"Big Four Telecoms, Thaksin Regime and Democracy in Thailand"

Speaker: Dr. Ukrist Pathmanand, Associate Professor, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, and CSEAS Visiting Research Fellow
Date:13:30-15:30, June 25 (Friday), 2004
Venue: Room 207, East Building of CSEAS

This research topic is a study to understand important role of giant
business group in contemporary Thai political economy. I explored Big Four
Telecoms such as TelecomAsia, TT&T- Jusmin International, UCOM and SHIN are case for understand how they involved and in case of SHIN how they enter politics. I found that both economic crisis and new constitution in 1997 gave a significant chance to specifically SHIN entering the central of power as government. Later on, under Thaksin premiership, he established new political power with his new political economy alliances-big business groups such as another telecom groups, Banking, real estate, entertainment and mass media groups. While he also promoted his class mate both in Armed Forces Academy preparatory and police cadet school as top ranks in army, navy, air force and police for political purposes.
Ironically, Thaksin is a pioneer of Populism in Thailand. He also is the first prime minister since the first constitution for people launched in 1997. But his new political and economic establishments and his political goals had been proved as dangerous for democratization. How the ironic story happen ?
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