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Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

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WORLD
February 27, 2010 | By Mark Magnier and Patrick Winn
In a long-awaited decision, Thailand's Supreme Court ruled Friday that fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had abused his power for personal gain and should be stripped of $1.4 billion of his frozen $2.3-billion fortune. The decision appeared designed to strike a balance between competing camps by leaving some of his fortune untouched, but it was unlikely to end the nation's four-year political crisis. A force of 500 riot police officers guarded the courthouse as the justices' decision was read out over 7 1/2 hours, but the expected demonstrations didn't materialize.
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WORLD
March 19, 2012 | By Simon Roughneen and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
  A century-old law allowing up to 15-year prison sentences for those offending Thailand'sKing Bhumibol Adulyadej has sparked controversy and calls for change as its use has increased. Many who support the lese-majeste statute say it is necessary to uphold the dignity of a king they portray as enlightened and selfless, transcending raucous, corruption-prone Thai politics. Others say the 1908 law meaning "injured majesty," with ancient roots that made it a crime to offend a reigning monarch, undercuts free expression and has no place in modern times.
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WORLD
July 4, 2011 | By Mark Magnier and Simon Roughneen
Thailand's main opposition party won a fractious election Sunday, paving the way for the nation's first female prime minister and the possible return from exile of her controversial brother, as disenfranchised voters laid down a new challenge to the nation's political establishment. Several hundred supporters mobbed party headquarters as word spread that the Puea Thai party, led by political novice Yingluck Shinawatra, 44, had secured 264 of parliament's 500 seats in preliminary results.
WORLD
July 4, 2011 | By Mark Magnier and Simon Roughneen
Thailand's main opposition party won a fractious election Sunday, paving the way for the nation's first female prime minister and the possible return from exile of her controversial brother, as disenfranchised voters laid down a new challenge to the nation's political establishment. Several hundred supporters mobbed party headquarters as word spread that the Puea Thai party, led by political novice Yingluck Shinawatra, 44, had secured 264 of parliament's 500 seats in preliminary results.
WORLD
April 15, 2009 | Associated Press
Leaders of demonstrations that plunged the Thai capital into chaos called off their protests Tuesday after rioting that left two dead and more than 120 injured across Bangkok. The swift and unexpected resolution ended with a final crowd of 2,000 die-hard protesters dutifully lining up for waiting government buses to take them home. Thailand Deputy Police Commissioner Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said four of the protest leaders had surrendered and would be inter- rogated.
WORLD
December 29, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Thousands of supporters of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra surrounded Thailand's parliament. With only a handful of opposition lawmakers entering the building, the opening of the legislature was postponed. The demonstration sparked fears of renewed political turbulence, which paralyzed the previous government.
WORLD
November 24, 2008 | FROM TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Thailand's parliament postponed a joint session today as thousands of anti-government protesters surrounded the building. Samart Kaewmeechai, deputy house speaker, said lawmakers could not access the building. Many demonstrators carried masks and swimming goggles in case police used tear gas. Protesters have occupied the grounds of the prime minister's office for three months in a bid to topple the government, which they call a puppet of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
WORLD
March 16, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra vowed today to hold on to his job in the face of mass street protests, saying he would not bow to mob rule but that he might retire from politics at a later date. The Thai leader said Wednesday that he might step down temporarily amid allegations by a loose alliance of democracy groups, students, labor unions and Buddhist activists that he was corrupt and had destroyed democratic institutions.
WORLD
June 28, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Thousands of "red shirt" supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra rallied in Bangkok in their biggest protest since violent clashes two months ago. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship gathered in the capital to demand that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve parliament and call elections. Six hundred police were on duty and more on standby. The exiled Thaksin, who was blamed for instigating riots by supporters in April, addressed the crowd by telephone and accused the government of mismanaging the economy, raising taxes and plunging the poor into debt.
WORLD
January 20, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A party backed by Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced that it would form a government with a coalition of six parties, a move that would be a blow to the generals who staged a coup in 2006 to oust Thaksin. The broad coalition led by the pro-Thaksin People Power Party will hold more than 300 of the 480 seats in the lower house of parliament, party leader Samak Sundaravej said. Samak is expected to become prime minister. The government will be officially installed after the parliament convenes Monday.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2011 | Dustin Roasa
As the head of Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission, Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala is one of the country's most powerful policy makers. But his true passion isn't GDP growth or inflation rates. He's co-author of an English-language book of prophecies called "Know Your Future," which uses the Thai zodiac to predict, among other things, an al Qaeda terrorist attack in 2014 and an Obama reelection victory in 2012. A major government figure dabbling in astrology would raise eyebrows in many countries (think former First Lady Nancy Reagan )
WORLD
March 18, 2010 | By Patrick Winn
Protesters seeking to drive the ruling party from power doused the grounds of the Thai prime minister's residence with plastic bags of their own blood Wednesday as they continued their attempt to draw attention to their cause. At the same time, the number of red-shirted protesters camping out across Bangkok dropped by about half, to roughly 50,000, and the Thai stock market hit a two-year high when it became evident the disturbances had been contained. On Sunday, more than 100,000 demonstrators opposed to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had gathered in Bangkok and pledged to remain until he dissolved parliament and called new elections.
WORLD
February 27, 2010 | By Mark Magnier and Patrick Winn
In a long-awaited decision, Thailand's Supreme Court ruled Friday that fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had abused his power for personal gain and should be stripped of $1.4 billion of his frozen $2.3-billion fortune. The decision appeared designed to strike a balance between competing camps by leaving some of his fortune untouched, but it was unlikely to end the nation's four-year political crisis. A force of 500 riot police officers guarded the courthouse as the justices' decision was read out over 7 1/2 hours, but the expected demonstrations didn't materialize.
WORLD
September 21, 2009 | Charles McDermid and Jakkapun Kaewsangthong, McDermid and Kaewsangthong are special correspondents.
A bloody clash at an ancient Hindu temple on the Cambodian border. Security forces deployed in the capital to quell tens of thousands of anti-government protesters. A popular former prime minister calling his country a "dictatorship." And a beloved 81-year-old monarch hospitalized for the second time in four days. These are some of the scenes from a tumultuous weekend in Thailand, prompting Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call for peace and lament his nation's image in the world.
WORLD
September 1, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Thai police arrested two people accused of e-mailing a doctored recording of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva ostensibly discussing ways to create chaos to use as a pretext to crack down on anti-government protesters. The two suspects work for SC Asset, a company controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Abhisit's political rival. Thaksin was deposed in a bloodless coup three years ago after being accused of corruption and abuse of power.
WORLD
April 15, 2009 | Associated Press
Leaders of demonstrations that plunged the Thai capital into chaos called off their protests Tuesday after rioting that left two dead and more than 120 injured across Bangkok. The swift and unexpected resolution ended with a final crowd of 2,000 die-hard protesters dutifully lining up for waiting government buses to take them home. Thailand Deputy Police Commissioner Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit said four of the protest leaders had surrendered and would be inter- rogated.
WORLD
January 28, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Thailand's parliament chose the sharp-tongued and combative Samak Sundaravej, a close ally of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as the country's new prime minister today. The vote for Samak, who heads the People Power Party, is considered a key step to restoring democracy in Thailand after the 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin. Samak's party, a new group backed by Thaksin, won the largest number of seats in elections last month. The PPP heads a coalition of six parties that holds two-thirds of the 480 seats in parliament's lower house.
WORLD
April 14, 2009 | Charles McDermid and Jakkapun Kaewsangthong
Some 4,000 anti-government protesters agreed early today to end a three-week siege of Thailand's administrative capital after they were surrounded by government forces in downtown Bangkok, protest leaders announced. The protesters were driven from positions around Bangkok by government forces in a day of bloody street battles on Monday.
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