Asia

Thailand profile - timeline

A chronology of key events:

7th-10th cent AD - Hindu and Buddhist Dvaravati culture, thought to be of the ethnic Mon people, predominates.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ruins of Sukhothai, capital of the first major Thai kingdom

10th-14th cent - Southern Thailand is ruled by the mainly Mon Lavo Kingdom, but with growing influence from the Khmer neighbouring Empire. (modern-day Cambodia). The Tai people - the antecedents of modern ethnic Thais - start to move southwards into the area.

1238-1448 - Thai-speaking Sukhothai kingdom expands its rule further south, coming to dominate much of modern-day Thailand, before being eclipsed by a rival Thai kingdom in the south, Ayutthaya.

1350-1767 - Ayutthaya kingdom gradually brings Thailand under its control and becomes a major power in Southeast Asia. At its greatest extent around 1600, it rules parts of modern-day Cambodia, Laos and Burma.

1448 - King Ramesuan joins Ayutthaya and Sukhothai in personal union.

1590-1605 - Reign of Naresuan. Seen as Ayutthaya's greatest king, he ends a period of Burmese overlordship and briefly conquers Cambodia and parts of southern Burma.

1767 - Invading Burmese forces sack the capital, Ayutthaya, bringing an end to the kingdom.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Thai Royal navy oarsmen in ancient warrior costume

1768-1782 Under Taksin the Great, an ethnic Thai Chinese, the shortlived Thonburi Kingdom re-establishes Thai control. Taksin is toppled by a coup launched by General Chao Phraya Chakri, who founds a new dynasty centred on Bangkok.

Rise of modern Thailand

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

1804-1868 - Reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV), who embraces Western innovations and initiates Thailand's modernisation.

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 dies in mysterious shooting incident.

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.

Brief 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.

1976 - Military takes over again.

1978 - New constitution promulgated.

1980 - General Prem Tinsulanonda assumes power.

1983 - General 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.

1992 - 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 government resigns, accused of corruption. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh of the New Aspiration party wins elections.

Financial turmoil

1997 - Asian financial crisis: The baht currency 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. Prime Minister Chuan involves the opposition in his government in order to push through economic reforms.

2001 January - New Thai Love Thai party wins elections. Thaksin Shinawatra forms coalition government.

2003 January - More than 500 Thai nationals are evacuated from Cambodia amid angry protests after remarks attributed to by a Thai actress that Cambodia "stole" its Angokr Wat temple complex from Thailand.

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

2004 January-March - Martial law is imposed in largely-Muslim south after more than 100 killed in a wave of attacks blamed on ethnic-Malay separatists.

Tsunami

2004 December - Thousands of people die when a massive tsunami, triggered by an undersea earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, devastates communities on the south-west coast, including the resort of Phuket.

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

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

2008 February - Return to civilian rule after December elections. Samak Sundaravej of the Thaksin-linked People Power Party (PPP) is sworn in as prime minister. Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra returns from exile.

2008 August - Thaksin flees to Britain with his family after failing to appear in court to face corruption charges.

Anti-Thaksin forces in power

2008 December - Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is forced from office by a Constitutional Court ruling disbanding the governing People Power Party for electoral fraud and barring its leaders from politics for five years.

2009 December - Thailand deports about 4,000 ethnic Hmong back to communist-ruled Laos, deeming them to be economic migrants. The UN and US expressed concern about their possible reception in Laos.

2010 March-May - Tens of thousands of Thaksin supporters - in trademark red shirts - paralyse parts of central Bangkok with months-long protests calling for PM Abhisit's resignation and early elections. Troops eventually storm the protesters' barricades, leaving 91 dead.

2011 April - Eighteen people are left dead after border dispute over land near the ancient Preah Vihear temple on the Thai-Cambodian sparks armed clashes.

Election sweep

2011 July - The pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai party wins a landslide victory in elections. Yingluck Shinawatra - the sister of Mr Thaksin Shinawatra - becomes prime minister.

2013 February - Government and separatists in south sign first-ever peace talks deal.

2013 June - Government cuts guaranteed price for rice, provoking an angry reaction from farmers and protests in Bangkok.

Coup

2014 May - Constitutional court orders Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and several ministers out of office over alleged irregularities in appointment of security adviser. Army seizes power in coup.

2016 August - Voters approve a new constitution giving the military continuing influence over the country's political life.

Death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

2016 October - King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest reigning monarch, dies at the age of 88 after 70 years on the throne.

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Image caption Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn replaced his father as king in late 2016

2016 - December - Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn is proclaimed king, replacing his late father Bhumibol Adulyadej.

2017 April - King Vajiralongkorn signs the new, military-drafted constitution that paves the way for a return to democracy.

2019 January - Government sets general election date for 24 March.