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Timeline: Thailand

A chronology of key events:

1782 - Beginning of the Chakri dynasty under King Rama I, which rules to this present day. The country is known as Siam. New capital of Bangkok founded.



Bangkok, known as "Krung Thep" - City of Angels

Population: 7.2 million

Original settlement established by Chinese traders

Became capital of Kingdom of Siam in 1782



2004: Subway cheers Bangkok commuters

1868-1910 - Reign of King Chulalongkorn. Employment of Western advisers to modernise Siam's administration and commerce. Railway network developed.


1917 - Siam becomes ally of Great Britain in World War I.


1932 - Bloodless coup against absolute monarch King Prajadhipok. Constitutional monarchy introduced with parliamentary government.


1939 - Siam changes its name to Thailand ("Land of the Free").


1941 - Japanese forces land. After negotiations Thailand allows Japanese to advance towards British-controlled Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Burma.


1942 - Thailand declares war on Britain and US, but Thai ambassador in Washington refuses to deliver declaration to US government.



Post-war uncertainty


1945 - End of World War II. Thailand compelled to return territory it had seized from Laos, Cambodia and Malaya. Exiled King Ananda returns.


1946 - King Ananda assassinated.


1947 - Military coup by the wartime, pro-Japanese leader Phibun Songkhram. The military retain power until 1973.


1965 onwards - Thailand permits US to use bases there during the Vietnam War. Thai troops fight in South Vietnam.


Short-lived civilian rule


1973 - Student riots in Bangkok bring about the fall of the military government. Free elections are held but the resulting governments lack stability.



Classical dance is inspired by ancient myths, religious tales

1976 - Military takes over again.


1978 - New constitution promulgated.


1980 - General Prem Tinsulanonda assumes power.


1983 - Prem gives up his military position and heads a civilian government. He is re-elected in 1986.


1988 - General Chatichai Choonhaven replaces Prem after elections.


1991 - Military coup, the 17th since 1932. A civilian, Anand Panyarachun, is installed as prime minister.



Golden figure guards Temple of Emerald Buddha, Bangkok



2000: Boom in Buddhist websites

BBC Religion & Ethics: Buddhism

1992 - New elections in March replace Anand with General Suchinda Kraprayoon. There are demonstrations against him, forcing him to resign. Anand is re-instated temporarily. Elections in September see Chuan Leekpai, leader of the Democratic Party, chosen as prime minister.


1995 - Government collapses. Banharn Silpa-archa, of the Thai Nation party, elected prime minister.


1996 - Banharn's government resigns, accused of corruption. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh of the New Aspiration party wins elections.


Financial turmoil


1997 - Asian financial crisis: The baht falls sharply against the dollar, leading to bankruptcies and unemployment. The IMF steps in. Chuan Leekpai becomes prime minister.


1998 - Tens of thousands of migrant workers are sent back to their countries of origin. Chuan involves the opposition in his government in order to push through economic reforms.



Thousands were killed in controversial anti-drug drive



2003: Thai PM hails drug war success

2003: Thailand's bloody drugs war

1999 - Economy begins to pick up again. Thai media highlight high cost of drug treatments for Aids and HIV. Thailand begins to pressurise drugs companies to find ways to make the drugs cheaper.


2001 January - Elections won by Thaksin Shinawatra of new Thai Love Thai party. Allegations of vote-buying force partial re-run of poll. Thaksin forms coalition government.


2001 March - A plane Thaksin is due to board explodes. Police say a bomb is to blame.



2001 June - Prime Minister Thaksin visits Burma to discuss drugs and border tensions. He says relations are now back on track. Within days the Mae Sai-Tachilek border crossing is opened again after clashes between Thai and Burmese troops in February.


2001 August - Thaksin is cleared of assets concealment. A conviction by the Thai Constitutional Court could have meant a five-year ban from politics.


2002 May - Burma closes border with Thailand after Thai army fires shells into Burma during battle between Burmese army and ethnic Shan rebels. Border reopens in October.


Temple row


2003 January - Serious diplomatic upset with Cambodia over comments attributed to a Thai actress that Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple complex was stolen from Thailand. Angry crowds attack the Thai embassy in the Cambodian capital. More than 500 Thai nationals are evacuated.



Violence plagues the mainly-Muslim south



2004: Thailand's restive south

2004: In pictures - Daily life in southern Thailand

2003 February - Controversial crackdown on drugs starts; more than 2,000 suspects are killed by late April. The government blames many killings on criminal gangs; rights groups say extra-judicial killings were encouraged by the authorities.


2004 January-March - More than 100 are killed in a wave of attacks in the largely-Muslim south. The government blames Islamic militants. Martial law is imposed.


2004 April - More than 100 suspected Islamic insurgents are killed after launching coordinated dawn attacks on police bases in the south.


2004 October - 85 Muslim protesters die, many from suffocation, while in army custody following violence at a rally in the south. An enquiry concludes that they were not killed deliberately.





King Bhumibol Adulyadej - the world's longest-reigning monarch



2006: Thailand marks king's anniversary

Life in pictures: Thailand's king

2004 December - Thousands of people are killed when massive waves, caused by a powerful undersea earthquake off the Indonesian coast, devastate communities on the south-west coast, including the resort of Phuket.


2005 March - Thaksin Shinawatra begins a second term as PM after his party wins February's elections by a landslide.


2005 July - As violent unrest continues in the south, Prime Minister Thaksin is given new powers to counter suspected Muslim militants in the region. In November the death toll in violence since January 2004 tops 1,000.


2005 October - Thailand redoubles efforts to fight bird flu as fresh outbreaks of the disease are reported.


2006 April-May - Snap election, called by the PM amid mass rallies against him, is boycotted by the opposition and is subsequently annulled, leaving a political vacuum. The PM takes a seven-week break from politics.



A military coup saw the ousting of Prime Minister Thaksin



Q&A: Thailand's coup impact

2006 August - Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra accuses several army officers of plotting to kill him after police find a car containing bomb-making materials near his house.


2006 September - Six simultaneous motorcycle bombs kill three people and wound more than 60 on a busy street in the southern town of Hat Yai.


2006 19 September - Military leaders stage a bloodless coup while Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is at the UN General Assembly. Retired General Surayud Chulanont is appointed as interim prime minister in October.




Policeman-turned-tycoon Thaksin Shinawatra tranformed Thai politics but was ousted in a military coup



Profile: Thaksin Shinawatra


2006 31 December - Series of bomb blasts in Bangkok kills three people. No-one claims responsibility.


2007 January - Martial law is lifted in more than half of the country.


2007 April - First draft of a new constitution is approved by a committee appointed by the military administration.


2007 May - Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai Rak Thai party is banned. Thousands of soldiers are put on alert.


2007 August - Voters in a referendum approve a new, military-drafted constitution.


2007 December - General elections mark the first major step towards a return to civilian rule.

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