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Thai police deny using emergency decree as political tool

Maya Taylor

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Thai police deny using emergency decree as political tool | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English
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Following the arrest of two activists in Bangkok on Friday, police deny using the emergency decree to suppress political dissent. Both activists were arrested at the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre, where a small group was commemorating the 6th anniversary of the May 2014 military coup that swept PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to power, tossing out the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

Authorities say both men, who were leading the group, were violating the emergency decree by holding an unauthorised gathering. Police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen say the case will likely go to trial within the next month, where the activists could receive a sentence of up to 2 years’ imprisonment if found guilty.

The emergency decree, enacted by the government to handle the time of the Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand, has been extended to the end of June.

However, according to a Khaosod English report, one of the men, Anurak Jeantawanich, says neither he nor fellow defendant Totsaporn Serirak, were doing anything to spread the virus, having taken all necessary safety precautions. He says the arrests are politically motivated and plans to appeal to the Office of the Attorney General. The arrests come just hours after several other political activists were arrested for staging a protest at Democracy Monument in the capital.

“The government is using the emergency decree to deprive freedom and liberty of the people, no different from under the junta.”

Kissana denies the allegation, saying the police are simply enforcing the current law that prohibits any gatherings.

“My job is not to make people believe or not believe. We enforced the law as usual. The organisers violated the decree and it’s the same with those found drinking alcohol in a group.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    ken jones

    May 26, 2020 at 10:45 am

    It so simple every country every educqted person knows that democrqcy is a falsehood in Thailand always has been. Yes Thailand in a Junta. Facts are facts there is no denying this. Proaganda in the goveement controlled media fills the airways every single day to massage the mirage that is a truism. It is really sad the Thai people want tue democracy but they never get it it is allways crushed by the tinity of power in Thailand.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Uruguay’s Covid-19 Policy of “freedom with responsibility” shows success

Anukul

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Uruguay’s Covid-19 Policy of “freedom with responsibility” shows success | The Thaiger
PHOTO: DW

To the Government of Uruguay’s relief, their policy of “independence with responsibility” in the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic seems to have been successful… so far. Yesterday, when Europe opened its borders to 15 countries, Uruguay became the only Latin American country to be included. With less than 1,000 registered Covid-19 cases and just 27 deaths, the 3.4 million-plus nation is a significant anomaly in the south American countries that have become the new hotzone of coronavirus cases. Read more HERE

Uruguay currently has just 83 confirmed cases, while its giant neighbour Brazil is the hardest hit country in the world after the US.

This performance is especially impressive as there has never been an official lockdown to the extent other countries have imposed. Instead, in the midst of industrial businesses, school and border closures, authorities ‘advised’ people to stay indoors and strictly adhere to social distancing.

The message was conveyed to the public by media and police helicopters flying overhead with frequent updates and positive messaging, education and information.

The president, who took office in early March as the pandemic was just warming up, said he opted for “individual rights” rather than a “police state” approach. Calls for self-isolation were widely adhered to with minimal effort from officials.

Infectious disease specialist Alvaro Galiana credits the success of Uruguay to early identification and tracking.

Galiana says… “The early appearance of well-known cases, at a time when the circulation of the virus within the population was very limited, led to adequate measures being implemented, even if at the time they seemed exaggerated “.

SOURCE: The Jakarta Post

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Nightlife operators warned: follow the rules or face closure

Jack Burton

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Nightlife operators warned: follow the rules or face closure | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Tripzilla

Bangkok police have issued a stern warning to nightlife venue operators… follow the rules or be closed again. National police chief Chaktip Chaijinda has instructed officers to make sure entertainment venue operators comply with disease control regulations and that both service providers and customers understand the “new normal.”

The warning comes after a meeting of senior city police, the Health Department of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and more than 200 entertainment venue operators, in which they were briefed on regulatory compliance in the fifth phase of lockdown relaxations. He said entertainment venues that fail to adopt the safety regulations will be warned, and if they refuse to comply, will be ordered to suspend their operations.

Dararat Matkham, a restaurant and karaoke operator, said she’s relieved nightlife venues are being allowed to reopen, and has already put in place public health safety practices – she’s provided sanitiser gel for customers and microphones will be cleaned regularly, although customers are being advised to bring their own microphones. She says her premises will place tables in accordance with social distancing rules.

Somwang Chuenhathai, a “soapy massage” operator says his business has made it mandatory for masseuses to wear face shields or masks while working, and his premises will be cleaned before and during opening hours.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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World travel business faces slow recovery – UN report

The Thaiger

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World travel business faces slow recovery – UN report | The Thaiger

Plenty of businesses are suffering and recovery will be slow, and lumpy. One of the hardest hit, and probably one of the most difficult industries to re-start, is the world travel business. Hotels, airlines, tour companies, travel agencies and online booking systems… and the millions of people employed to make all those work together as a working machine.

Now a UN study predicts that the global tourism business will lose up to US$3.3 trillion due to impact of Covid-19 bans and lockdowns, with Thailand to lose US$47 billion alone. According to the report, Thailand and France stand to lose around US$47 billion each. But the US and China are projected to have single largest losses in the travel industry.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions in the global economy. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic had brought international travel to an abrupt halt and significantly impacted the tourism industry.”

The UN Conference on Trade and Development has released its ‘Covid-19 and Tourism’ and poses 3 scenarios for the world travel industry, assessing the impact of restrictive measures lasting 4, 8 and 12 months. Revenues are projected to fall $1.17, $2.22 and $3.3 trillion in the 3 scenarios, or 1.5-4.2% of the world’s GDP.

Speaking at a media conference, one of the authors believed that the second scenario “could be a realistic one”.

“International tourism has been almost totally suspended, and domestic tourism curtailed by lockdown conditions imposed in many countries. Although some destinations have started slowly to open up, many are afraid of international travel or cannot afford it due to the economic crisis.”

Then small tourist island states, such as Jamaica, stand to lose a much larger proportion of their economies, facing an 11% fall in GDP. Tourist islands like Bali and Phuket are also facing a bleak outlook until their tourism industries pick up again.

The UNCTAD report covers 65 individual countries and regions and is calling for governments to boost social protection for affected workers in the worst impacted nations.

World travel business faces slow recovery - UN report | News by The Thaiger

Download the full report HERE.

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