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Throughout 2012 the Puea Thai-led government struggled with the opposition Democrat Party to fulfill some its main election promises, including constitutional reform and political reconciliation.Since January 2004, thousands have been killed and wounded in violence associated with the ethno-nationalist insurgency in Thailand's southern Malay-Muslim majority.
In early historical times, a succession of tribal groups controlled what is now Thailand.Although the inhabitants of Thailand are a mixture of Tai, Mon, Khmer, and other ethnic groups, most speak a language of the Tai family.A Tai language alphabet, based on Indian and Khmer scripts, developed early in the fourteenth century.Later in the century a famous monarch, Ramathibodi, made Theravada Buddhism the official religion of his kingdom, and Buddhism continued into the twentieth century as a dominant factor in the nation's social, cultural, and political life.Finally, the monarchy, buttressed ideologically by Hindu and Buddhist mythology, was a focus for popular loyalties for more than seven centuries.Thailand (then known as Siam) paid a high price for its independence, however: loss of suzerainty over Cambodia and Laos to France and cession of the northern states of the Malay Peninsula to Britain.
By 1910 the area under Thai control was a fraction of what it had been a century earlier.
[Source: Library of Congress] The Tai, a people who originally lived in southwestern China, migrated into mainland Southeast Asia over a period of many centuries.
The first mention of their existence in the region is a twelfth-century A. inscription at the Khmer temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which refers to syam, or "dark brown" people (the origin of the term Siam) as vassals of the Khmer monarch.
) and this is an apt name for this country where anything goes.
By other translations it simply means “Land of the Thais.” The Thais call their country “Muang Thai,” which also means “Land of the Free.” They call themselves the “Khon Tha,” which means “free people.” “Siam” and “Siamese” are terms mainly used by foreigners.
From 1855 to 1939 and from 1946 to 1949 Thailand was known as Siam—Prathet Sayam, a historical name referring to people in the Chao Phraya Valley—the name used by Europeans since 1592).