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Anti-coal protestors start hunger strike

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Anti-coal protestors start hunger strike | The Thaiger

A hunger strike was started today by two groups of protestors who say they will not eat until the government permanently cancels the coal-fired power plants in the South.

A total 19 activists from Save Andaman from Coal and the Network of Songkhla-Pattani Residents Against Coal-Fired Power Plants kicked off their hunger strike in front of the United Nation headquarters in Bangkok.

They are demanding the government put a permanent end to the proposed Krabi and Thepa coal-fired power plant projects

A prominent member of groups opposing coal-fired power plants, said the protesters are pledging to fight the coal-fired power plant projects by putting their lives on the line. They will sit at the UN headquarters and refuse to consume anything other than water in an act reflecting the highest level of civil disobedience against the government. The group in 2012 began their public opposition to the coal-fired plants.

In subsequent years of opposing the projects, the groups “have tried every campaign tactic to urge the government not to build harmful coal-fired power plants in Krabi and Songkhla’s Thepa District, but the government never really listened to us,” said Prasitchai. “So we have no choice but to sacrifice our lives to protect our beloved home.” He said he is sure that others will join their hunger strike and will not stop until the government complies with the groups’ demand. The coal-fired power plant groups also appealed to the international community to pay attention to Thailand’s plan to construct new coal-fired power plants, as burning coal creates environmental impacts on a global scale by intensifying climate change. In July 2015, Prasitchai and another Krabi coal-fired power plant protester, Akradej Chakjinda, had staged a hunger strike in front of the Tourism and Sports Ministry to demand the government stop the Krabi coal-fired power plant. They ended the hunger strike on the 14th day after Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed to form a three-party joint committee to determine the fate of that project.

However, discussions between the Energy Ministry, National Legislative Assembly, academics and local people on the joint committee failed to end the conflict. That led to another big protest against the Krabi coal-fired power plant in Bangkok in October 2016. The conflict has continued as the group tried other approaches to persuade the government to stop plans to produce power through burning coal.

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Airports of Thailand block entrance to new Central Village at Suvarnabhumi

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Airports of Thailand block entrance to new Central Village at Suvarnabhumi | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

Please be seated and fasten your seat belts due to severe turbulence at the front of the almost-open Central Village “luxury outlet” shopping area next to Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.

A dispute between Airports of Thailand and Central Pattana, the owners of Central Village, has hit some mid-air turbulence after AOT officials set up tents blocking the entrance of the hew shopping precinct to open on August 31. The AOT claims the outlet “trespasses the flying zone of Suvarnabhumi Airport” next door.

AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn says he sent officials to inspect the disputed area earlier and found that Central Village was building a road connecting the outlet to the main road.

“The road they are building trespasses the airport’s flying zone. The land was assigned to AOT’s administration by the Treasury Ministry.”
Nitinai added that Central Village also applied for permission to lay a water pipe through the land, which cannot be approved because this, too, would violate flying zone regulations.

Meanwhile, Central Pattana issued a letter claiming its construction strictly follows current urban laws and regulations, and that it had received approval from related agencies before commencing all work.

The letter also said that applying for tap water and electricity connections from responsible authorities is a fundamental right to basic infrastructure, which every citizen is entitled to.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Opinion

The road to Vietnam

The Thaiger

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The road to Vietnam | The Thaiger

OPINION

Expat blog ‘Dan about Thailand‘ by ThaiVisa’s Dan Cheeseman, has an article about the Thai expats who are looking to regions beyond to plant their flag as the murmurings become a symphony of complaints about their current life in the Land of Smiles.

“Living in Thailand for many of us Expats is what dreams are made of. With a beautiful climate, food and wonderful Thai people, it is paradise. But everything has its tipping point yet we don’t really know what an expats tipping point was when it came to upping sticks and leaving.”

Dan, a family man who has spent time living in Pattaya and Hua Hin, reflects mostly on the plight of the British expat who has seen a falling baht/pound exchange rate, rising costs and complexities in visas, affect their capabilities and desire to continue living in Thailand.

There has been a whole number of factors in recent times that has made living in Thailand more challenging, moreso for retired expats; with the strengthening of the baht and weakening of domestic currencies causing a serious financial issue. This shifting of valuations has meant Thailand is no longer a cheap place to retire.

In reality the ‘British Expat’ is a small proportion of the 2019 Thai expat mix which is now made up mostly by Chinese, Japanese, Americans, then a wide range of many other nationalities including the British.

It has always been a finger in the air to try and guess the numbers of retirees in Thailand, if you spoke with many seasoned working expats a few years ago they would more often than not say somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 retiree expats lived in Thailand.  But it was always pure guesswork.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Migration report put the figure at nearer 75,000 retirees living in Thailand. This was a figure that shocked many, as it was far lower than anyone could have guessed.

And so to the Thailand’s nearest neighbours, including Vietnam, which are now being touted as a viable alternative to move their pension and their lives. Dan provides evidence of a palpable interest in the communist country, still emerging from the protracted Second Indochina War, aka. the Vietnam War, and a developing economic south east asian star.

I recently had lunch with the CEO of one of the six big insurance companies for expats in Thailand. He said each week they get 5 requests from retired expats to move their Health Insurance to Vietnam. That is over 20 requests a month and if this is consistent with the other 5 insurance companies, the figure rises to a 120 expat requests a month.

At the end of the day, life does not stand still and the unpredictability of it means sometimes you just don’t see things happening – until they do. It would appear for many retired expats living in Thailand that choice is now Vietnam.

Read the full article HERE.

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Expats

British man arrested in Hua Hin for overstaying his visa

May Taylor

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British man arrested in Hua Hin for overstaying his visa | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Naew Na

A 22 year old British man is in police custody in Hua Hin for having overstayed his visa.

An official under the command of the chief of Prajuab Khiri Khan immigration handed the man over to the police, as it is understood that he has overstayed his visa by 143 days.

SOURCE: ThaiVisa and Naew Na

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