The U.S.’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, says it has cancelled its plan to use Thailand’s Vietnam War-era U-Tapao airbase for an atmospheric research study because Thailand’s government has put off granting its approval.
For reference, my earlier story on U-Tapao is here.
Thailand’s “red shirts” turned out in force on Sunday to warn the judiciary they will not stand by if a plan to amend the constitution is rejected, a rewrite critics say is aimed at allowing exiled former premier Thaksin Shinawatra to come home.
According to police estimates, 35,000 red shirts had gathered at Democracy Monument in central Bangkok by late afternoon, many from Thaksin strongholds in the north and northeast, meeting in a festive atmosphere under light police presence.
The red shirts chose June 24 for their latest gathering as it marks the anniversary of a revolution that brought an end to absolute monarchy in 1932.
Plans for the U.S. government to expand its use of a Thai military airbase have created a stir in Thailand, with domestic politics likely playing a significant role in the controversy, according to a Thailand security expert.
Runway repairs at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi international airport are causing flight delays, and a global airline association says carriers and passengers could be significantly affected in the weeks ahead.
The elderly man dressed in homespun cotton looks like a kind-hearted grandfather from a rural Thai soap opera.
But it would be unwise to underestimate Chamlong Srimuang, a key figure in Thailand’s turbulent recent history, or the “yellow shirt” army he commands.
“We have successfully overthrown three prime ministers, which proves our track record is excellent,” says Chamlong, co-leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), whose yellow-clad members shut down Bangkok’s international airport in 2008.
“We have the ability to overthrow another government again if need be.”
That last claim might have rung hollow before June 1, when thousands of protesters from the long-dormant PAD blockaded the Thai parliament.