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Court bans Thailand’s first transgender MP over alleged media interests

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO:Twitter: @TanwarinS_MFP

An MP from the Move Forward Party, an opposition party that opposes the military’s influence in government, has been banned and could face jail time after the Constitutional Court found the MP guilty of violating a law prohibiting media shareholders from applying to become MPs. The court also looked into 57 other MPs over the same offence, but they were all acquitted.

Tanwarin Sukkhapisit is Thailand’s first ever openly transgender MP in the House of Representatives and an advocate for LGBTQ rights. The MP is also a former actor and filmmaker. The Court looked into lists of shareholders and found “irregularities,” saying information had been fabricated to make it appear that Tanwarin was not associated with the media companies.

The Election Commission may also press charges on Tanwarin. If the commission finds Tanwarin guilty of breaking the law on elections, the MP could face a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a 20,000 baht fine and a ban from MP elections for 20 years.

The Move Forward Party basically became into new Future Forward Party earlier this year after the later was ordered to dissolve by the Constitutional Court. The court had ordered to disband the Future Forward Party after the party’s leader, Thanathorn Juangroonruangkit , donated 191 million baht to the party, which exceeds the maximum 10 million baht allowed per donor per year.

Many Future Forward Party members, including Tanwarin, moved to the Move Forward Party after the court order. Thanathorn was stripped of his MP status and started the Progressive Movement to continue the agenda of the Future Forward Party.

Some critics, like political scientist Titipol Phakdeewanich, say the order to ban her is move against those who support the pro-democracy movement, which calls for an end to the military government and a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution. The reform activists are also are pushing PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign.

“They are trying to use a legal mechanism against whoever they assume supports the pro-democracy movement.”

The Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat says the party is disappointed over Tanwarin’s ruling, but says the MP made an impact on LGBTQ rights in Thailand. Tanwarin was the first transgender person to become an MP. There are now 3 transgender MPs in parliament.

“Even if we lose an MP today, I think we have a national icon when it comes to freedom and gender equality.”

Tanwarin says the ban isn’t surprising and doesn’t believe it has anything to do with their gender identity. Co-founder of the Progressive Movement and former secretary of the Future Forward Party Piyabutr Saengkanokkul voiced support for Tanwarin.

“During the past 2 years, you have carried out your MP duties remarkably well… It is a pity that this country’s system does not want an MP like this.”

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | AFP

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 11:08 am

    The despicable dictators will use any excuse to ban opposition MPs.
    Just because a potential MP is a loud mouthed, squealing, ugly pretend woman, pervert does not mean he is a bad person.
    I am not referring to this person but rather in general to prove a point.

    • Avatar

      Erik

      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      Not buying that disclaimer, transphobe dude.

      Moderators: you fine with this?

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Banned by the Constitutional Court because she holds shares in a media company, and from the Move Forward Party … what a surprise.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Very well I do not want to offend loud mouthed, squealing, ugly pretend women, perverts, or any man that sleep with them, acting as the man or woman. That is their choice but it disgusts me.
    Personally I avoid bars that they are in because they bully real women out of the way and make themselves a nuisance.
    So moderator, delete my previous post and I will just state:
    The despicable dictators will use any excuse to ban opposition MPs.

    • Avatar

      Manu

      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      Toby Andrews: “Very well I do not want to offend loud mouthed, squealing, ugly pretend women, perverts, or any man that sleep with them, acting as the man or woman. That is their choice but it disgusts me.”

      So you do not want to offend them, but if anyone of “them” read you comment, do you think they will not be offended? They are “perverts” you say… really???? (I bet you are an ugly old farang that goes in girls bars and go with (and pay for girls 30 years younger than you!! A REAL PERVERT!). I hope your post will not be deleted, freedom of speech will show that the disguted one, it is actually YOU!!

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 4:49 pm

        I doubt any would be offended – that would require them to take his opinions seriously.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 6:18 pm

          What! They don’t?

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 6:32 pm

        Well, each to his own opinion.
        You think a man going with girls 30 years younger than him is a pervert.
        But at least it is natural sex, and not what the transgender get up to.
        Yes it is free speech and it will show that the only “disguted,” you mean disgusted? one is actually me.
        Yes totally correct, apart from a few more millions in the world.
        But really to you want them running the country?
        I would rather have dictator number one – no I wouldn’t.

        lol

        • Avatar

          Manu

          Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:23 am

          I meant obviously “disguting” (you are the disguting one!) and not “disgusted”.

          Yes I think that old ugly men (so obviously like you are as we know now) paying 30/40 years old younger girls for sex are definitely perverts (we are also “a few more millions in the world” thinking that). What do you think these girls think of you? Do you think they like going with you? No, they ALL think that you are exactly as I said. if it was not for your money, they would OBVIOUSLY never go near you, and this is also “natural” since you seem to like “natural” elements… they could naturally be your daughters or grand-daughters.

          Well I would rather “them” running a country than YOU, cause YOU ARE definitely a dictator.

          When I went once to a my good transgender friend’s farm in the middle of nowhere in Isaan, and I saw the NATURAL acceptance her (yes her, that’s her choice, your disgusting opinion can do nothing about it) very big familly, neighbours, etc…, pretty much all not very well educated hard-working farmers, my western views (the most tolerant as can be) were a little shattered by how these people were NATURALLY showing love, respect, etc… to my friend eactly as they do with everyone else in that small community, it taught me a very good lesson and gave me an added reason to love Thai people and Thailand: it is called NATURAL human acceptance of others for who they are, something you are obviously not familiar with. But for you, Thailand is obviously the possibility to have in exchange of your western money sex with young girls that despise you. And you think that THIS is natural sex????

          No need to say more…

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, October 30, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Sorry too much to read in one lump. I did not bother.
    Don’t you know how to use paragraphs?

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. 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 bachelorโ€™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.

Phuket

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo by PR Phuket

No, your friends can’t come over. No parties. No drinking with friends. No large gatherings. As part of Phuket’s efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19, local authorities have tightened restrictions and say friends are not allowed to gather at private homes.

“No parties of any kind allowed… No house party, no friends gathering in the residence.”

Along with temporary closures of some businesses and venues, the order says, parties involving alcohol are banned and gatherings of more than 30 people are banned. The only gatherings allowed are religious ceremonies like weddings and funerals.

Foreigners who violate any of Phuket’s disease control measures could be deported and lose their permission to stay in Thailand. On Sunday, 2 British men in Phuket were each fined 6,000 baht for having a “party.” Only 6 people were gathered at the home. Police from the Cherng Talay station came by the home after a call from a neighbour.

Phuket tightens restrictions: No parties, no visits from friends | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via Bumrungrad Hospital

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure have the highest risk of death followed by patients infected with the coronavirus who underlying conditions of diabetes or high cholesterol, according to data from Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 486 coronavirus-related deaths. Out of those fatalities, 392 were reported after April 1. Using data from the recent wave of infections, the CCSA found that those infected with Covid-19 who also have high blood pressure are at the most at risk of death, followed by those who are diabetic and those who have high cholesterol.

Others who are at risk of severe infection or death if infected with Covid-19 include those with chronic kidney disease, heart disease, obesity or lung disease.

Most of the deaths since April 1 have been in Bangkok, making up 46% of the death count in the recent wave, followed and provinces just outside the capital. Most patients who died while infected with Covid-19 have been over 60 years old with underlying health conditions. Several young adults, in their 20s and 30s, who died while infected with Covid-19, had underlying conditions of diabetes and obesity.

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: PR Thai Government

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Covid case jump, Airlines ask for loans, Penguin hunger strike over | May 13

Tanutam Thawan

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4,887 new infections from the past 24 hours, 7 member airlines are pushing for a meeting with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to discuss the option of soft loans, and Chiang Mai has reported a new cluster of Covid-19 after 3 patients lied about being infected.

 

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