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PM defends the 80 billion baht munition spend

The Thaiger & The Nation

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PM defends the 80 billion baht munition spend | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: The Nation

Speaking to the House of Representatives’ budget debate for the 2020 financial year yesterday, PM and Minister of Defence Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha defended the expenditure for the Defence Ministry. He claimed they must reserve a budget of 70-80 billion baht for buying munitions and vehicles for defense purposes.

“This money is part of the Ministry of Defense’s allotted budget, nothing to do with the central expenditure budget.”

“Our military personnel are patrolling 5,000 kilometres of border both by land and sea.”

“It’s a dangerous and important duty and they need modern ships for efficient operations.”

The Nation reports that the PM explained to the parliament that the Ministry’s existing fleet is more than 60 years old and most of the ships require urgent repair or replacement.

“All our neighbouring countries have modern ships, and Thailand needs to keep up with the changing world to maintain our negotiating powers, as well as show our potential and capability to protect our resources, especially around naval borders.”

“The Ministry of Defence is trying its best to reduce costs, such as by using smaller ships or even trying to build the ships domestically. However, we cannot let up on naval patrol. As you can see from skirmishes with illegal, unreported and unregulated foreign fishing boats, we need to protect our people and resources as well as prevent matters that might escalate into bigger conflicts.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Politics

Cabinet reshuffle coming as 4 economic ministers resign

Jack Burton

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Cabinet reshuffle coming as 4 economic ministers resign | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mcot.net

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he’ll reshuffle the Cabinet following the resignations of 4 economic ministers from the ruling Palang Pracharat Party. The finance minister, energy minister, the minister of higher education, science, research and innovation and the deputy secretary-general to the PM and secretary to the Council of Economic Ministers held a joint press conference to announce their resignations.

Political observers say the move by the 4, who are credited with running Thailand’s economy, comes after weeks of Palang Pracharat Party infighting among factions vying for power. Responding to the resignations, Prayut says that he “respects the decisions.”

“But I have to move the country forward and will talk with coalition parties about a Cabinet reshuffle.”

Prayut didn’t confirm reports that the reshuffle is happening in September. He says the timing will depend on the political process, which he will discuss with parties in the government coalition. He confirmed that all 4 ministers who quit the party were under his patronage when he took the post of premier last year.

Asked if outsiders will be invited to participate, he said he’ll consider all options.

Prayut also said today’s meeting of the Council of Economic Ministers meeting has been postponed so he can meet with his team of economic advisers instead. He will then put their proposals to the CEM.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand | Nation Thailand

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Politics

US ambassador vows to help Thailand combat human trafficking

Jack Burton

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US ambassador vows to help Thailand combat human trafficking | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mcot.net

The US ambassador to Thailand is pledging to help Thailand achieve its goal to be upgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 1 in the annual US Trafficking in Persons Report. The report divides countries into tiers based on their compliance with standards outlined in the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Tier 1 comprises countries whose governments fully comply with TVPA minimum standards.

Tier 2 is for countries whose governments do not fully comply with TVPA minimum standards but are making significant efforts. Speaking after a meeting with Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon, Ambassador Michael George DeSombre said yesterday that Washington stands ready to support Thailand in the ranking elevation, as Prawit requested. Prawit said he has already seen the TIP Report 2020, in which Thailand remains at Tier 2.

Prawit says Thailand is determined to continue working hard to tackle the human trafficking problem, and the issue is high on the country’s priorities but involves cooperation from all sides to tackle.

“All parties involved in this work are ready to fully cooperate with the US in the continued fight against human trafficking.”

“Thailand does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts. The government has generally demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period although the country remains on Tier 2.” – US Trafficking in Persons Report

The efforts include anti-trafficking training for judges and working with non-governmental organisations to arrange trauma care training for police, prosecutors, and shelter staff, according to the report. The government investigated more cases of labour trafficking compared to the previous reporting period, and convicted traffickers faced stiffer penalties.

It also increased the amount of compensation provided to victims through the anti-trafficking fund and handed out restitution to victims of trafficking for the first time during the reporting period.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

US delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening

Jack Burton

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US delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: SMART Soldiers Strong ARMY Facebook page

The chief of staff of the US army, General James C. McConville, arrived in Thailand today with an entourage for a 2 day trip, at the invitation of the Royal Thai Army. He has also granted permission for the publication of the results of his Covid-19 swab test. McConville and his entourage landed at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport at 10:15am after completing an official visit to Singapore. The entire delegation had to undergo Covid-19 tests immediately upon arrival.

Army chief Apirat Kongsompong was on hand to welcome his guests as well as provide information on the preventive measures Thailand has taken, leading to its success in containing the spread of the virus, an extremely low mortality rate and a recovery rate of over 95%. The US delegation is the first group of government guests to arrive since the fifth phase of the easing of lockdown measures was announced.

The guests, as well as Thai Army officials, are required to strictly follow measures set out by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, including ensuring seats in all vehicles are partitioned, cleaned and sanitised as per guidelines.

The vehicles must also carry alcohol based sanitising gel and pads, waste bins for disposal, radio for communication with drivers and disinfectant spray for the driver to use to sanitise the vehicle.

The Thai Army chief says that if this system proves successfully, the government will use it for future official visits.

US delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening | News by The ThaigerUS delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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