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Foreign diplomats told Article 44 ‘inspired by France’

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Foreign diplomats told Article 44 ‘inspired by France’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The provision for the use of absolute power is not without precedent and the current Article 44 of the interim charter was partly inspired by Article 16 of the French constitution of 1958, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told foreign diplomats at the Foreign Ministry yesterday.

Deputy PM Wissanu was defending the special powers now wielded by the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

“Article 44 is not new to Thai people. Also, such a provision is not new to international society. Originally, we created Article 17 [during the time of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat] – the original idea for Article 44 – but we almost copied the principle of Article 17 in the interim constitution of 1959 from Article 16 of the French constitution, albeit with some modification. Certainly they are not the same, but they are very similar,” said Mr Wissanu, who is also the legal adviser to the Prayut government.

Deputy PM Wissanu went on to highlight the use of provisions similar to Article 44 in the history of Thai law. They included Article 17 that was implemented in 1959 and 1972, Article 21 implemented in 1976 and Article 27 implemented in 1977 and 1991.

According to Mr Wissanu, this law was invoked for the purpose of assuring continuity and stability during the reform process, including the reconciliation process.

He said five groups of people might be affected by the implementation of this law:

Those who had lost their political power after the coup;

Those who have been affected by social or economic measures imposed by the NCPO;

Those who wanted to stir up a crisis in society;

Those who want to interrupt the promulgation of the new constitution, including pushing for election for their own benefit

People who would like to express their opinion in a radical way in response to injustice from officials.

Col Winthai Suvari, spokesman for the NCPO, said that Article 44 will only be applied to four groups of people: Those who violate the lese majeste law; those who breach the Internal Security Act; those who possess war weapons; and those who breach the order of the NCPO.

According to Mr Wissanu, the scope of this law will only cover orders issued by the NCPO after the coup up until September.

Sixty-six embassies sent their representatives to Mr Wissanu’s briefing yesterday, while ambassadors from 16 nations were present.

Only three questions were allowed and answered before the meeting ended with Mr Wissanu stating he had to leave.

Phuttipong Ponganekgul, a law lecturer at a private university who asked that the name of the university not be revealed due to the sensitivity of the situation, said it was not possible to defend Article 44 by comparing it to the French constitution.

First, the French president is elected, unlike PM Prayut who had staged a coup and hence lacked legitimacy. Second, Mr Phuttipong said Article 44 was beyond checks and balances unlike Article 16 of the French constitution in which the Constitutional Council – the Thai equivalent of the Constitutional Court – can scrutinize the conditions for the use of the power.

Article 16 of the French constitution was in fact amended in 2008, something Mr Wissanu did not refer to. In 2008, Article 16 was reviewed by the French parliament and a new provision was added to impose a time frame for the use of such power. The use of such power, unlike the Thai version, can also be reviewed after 30 days. The president of the Senate or the House of Representatives or 60 senators or 60 MPs can approach the Constitutional Council to review the necessary conditions that would allow the use of the provision.

More importantly, the amended version of Article 16 of the French constitution stated that 60 days after the power has been used, the Constitutional Council will have full power to control and revise the use of Article 16 at any moment, if the Council sees the necessity to do so.

Thai version vs French version

Here’s how Article 44 of the Provisional Constitution compares with Article 16 of the French Constitution of 1958:

Thailand’s Article 44 of the Provisional Constitution

“In the case where the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order is of the opinion that it is necessary for the benefit of reform in any field and to strengthen public unity and harmony, or for the prevention, disruption or suppression of any act which undermines public peace and order or national security, the Monarchy, national economics or administration of State affairs, whether that act emerges inside or outside the Kingdom, the Head of the National Council for Peace and Order shall have the powers to make any order to disrupt or suppress regardless of the legislative, executive or judicial force of that order.”

France’s Article 16 of the 1958 Constitution

“Where the institution of the Republic, the independence of the Nation, the integrity of its territory or the fulfilment of its international commitments are under serious and immediate threat, and where the proper functioning of the constitutional public authorities is interrupted, the President of the Republic shall take measures required by these circumstances, after formally consulting the Prime Minister, the Presidents of the Houses of Parliament and the Constitutional council.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Business

Vietjet CEO, dreams to transform the world

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Vietjet CEO, dreams to transform the world | The Thaiger
VietJet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao: “It is not technology that transforms the world but the human’s dreams; technology is merely a means, and it is created from the dreams of the people.”

“Start-ups shouldn’t ‘save on’ dreams but rather dream big and realise them by simple acts each day at your business or organisation.”

Meet the tour-de-force behind the establishment of VietJet, one of the region’s most successful aviation start ups.

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Any first-timers meeting Vietnam’s only self-made female billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao will be taken aback by the opposites she harbours. A petite woman with a bright smile always on her face, Nguyen will talk in her soft voice about her business motto… once you dream, dare to dream big.

‘Dream big and realise them’

Nguyen has been popular in the business since her young days studying abroad. Her hard work has paid off when she became a millionaire at the age of 21 – not a usual dream for a college student. But Nguyen is different. She strives to be the pioneer of everything she does by bravely conquering all challenges.

Upon returning to Vietnam, Nguyen has quickly made her appearance widely noticed by her successful investments in the finance-banking and aviation sectors. She is now the CEO of Vietjet Air and the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of HDBank.

To many young Vietnamese start-ups, Nguyen is the big inspiration and a role model for them to follow.

“Start-ups shouldn’t ‘save on’ dreams but rather dream big and realise them by simple acts each day at your business or organisation. We ourselves have turned the impossible into possible and made our dream come true. Millions for the first time have been able to fly and I’m extremely happy to learn that they are not only Vietnamese but people from other countries who have boarded a Vietjet flight for the first time.”

The billionaire’s motto has also inspired her own employees at Vietjet and HDBank to keep their dreams alive despite all adversities. Regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts on the economy, the staff at Vietjet and HDBank are confident of their company’s new business strategy and solutions to overcome the pandemic.

Nguyen even envisions Vietnamese enterprises leading and creating a global sentiment by developing them into multinational, multicultural companies and integrating the most cutting-edge technologies.

“We need to be the pioneer of the digitalisation and automation trend in the industrial revolution 4.0 – the key factors for growth.”

Her message is realised at Vietjet as the airline has recruited nearly 6,000 employees coming from 50 countries and territories on its way to revolutionise the aviation sector of Vietnam, the region and the world. HDBank, meanwhile, has particularly grown by more than 20 times in the last decade after 30 years of relentless innovation since establishment.

‘An inspirer of kindness’

Recognised as a successful businesswoman, Nguyen though never thought of making money the ultimate goal of business. The values her company can create, especially for the sake of the community, is what truly matters to her. Nguyen also highly regards business ethics, stressing that “honesty will guide us to do the good things for the society”.

Nguyen has initiated the “Wings of Love” program to grant scholarships and gifts to children at orphanages and poor families, as well as to give winter clothes to children in remote regions.

“I understand more about the responsibility of the company and that of each of us to the community every time being on a charity trip and realise how brilliant the idea of our CEO, Mrs Thao, is. We all call her an inspirer of kindness,” a Vietjet employee said.

In addition to the “Wings of Love” program, HDBank has also supported the national chess sport via the HDBank Cup International Chess Tournament for the last 10 years, preparing the ground for the internationally famous chess players like Quang Liem and Truong Son. The bank has also organised the HDBank Futsal with a long-term goal of improving the physical health of young Vietnamese.

Despite unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, Vietjet and HDBank are still committed to charity activities. The airline has helped to bring hundreds of thousands of passengers back to their home countries like South Korea, Japan and China, while operating hundreds of repatriation flights during the pandemic. It also gave 2.5 million of face masks to the people in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States. Vietjet’s aircrafts have transported thousands of tons of medical equipment and essential goods to the people under social distancing as well as urgently delivered relief cargo to the flooded Central region.

The female billionaire and her employees have cooked and distributed more than 100,000 meals to disadvantaged people like motorbike taxi drivers or street lottery sellers. HDBank has launched special credit packages in support of those who were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, while granting 1,000 premium hospital beds to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health and another thousands of health insurance passes to the people.

The popular magazine Tatler has honoured Nguyen as one of the 110 Asian figures in philanthropic activities due to her lasting acts of kindness through years.

Vietjet CEO, dreams to transform the world | News by The Thaiger

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Crime

Woman’s charred remains found near northern Thailand rubber plantation

The Thaiger

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Woman’s charred remains found near northern Thailand rubber plantation | The Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ หน่วยกู้ภัยพิษณุโลก มูลนิธิประสาทบุญสถาน (Phitsanulok Rescue)

The charred remains of a 19 year old woman was found near a rubber plantation in Phitsanulok, a province in northern Thailand. Police say the woman’s 18 year old boyfriend, a murder suspect, turned himself in.

Jularat Kongkaew was reported missing on February 27. She had left her home the previous afternoon with her boyfriend, a Mathayom 6 student (equivalent to a high school senior), who said he was taking Jularat to see a doctor, according to Jularat’s mother.

Police received a report about the remains of a woman’s body in the Ban Muang Hom district at around 7am yesterday. Along with the charred remains of Jularat’s body, investigators found 3 burned car tyres.

After the remains were found, the victim’s boyfriend turned himself in to the Kaeng Sopha police.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Second batch of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Thailand on March 25

The Thaiger

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Second batch of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Thailand on March 25 | The Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul)

A second order of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive on March 25, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced today. 800,000 doses are set to be sent to Thailand later this month.

Along with informing the Thai government on the expected arrival date for the vaccines, Chinese officials also asked that the Thai government consider vaccinating Chinese nationals who are living in Thailand and establishing of a China Immunisation Centre for Overseas Chinese. Nation Thailand reports “Thailand will continue to seek support for the vaccine from China as a friend.”

There’s also talk of a travel bubble between the 2 countries for those who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The first batch of 200,000 doses arrived last month along with another shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Altogether, the Thai government ordered 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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