Chief Correspondent, Sydney
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Jul 7, 2011

Red Shirts warn new Thai govt to seek justice

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Support for the red-shirt protest movement that rallied behind Thai Prime minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra, helping her win elections by a landslide, could splinter if demands for justice over deadly protests last year are not met, its leader said.

The red shirts, whose protests paralysed Bangkok last year and sparked a bloody military crackdown that ended with 91 people killed and nearly 2,000 wounded, want a thorough investigation into the army’s role in civilian deaths, the movement’s chairwoman told Reuters.

Jul 6, 2011

Thai business fears wage inflation under new govt

BANGKOK, July 6 (Reuters) – Thailand’s central bank on
Wednesday expressed concern over inflation, as business leaders
fear a wage-price spiral if the newly elected government goes
ahead with billions of dollars in spending.

Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra won a landslide
election victory on Sunday on a platform of populist policies
which include wage rises, a household debt moratorium and better
welfare and healthcare.

Jul 6, 2011

Thai PM elect looks at economy, firms fear wage inflation

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s prime minister elect, Yingluck Shinawatra, said she would hold a strategy meeting Wednesday to review urgent action to revitalize the economy, but business leaders fear her populist wage policies will spark a surge in inflation.

Yingluck won a landslide election victory Sunday, backed by votes from the poor lured by promises such as wage rises, a household debt moratorium and better welfare and healthcare.

Jul 5, 2011

Jockeying starts for posts in new Thai government

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Jockeying for ministerial posts in Thailand’s new government began on Tuesday as Prime Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra seeks to deliver on billions of dollars of populist campaign promises that critics say will fuel inflation.

Yingluck, a political novice, must also pacify critics who fear a return of her divisive brother, Thaksin, after their Puea Thai Party won a landslide victory in Sunday’s election.

Jul 5, 2011

Jockeying starts for posts in new Thai govt

BANGKOK, July 5 (Reuters) – Jockeying for ministerial posts
in Thailand’s new government began on Tuesday as Prime
Minister-elect Yingluck Shinawatra seeks to deliver on billions
of dollars of populist campaign promises that critics say will
fuel inflation.

Yingluck, a political novice, must also pacify critics who
fear a return of her divisive brother, Thaksin, after their Puea
Thai Party won a landslide victory in Sunday’s election.

Jul 3, 2011

Thai red shirts predict peace after election win

UDON THANI, Thailand (Reuters) – The message from Thailand’s rural heartlands, a bastion of red-shirt protesters who paralysed Bangkok last year, was simple.

“Thailand will be peaceful,” said Kwanchai Praipana, a protest leader in northeastern Udon Thani province, after the movement’s populist hero Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister won Sunday’s national elections.

Jul 3, 2011

As Thais vote, red shirts rally behind opposition

BAN SAMPRAN, Thailand (Reuters) – In Thailand’s rural “red shirt” heartlands, villagers set out for polling stations early Sunday, hoping to change the country’s government and avoid further bloodshed after six years of sporadic unrest.

But as they cast ballots in rustic villages adorned with red flags in solidarity with a red-shirted anti-government movement founded to support ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra, many question whether the vote will be fair.

Jul 2, 2011

Thai red shirts see poll win, return of “saviour” Thaksin

UDON THANI, Thailand, July 2 (Reuters) – Red shirt supporters of exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra believe they will win Sunday’s election, which will return their “saviour” and improve their lives.

But they also fear they will be cheated out of office and warn of a new wave of protests across Thailand if that is the case, triggering memories of last year’s demonstrations in Bangkok which were put down by the military in a crackdown in which 91 people were killed.

Jun 27, 2011

Philip Morris threatens to sue Australia over packaging

SYDNEY, June 27 (Reuters) – Tobacco giant Philip Morris
is threatening to sue the Australian government for
possibly billions of dollars over its plan to be the first
country to introduce plain, brand-less packaging for cigarettes.

Philip Morris Asia said on Monday it had served a notice of
legal claim on the government under Australia’s bilateral
investment treaty with Hong Kong, which holds the government
responsible to protect Hong Kong investments in Australia.

Jun 26, 2011

Australians cool on tackling climate change

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has staked her troubled leadership on introducing a carbon price to fight climate change, but a new poll on Monday found the majority of voters no longer regard tackling climate change as a major goal.

The Lowy Institute for International Policy poll found that for the first time in seven years there was no longer majority support for action on climate change.