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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protesters enter Government House; Yingluck meets Army Chief; No more teargas, police ordered

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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protesters enter Government House; Yingluck meets Army Chief; No more teargas, police ordered | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Protesters declare victory
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Anti-government protesters have declared victory today after they were allowed to enter Government House and the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

The protesters were seen moving cement barricades earlier blocking their ways at both venues.

Protest leaders declared the victory at the Rajdamnoen rally site, saying their long fight against the government has been accepted by the public and the government. The declaration was also announced at other rally sites.

“Victory is ours after the long fights and protests,” Sathit Wongnongtoey said from the stage.

Protest leaders encouraged people throughout the country to come out and join the celebrations.

However, the protesters refused to enter the police compound. They instead marched around the venue, apparently out of concern that police would trap them inside.

PM Yingluck talks to Army Chief Prayuth
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today spoke with Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha during the ceremony of oath taking to be good government officials on the occasion of His Majesty the King’s on December 5 at the Army’s Club.

Prime Minister Yingluck then chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Army’s Club. After the meeting, she refused to give an interview to the media, saying the Center for Administration of Peace and Order will explain the current protest situation.

PM Yingluck, who looked relaxed, later took a helicopter to attend a rehearsal of the royal ceremony marking His Majesty the King’s birthday at Klai Kang Won Palace in Hua Hin, Prachuab Kiri Khan.

Think twice before arresting Suthep: police warned
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Police tactics are to allow protesters to lay siege Metropolitan Police Bureau before raiding and arrest rally chief Suthep Thaugsuban at the Government House complex, it has been revealed.

However, protest leader Sathit Wongnongtoey today warned at the Rajdamnoen rally site that police should not do that because the bureau is very near Government House.

“Listen carefully, if Khun Suthep is arrested, don’t underestimate the protesters. The bureau is near Government House. Think twice before doing anything,” Sathit said.

Suthep was charged with treason yesterday, as a helicopter flew over the Rajdamnoen rally site and distributed copies of Suthep’s warrants.

No more teargas: Metropolitan police chief promises
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner Pol Lt Gen Khamronvit Thupkrajang promised today that police guarding his bureau would no longer fire teargases to fend off protesters.

He said he would allow the protesters to reach and seize the bureau.

The key protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, vowed to have protesters “seize” the bureau Tuesday.

Gen Khamronvit said he has not been removed as the commander in charge of forces dealing with the protesters. He said he had instructed police to open the line and clap to welcome the protesters when they arrive.

Thai newspaper Thai Rath reported that Gen Khamronvit inspected the police line at the First Army Division Intersection.

“There will be no clash today. If the protesters want to seize the Metropolitan Police, let them,” Thai Rath quoted Khamronvit as saying. “I’ve told my subordinates not to fire teargas. If anything happens, I’ll take responsibility.”

He added that the prime minister also gave cash of Bt2 million for him to distribute to police officers on duty.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1

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Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1 | The Thaiger

Daily Thai news on The Thaiger. All the latest information about Thailand, Monday to Friday on Thaiger News Today.

Thailand beaches may limit visitors until Covid-19 vaccine is available

Beaches and national parks might not fully open to international tourists until a Covid-19 vaccine is available. The claim comes from the Tourism Council of Thailand president. Around 120 to 150 tourists departing from China are set to arrive in Phuket on October 8 after a 6 month ban on international tourists. They’ll have to go through a 14 day state quarantine, but after that, they may not be able to enjoy some of the island’s beaches. A report from Bloomberg says it’s “unlikely” beaches and parks will fully open to overseas travellers until a vaccine becomes available. At this stage there are still many questions about a successful vaccine either becoming available or the efficacy of such a vaccine even when it is. Then there are questions about whether getting a vaccine will become a condition of travel to Thailand or internationally. For the time being, only tourists on select charter flights with a 90 day Special Tourist Visa can enter the country. “It’s good for the country to reopen even if it’s just for trial … Once we’ve tested our reopening plan for a month, we can assess how to go forward and allow more visitors to come in.”

Changing face of Thailand’s expats

Thailand’s dominant working expat nationality in past decades has been Japanese, currently making up 18% of expatriates in the country. But that dominance is about to be overtaken. While Japanese expatriate numbers are decreasing, a CBRE report notes that Chinese and Filipino expats are on the rise in Thailand. There were 28,560 Japanese expats in Thailand as of Q3 2020, just ahead of the Chinese expat contingent at 25,811. As China’s manufacturing has shifted overseas and Filipino expatriates have increased in line with local demand for teachers fluent in English, there’s been a continuing de-centralisation of the expat communities living in Thailand. You can read more about that report, and the effects on the Thai property market at thethaiger.com

More reports of alleged student abuse, parents file complaint against teacher

More reports of teachers allegedly abusing their students have come to light after a Nonthaburi teacher was caught on video pushing a kindergarten student to the floor, pulling a student across the floor and repeatedly hitting other students. Now more classroom videos of teachers allegedly abusing their students are being widely shared online as well as photos of children’s marks and injuries from the alleged abuse. Meanwhile, the main Thonburi school, at the centre of the current allegations, has agreed to pay compensation, including refunding school fees, paying medical costs, and better screening and scrutiny of teaching staff.

Contestant eliminated from Miss Universe Thailand after manager infiltrates organising committee

One of the favourites to take the Miss Universe Thailand title when the contest is held on Saturday, October 10, has just been kicked out for breaking the rules. Chayathanus Saradat, also known as “Cheraim”, is accused of allowing her manager and chaperone to infiltrate the organising committee. It’s understood he manager, aka “Ken”, attended numerous committee meetings, potentially getting the inside scoop on what questions contestants might be asked, and giving his client an advantage. Thailand still has a fascination for the ‘beauty contestant’ format and there are hundreds of such contests conducted around the country each year.

Police confiscate 300 kilos of marijuana in central Thailand drugs bust

A drugs bust in the central province of Nonthaburi, just north of central Bangkok, has netted 300 kilos of marijuana, valued at around 2 million baht. Anti-narcotics officers confiscated the haul yesterday when they apprehended 3 men in a department store car park. Thai Residents reports that dried marijuana usually fetches around 6,500 baht per kilo on the black market. It’s understood this consignment was on its way to a Bangkok-based dealer when it was intercepted.

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Tourism

Travel agents push to end quarantine for tourists from countries at low risk for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Travel agents push to end quarantine for tourists from countries at low risk for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Qui Hotel

Travel agents are pushing to end the 14 day quarantine required for foreign tourists arriving from countries classified as a very low risk for spreading Covid-19, hoping the government will agree with the idea and start in December. The move could bring in at least 100,000 tourists per month, according to president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, or ATTA, Vichit Prakobkoson.

The thought of 2 weeks in isolation before enjoying a vacation turns away a lot of potential tourists. Vichit says the idea of quarantine “repulses” them. But some tourists are still onboard with travelling to Thailand, even if that means spending 14 days in quarantine.

Around 120 to 150 tourists on the new Special Tourist Visa are set to arrive next week from China to Phuket after a 6 month ban on international tourists. The tourists are required to quarantine for 14 days at a state approved facility. The new visa allows a 90 stay and can be renewed twice, adding up to about 9 months.

Vichit says new measure won’t be enough to revive Thailand’s crippled tourism industry which took a hit when the country halted international travel to control the spread of the coronavirus. 1,200 foreign tourists are expected to arrive each month under the new Special Tourist Visa, but Vichit says the number of monthly tourists could increase to 100,000 each month if the quarantine is waived for people from countries consider low risk.

“The government should challenge and revoke the state quarantine, if possible, by this December for certain countries. If so, approximately 100,000 foreigners a month would travel to Thailand and might stay for 5 to 7 days.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Post

Opening Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists may open a “Pandora’s box” of Covid-19 infections, according to leading epidemiologist on the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine Thira Woratanarat. After a 6 month ban on international tourists, the first group of travellers on the new Special Tourist Visa are set to fly from China to Phuket on October 8. Thira says the move puts the country at risk of a second coronavirus outbreak.

“If the country decides to take risks, everyone must rely on themselves because this is a war between virus and humans and people need to survive… The country will be a new endemic area if the government cannot contain the spread of the disease effectively. And even if there is a Covid-19 vaccine, it might be too late.”

The 120 to 150 tourists arriving next week on the Special Tourist Visa are required to quarantine at a state approved facility for 14 days. They are also required to be tested for Covid-19 before their flight and before being released from quarantine.

Thira has been vocal for months on his disapproval for opening the borders to foreign tourists and has stood firmly against proposals like so called “travel bubbles.” He says the coronavirus cases across globe have continued to raise and warns that people in Thailand should still abide by coronavirus prevention measures like wearing a mask.

“Many countries are still under the severe pandemic and have an infection rate 20 times that of Thailand’s, so Thailand will be at a risk of becoming a pandemic hotspot after the country is reopened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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