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PM considers lifting State of Emergency, parliament to meet for special session

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM considers lifting State of Emergency, parliament to meet for special session | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: PR Thai Government
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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha addressed the nation in a televised speech last night, saying he’ll lift the State of Emergency order in Bangkok “if there is no violence” and asks that protesters “turn down the volume on hateful or divisive talk.” Later that night, thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Government House, calling on his resignation. They even had a pre-prepared letter for him to sign. But the Prime Minister was long gone by they time they arrived.

The Thai prime minister said the pro-democracy protesters have made their voices heard and he’s requested a special parliament session on October 26 and 27 to discuss topics the protesters have raised. He didn’t go into detail, but the protesters have been calling on government reformation and a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution. They’ve also been consistently pushing Prayut to resign. PM Prayut didn’t respond to that issue during last night’s speech.

Many have condemned the government for using violence against peaceful protesters after high-pressure water cannons were used to break up a demonstration last Friday night at the Pathumwan intersection in Bangkok’s central shopping district. In his recent speech, Prayut acknowledged that things will not get better by using the water cannon, but his version of events at Friday night’s protest is quite different from that which has been reported in most media. The PM claimed that “terrible crimes” were committed against police. He stated that “some people used metal rods to attack officers”.

He acknowledged that the violent protesters are just a small group. He also acknowledged that there are many protesters, that while breaking the state of emergency order, were still “peaceful, well-meaning people who are genuine in their desire for a better society and a better nation.”

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s speech in full, translated….

“Let’s de-escalate and let the democratic system work,” broadcaste on Television Pool of Thailand

Fellow citizens, brothers, sisters.

I am talking to you today at a moment in time that I hope people will look back at and say, this was the time when all Thais made the right decision and sacrificed their personal desires for the greater good of their country.

My duty as a national leader is to look after the needs of everyone in this country, and to try and balance sometimes very different and very extreme views so that we can all live together in this one land that belongs to us all and which we all love.

My duty as a national leader is also to ensure peace, personal security, the prosperity of the nation, the protection from dark forces that may seek to damage our country, and fairness to all in society.

In my every action I always think of the huge silent majority throughout the country who struggle, every day, to make an honest living and to look after their family. I must lead the country based on the greater good of society, and the needs of silent people, too. I must lead the country based on principle, the law, and the will of parliament as the ultimate representative of the people.

While I can listen to and acknowledge the demands of protestors, I cannot run the country based on protestor or mob demands.

As we have seen, anyone who leads the government faces the mobs of another opposing group. And ultimately, our country becomes ungovernable and chaos descends.

We must break that cycle. And we must do it together.

We must now step back from the edge of the slippery slope that can easily slide to chaos, where all sides lose control of the situation, where emotions take over our better judgement, violence begets more violence, and, as history has shown us all many times, we can end in a situation where the entire country suffers.

A very important part of what makes every Thai a Thai are our institutions – rooted in our culture and in centuries of tradition and values. When we damage our heritage, we also lose a very important part of what makes us all Thai and what makes us all very special in the world.

Last Friday night, we saw things that should never be in Thailand. We saw terrible crimes being committed against the police using metal rods and huge cutting implements in brutal attacks, with the aim of severely wounding fellow Thais. But when we look deeper, we can also see that, beyond a small group of ruthlessly violent people with bad intentions, that there are also many protestors, who, while they may be breaking the law, were still, peaceful, well-meaning people who are genuine in their desire for a better society and a better nation.

We will not get to such a society by wielding metal bars or the destructive disruption of people’s ability to earn a livelihood, or through offences against institutions that are held in the highest respect.

And, in the same way, we will also not get to a better society through the use of water-cannon.

We will get there through discussion, accommodation, and a willingness to listen to and understand others, and a willingness to compromise. The only way to a lasting solution for all sides that is fair for those on the streets as well as for the many millions who choose not to go on the streets, is to discuss and resolve these differences through the parliamentary process. It is a slow process, but it is one that best avoids injury to our nation. We must show the maturity and patience to take the middle path.

If the protestors seek a solution through tough street action, maybe they will win by side-stepping the parliamentary process. Or maybe they won’t. Both have happened in the past.

If the state seeks to make problems go away through only tough action, maybe it will. Or maybe it won’t. Both have happened in the past, too.

The only sure way to achieve a sustainable, enduring resolution to the problems is to speak to each other, respect the due process of law, and then let the will of the people be resolved in parliament. That is the only way.

The protestors have made their voices and views heard.

It is now time for them to let their views be reconciled with the views of other segments of Thai society through their representatives in parliament. Cabinet has already approved a request to recall parliament for a special session on the 26th and 27th of October, and which is now submitted for royal endorsement.

As the leader of the nation who is responsible for the welfare of all Thais – whether they be protestors or the silent majority with whatever political convictions – I will make the first move to de-escalate this situation.

I am currently preparing to lift the state of severe emergency in Bangkok and will do so promptly if there are no violent incidents.

I ask the protesters to reciprocate with sincerity, to turn down the volume on hateful and divisive talk, and to let us, together, disperse this terrible dark cloud before it moves over our country. Let us respect the law and parliamentary democracy, and let our views be presented through our representatives in parliament.

And while addressing some of these longer-term issues that have been raised, I would like to re-state that there is also work that has to be done to mitigate the terrible suffering caused to people by the global economic crisis created by the Covid virus, and it is work that is also one of our highest priorities at this time.

I am appealing to all sides that we must heal injuries now before they become too deep.

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mike Froment

    October 22, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Maybe get elected to office by the people not by a unelected group then the people may respect you.And don’t disband any group who don’t agree but we’re elected unlike yourself.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 22, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    What’s all this WE reference.
    We must strive together for the good of the country.
    WE must do it together. . .
    WE can all live together in this one land that belongs to us all.
    That is completely untrue. Too much of the land belongs to too few people like this PM and his pals.
    The WE of the country want an government election.
    The WE of the country are tired of constant bans and emergency powers of the authorities.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Court to deliver verdict on PM’s military residence this afternoon

Maya Taylor

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Court to deliver verdict on PM’s military residence this afternoon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Security is expected to be extremely tight at Bangkok’s Constitutional Court today, as the ruling in the matter of the PM’s residence is delivered. Prayut Chan-o-cha is accused of violating army rules by occupying a military residence rent-free, despite having retired from the army in 2014. Critics say his tenancy represents a conflict of interest. Should the court agree with them, it will spell the end of his premiership, something pro-democracy protesters have been calling for since July.

Thai PBS World reports that the court has issued a statement to confirm that only approved parties will be allowed in the courtroom, including the PM, the complainant, and relevant lawyers and officials. The case was brought earlier this year, following a request from the leader of the Pheu Thai opposition party, Sompong Amornwiwat. The court has confirmed the verdict will be broadcast on its You Tube channel from around 3pm, meaning the public can watch it live.

Bangkok authorities are apprehensive about potential unrest should some parties disagree with the court’s findings. Piya Tavichai from the Metropolitan Police Bureau has confirmed that hundreds of police officers will be on duty, in and around the court buildings, with the front entrance already sealed off. A planned rally by the anti-government protest group, Ratsadon, has now been switched to the Lad Phrao Intersection, in the Chatuchak district of the capital.

We’ll all know the decision around 3pm this afternoon.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tourism

Bangkok is the best leisure city in the Asia Pacific – Business Traveller Asia-Pacific

The Thaiger

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Bangkok is the best leisure city in the Asia Pacific – Business Traveller Asia-Pacific | The Thaiger

Despite few travellers actually being able to visit Thailand’s capital, including ‘business travellers, readers of Business Traveller Asia-Pacific have again named Bangkok the ‘Best Leisure City in the Asia-Pacific’. The Big Mango retains the top ranking on the list for the 5th consecutive year. Bangkok also got third place in the ranking of the Best Business city in the Asia. Singapore and Hong Kong beach out the Thai capital in that category.

Not only that. The 2020 ranking is also a record 10th time that Bangkok has won the award since 2008. Each year, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific confers the awards based on votes cast by its readers and subscribers.

Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the TAT says that, despite the current travel restrictions, Bangkok was able to win the award again.

“Bangkok remains top-of-mind with Business Traveller Asia-Pacific readers. We look forward to welcoming them back soon.”

The TAT were unable to contain their excitement with this PR fizz as they waxed lyrical…

“Bangkok’s rich diversity remains a major draw, showcased via its unique blend of New World experiences and Old World charms. And it is not just about mouth-watering Thai street food, though that remains a key attraction. the city now boasts multiple Michelin starred restaurants served by a modern transportation infrastructure.”

“This includes a new Blue Line underground train extension to historic Rattanakosin Island, where the grandeur of its amazing past remains on full display.”

Each year Business Traveller Asia-Pacific magazine, which gets around 750,000 readers a month online, confers the awards based on votes cast by its readers and subscribers. This includes frequent travellers who use airports, airlines and hotel services to visit a variety of regional destinations. Between April and June 2020, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific sent out a voting poll to subscribers with the results independently compiled by market research company Business Intelligence.

The Business Traveller brand leads the portfolio of titles belonging to international publishing house Panacea Publishing, which is based in London. Business TravellerAsia-Pacific is one of 13 titles around the world.

Since its first issue in 1982, Business Traveller Asia-Pacific has become a valuable resource for frequent travellers, as well as serving as a platform for their concerns.

Other winners in this year’s awards…

Airlines

Best Airline

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Qatar Airways

Best Asia-Pacific Airline

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Thai Airways (not bad considering they’ve been grounded since March 2020)

Best Chinese Airline

  1. Air China
  2. China Southern
  3. China Eastern

Best European Airline

  1. Lufthansa
  2. British Airways
  3. Swiss International Air Lines

Best North American Airline

  1. Delta Air Lines
  2. American Airlines
  3. United Airlines

Best Middle-Eastern/African Airline

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Emirates
  3. Etihad Airways

Best Low Cost Airline

  1. AirAsia
  2. Easyjet
  3. JetStar

Best Airline First Class

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Cathay Pacific

Best Airline Business Class

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirates

Best Airline Premium Economy Class

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Cathay Pacific
  3. Qantas

Best Airline Economy Class

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Qatar Airways

Best Frequent-Flyer Programme

  1. Cathay Pacific – Marco Polo Club
  2. Singapore Airlines – KrisFlyer
  3. British Airways – Executive Club

Best Airport Lounge

  1. Cathay Pacific – The Pier First Hong Kong
  2. Qantas – First Class Sydney
  3. Singapore Airlines – The Private Room

Best Independent Airport Lounge

  1. Plaza Premium First Hong Kong
  2. American Express Centurion Hong Kong
  3. Plaza Premium Hong Kong T1 Gate 35

Airports

Best Airport in the World

  1. Singapore Changi Airport
  2. Hong Kong International Airport
  3. Dubai International Airport

Best Airport in Asia-Pacific

  1. Singapore Changi Airport
  2. Hong Kong International Airport
  3. Incheon Airport

Best Duty-Free in the World

  1. Incheon Airport
  2. Singapore Changi Airport
  3. Dubai International Airport

Best Business City in Asia

  1. Singapore
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Bangkok

Best Business City in the World

  1. Singapore
  2. London
  3. Hong Kong

Best Leisure City in Asia-Pacific

  1. Bangkok
  2. Singapore
  3. Tokyo

Hotels

Best Business Hotel Brand in the World

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. Mandarin Oriental
  3. InterContinental

Best Business Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific

  1. Shangri-La
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. Mandarin Oriental

Best Business Hotel Brand in Europe

  1. Sofitel
  2. InterContinental
  3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Brand in North America

  1. Marriott Hotels
  2. Four Seasons
  3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Business Hotel Brand in Middle East/Africa

  1. Jumeirah
  2. InterContinental
  3. Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Best Mid-Market Hotel Brand in the World

  1. Novotel
  2. Holiday Inn
  3. Courtyard by Marriott

Best Luxury Hotel Brand in Asia-Pacific

  1. Four Seasons
  2. The Ritz-Carlton
  3. Shangri-La

Best Independent Hotel Brand

  1. The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts
  2. Aman Resorts
  3. Ovolo Hotels

Best Hotel Loyalty Programme

  1. Marriott Bonvoy
  2. Hilton Hhonors
  3. IHG Rewards

Best Business Hotel in the World

  1. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  2. The Peninsula, Hong Kong
  3. Raffles Singapore

Best Business Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. Shangri-La, Singapore
  2. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  3. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Best Airport Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Singapore
  2. Regal Airport, Hong Kong
  3. Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott

Best New Business Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
  2. InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
  3. Andaz Singapore

Best Independent Hotel in Asia-Pacific

  1. The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore
  2. 137 Pillars Suites Bangkok
  3. COMO The Treasury, Perth

Best Business Hotel in Bangkok

  1. Mandarin Oriental
  2. InterContinental Bangkok
  3. Grand Hyatt Erawan

Best Business Hotel in Beijing

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. China World Summit Wing, Beijing
  3. The Peninsula

Best Business Hotel in Chengdu

  1. Niccolo
  2. Shangri-La
  3. Grand Hyatt

Best Business Hotel in Guangzhou

  1. Shangri-La
  2. Mandarin Oriental
  3. The Ritz-Carlton

Best Business Hotel in Hanoi

  1. Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
  2. Hilton Hanoi Opera
  3. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake

Best Business Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

  1. Park Hyatt Saigon
  2. InterContinental Asiana Saigon
  3. Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers

Best Business Hotel in Hong Kong

  1. Island Shangri-La
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. The Peninsula

Best Business Hotel in Jakarta

  1. JW Marriott
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. Shangri-La

Best Business Hotel in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. Mandarin Oriental
  3. Doubletree by Hilton

Best Business Hotel in Macau

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. The Venetian
  3. Conrad Macao Cotai Strip

Best Business Hotel in Manila

  1. Shangri-La at the Fort
  2. Makati Shangri-La
  3. The Peninsula

Best Business Hotel in Melbourne

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
  3. Park Hyatt

Best Business Hotel in Mumbai

  1. The Taj Mahal Palace
  2. The Oberoi
  3. Four Seasons

Best Business Hotel in New Delhi

  1. ITC Maurya, A Luxury Collection Hotel
  2. The Taj Mahal Hotel
  3. JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

Best Business Hotel in Seoul

  1. Lotte Hotel
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas

Best Business Hotel in Shanghai

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square
  3. Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai

Best Business Hotel in Shenzhen

  1. Futian Shangri-La
  2. InterContinental
  3. Grand Hyatt

Best Business Hotel in Singapore

1. Shangri-La
= Raffles Singapore
3. The Fullerton

Best Business Hotel in Sydney

  1. Park Hyatt
  2. Shangri-La
  3. InterContinental

Best Business Hotel in Taipei

  1. Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel
  2. Grand Hyatt
  3. W Taipei

Best Business Hotel in Tokyo

  1. Grand Hyatt
  2. Shangri-La
  3. Conrad

Best Serviced Residence in Asia-Pacific

  1. Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore
  2. Ascott Raffles Place Singapore
  3. Fraser Suites Sydney

Best Serviced Residence Brand in Asia-Pacific

  1. Ascott
  2. Frasers Hospitality Group
  3. Oakwood

SOURCE: Business Traveller

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Protests

Protesters switch today’s rally venue, will now take place at Lad Phrao intersection

Maya Taylor

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Protesters switch today’s rally venue, will now take place at Lad Phrao intersection | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.newnaratif.com

A planned protest outside the Constitutional Court in Bangkok this afternoon will now take place at the Lad Phrao Intersection, in the Chatuchak district. The Ratsadon (People’s Party) group have announced the change on the Facebook page of fellow activists, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration. The rally is expected to kick off at 4pm.

It was originally due to take place at the Constitutional Court, to coincide with the court delivering its verdict on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s place of residence. The PM has come under fire from opposition quarters for occupying a military residence, despite having retired from the army in 2014. Critics say this is a violation of army rules, while the army argues that the arrangement is for security reasons.

The PM and deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan were both excused from an order issued by former army chief Apirat Kongsompong earlier this year, that gave all retired military personnel until the end of February to vacate state-owned residences.

Should the court’s verdict go against the PM this afternoon, it will mean the end of his premiership and his current cabinet. Anti-government protesters who have been campaigning for his resignation since July are calling on activists to assemble at the Lad Phrao intersection this afternoon for what they hope will be a significant event.

“If Prayut is found guilty in this case, he could be forced to step down as the court has deemed his action unconstitutional, rendering him unfit to be prime minister. Please come out at Ha Yaek Lad Phrao from 4pm to witness this historical moment together.”

But the Constitutional Court has a demonstrated history of siding heavily with the incumbent government and the current Thai PM. So a ruling against the PM in this case would be highly unexpected and against the grain of their past decisions.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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