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Thai PM thanks the 20 billionaires for their support during crisis

The Thaiger



Thai PM thanks the 20 billionaires for their support during crisis | The Thaiger
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The Thai PM has offered his “heartfelt thanks” to a list of Thai billionaires he wrote to a month ago seeking their guidance and ideas at the height of the Thai outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. He thanked them in a Facebook post and commented on their willingness to “offer a helping hand”.

“All of them had responded energetically to my call to help people affected by business closures as a direct result of the contagion.”

“The unity, generosity and care of Thai people for their fellow countrymen and others are unique.”

In addition to the 20 billionaires he originally wrote to, the PM says that there were others who volunteered their help, as well as members of the public who did whatever they could to share happiness with others.

He said that what matters was not the not the amount of money or the value of the projects the tycoons became involved in to assist those in difficulty… “but their willingness to ease the hardships of the Thai people at an extremely challenging time.”

Here is the original letter, translated into English, from the Thai PM…

“Thailand is facing a Covid-19 outbreak which is one of the gravest crises the country and the world have seen. The disease has affected both social relationships and the economy at an unprecedented level. Now is the time for Thai people to work together on all levels, especially those who have strong knowledge, abilities and financial resources. This is why I am reaching out to you who are considered the elders of society.

I deeply appreciate that many of you have already helped people in several aspects, but I must ask you to do more. Please use your abilities and resources to help Thai people who are facing one of biggest obstacles in their lives in the fastest and most efficient manner.

I do not ask for donations or handouts, all I ask is to send me details of projects that you are ready to carry out. I also ask that those projects should reach all groups of Thai people and all parts of the country, as well as help them in any aspect of their lives in a tangible way.

I also welcome suggestions as to how the government can help or facilitate those projects so they succeed. I would be highly thankful if you could send me the details by next week.

Please kindly consider my request, and thank you in advance.

General Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prime Minister

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Opposition criticises Thai government over economic toll of Covid response

May Taylor



Opposition criticises Thai government over economic toll of Covid response | The Thaiger

Opposition party Pheu Thai has condemned the government’s management of the Covid-19 crisis, saying total shutdown has had a devastating effect on the country’s economy. In a report in Nation Thailand, Paopoom Rojanasakul, vice secretary-general of the party says the hard-hitting restrictions imposed across the country have led to high unemployment, with the International Monetary Fund saying Thailand’s economy is the worst-affected in the region.

He adds that the IMF is predicting the economy here will shrink by 6.7%, saying Thailand has one of the world’s most negative GDP forecasts, despite appearing to have brought the virus under control quite quickly.

“The question that arises is, if Thailand has controlled the outbreak quicker than the other others, why is its economy worse hit than the others?”

Paopoom says the decision to essentially shut down the economy in the early stages of the outbreak is what caused the damage, not simply the fact that economic performance is dependent on the global economy as a whole. Pheu Thai says the government must act now to stop businesses from going under and to save jobs, saying the government got it wrong when it allowed employers to terminate their workers’ positions.

The party says employers should receive financial incentives to encourage them to keep their staff employed. Paopoom adds that what’s required is a policy of balanced measures that keep the economy running at the same time as the virus is being brought under control.

“The winner of this battle is a balanced state that can control the outbreak while also sustaining the economy until the world has a vaccine.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thai Airways to lay off 30% of its staff

Jack Burton



Thai Airways to lay off 30% of its staff | The Thaiger

“THAI will stop repaying all debt and start from scratch.”

The government announced today that Thai Airways will have to dismiss more than 6,000 employees after entering into receivership proceedings and a debt moratorium of 200 billion baht. The Cabinet decided to push Thai Airways into a bankruptcy procedure under the Bankruptcy Act and ordered the Ministry of Finance to relinquish their majority stake in the airline, thus stripping it of its state-enterprise status and enabling the proceeding under civil law.

A spokesman said the troubled national flag carrier, which racked up billions of baht in losses for years, will “stop repaying all debt and start from scratch”. 30% of its more than 20,000 employees, or some 6,000 people, are to be dismissed. They will receive 10 months salary as compensation as per the Thai labour laws.

Sources say the ‘rehabilitation’ of the airline could take at least one year. The bankruptcy must be declared in the US as well as in Thailand to avoid planes being seized or other asset forfeiture.

Yesterday it was reported that Airbus were chasing repayments for some of the leased planes. But today Airbus denied local reports that it had notified the airline of debts the struggling carrier owes for 30 rented aircraft, according to Nation Thailand.

The 53 Airbus aircraft used by Thai Airways includes six Airbus A380-800,12 A350-900s, 15 A330-300s and 20 A320-200s.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Temple closes to mark decade since redshirt crackdown

Caitlin Ashworth



Temple closes to mark decade since redshirt crackdown | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

A Bangkok temple, where 6 people were shot and killed by the military during the 2010 “redshirt” political protests, has closed during the tragic event’s 10 year anniversary.

A sign was put in front of Wat Pathum Wanaram saying it was closed for “disinfection,” according to Khaosod. But many see the significance of the closure relating to the events a decade ago.

On May 19, 2010, 6 people taking refugee inside the temple were killed by soldiers. 5 of them were killed from troops who shot from the BTS skytrain rail track. 3 of the deceased were volunteer medics.

The temple was designated as a “safe zone” during the government crackdown of redshirt protests calling for an election and for parliament to be dissolved. The protests started around February of 2010 until the government crackdown in May that year.

94 people were killed during the crackdown, and the Bangkok Posts says most of them were redshirt supporters. The Post says 7 soldiers and 2 foreign reporters were also killed in the violence. In 2013, the court found that 6 victims at the temple were shot by troops, but they were unable to identify the soldiers.

SOURCES: Khaosod English | Bangkok Post| Bangkok Post

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