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Tropical Storm Nuri and Andaman Sea monsoon cause heavy rains throughout Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Tropical Storm Nuri and Andaman Sea monsoon cause heavy rains throughout Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath
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Tropical Storm Nuri ripped China’s Guangdong province over the weekend; its wider effects causing storms in Northern Thailand. And a strong southwest monsoon in the Andaman Sea brought on rainstorms in other parts of the country. Hundreds of homes have been damaged from the storms and many streets have flooded.

From Udon Thani in the north to Surat Thani in the south, 324 homes were damaged from storms. In the Isan region, certain areas of Korat were flooded after hours of heavy rain on Sunday. In Saraburi, Central Thailand, many vehicles with flooded engines stalled out, causing a traffic jam on the Mittraphap Highway.

The Thai Meteorological Department says that isolated heavy rainstorms are still expected throughout the country today and tomorrow, warning about the risk of flash floods. The monsoon, with the low-pressure covering Laos and Vietnam, will cause heavy to very heavy rains in Thailand. The monsoon is expected to weaken by the end of the week.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Thai Meteorological Department

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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

Jailed former politicians await outcome of bail hearing

Maya Taylor

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Jailed former politicians await outcome of bail hearing | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Reuters

8 former politicians, now behind bars for their role in protests that toppled the Yingluck Shinawatra administration and led to the 2014 military coup, are waiting for the outcome of their bail hearing. The detainees, all former members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, are Suthep Thaugsuban, Issara Somchai, Chumpol Julsai, the Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam, Education Minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan, the Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Suwit Thongprasert and Samdin Lertbutr.

Their legal team is being led by Sawat Charoenphon, who says he’s hopeful the court will respond favourably to the request. The 8 were jailed earlier this week, alongside 18 others for their part in street protests in 2013 and 2014 which toppled the Yingluck Shinawatra government and ended with the 2014 military coup in which Prayut Chan-o-cha was installed as PM. According to the Bangkok Post, they were found guilty on charges of insurrection, criminal association, illegal assembly, and obstructing others from casting votes.

Sawat says he has visited the 8 former PDRC members, reporting that they were all fine after their first night in Bangkok Remand Prison. They were also visited by Warong Dechgitvigrom from the Thai Pakdee Party, who reported that Suthep was constantly smiling.

Rangsima Rodrasamee, a Democrat MP for the central province of Samut Songkhram, herself a co-defendant but acquitted, says she only managed to speak to Buddhipongse and Suwit during her visit, due to the number of visitors waiting. She says Buddhipongse and Suwit appeared to be in good spirits but tired from a lack of sleep.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Police investigate “offensive” posts on Facebook pages of jailed activists

Maya Taylor

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Police investigate “offensive” posts on Facebook pages of jailed activists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Reuters

The authorities are investigating the origin of content deemed offensive, which has appeared on the Facebook pages of 2 jailed activists, despite them having no access to phones or the internet. The Department of Corrections has asked the Technology Crime Suppression Division to investigate content posted on the pages of jailed protest leaders Parit Chiwarak and Anon Nampa.

Both Parit and Anon are being held on a number of charges, including sedition and lèse majesté, following a protest in the capital on September 19. Thanakrit Chitarirat from the Ministry of Justice says despite Parit being held at Bangkok Remand Prison, with no phone or internet access, provocative posts are still appearing on his Facebook page. Thanakrit has called the content damaging and in violation of the Computer Crimes Act.

Anan Nanasombat from the TCSD says complaints have been received about posts on Parit’s page both before and after he was imprisoned. He suggests it could be someone with Parit’s log-in information, who is posting on the activist’s behalf.

According to a Bangkok Post report, officials are investigating if Parit is involved in the posts, with a view to taking further legal action against the activist if this proves to be the case. It’s understood the authorities are also monitoring those who share the content as this too could be considered a crime. Similar content is being posted on Anon Nampa’s Facebook page, although Thanakrit says those posts are softer in tone.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday

Maya Taylor

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PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha will receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, while Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul will receive the Chinese jab. According to a Bangkok Post report, Sopon Mekthon from the sub-committee on vaccine management says both politicians will receive their vaccines at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. On Monday, the vaccination of priority groups in specific provinces will get underway.

Speaking about the arrival of the long-awaited vaccines yesterday, Anutin said the first batch would be distributed free of charge, with costs covered by the government.

“The vaccines are for Thais and those living in the country. Anyone who charges for the vaccine will face legal action.”

Thailand has taken delivery of 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab and 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The arrival of the AstraZeneca jab took many by surprise, with no mention of its imminent arrival, unlike the PR hoopla surrounding the arrival of its Chinese counterpart. Another 800,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine are expected next month, followed by a further 1 million in April. After that, the rest of Thailand’s vaccines will be from AstraZeneca, with 26 million locally-manufactured doses expected to be available from May to June and another 35 million after that.

Nakorn Premsri from the National Vaccine Institute says the AstraZeneca vaccines arrived this week as a result of a commitment by the pharmaceutical giant to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“The AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in Thailand must receive a lot release certificate from the Department of Medical Sciences before distribution to priority groups designated by the Department of Disease Control.”

Meanwhile, Thares Karasnairaviwong from the Department of Health Service Support says over 1.5 million village health volunteers are educating local residents about the importance of vaccination and establishing how many people fall into the priority groups who will be first to be inoculated.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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