Newspapers in Thailand
Thailand has around thirty newspapers, most of them in Bangkok; most
important are Matichon (180,000 copies) and Siam Rath (120,000 copies). Larger
in size are the more sensationally oriented Thai Rath (800,000 copies) and Daily
News (650,000 copies). All of these are published in Thai; The English-speaking
Bangkok Post has a relatively small edition (57,000 copies), but is considered
to have a large influence. The news media is largely controlled by the state.
The same goes for radio and TV. State Radio Thailand (RTH, founded
in 1930) broadcasts in three channels and has international broadcasts. Thailand
has nearly 500 radio stations. These are either owned by government agencies or
are licensed by the state. In addition to State Television of Thailand,
there are seven other TV channels. There are 235 radio and 284 TV receivers per
1,000 residents (2000).
A strong national culture, deeply influenced
by Buddhism, has emerged for 750 years of almost
unbroken independence. Visitors are often struck by the
magnificent temples in all cities and larger villages.
The oldest preserved remains of Thai architecture and
art date from the Dvaravati period (c. 500 to the
1000s), which received influences from Cambodia, Myanmar
(formerly Burma) and Sumatra. It was not until the
Chiang Mai style (around 1000–1767) that a Thai art was
developed. In the ancient capital Ayutthaya there are
remains of impressive Buddhist buildings in stone from
Latest population statistics of Thailand, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Almost all older buildings have a religious function
and are richly decorated with one or more Buddha
statues. The sculptors closely followed the look
attributed to the founder of religion in Sanskrit poetry
- "legs like a deer, chin like a mango core, hair like
the scorpion's stern". Even classical art had a
religious connection. It was not until the end of the
19th century that more popular motifs began to emerge.
Thai literature dates back to the 13th century, when
several poetic works were written, often based on
Buddhist stories. The 13th-century prose work Thraiphum
Phraruang, probably written by King Lithai, describes
the underground, the earth, the sky and a utopian future
world. The work has had a great influence on Thai
The first modern author was the national bald Sunthon
Phu, who was read and appreciated during the first half
of the 19th century both by the court and by a fairly
broad public. The Thai novel was developed with the
support of the poetic king Vajiravudh in the early
1900s. Since then, modern literature, influenced by
romance, expressionism and other Western trends, has
developed in the country.
Thailand has a large film production, but the
language barrier makes Thai films rarely reach outside
the country. In 2010, however, director Apichatpong
Weerasethakul received the prestigious Gold Palm at the
Cannes Film Festival for his film Lung Bunmi Raluek
Chat (Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives).
Apichatpong Weerasethakul rarely has subtle political
messages in his films and after the military coup in
Thailand 2014 he chose to work from abroad.
National sports Thai boxing (muay thai) has
medieval ancestry. Today, it is the country's most
popular sport and often the only way to success for poor
boys from northeast Thailand. For Thailand public
policy, please check
King Rama X is installed
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn formally becomes Thailand's new king at a
ceremony in the Royal Palace in Bangkok. His royal name becomes Rama X. The
throne change takes place 50 days after Bhumibol's death. The new king's
mourning period lasts for one year.
Cash grants to the poorest
The military-backed government announces that cash grants totaling $ 358
million will be distributed to the country's poorest households, as they have
been hit hard by the fall in rice prices. Prime Minister Prayut has previously
sharply criticized Yingluck's contribution to poor families and called them
Rescue packages for the rice growers
Just a few weeks after the military government demanded Yingluck a billion
dollars for the precious rice project during her reign, the government announces
that it will itself contribute a $ 550 million rescue package to the country's
poorest rice farmers. Rice growers are undergoing a crisis due to falling rice
prices and surpluses in the market. The military government fears unrest in the
areas where many rice farmers live. Rice farmers are often supporters of the
Tens of thousands of streams to the palace
The hall where Bhumibol is located on lit de parade in the Grand Palace in
Bangkok is opened to the public. Tens of thousands of Thais gather around the
buildings to bid farewell to the King.
Yingluck is required for a billion dollars
The military government fines Yingluck personally for fraud in connection
with the rice subsidy program during her time in power. Yingluck says she will
contest the junta's claims and adds that it would be right to try her case in
court instead. The fine is equivalent to nearly a billion dollars. Yingluck is
embroiled in a tangle of court cases, which she says are politically motivated
and driven by the rulers. If she is convicted of criminal neglect in connection
with the rice subsidies, she can receive ten years in prison.
TV broadcasts canceled
In the first few days after the monarch's death, all Thai TV channels,
including international satellite networks, have their broadcasts replaced by
black-and-white images from the events surrounding the palace in Bangkok, where
Bhumibol's remains are on lit.
One year of country grief announced
One year of country grief is announced. The public is asked to dress in black
or white (both of which are the color of mourning in Thailand) and to avoid
inconvenient events such as concerts and sporting events. The atmosphere is also
expected to be subdued in the tourist areas.
The king dies, the crown prince appeals for more time
Thailand's King Bhumibol dies at the age of 88 after being a monarch for 70
years. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 63, according to the constitution is to
take over the throne, which the government quickly confirms. Vajiralongkorn,
however, asks to be allowed to wait with the entrance in order to mourn his
father in peace and quiet. The acting regent becomes the chairman of the Crown
Council Prem Tinsulanonda.
Suspected Majesty's offenses should be tried in civil courts
The government announces that civilians charged with majestic or other crimes
against the security of the nation will no longer be tried in military courts,
which has drawn sharp criticism from human rights organizations. The defendants
should instead be tried by civil courts. However, the approximately 500 pending
cases will be decided in military courts.
The defense gets more money
The Legislative Assembly, hand-picked by the military, adopts a budget for
2017. The Armed Forces' appropriations are raised by 2 percent to around $ 6
billion. This is the third year in a row that the junta raises the defense
budget. The Ministry of Education receives a 5 percent reduction, while
appropriations for the transport sector more than halved, from $ 136 billion to
Car bomb attack in Pattani
A man is killed and some 30 are injured when two car bombs explode outside a
hotel in Pattani town in southern Thailand. According to the military
government, the attacks are unrelated to the attacks on tourist destinations
earlier this month.
Attacks on tourist destinations in the south
12th of August
A series of explosions at five different tourist resorts, including a city on
the island of Phuket, requires the lives of four people. The police reject
theories that it was Islamist terror. Instead, the suspicions are directed at
militant separatists from southern Thailand. The bombing takes place in
connection with the Queen's birthday and one of the targets, the city of Hua
Hin, is the King's favorite wedding outside of Bangkok.
Military Constitution approved
More than 61 percent of voters in a referendum approve the military's
proposal for a new constitution (see Political system). All criticism of the
proposal is banned and in connection with the vote, more than 10 people are
arrested who are considered to violate the ban. The military government's fear
of all opposition will have absurd consequences when two eight-year-old girls
are prosecuted for tearing down posters for the yes side. The girls wanted the
posters for they liked the pink background color. The 55 percent turnout will be
a disappointment to the military, which had hoped that 80 percent of those
entitled to vote would participate. After the election, Prayuth announces that
parliamentary elections will be held in the latter part of 2017.
Campaign work can give prison ten years
King Bhumibol ratifies a law that can provide ten years in prison for those
who campaign for the referendum on August 7 on the future constitution. The
constitutional proposal has received sharp criticism from various political
camps for strengthening the military's power at the expense of Parliament. Many
judges believe that the constitutional proposal is undemocratic.
The military receives police information
The military government gives the armed forces far-reaching police powers.
A referendum on the constitution in August
The government announces that a referendum will be held on August 7 for a new
constitutional proposal. The proposal has been written by an election committee
and approved by the military government.