty , expand infrastructure , promote small and medium size interprises . He also introduced universal health care coverage for all . However , his rule came under attack from elite class of THAILAND . They saw danger of the parliamentary dictatorship during his government . So , in the mid-2005 , a well known media tycoon , SONDHI LIMTHONGKUL and his allies developed a mass protest under a newly formed party under the name of PEOPLE’S ALLIANCE FOR DEMOCRACY . After the dissolution of parliament on 19th September 2006 , TAKSIN became the head of the provisional government . And a peculiar incident happened when he was attending the meeting of the UNO in NEW YORK , THAI Army Commander- in- Chief LIEUTENANT GENERAL SONTHI BOONYARATGLIN in a Coup d’etre in September 2006 took over the command of the country . He abrogated the constitution , dissolved the parliament and the constitutional court was suspended . He was supported by the ANTI-TAKSIN elements and and the DEMOCRAT PARTY . However , the civilian government was restored by the General Election held on 23rd December 2007 under the leadership of SANAK SUNDARAVEJ of the PEOPLE’S POWER PARTY .


With five smaller parties of THAILAND , SAMAK SUNDARAVEJ of the PEOPLE’S POWER PARTY (PPP) formed the government on 29th January 2008 and remained in power till 9th September 2008 . Following numerous court rulings against him in a variety of scandals , SUNDARAVEJ was found guilty of conflict of interest by the Constitutional court of THAILAND caused end of his short term in office . He was replaced by SOMCHAI WONGSAWAT , a member of PPP . But on 2nd December 2008 the Constitutional Court of THAILAND declared the PPP guilty of electoral fraud in a controversial judgment which led to the dissolution of the party as per existing law of the land . For this the THAI media levelled it as judicial interference as this was called as ‘ Judicial Coup .’ As a result , on 17th December 2008 the leader of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY , ABHISIT VEJJAJIVA sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of THAILAND . During this period two important moments came to the fore : 1. THE RED SHIRTS MOVEMENT ; and 2. THE YELLOW SHIRTS MOVEMENT . In April 2009 , the NATIONAL UNITED FRONT OF DEMOCRACY AGAINST DICTATORSHIP (UDD) or RED SHIRTS Protesters forced the government to cancel the FORTH ESTATE ASIAN SUMMIT going to be held in the ROYAL CLIFF HOTEL venue by smashing the glass doors of the venue to get entry into it . The blockade by the Protesters prevented the CHINESE Prime Minister WEN JIABAO from attending the Summit . But a very bloody action was seen a year later when the RED SHIRTS MOVEMENT resulted in 87 death and 1378 injured . And when the army tried to disperse Protesters on 10th April 2010 , the army was met with automatic gunfire , grenades , and fire bombs from the opposition faction of the army . It resulted in the retaliatory fire from the army with rubber bullets . During this period of the RED SHIRTS MOVEMENT against the government , there were numerous grenade and bomb attack on the government offices . On the other hand , the government supported YELLOW SHIRTS MOVEMENT/PROTESTERS were protesting against the RED SHIRTS . While the YELLOW SHIRTS protests were on , an unknown gunmen killed one pro-government protesters . The government termed it as the RED SHIRTS were firing against the civilians . However , YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA , the youngest sister of THAKSIN SHINAWATRA , won the General Election on 3rd July ,2011 with a landslide majority . The popular slogan during the General Election was ‘ THAKSIN THINKS , PHEU THAI ACTS .’ She was elected leader of the PHEU THAI PARTY and thus became the first Lady Prime Minister of THAILAND . Her oath ceremony was presided over by King BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ himself . And one should know that the PHEU THAI PARTY was nothing but continuation of THAKSIN’S THAI RAK THAI PARTY .



Published by ARBIND KUMAR



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