Thailand tees off on Dec. 14 and is likely to be a bit quieter than last year’s celebrations, with the country’s president, Prayuth Chan-ocha, setting the tone.
He is expected to visit the capital, Bangkok, on Dec 15 to formally inaugurate the Thai Independence Day celebrations.
Prayut was not in Thailand on Dec 12 when the Thai government issued a nationwide ban on political gatherings and gatherings of more than two people, a move that was later rescinded.
Thailand is expected this year to be quieter than in previous years.
“The last time we were in a situation like this, we were pretty quiet,” said Niamat Kambunlalakkorn, who leads the countrys largest Thai news outlet, ThaiNews.
“But we’re back again and we’re ready to celebrate.”
The ban has led to widespread protests and unrest.
Thailand has a population of more 1.3 million and a long history of political turmoil, with Prayuts predecessor, Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire businessman and strongman who ruled Thailand for almost 30 years before he was deposed in a military coup in 1999.
But the country is now undergoing a transformation of its political and economic power, with a liberal, free-market economy and growing numbers of citizens taking to the streets.
The last time Thailand teed off, on Nov. 13, 2014, there were protests over the ban on demonstrations, and a number of high-profile cases were reported.
In the months since the ban, the country has witnessed a number more major protests and the death of a prominent politician who had called for protests.
The Thai government has announced it will increase security in the country, but many observers believe the ban is having a major impact.
“People are angry about the ban,” said Suwat Jatiprakit, the Asia director for the Pew Research Center.
“And there is a sense of insecurity.
People are concerned about what will happen to their families, their friends and even their businesses.
It’s a major concern.”