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New Parliament House opens for sittings of MPs next week

The Thaiger & The Nation

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New Parliament House opens for sittings of MPs next week | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Artists impression of a completed Parliament House not he banks f the Chao Phraya. Only the parliamentary meeting halls are complete for use at this stage

The Thai Parliament speaker Chuan Leekpai is ordering tight security at the new Parliament House in Bangkok’s Kiak Kai area for an inaugural meeting today.

He declined to answer when asked by reporters to make any comment on Friday morning’s bomb and arson attacks in the city, saying only that citizens should be vigilant about possible further attacks.

Chuan said the Janthra Hall in the new Parliament House was now ready for use although other parts of the building remain under construction.

Sorasak Phianvej, Secretary General of the House of Representatives, says the Secretariat of the House of Representatives has announced the cancellation of meetings of Members of the House of Representatives and senators this week as utilities and technology systems are moved from the temporary meeting room, at TOT Headquarters on Chaeng Wattana Road, to be installed in the new parliament building, Sappayasaphasathan, Kiak Kai intersection.

Chuan Leekpai toured the TOT conference hall that’s acted as a temporary parliamentary meeting place last week. He said the venue is now being handed back to the TOT and repairs made to any damage made during the use of the new parliament’s early sittings.

SOURCE: The Nation

New Parliament House opens for sittings of MPs next week | News by The Thaiger

Parliament house speaker Chuan Leekpai inspects the TOT hall that has been used as a temporary parliamentary sitting space for the new Thai government – The Nation

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Thailand

1 killed, 20 injured in gas pipe explosion in Samut Prakan

Caitlin Ashworth

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1 killed, 20 injured in gas pipe explosion in Samut Prakan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mthai

A gas pipe explosion at a Samut Prakan industrial site killed 1 and injured 20 others. Flames burst in the air and those at homes in the province’s Bang Bo district fled the area. At this time, there’s been 1 confirmed death, an elderly bedridden woman, but Thai media reports there could be another death.

Around 40 to 50 fire engines were called to the scene to extinguish the fire at the site near Wat Preng Ratbanrung on Thepparat-Lat Krabang Road. The mayor of the tambon Preng administration organisation reported the incident in a broadcast on the traffic radio station JS100.

The gas pipe that exploded leads to the large-scale Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi, according to the senior executive vice president of PTT’s gas business unit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Government lifts Bangkok’s State of Emergency

Caitlin Ashworth

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Government lifts Bangkok’s State of Emergency | The Thaiger

Bangkok’s State of Emergency has been lifted, according to a statement published in the Royal Gazette, making it official. The order, banning large public gatherings, and censoring critical media commentary, was imposed last Thursday morning by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, leading to the breaking up a protest and the arrests of a number of activists.

“The current violent situation that led to the announcement of the severe situation has eased and ended to a situation in which government officials and state agencies can enforce the regular laws.”

Protesters ignored the orders and rallies only grew over the past week. The recent series of protests started on Wednesday, October 14 at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument. The demonstration happened to be at the same day and the same route as a royal motorcade, causing complications as well as a clash between the royal supporters and the protesters calling on reform.

Protesters walked to the Government House and intended to set up camp for a few days to put pressure on Prayut to resign. The protest was broken up at 4am the next morning after the prime minister issued the state of emergency. More than 20 activists were arrested, many faced charges of violating the emergency measures.

Despite the government orders, there have been rallies everyday. The emergency order also banned content on websites and social media considered to be a “threat to national security.” Some Thai media outlets covering the protests were under fire, and some authorities tired to suspend them under the emergency order. The court dismissed the requests to block those media companies, saying the Thai Constitution does not give the court power to shutdown media platforms.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Visa

Negative Covid-19 results for first group on the Special Tourist Visa

Caitlin Ashworth

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Negative Covid-19 results for first group on the Special Tourist Visa | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Surely, the most anticipated and followed tourists ever to grace Thailand’s shores. All 39 visitors who flew in from China this week on the new Special Tourist Visa have tested negative for Covid-19. While it’s a small group, they’re the first foreign tourists to arrive since travel restrictions were imposed in late-March.

More international tourists are expected to arrive next week under the auspices of the new Special Tourist Visa. If there are no positive Covid-19 cases in the first groups, the government says they could start to lift restrictions, like cutting down the mandatory quarantine period, or allowing more applicants under the STV.

2 more groups travelling from China are expected to arrive next week on October 26 and 27, according to the tourism and sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. Another group of travellers from Scandinavian countries are expected to arrive in November.

Reopening borders to foreign tourists has been a concern for some about the potential spread of the coronavirus, even though tourists are required to go through a 14 day quarantine period before travelling in the country. Phiphat says those entering Thailand on the Special Tourist Visa are only those from areas declared free of Covid-19 for at least a month.

“Europe now faces a second wave… The Tourism and Sports Foreign ministries will allow tourists from low-risk cities with zero new cases for more than 30 days.”

If there continues to be no positive Covid-19 cases from those on the Special Tourist Visa, Phiphat says they government could implement a more relaxed quarantine. Health officials have talked about cutting the quarantine down to 10 days and possibly just a week. Phiphat says they would first need approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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