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Junta makes assurances to stop the exodus of migrant workers

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Junta makes assurances to stop the exodus of migrant workers | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Junta makes assurances to stop the exodus of migrant workers
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: To stem the exodus of much-needed migrant workers, notably Cambodians, the junta and the authorities yesterday quashed rumours of a crackdown, gave another chance to their employers and vowed to uphold human rights of alien workers.

The junta’s order issued yesterday encouraged employers to register their migrant workers so authorities could regulate them and protect them from forced labour and other rights violations. Agencies must enforce the law effectively to suppress human traffickers. “Officials involved in trafficking syndicates or taking bribes from them will be punished,” it said.

Recent rumours have sent more than 100,000 migrant workers, mostly Cambodians, back to their homes. The mass exodus of low-paid workers might spell problems for the Thai economy, especially in the real estate and fisheries industries.

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, permanent secretary of the Foreign Ministry, met with Cambodian Ambassador Eat Sophea to seek ways to end the flight. Thailand has assured Cambodia that it had no policy to crack down on migrant workers and also guaranteed to protect their rights.

“I trust that the assurance [by Thailand] would be observed,” Eat Sophea told the press.

Sihasak said he had no idea where the rumours came from, but insisted that even undocumented workers would be treated in accordance with Thailand’s human rights obligations.

A hotline has been set up at the Cambodian Embassy and it was now receiving calls every two minutes seeking clarification on the rights and status of Cambodian workers in the Kingdom. “We’ve already spread the news to our workers. We have to give our assurance that this [persecution] is not happening,” she said.

Cambodian workers, particularly those with work permits, should not panic, she said. Sihasak said the Foreign Ministry and the embassy will be communicating more frequently and will work closely to allay concerns and stub out rumours.

The National Council for Peace and Order only wants to reorganise migrant workers in Thailand so they can enjoy the same protection, welfare and rights as their Thai peers and not be exploited by their employers.

Migrant workers were a vital element of the Thai economy.

“I have insisted to [the Cambodian ambassador] that the rumours are unfounded,” said Sihasak, who is acting as foreign minister under the military government.

The Labour Ministry will hand out leaflets in the Myanmar, Lao and Cambodian languages to employers to pass on to their migrant workers explaining the real situation and the foreign-labour policy of the junta, permanent secretary Jirasuk Sugandhajati said. The leaflets will reassure workers that the ministry was not indiscriminately prosecuting them.

Yongyuth Chalamwong, from the Thailand Development Research Institute, suggested that the junta grant an amnesty to employers of illegal migrants to allow them to register the workers within a few months.

Migrants from Myanmar are also panicking but have not yet left, said Sirigorn Leardchayopit of the Raksthai Foundation. Security officials are conducting searches in Samut Sakhon every night, causing Myanmar migrants to hide in temples and other places out of fear, she said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Business

Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand’s Santa Fe restaurant chain

May Taylor

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Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand’s Santa Fe restaurant chain | The Thaiger

(…or is that a 90% ‘steak’?)

PHOTOS: Wongnai

DealStreetAsia, an investor news site reporting on Asian business, confirms that Singha Corporation has purchased a majority stake in the Thai restaurant chain, Santa Fe. It’s understood that Singha purchased the shares held by Lakeshore Capital for approximately US$50 million or 1.53 billion baht, giving it a 90% stake in the chain seen in most Thai shopping centres.

The Nation reports that Singha will now oversee over 110 restaurants across Thailand in one of the country’s biggest food industry deals of the year. The company first turned its attention to the food industry two years ago, launching Food Factors Company under the Boon Rawd Brewery group.

WongnaiFood Factors aims to make 5 billion baht over 3 years under the stewardship of Piti Bhirombhakdi. The company has an ambitious long-term target of 10 billion baht a year, along with plans to be listed on the stock exchange.

The Santa Fe chain was established in 2003 by Surachai Charn-Anudet’s KT Restaurant Company, with the aim of becoming a major competitor to Sizzler, the American chain brought to Thailand by Minor Food.

SOURCE: The Nation

Singha grabs a 90% stake in Thailand's Santa Fe restaurant chain | News by The Thaiger

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Economy

TAT says ‘all go’ for tourism discount campaign

Greeley Pulitzer

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TAT says ‘all go’ for tourism discount campaign | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thailand Shopping and Dining Paradise

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s governor says that the TAT will introduce two domestic tourism promotional measures – a 100 baht nationwide tourism campaign, and “shocking-price weekday” discounts.

The 100 baht campaign will offer some 40,000 products and services at only 100 baht each. Registration is required and will be open on November 11-12 and December 11-12, 2019, for up to 10,000 people each day on the the TAT website, starting at midnight each day.

The weekday discount campaign, valid Mondays to Thursdays will run from November 1 until December 3, offering up to 70% discounts on selected tourism products. The TAT will open an online store offering the same discounts. Eligible purchases made with the government’s wallet app will also receive a 15% VAT rebate.

The TAT says they are now ensuring the readiness of the system to accommodate registrations, after issues found during the previous ‘Chim Shop Chai’ campaign for Thais in a recent successful economic stimulus package from the government. In that campaign the government handed out 1000 baht gift to Thais with the stipulation it had to be spent in another province. 12 million Thais registered for the program.

The governor says he is confident these measures will provide an ongoing economic boost following the success of the Chim Shop Chai campaign, spiking revenue 10-20% during the campaign.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Road deaths

Thailand road toll: 554 dead this month, 11,462 this year

The Thaiger

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Thailand road toll: 554 dead this month, 11,462 this year | The Thaiger

PHOTO: U-Turn crash in Bangkok – Daily News

Daily news reports fatalities at the scene of accidents yesterday claimed the lives of 21 people. Yesterday was a busy day on Thailand’s roads at the end of a long weekend.

They say the numbers reported are only those that die at the scene. In reality, when hospital deaths and all regions report their stats, the figures end up much higher.

So far this October 554 have died at the scene of accidents resulting in a yearly total nationwide of 11,462. Thailand is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the fifth highest road toll in the world, per capita.

Figures are reported daily by Daily News who highlight the need to be vigilant at U-turns in their story about this air-conditioned bus (above)on Route 29 that collided with the back of a container truck.

Seven passengers on the bus were injured in the accident on Pahonyothin Road near the Kesri 5 housing estate in Klong 1, Klong Luang district north of Bangkok. The truck driver was trying to execute a U-turn at the time.

SOURCE: Daily News | ThaiVisa

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