Natural resources, energy and environment
Thailand has relatively plenty of tin, zinc,
iron and plaster. Deposits are also mainly made of gold
and copper. The country is a major exporter of gems,
such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies and jade.
Dependence on imported energy is great, but has
declined since the 1990s due to increased own production
of natural gas and oil. In addition, large amounts of
lignite are mined. However, domestic resources cannot
yet meet the increased demand for energy. Some of the
oil and gas fields are located in parts of the Gulf of
Siam, which both Cambodia and Thailand claim.
Electricity is mainly extracted from domestic natural
gas, but also from coal. Electricity is also imported
from, for example, Laos. Power outages are not uncommon.
Major exports by Thailand with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Serious pollution, especially in cities, has led to
small but active environmental movements. Many of them
are led by Buddhist monks. Bangkok was one of the
world's most unhealthy cities during the 1990s, but
stricter legislation has improved the situation
somewhat. Since 1993, all new cars must have a catalyst
and leaded gasoline has completely disappeared. There
have also been restrictions on how much carbon dioxide
different vehicles may emit. However, bad air and
congestion are still major problems in Bangkok.
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FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
1 990 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
2566 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
316 213 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
4.6 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
22.9 percent (2015)
Election in February 2019
The government announces that parliamentary elections will be held on
February 24, 2019 and that the political parties are free to run election
campaigns. Thus, the ban on political campaigns is lifted. However, the
constitution guarantees the military continued great powers of power and a new
electoral system, according to analysts, is to the detriment of the largest
party For Thailand.
The Thaksin camp is gathering for the election
The Thaksin family and its closest allies gather in the newly formed Thai
Raksa Chart. At a meeting, Preechapol Pongpanit is elected party chairman. He
played a central role in Yingluck's administration. Vice Chairman becomes
Thaksin's close relative Rupop Shinawatra. Assessors believe that the party was
formed to become a support party for Thailand. The constitution adopted after
the military coup makes it extremely difficult for a single party to gain its
own majority in Parliament.
For Thailand, choose new leader
Former Government Party For Thailand, Viroj Pao-in elects new leader. Viroj
is described as a loyal party member who "worked hard during the difficult times
of the party".
Relief is introduced for political parties
The government announces that the ban on recruiting new members to political
parties is lifted. The ban has been in force since the 2014 military coup. It
will also allow parties to elect their own leaders, set up regional offices and
hold general party meetings if they gather at least 250 members. However, it is
still prohibited to conduct political campaigns as well as gather more than five
people in public place.
Yingluck is requested to be extradited
Thailand is demanding extradited Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra
extradited from the UK, to which she fled in August 2017 after being prosecuted
for misunderstanding the country's economy in connection with the criticized
state rice subsidy program. In September of that year, Yingluck was sentenced to
five years in prison for failing to stop the bribery committed within the
program. The United Kingdom has a extradition agreement with Thailand, but has
not commented on the matter.
First execution in nine years
A 26-year-old man is executed with a poison injection, six years after he was
convicted of murder. It is the first death sentence to be enforced in Thailand
since 2009. According to the Department of Criminal Justice, 325 prisoners have
been executed in the country since 1935, most through archery. Between 2003 and
2009, six were sentenced to death, then with poison injections. According to the
Thai Justice Department, there were 510 convicted prisoners in the country at
the end of 2017. Of these, 94 were women. A number of serious violent crimes and
drug crimes result in the death penalty in Thailand.
Protest campaign on the fourth anniversary of the coup
The leaders of a group of regime opponents are arrested by the police as they
try to demonstrate on the four-year anniversary of the latest military coup,
which was carried out on May 22, 2014. The campaign is one of the biggest
protests against the regime since the rally ban was introduced shortly after the
Regime-critical protests are increasingly common
About 500 democracy activists defy the demonstration ban and gather in a
protest action against the military-backed government. The manifestation is held
in the form of a picnic outside a university in Bangkok. In recent times, the
regime-critical demonstrations have been increasing. Since the 2014 military
coup, crowds of more than five people have been banned. Democracy activists'
patience with the junta has been tempted by the fact that the promised general
elections have been postponed time and time again, no later than early 2019.
The election is postponed again
Parliament is voting for a proposal to make changes to an election law, which
means that the planned parliamentary elections in November 2018 are postponed to
an uncertain date. The military-backed government has on several occasions
previously postponed the promised election.