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Leading players want charter amended after election

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Leading players want charter amended after election | The Thaiger

A symposium “Thailand’s Future Democracy: Overcoming Traps and Dreams?”was held yesterday at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan Campus.

Probable players in a future political arena, Abhisit, Chaturon and Thanathorn, see the junta’s legacy as barrier to genuine democracy.

The Junta-sponsored charter, which imposes curbs on politicians, remains the prime target of big political parties who aim to replace it after the election even though it was endorsed in a 2017 national referendum, judging by the comments made at a symposium attended by prominent politicians yesterday.

Three politicians at the symposium believe the 2017 Constitution is an obstacle to the development of democracy in Thailand, whilst a fourth disagreed. And while the charter has stipulations that make it difficult to amend, the politicians were united in saying that it should be amended and that making changes was feasible if the people desired it.

Leading players want charter amended after election | News by The Thaiger

Former Democrat Party PM Abhisit Vejjajiva, former Pheu Thai Party minister Chaturon Chaisang, prominent newcomer and head of Future Forward Party Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, and pro-junta politician and head of People’s Reform Party Paiboon Nititawan were the speakers.

Abhisit said democratic development was being blocked by several traps – the Constitution, the organic laws, the junta orders and the 250 junta-appointed senators. He said that although the Constitution was already in place and the country was heading towards a poll, the ruling NCPO orders were blocking the election road map it had previously created. And even if the election happened, he said, it remained uncertain how free and fair it would be given the junta’s absolute power.

In addition, after the voting the country would be stuck with a Constitution that was not democratic, said Abhisit, and with senators appointed by the junta.

Leading players want charter amended after election | News by The Thaiger

Thanathorn, a businessman who recently turned politician and is highly favoured by progressive young people, said the coups that had been repeatedly staged throughout the country’s modern history were traps that had prevented the country from getting anywhere. His Future Forward Party had therefore made it their main agenda to stop that cycle, he said, pledging to restore the people’s faith in the parliamentary system. The party would also bring hope to the country, he said.

“And our party proposes that we find a consensus and strengthen democracy,” Thanathorn added.

“To do that, we need a supermajority in the Lower House and then we will amend the Constitution and put it to a referendum.

”Paiboon, who had served in the reform assembly under the coup-installed regime and had been supportive of the NCPO, however expressed scepticism about elections and implied they were not necessary in a democracy. Reflecting on political conflict and the violence that had broken out since the election of the Thaksin Shinawatra government in 2006, Paiboon questioned whether it was democracy. With elections, the people only had power for four seconds when in the polling booth, he said. But what came after was corrupt MPs abusing power while citing the people’s mandate, Paiboon added.

The current regime was disliked by some people, Paiboon said, but would help fix the problems in democracy. He acknowledged that many people disapproved of the NCPO’s legacy, including the 250 senators who would be around for five years. But, said Paiboon, “[You] have to bear with it for five years and you’ll like it.”

In response, Chaturon said that democracy had a checks-and-balances system to deal with corruption. But the process had been blocked by the coups, he said.

Most importantly, the coups and their legacy had destroyed the democracy that had been developing for at least 15 years, during which voters learned to choose parties based on their policies, Chaturon said. The latest coup would leave behind a legacy of the Constitution, reforms and the national strategy, all planned without public participation, he said.

“The national strategy will be a trap and it will continue to be a trap for the next 20 years,” Chaturon said.

He proposed that the Constitution be amended. Only fair rules could solve the problems facing the country, including political conflict, he said. Chaturon said it was important that pro-democracy parties made it a point to amend the Constitution. It should be a policy plank that is campaigned on before the election, he said. Subsequently both the national reform and the 20-year strategy, which could lead to politicians being punished if they refuse to obey them, should also be reviewed, he added.

Though Abhisit agreed that the Constitution was problematic and needed handling, he saw it as perilous to vigorously argue the issue before election day. The public may become sceptical, wondering if the politicians wanted to do that for themselves and not for public interest, he said.

Paiboon, meanwhile, reminded everyone that it would not be easy to bring about any amendment to the Constitution. In addition to elected MPs, it also needed to be passed by one-third of the senators and one-fifth of the opposition force, he said. Others, however, said that if the people backed an amendment, it could be achieved.

Leading players want charter amended after election | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year

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Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | The Thaiger

By the end of 2019 Thailand will be free from three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics.

Then by 2022 four other types of single-use plastics will also be banned – lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws – according to a road map approved by the Cabinet.

The Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 also includes an ambitious plan for Thailand to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2027 in various forms, including turning waste into energy.

The Cabinet has acknowledged the road map and assigned the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to formulate a draft action plan for plastic waste management, so it is in line with the 20-year national strategy.

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

The Cabinet also called for clear details on related agencies’ role in the integration of the work for managing plastic waste, which will also get huge participation from the private and business sectors. The related state agencies should create various mechanisms to propel this forward such as creating a good understanding among agencies, continuously implementing a public relations campaign via social media to achieve the set goals, the Cabinet instructed.

The work procedure must consider lifecycle plastic-waste management so steps are taken from the very start: with plastic products designed applying the “Eco Design” approach, manufacturing and post-consumption disposal which will include garbage separation, transport and storing, recycling and proper disposal.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thais generate as much as 1.14 kilogram of garbage per head per day, contributing to the 27.04 million tonnes of waste per year.

One person uses approximately eight plastic bags a day – or 500 million plastic bags per day for the whole nation.

Most of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans, accounting for 16% of garbage in the seas.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

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Infamous ‘large’ passenger dies in Koh Samui

The Thaiger

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Infamous ‘large’ passenger dies in Koh Samui | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Sun

A 200 kilogram tourist, who forced flight crews to wipe his bum as he moaned with pleasure in January, has died on Koh Samui.

The American, who hasn’t been named, died whilst staying on the Gulf island due to an undisclosed illness. But he has left an indelible memory in his wake.

At the same time, as the news emerged about his demise, EVA Air were putting plans in motion to ban the oversize traveller from flying with their airline ever again.

The man shocked readers is January when he was accused of forcing cabin crew to strip him in a cramped airline toilet (remember this guy weighed 200 kilograms) and wipe his bum while he “moaned with pleasure”.

The incident occurred on an EVA Air long-haul flight from LA to Taiwan’s Taoyuan Airport and was covered extensively on world media.

Infamous 'large' passenger dies in Koh Samui | News by The Thaiger

A flight attendant, who on the same flight, described how the passenger boarded the plane in a wheelchair and then insisted on having three adjoining seats in economy class due to his size. He then demanded to use the plane’s business class lavatory, as he couldn’t fit into the economy toilets.

But (put down your food if eating) while in the toilet, he demanded cabin crew strip him down so he could relieve himself, saying he had an arm injury that prevented him from doing it himself.

“I told him we couldn’t help him, but he started yelling. He told me to go in there immediately and threatened to relieve himself on the floor. As the passenger’s genitals were now exposed, one of my colleagues brought a blanket, which I used to cover his modesty.”

“But he very angrily slapped my hand away, saying he didn’t want it and only wanted me to remove his underwear so he could use the toilet.”

Infamous 'large' passenger dies in Koh Samui | News by The Thaiger

The flight attendant who ‘assisted’ the man should be awarded lots of medals and a lifetime supply of latex gloves

The passenger then asked crew to wipe his bum for him leading him to groan as the chief attendant fulfilled his request while wearing three pairs of latex gloves.

“He said: ‘Oh, mmm, deeper, deeper,’ and then accused my chief attendant of not properly cleaning his backside, requesting that she do it again,” recalled the attendant, who was holding onto the passenger to keep him steady.

She said the attendant repeated the action three times before the man said, “You can pull my pants back up now.”

The two female flight attendants involved, who both said they were traumatised by the incident in January, are both on extended paid leave.

The Sun.co.uk, reporting this story, says that “Party island Ko Samui – the second largest island in Thailand – is known for its prostitution and seedy nightlife.”

Despite the source, the incident has been widely reported by ‘respectable media’ on January 20 this year, and the large man has indeed passed away on Koh Samui.

SOURCE: The Sun

Infamous 'large' passenger dies in Koh Samui | News by The Thaiger

‘The Sun’ confuses Koh Samui with Walking Street

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Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018 | The Thaiger

The latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) released by Hotels.com reveals no sign of a slowdown for the global travel industry. Prices are up for overnight accommodation by 3% globally in 2018 across every regional index, except for the Pacific region, including Thailand.

Hotel.com has 85 websites in 34 languages, and lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels and B&Bs, and some condos and other types of commercial lodging.

Travellers to and around Thailand paid an average price of 1,720 baht a night for their domestic accommodation last year, a 7% drop compared to 2017, and paid the same average price of 4,437 baht a night for international accommodation in both 2018 and 2017.

The growth in travel comes despite global uncertainties including Brexit, California wildfires, South African drought and Japanese earthquakes. Travellers also showed resilience and renewed confidence in destinations touched by unrest: Paris, Egypt, Turkey; regions experiencing currency fluctuation: South America; and areas affected by natural disaster: North America.

Despite the overall growth in global accommodation prices, average prices paid for domestic accommodation in Thailand have decreased, with average prices for international beds remaining stable.

SOURCE: The Nation | Hotel.com

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