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Truck drivers carrying ‘royal supporters’ face charges for travelling on expressways

Caitlin Ashworth

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Truck drivers carrying ‘royal supporters’ face charges for travelling on expressways | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand
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6 truck drivers carrying loads of ‘royalists’ to the Democracy Monument, are facing charges pressed by the Expressway Authority of Thailand, or EXAT. The yellow-clad ‘supporters’ of the royal family stood tightly packed on the bed of Department of Law Enforcement trucks, riding down the Kamphaeng Phet-Yommarat tollway. They were all dressed in yellow, a colour that symbolises the Thai Monarchy. Why they were ‘trucked in’ from outer provinces has not been explained at this stage.

Some drivers took photos of the government ‘cheer squad’ packed on the trucks, questioning if they had broken any laws. In fact, they did. EXAT says the drivers violated the 2012 Expressway Traffic Act which prohibits passengers from riding in the bed of a truck without a cover and 2 rows of seats. They also defied the government’s own guidelines, covered under its emergency decree, preventing ‘large gatherings’ without adequate social distancing.

“The expressway authority has filed police complaints against the truck drivers, who will be fined 1,000 baht for breaking the law.”

Toll collectors claimed that from their position seated in the toll booth, they could not see that people were standing in the truck bed.

The royal supporters, either rent-a-crod or real, were on their way to Democracy Monument for the Royal motorcade, which happened to be planned on the same day as a pro-democracy rally. Some royalists were ironically seen raising their hands in the 3 finger salute, which is used by pro-democracy protesters as a symbol of resistance against Thailand’s military-run government.

Other police groups were shipped in from outer provinces, some even travelled from Phuket under command, to put on the yellow shirts, wave small Thai flags and line the streets along the route of this evening’s motorcade.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 14, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Slap the cuffs on those law enforcement truck drivers. Off to the slammer with them.
    They cannot be one law for royalists and another for those lovely cuddly innocent student protesters. The students would have been prevented.
    However I am totally neutral in my opinion of the matter . . .

  2. Avatar

    Hk chan

    October 14, 2020 at 6:54 pm

    Come on thai government, democracy is legel on most modern country. Don’t do that like HongKong and China government.

  3. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    October 14, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    It is very common to see Myanmar workers carried that way all over Phuket, but hey that doesn’t brake the law since they aren’t Thai.

  4. Avatar

    Michael

    October 14, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    A fine of 1000 Baht will teach them a lesson! ;))))

  5. Avatar

    John

    October 15, 2020 at 12:12 am

    Anti monarchy protests are supported by the same group that is supporting the anti China HK protests.
    The real story is they want a change in Thai law that currently doesn’t allow foreigners to run and own banks in Thailand.
    Protests in HK are about allowing this same group the freedom to move their ill-gotten wealth from China.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      October 15, 2020 at 8:25 am

      Please provide evidence of this contention.

  6. Avatar

    James

    October 15, 2020 at 2:08 am

    That will teach them a good lesson, each of the passengers will have to pay 20 baht each towards the fine 🙂

    No mention of the fact they are packed together in the truck and then packed together in the thousands while the virus is being spread far and wide.

    During my 7-month stay this year in Phuket, I saw all the supermarkets were packed with people with no social distancing, large queues of people bunched together in the street receiving the free food being handed out, yet only 60+ people have died of the virus so far.

    I can’t stop laughing and wondering why people believe such information?

    In the UK there have been tens of thousands of deaths, that is because we have easy access to tests for example I booked a test online last week and was tested three hours later so we know the truth about how many have the virus and have died, but then again we are a democracy.

  7. Avatar

    John C.

    October 15, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Imagine a monarch so unpopular that they literally have to ship in truckloads of rented supporters.

    • Avatar

      Red Shirt

      October 16, 2020 at 4:09 am

      Imagine your comment getting published. Amazing.

  8. Avatar

    James Pate

    October 15, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Honestly? Would you expect the toll booth operators to be able to do anything?

  9. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    October 18, 2020 at 4:12 am

    Perhaps EXAT are concerned about the possibility of an RTA, with all the implications of that?

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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.

Crime

Man arrested for growing 108 cannabis plants in Samut Prakan

Caitlin Ashworth

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Man arrested for growing 108 cannabis plants in Samut Prakan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77kaoded

Police arrested an Argentinian man for growing cannabis at his house in Samut Prakan, just southeast of Bangkok. 35 year old Sagas Nur told police he planned to produce cannabis oil.

Medical marijuana is legalised – with limitations – while recreational marijuana is still classified as a category 5 narcotic. Sagas is facing charges of producing a category 5 narcotic. He could face 2 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 1,500,000 baht.

Police were tipped off about Sagas’ alleged growing operation. They searched the house and say they found 108 cannabis plants that were about 1.5 metre high. Sagas allegedly told police he bought the seeds online with the intention to grow plants and then produce cannabis oil.

Thailand legalised medical marijuana in 2018, becoming the first country in Southeast Asia to do so. Recreational marijuana trafficking and operations continue to be busted by police while the government studies medical marijuana with plans to tap into the global market. The Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul even helped plant cannabis seedlings at a government-run facility with 1,300 plants.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | South China Morning Post

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Protests

Opposition MPs petition for Bangkok State of Emergency to be lifted

Maya Taylor

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Opposition MPs petition for Bangkok State of Emergency to be lifted | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.nandy0140.com

A group of opposition MPs and other activists will today petition to have the emergency decree currently in force in Bangkok revoked. Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha imposed the state of emergency last Thursday morning, in the wake of escalating political unrest in the capital. Now a number of Pheu Thai MPs and other opponents of the State of Emergency are calling on the Civil Court to retract it.

Last weeks declaration was “rubber stamped” the next day by an emergency meeting of the Thai cabinet.

One of those petitioning for the state of emergency to be rescinded, is the President of the Lawyers’ Association of Thailand, Narinphong Jinaphak. He says enforcement of the decree is illegal and that there is nothing to justify it, pointing out that political rallies have been peaceful, and protesters have acted within the confines of the law. He also points out that the Thai Constitution guarantees citizens the right to assemble.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports that Cholnan Srikaew, Pheu Thai MP for the northern province of Nan, has described the PM’s announcement of the State of Emergency in the early hours of last Thursday as illegitimate. He adds that should the court decide the state of emergency is unlawful, the group may sue the government for having declared it.

The group is also petitioning for an interim injunction, to prevent authorities from using the emergency decree against protesters, while the court considers whether to revoke it altogether.

Meanwhile, national police chief, Suwat Jangyodsuk, says officers are still under orders to avoid the use of force when dealing with protesters, in order to protect them and the general public. He denies that water cannons used to disperse a protest in Bangkok on Friday contained chemical substances known to cause irritation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Visa

41 foreign tourists to arrive in Bangkok today on Special Tourist Visa after 7 month ban

Caitlin Ashworth

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41 foreign tourists to arrive in Bangkok today on Special Tourist Visa after 7 month ban | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Patrick Tomasso

Just 41 foreign tourists are expected to arrive in Bangkok today, a small, yet major step forward after a 7 month ban on international tourists which was put in place in late-March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The visitors are said to be travelling on the new Special Tourist Visa, which allows a 90 day stay that can be renewed twice, adding up to about 9 months. But the tourists departing from Shanghai, China and arriving in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport this evening will only be in Thailand for 30 days, and that includes a 14 day quarantine, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says.

Plans under the new scheme have been sketchy to say the least and reports have been conflicting. Reports circulated about a group of about 120 to 150 tourists under the new visa scheduled to arrive in Phuket earlier this month from Guangzhou, China. The flight was delayed. A few days later, a spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry announced no one from Guangzhou had actually applied for the visa and TAT just passed off a list of those “interested” in the scheme rather than those who were ready to fly.

Things seem a bit sketchy again. The flight arriving today was at first going to have 120 to 150 tourists, but now it’s down to 41, according to Pattaya News. Yuthasak did not say why only a limited number of tourists are arriving today, but says Bangkok’s ongoing protests are not a factor, adding that the tourists plan to travel to beaches outside the city once the mandatory quarantine period is over. He says 100 more Chinese tourists will arrive in Bangkok later this week.

Upon arrival, the tourists will be tested for Covid-19 and are required to register with a Covid-19 tracking application. They will then be transferred to certified quarantine accommodations to stay for the next 14 days.

“If the first batch of Chinese tourists is considered to be potentially successful, TAT might propose the idea of increasing more tourists to the CCSA (Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration) and the government.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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