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Bangkok in “State of Emergency” for 1 month, PM warns about possible curfew

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Twitter: @Praewpavika

For the next month, Bangkok will be in a “State of Emergency” with a ban on public gatherings of more than 5 people. If protests persist and get out of hand, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has warned today that the government will invoke a nightly curfew, prohibiting people from leaving their homes during certain hours.

It should be said, that even though this decree is now in place it is unlikely to impede any of Bangkok’s day to day traffic and activities and you shouldn’t hesitate to visit the capital if you’re in the country and plans for doing so. We will be able to keep track of any planned protests and keep you alert of any places to avoid.

The order, imposed early Thursday morning at 4am, led to the breaking up of a pro-democracy demonstration by police armed with riot gear. Protesters started at Democracy Monument on Wednesday early afternoon and headed towards Government House to set up camp in an effort to pressure Prayut to resign. More than 20 people have so far been arrested and face charges of violating the emergency decree and holding an illegal demonstration.

In announcement from the cabinet secretariat office, the emergency decree was issued because leaders of the group “Khana Rassadorn 2563,” which means “People’s Party 2020,” violated public gathering related laws and incited unrest, noting the complications during the royal motorcade which was happening along the same route as Wednesday’s protest.

The rally also affected measures to contain the coronavirus, the announcement said, adding that another outbreak would affect the country’s “fragile” economy.

The emergency decree didn’t stop people yesterday. Thousands, possibly 15,000 to 20,000 (there’s no official head count), gathered at Ratchaprasong intersection to continue the protest that had been shut down at the Government House.

Protesters planned to gather at Ratchaprasong intersection again today, but police have blocked the road.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Robert Bunker

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    Fantastic job Tu. This will do wonders for the desperately needed economic recovery. Shades of every myopic dictator from Ceaucescu to Gaddafi and Hussain. When dictatorships fail to see the reality staring them in the face the end is close at hand.

    • Avatar

      Ynwaps

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      We’ll at least there aren’t any tourists left to scare.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Well, two of those stayed in power for 25 years, the third for over 40 …..

      • Avatar

        Preesy Chepuce

        Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 4:04 am

        This is the worry… the CCP has form on footing the bill to obstruct the will of the people, at home and abroad.

  2. Avatar

    Mike White

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    To be extended indefinitely like the emergency decree. Another 2 bit dictator

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    The protestors can just gather somewhere else.
    They are all in touch by cell phone.

  4. Avatar

    James Scott

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Prayut’s government won’t be around much longer. When a government starts threatening the country’s peacefully protesting children with military-style police tactics and armored vehicles bought from overseas, it is usually weeks or months before a government falls.

    Prayut has been backed into a corner and, like the rabid dog he is, he will continue to bite until he is stopped. At this point, with Thailand’s collapsing economy and ever-increasing pro-democracy protests, I give him weeks not months.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 10:01 pm

      Yes all suffered an unexpected violent death. Ceaucescu wept like a baby before they killed him.
      This Thai PM better flee now with his monetary gain while in power, or suffer the same fate.

  5. Avatar

    Jim

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Well, just wait until the rest of the country gets involved in the protests. These demonstrators are small in numbers compared to what it will be like when places like Issan and the North get involved. Look for exponential escalation before year’s end. Water guns with chemicals won’t stop the demonstrations. They’ll only make them larger. This won’t end pretty, I’m afraid to say.

  6. Avatar

    Stockman

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 9:08 am

    I moved from Bangkok in 2014 during the last coup. When I personally saw them fire a rocket in front of the big C by Centralworld it hit a Turk tuck killing a family. How many will die this time, this now involves the prime minister and the monarchy,, it’s unprecedented, this will not be peaceful. Unfortunately for Thailand there will be Thai blood being spilled in the streets of the capital once again. Hope Buddha can protect all because that’s the only hope left for this country, there is none to intervene now only the divine, bless all for a safe and peaceful transition to what’s next.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Politics

Deputy PM declares Thammanat Prompow controversy finished

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Deputy Agriculture Minister Prompao talks to reporters after a government cabinet meeting in Bangkok (via Reuters)

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam says that the debate is over regarding Thammanat Prompow, the controversial Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives and influential Palang Pracharath Party ‘fixer’.

The Constitutional court has already ruled that he is qualified to hold office under Thai law and will keep his position, though a huge backlash followed the ruling, and the public wondered how his 1993 heroin trafficking conviction in Australia. Then using the name ‘Manat Bophlom’, he was convicted of conspiring to import a traffic able amount of heroin, serving 4 years of a 6 year sentence.

According to Wikipedia, Thammanat parliamentary declaration of assets in August 2019 listed “2 wives, 7 children, and a net worth of about $42 million, including a Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Tesla, and Mercedes-Benz along with 12 Hermès and 13 Chanel handbags, luxury watches, and Thai Buddha amulets.”

Thai law says that no one who has been convicted of an indictable offence is eligible to hold public office, but the new decision seems to imply that anything that happens outside of Thailand’s border does not qualify. A legal expert, the Deputy PM says that this ruling is not in opposition to the rules about convicts holding office.

He says that a conviction by Australia’s New South Wales Court is not legally binding in Thailand and therefore does not disqualify Thammanat. Only a jail sentence from a Thai court would be considered a roadblock to a candidate being confirmed to hold government office.

Thai immigration law, however, determines that convictions in home countries will bar people from entry into Thailand. The decision also calls into question the legitimacy of the Australian/Thailand extradition treaty which saw Thammanat deported back to Thailand after serving 4 years of his 6 year sentence.

But the Council of State had declared that someone in jail for 2 years cannot hold office within 5 years of release, regardless of whether the jailing was in Thailand or in another country. The 4 year jail term Thammanat served in Australia ended in 1997 so the 5-year grace period has already passed.

The Deputy PM says that this ruling by the Constitutional Court does set a new precedent for future issues of possible MP candidates that may have been in trouble with the law outside of Thailand. But he stopped short of supporting Thammanat’s prior conduct unconditionally, declining to comment.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has been under pressure to investigate Thammanat and whether his conduct has been ethical. The Deputy PM said that the Constitutional Court ruling does not whitewash any other issues Thammanat may face.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Friday Covid UPDATE: 27 more deaths, 2,044 new infections

Thaiger

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The Friday report, compiling the regional totals from Thursday, indicates that has been 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

He also disclosed that the government are planning to set a levy of 300 baht to be collected from foreign tourists starting from January 2020 “to set up a tourism fund for emergency use”. Speaking to Bangkok Post…

“Once the spread is under control, the government will resume travel bubble discussions with Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia.”

 

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