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Burmese nationals in Bangkok gather at US Embassy, call for action after military coup

Caitlin Ashworth

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Burmese nationals in Bangkok gather at US Embassy, call for action after military coup | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Burmese people living in Thailand are calling on the United States government to step in and protect their fellow citizens after the military coup in Myanmar. A group of Burmese nationals gathered outside the US Embassy in Bangkok to submit a letter addressed to the US president. A demonstrator told Nation Thailand that they are worried about their families back in their home country.

The Burmese military took over power of the government on February 1, citing what they call a fraudulent election. The military also arrested State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won the democratic election in a landslide, as well as other civilian leaders. Aung San Suu pushed for democracy in Myanmar for decades and won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.

Democratic Forces in Thailand gave a letter to the US Embassy in Bangkok, calling on President Joe Biden to take immediate action against the Burmese military.

Dear Mr. President of the United States of America,

We are citizen of Myanmar (Burma). We need your help in emergency. Our officially President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the government are arrested by Burmese military leaders who are rebellion against the state. The people of Burma emergency need your help for taking your military action against the Burmese military leaders. Our hope and future are now depend on your immediate action.

The Biden administration has already launched a new sanctions regime in response to the military coup in Myanmar. The US government blocked property and interests related to 10 current and former military officials who the US government found responsible for the military coup in Myanmar as well as property and interests related to 3 Burmese entities.

In a news release from last week, US Departent of the Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said the department stands with the people of Myanmar and they are doing what they can to help them secure freedom and democracy.

“We are also prepared to take additional action should Burma’s military not change course. If there is more violence against peaceful protestors, the Burmese military will find that today’s sanctions are just the first.”

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | US Treasury

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Steven Hughes

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    This has nothing to do with the USA or the EU or the UK sort your problems out your self, stop trying to bring others in to you problems.

    • Avatar

      Gobsmacked_1

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:29 pm

      That’s a bit harsh, Mr. Hughes.

      The more democratic countries there are around the world, the less “pinch points” for major wars and the safer it will be for everyone. There will always be bullies in the playground of life, but even children will hold them to account sooner or later.

      The US has already imposed sanctions, and other countries will surely follow. Hopefully there will be no military interventions, but to do nothing is not an option.

    • Avatar

      Yangon Thar

      Friday, February 19, 2021 at 3:41 am

      Totally agree.

  2. Avatar

    Issan farmer

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Why am I not surprised? Any political instability in the world is the trick of the United States. Hopefully China will destroy this damned country

    • Avatar

      Stardust

      Friday, February 19, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      @farmer go back to your rice field because the world alliances have already their forces in the south china sea better you not wish they will come into action!

  3. Avatar

    BangkokJoe

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    The US needs to mind its own business. Stay out of the affairs of other countries…..

  4. Avatar

    Bill

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Does Burma have oil?!?!?! We’ll be right over boys!!!

    • Avatar

      Stardust

      Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      @Bill Dont worry the world has guys like you on the radar and are already with nuclear attack submarines in front of your door in the south china sea. Small fishes and little kids should not play with fire!

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 10:50 pm

        Isn’t it hard for fish to play with fire? That aside, the whole US will fight for oil comments and quips are so last decade. The US as of last year is 100% energy independent. They are actually an oil exporter now, and will be for at least the next 2-3 decades. All you have to do is see how the US is exiting the Middle East so see they will no longer fight for oil. Problem is the US hasn’t been a major Middle East oil importer for the last decade. In other words they have lately been fighting so other countries can get oil. That’s all ending and for people like Slugger and I think you too, it should be a scary proposition.

        • Avatar

          Yangon Thar

          Friday, February 19, 2021 at 3:44 am

          today special for US intervention is to block China’s ascension to the world’s top dog.

          • Avatar

            EdwardV

            Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 2:10 am

            Myanmar isn’t critical to stop the Chinese from being top dog. Demographics alone will stop that from happening. That isn’t even taking into account the Chinese economic fallacy that you can drive GDP through debt forever. Also the strategic issue of China importing 80% of it’s energy from a continent away, from a part of the world that is a spark away from a shipping killing war. That all said, it doesn’t change the fact America has lost interest in it’s sons and daughters dying in a foreign country. The US has less troops stationed overseas than anytime since the 1890s. If Myanmar needs troops, they need to look elsewhere.

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    What is going on in Burma is horrible, but the last thing the US needs to do is intervene militarily. Besides the US is slowly getting out of the policeman of the world business. Personally I think this is a problem best solved locally instead of internationally.

  6. Avatar

    Hungry Farang

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    They’d better protest infront of Banks to freeze their money.

  7. Avatar

    David Mann

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 7:11 am

    I sympathize with the people in Myanmar but I don’t want my tax being spent on anything more than political pressure. That said, it does stick in the throat that people always complain when the U.S. gets involved in political issues until they need our help. Everyone wants to be left alone until things don’t go the way they want and then they want the west to interfere. Make up your mind world.

  8. Avatar

    Jeff

    Monday, February 22, 2021 at 11:15 am

    People hate on the USA and then when they need help, who do they run to and beg for help? The USA.

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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.

Thailand

Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report | The Thaiger
October protest at the Asok-Sukhumvit intersection in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being absolute freedom, Thailand scores at 30, a “not free” country, according to the nonprofit Freedom House. Each year, the organisation reviews the political rights and civil liberties of countries around the world. According to their recent assessment, Thailand has declined in terms of rights and liberties, dropping on the scale from “partly free” to “not free.”

The main reason for the drop on the freedom scale, the organisation says, is “due to the dissolution of a popular opposition party that performed well in the 2019 elections, and the military-dominated government’s crackdown on youth-led protests calling for democratic reforms.”

The Future Forward Party was dissolved in February 2020 after the court found that the founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, had made a large donation to the party that exceeded the legal limit. The party’s leaders were then banned from politics for the next decade.

Youth-led protests started in February, but the demonstrations were put on pause due to Covid-19 restrictions banning large public gatherings. Protesters gathered in July as restrictions lifted, but some leaders then faced charges for holding a public gathering, which was still banned under emergency orders.

In October, the prime minister imposed what Freedom House calls a “severe” State of Emergency order in Bangkok that banned gatherings of more than 5 people. Some protesters were arrested for violating the order nearly immediately after it was imposed.

With activists pushing for monarchy reform and an end to the military’s involvement in government, raising subjects considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society, the Thai government has increased its use of the draconian lèse majesté law. Since November, dozens of activists have faced charges for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

Freedom House scores countries on topics like the electoral process, questioning if politicians and leaders were elected in free and fair elections, as well as freedom of expression and individual rights.

Thailand’s military seized power in 2014 in a bloodless coup. The 2017 constitution was drafted by a committee appointed by the military’s National Council for Peace and Order. In 2019, the country transitioned to what Freedom House calls a “military-dominated, semi-elected” government.

The 2019 elections were overseen by the Election Commission of Thailand, whose members were appointed by the military. All 250 senators were appointed by the military in 2019 to serve 5 year terms.

In 2020, the combination of democratic deterioration and frustrations over the role of the monarchy provoked the country’s largest anti-government demonstrations in a decade. In response to these youth-led protests, the regime resorted to familiar authoritarian tactics, including arbitrary arrests, intimidation, lèse majesté charges, and harassment of activists. Freedom of the press is constrained, due process is not guaranteed, and there is impunity for crimes committed against activists.

SOURCE: Freedom House

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Transport

“Sealed route” set at Bangkok airport for international transfers

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Sealed route” set at Bangkok airport for international transfers | The Thaiger
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand is now allowing international transits and transfers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport by using a so-called “sealed route” arranged at the airport to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has now set guidelines for passengers who have a layover at the Bangkok airport.

Passengers will not be allowed to leave Concourse E. A “sealed route” for the passengers will be set up at Gate E10 and E9, allowing passengers to enter the airport at Gate E10, go through security screening and then either board the transit aircraft at Gate E9 or go on a designated shuttle bus directly to an aircraft.

Social distancing is required for all passengers in waiting areas and a face mask must be worn at all times. The CAAT says food and beverage services will be available at the airport’s “sealed route” waiting area, but there will be “active oversight” on the services. Areas will also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Passengers must present required documents…

  • A fit-to-fly health certificate
  • Medical certificate declaring a negative Covid-19 result issued no more than 72 hours before departure
  • Travel health insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment expenses up to $100,000 USD

If demand increases, the airport will add Gates E5, E7 and E8 to the sealed route. If Concourse E is under maintenance, then Concourse F will be used under the same plan.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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