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Flag of Thailand
  1. Thailand Main Page
  2. A Military Coup and Government Failure
  3. Economic Collapse and Subsequent Growth
  4. The Violent Drug Trade and Insurgency; A Tsunami Devastates
  5. Fallout from a Corrupt Government
  6. A New Constitution and the End of Military Rule
  7. The People's Alliance for Democracy and Protesting Status Quo
  8. Anti-Government Protests Continue and Turn Deadly
  9. Party Backed by Thaksin Shinawatra Sweeps Elections
  10. Peace Talks Proceed Despite Continued Violence
Economic Collapse and Subsequent Growth

Following several years of unprecedented economic growth, Thailand's economy, once one of the strongest in the region, collapsed under the weight of foreign debt in 1997. The Thai economy's downfall set off a chain reaction in the region, sparking the Asian currency crisis. The Thai government quickly accepted restructuring guidelines as a condition of the International Monetary Fund's $17 billion bailout. Thailand's economy, while far from completely recovered, continued to improve over the next several years.

Thaksin Shinawatra, head of the Thai Rak Thai Party, became prime minister in Jan. 2001. The hugely popular Thaksin, a billionaire telecommunications mogul, was indicted in Dec. 2000 on corruption charges but acquitted in Aug. 2001.

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