Thailand. According to countryaah, the current population of Thailand is 69,799,989. The number of prosecutions and lawsuits against people who have committed crimes against Thailand’s hard data and majesty laws has increased since the military coup in May 2014. The charges have been thinned out, while the punishment was reported to have been more severe.
In January, a 46-year-old man was sentenced in civil court to six years in prison for insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Facebook. An even harsher sentence was given to a 48-year-old man last year, when he was sentenced in military court to 30 years in prison for six posts on Facebook. According to the civil rights organization Amnesty International, restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression in the country remained and were reinforced, despite the fact that the military promised that they would be temporary.
In January, a document leaked to the media, revealing that the military wanted network companies like Google and Facebook to remove content that the military deemed harmful without court decisions. The military government is also said to have offered tax relief on the advertising revenue that companies receive in Thailand, provided that “illegal” content was removed.
A joint report by several human rights organizations in the spring stated that the conflict between government forces and Muslim separatist groups in Thailand’s southern provinces had worsened since 2014. The report found that Thai police and military used mental and physical torture such as abuse and death threats against arrested separatists.
In August, a referendum was held on a new draft constitution drawn up by a council appointed by the military. Before the election, all criticism was banned and the no side was refused to carry out its campaign work. The vote resulted in 61.4% voting yes to the new constitution and 38.7% voting no. 59% of the country’s voters participated in the election, which is said to have been a disappointment for the military government, which had hoped for 80%. The new constitution meant that members of the Senate would be increased to 250, all of whom would be appointed by the military. The Senate would retain its right to veto the bill passed by the National Assembly. Furthermore, the prospective head of government would not be elected, but be appointed by the Senate together with the National Assembly.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of THA stands for the nation of Thailand in geography.
A few days after the referendum, a total of eleven smaller bombs exploded in five different provinces in Thailand, including in tourist-tight areas such as Phuket and Hua Hin. The bombs, which detonated between 11 and 12 August, killed four people. Just over three months later, three suspected men from southern Thailand were arrested, where a conflict between Muslim separatists and government forces has been going on for a long time.
In October, according to thereligionfaqs, the former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, deposed in the 2014 coup, was fined by the military government for fraud in connection with the rice subsidy program during Shinawatra’s time in power. The fine was 35 billion baht, which corresponded to almost SEK 9 billion.
On October 13, however, the country’s 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej. King Bhumibol, or Rama IX, was King of Thailand for 70 years. Despite the country’s harsh laws of majesty, Bhumibol was loved and respected by a majority of the population, with many regarded him as a godly person after Buddha. After the King’s death, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced a year of official grief and the country’s residents were asked to abstain from entertainment and festivities for 30 days.
Fifty days after Bhumibol’s death, December 1, his only son Maha Vajiralongkorn took over the throne. The 64-year-old Vajiralongkorn, who was named King Rama X, inherited Thailand’s royal house, one of the world’s richest monarchies. Formally, he will be crowned only after his father’s cremation, which is expected to happen in 2017. Vajiralong barley is far from as popular in Thailand as his father. In foreign media he has been described as a playboy with seven children and three marriages behind him.
Tropical monsoon climate. The southwest monsoon brings very high rainfall on the western sides of the mountains during the rainy season from May to October. The annual precipitation decreases from south (2200 mm) to north (about 1000 mm). In the interior of the country there is a period of little rain from November to March. The average temperature is around 29ºC all year round.