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Protest planned for courthouse tomorrow as verdict on PM’s residence expected

Maya Taylor

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Protest planned for courthouse tomorrow as verdict on PM’s residence expected | The Thaiger
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The Ratsadon (People’s Party) movement is planning a protest outside the Constitutional Court tomorrow as a verdict is handed down in relation to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s occupancy of a military residence, despite his retirement from the army. The ruling is expected at 3.00pm tomorrow and comes as a result of a petition lodged by opposition MPs in March, in which the PM was accused of a conflict of interest as a result of his residence.

Members of the Pheu Thai Party are leading the charge, claiming the PM should have moved out of the accommodation at the time of his retirement in 2014. For his part, the PM says he’ll move out if the court rules against him, insisting his occupancy of the military residence is not an abuse of power. According to a report in the Bangkok Post today, the military says the property has been re-classified as a “visitor’s house” and says it was provided to the PM for security reasons.

Wirat Ratana­sate from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party says members have not yet discussed a list of potential replacement candidates, should the court’s ruling go against the PM. Were that to happen, it would mean the end of his term as leader and the end of his current cabinet. Wirat remains optimistic however, that the court will find in the PM’s favour.

“We may have to discuss the matter with coalition parties. Still, let’s wait for the court’s ruling. Don’t jump to any conclusion that there will be a political accident. The outcome may turn out to be good.”

Meanwhile, authorities in Bangkok say they’re ready to handle tomorrow’s planned protest outside the courthouse. Pakkapong Pongpetra from the Metropolitan Police Bureau says officers have devised a number of security measures to maintain order during the rally and ensure events inside the courtroom can proceed as normal.

His statement comes as Ramate Rattanachaweng from the Democrat Party issues a warning to anti-government protesters that pressurising the court could lead to charges of contempt of court. He is calling on them to cancel tomorrow’s gathering.

Meanwhile, members of the opposition say they’re confident the court will rule against the PM, with the legal chief of the Pheu Thai Party, Chusak Sirinil, saying the designation of “visitor’s house” does not indicate a permanent residence.

“A visitor’s house is for temporary stays of 7 to 10 days, not forever.”

Prasert Chantararuangthong, also from Pheu Thai, dismisses the army’s explanation that the PM needs to live in a military residence for security reasons, pointing out that the army is not responsible for prime ministerial security. Meanwhile, fellow Pheu Thai MP, Arunee Kasayanont, suggests the PM should pay attention to what the people are demanding and resign immediately, regardless of the verdict.

“General Prayut can make a graceful exit by resigning before December 2 and thus respond to the demand of demonstrators.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    This seems the best way to be rid of the old tyrant. Demonstrating does not . . .
    See how his old army pals claim the house was changed into a visitors house.
    A feeble excuse.
    See how snakes squirm when trapped.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Yingluck was removed from office as PMN by the Constitutional Court in 2014 because she had removed, Thawil Pliensri, from his post as National Security Council secretary-general in 2011.

    Samak was removed by the Court in 2008 because he MC’d a couple of TV cooking shows (Cooking and Grumbling).

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Thailand

Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law

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Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced a former public official to more than 4 decades in prison for violating the country’s strict lèse majesté law on insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

The woman, a former Revenue Department official known as Anchan, was found guilty on 29 counts of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lèse majesté law, as well as the Computer Crime Act. She was sentenced to 43 years and 6 months in prison.

Anchan had posted audio clips on Facebook and YouTube of a man making comments considered critical of the Thai Monarchy. The man has been arrested, but officials haven’t released any other details.

The ruling comes during an ongoing pro-democracy movement raising subjects that are considered taboo in Thai society. In recent months, dozens of protesters have been charged with violating the lèse majesté law. A senior researcher from the Human Rights Watch as the recent sentence sends a “spine-chilling” message.

“Today’s court verdict is shocking and sends a spine-chilling signal that not only criticisms of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, but they will also be severely punished.”

Section 112 of the Criminal Code:

Those who defame, insult or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall be punished by a jail term of between three to 15 years.

SOURCES: Thai Enquirer | Bangkok Biz News| Independent

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years

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Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Crime Thailand

Immigration police arrested a 40 year old Nigerian man for allegedly overstaying his visa by 2,683 days. The man entered Thailand in April 2014 on a 60 day tourist visa. He was arrested in in Ratchathewi district of Bangkok.

Illegal immigration is considered as a major factor of the second wave of Covid-19 after the outbreak Samut Sakhon seafood market affecting a large migrant population.

Thai Visa says immigration officers were “targeting Africans to check on their visa status as part of measures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The penalties for overstaying in Thailand are as follows…

When surrendering at airport immigration when leaving Thailand…

  • Overstay less than 90 Days = 500 Thai baht/day overstay fine (maximum 20,000 Thai baht)
  • Overstay more than 90 Days = 1 year ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 3 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 3 Years = 5 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 5 Years = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine

When caught while overstaying…

  • Overstay of 1 day to 1 Year = 5 years ban from Thailand and 500 to 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.

SOURCES: True Crime Thailand | Thai Embassy| Thai Visa

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BTS Skytrain’s Green Line maximum fare to rise, Rail Transport Department disagrees with the move

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BTS Skytrain’s Green Line maximum fare to rise, Rail Transport Department disagrees with the move | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

After the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration agreed to raise the maximum fare on the BTS Skytrain’s Green Line from 59 baht to 158 baht, the Rail Transport Department is calling on city officials to suspend the maximum fare ceiling, saying it would put an unfair burden on passengers.

Bangkok Governor Aswin announced earlier that the maximum fare of 158 baht is to be imposed on February 16, but a discount to 104 baht is offered during the Covid-19 outbreak. The City Hall needs to increase the fare rate because it can’t pay the debt to Bangkok Mass Transit System.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob says the BMA should halt its policy on the new BTS maximum fare and wait for other authorities to find proper solutions.

The Chairman of a House committee on transport, Sophon Sarum, a former transport minister, dismisses the BMA’s claim of its financial inability to repay the Green Line’s loans while suggesting the BMA to manage the Green Line’s finances by raising funds from banks and other financial institutions.

The Rail Department and BMA will meet to discuss the maximum fare ceiling this week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Coconuts Bangkok

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