Violence in Thailand

Since March there has been conflict in the streets of Bangkok between the Red Shirt protestors, who support the last Prime Minister, and the Thai army. However in the last fortnight the violence has increased, with over 60 people dead and more than 1600 injured. A state of emergency has been declared by the Thai government and there is a night time curfew, or ban on going out into the streets.

The biggest problems are in the centre of Bangkok, where many shopping malls and embassies of foreign countries are located. Both the US and the New Zealand embassies have been closed and it has now been reported that a New Zealander has been injured in the fighting. The New Zealand government is telling Kiwis not to go to Thailand unless their visit is urgent.

Now the violence seems to be spreading to other parts of Thailand, especially the north and east, where many poorer people live. They do not agree with the policies of the current Prime Minister and feel that poor people should get more help from the government than they receive at present.

One of the Red Shirt leaders has asked the United Nations to set up talks between both sides, but the Prime Minister wants the Red Shirts to end their protest first. He thinks Thailand should solve its own political problems without help from outside.

Thailand is a very popular holiday place for tourists from all over the world including New Zealand. They enjoy the shopping, the beaches and Thai culture. Tourism is one of Thailand’s biggest industries, so the reduced number of visitors means that the Thai economy is losing a lot of money. There have been political protests in Thailand since 1992 and the country now needs to have a stable government to make sure tourism and the economy can start growing again.

Contributed by Chris Mahoney

Questions to think about

1. Find a map of Thailand and find Bangkok on it. Use direction words such as north, west, near, etc to describe its location in Thailand and in South-East Asia.
2. What is the United Nations? Is your country a member of this organisation?
3. Do you think it is better for a country to solve its own political problems or should other countries or organisations help them?


  1. According to international treatments, a country often has to deal with political problem by itself and no other nation can be allowed to interfere inner issues. However, it is very often that powerful countries always try to exploit these situations, causing tension in the society of , especially, developing ones. By this way, they can gain political and geological benefit in order to improve their role in these area.

  2. I cannot agree more with the comment below

  3. I cannot agree more with the comment *above

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