Thailand

American sued in Thailand over negative hotel review

An American has been sued by an island resort in Thailand over a negative Tripadvisor review, authorities said Saturday, and could face up to two years in prison if found guilty. Domestic tourism is still happening in Thailand, where coronavirus numbers are relatively low, with…

No beachfront fire sale for Thai tourism assets

BANGKOK – With more than half of Thailand’s 60,000-plus hotels and guest houses still shuttered since the government closed the national borders in April and with a waiver on interest payments hotels and resorts owe to banks set to end in October, the Thai hotel…

Royal reform call not all that it seems in Thailand

BANGKOK – When Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul read out ten demands for monarchal reform in a midnight September 19 speech on a protest stage mounted on sacred royal grounds overlooking Bangkok’s Grand Palace, the tens of thousands of protestors in attendance loudly cheered every provocative point. The…

Thai Protesters Challenge Monarchy as Huge Protests Escalate

BANGKOK—Openly challenging the monarchy of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, thousands of protesters marched in Bangkok on Sunday to present demands that include a call for reforms to curb his powers. Protesters have grown ever bolder during two months of demonstrations against Thailand’s palace and military-dominated…

Thai protesters install plaque against ‘feudalism’

Thousands of protesters cheered as activists installed a new plaque Sunday declaring that Thailand “belongs to the people” – the boldest show of defiance in a youth-led movement which has questioned the unassailable monarchy’s role in the kingdom. Thailand has seen near-daily protests for the…

Thai protesters kick off weekend of rallies

Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets of Bangkok Saturday as a rally expected to draw tens of thousands of people kicked off calling for PM Prayut Chan-O-cha to step down and demanding reforms to the monarchy. Thailand has seen near-daily gatherings of youth-led groups since…

Calls for Myanmar election delay as cases spike

Opposition parties in Myanmar are calling for November’s election to be postponed as the country scrambles to control a coronavirus surge. New infections are doubling every week – albeit from a relatively low base – and hospitals in the biggest city, Yangon, are overwhelmed in…

Indonesia’s Capital Under Virus Order, Hospitals Nearly Full

JAKARTA, Indonesia—Main streets were less crowded as Indonesia’s capital began 2 weeks of social restrictions on Monday to curb the rise of coronavirus infections that has pushed its critical-care hospital capacity to unsafe levels. Police at checkpoints imposed sanctions on bikers that did not wear…

Laos the latest China debt trap victim

CHIANG MAI – The US$6 billion China-Laos highspeed railway is on track for completion in just over a year, with the first train scheduled to arrive in the capital Vientiane on Lao national day, December 2, 2021. The day traditionally commemorates the communist takeover in…

Virus refugees fleeing Myanmar for Thailand

CHIANG MAI – Thailand’s security forces on the Myanmar border are on high alert to prevent an influx of a new breed of migrants which if some reports are accurate may turn into a flood: health refugees fleeing a surge of Covid-19 infections. Thai authorities…

Thailand Puts on Hold China’s Plan to Bypass Strait of Malacca

News Analysis An attempt by China to avoid having to send its shipping through the narrow waters of the Malacca Strait by building a canal through Thailand has come to an end, for now. Facing internal protests, on Sept. 3 the Thai government put the…

Japan’s deflation troubles spreading across Asia

Japan’s multi-year deflation battle may be entering its most dangerous phase yet: contagion. The economic version of the pandemic upending nations everywhere might not be existential. But it does mean the specter of Japan-like funks around Asia can’t be downplayed. Not with Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan,…

Thailand hopes and prays for a weaker baht

BANGKOK – When new Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Sethaput Suthiwart-Narueput assumes his post on October 1, one of his first crucial challenges will be how to deal with the kingdom’s strong currency, the baht. In 2019, the baht appreciated 9% against the dollar, one…

Public anger sinks Thailand’s $724m submarine deal

Thailand delayed on Monday its US$724 million purchase of two submarines from China, following public outrage over the controversial deal as the kingdom’s economy flatlines due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under a 2015 deal, Thailand was one of the first countries to buy Chinese naval…

Where the Pandemic Is Cover for Authoritarianism

This month, two young men stood outside a high-end Hong Kong shopping mall, clutching bouquets of white flowers as they held a memorial for a protester who had died nearby last year. The event, like any marking the milestones or memories of the prodemocracy movement,…

Feminine Asia

Since he first arrived in Asia in 1970, American Tom Coyner has traveled extensively across the region, from the beaches of Pacific Isles to the ridges of the Himalayas. On those multiple trips, Coyner never ventured far without a camera, which he has deployed to…

Thai automakers regear for the post-Covid race

BANGKOK – The Covid-19 pandemic has put the brakes on Thailand’s automotive industry, but there are healthy innovative signs the so-called “Detroit of Asia” will survive the crash as it downshifts into more new-generation electric vehicle (EV) production. The kingdom’s automotive industry normally employs about…

New generation of daring resistance in Thailand

BANGKOK – At the largest student protest yet against Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and his military-aligned coalition government, youthful speakers aired their democratic discontent on a range of touchy topics. But after over six hours of sometimes hilarious, sometimes rageful, sometimes musical dissent, one…

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