Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protesters storm Army HQ; Replacing Yingluck is not an option; Abhisit could take Suthep’s place

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Protesters storm Army HQ
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: In a symbolic move, hundreds of anti-government protesters stormed the Army headquarters on Rajdamnoen Nok Road yesterday and briefly occupied the lawn of the headquarters.

The move was one of the more dramatic moments in their campaign to topple the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

Protesters led by leaders of Students and People Network for Thailand’s Reform started marching from their base in Nang Lerng at around 11:30am and arrived outside the Army office around noon.

About 80 men standing hand in hand gathered and pushed down the front gate. Some climbed over the gate. The protesters were warned by their leaders not to break into any buildings or offices. They gathered on the front yard of the army headquarters building with many posing for photographs within the grounds. Former yellow shirt leader Chamlong Srimuang and Pajun Tamprateep, a former close aide to Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda were seen at the site.

Leader Uthai Yodmanee took a stage on a truck and demanded Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and the army to declare what side it is on.

A representative of the Royal Thai Army told the protesters the military would not use any force against the protesters. Moreover, the military had prepared first aid kits and drinking water for the visitors. The protesters later submitted a letter to the Army’s commander-in-chief and left the site around two hours later to return to their base.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters composing members of the Business Club for Democracy, as well as alumni and current students of many educational institutes gathered at about 11am at Asoke Skytrain station before marching to the US Embassy.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij joined the rally. Posting a photo of himself riding on the Skytrain on his Facebook page, Abhisit said “See you at Asoke.”

They then marched to the US Embassy on Wireless Road. The protesters waved placards, some of them said “Stop serving Thaksin regime”, and “Get Out, Thaksin’s servants”. People along the road took photos, blew whistles and waved the national flag.

At the US embassy, protest representatives submitted a note to the US government, saying that the Yingluck government was not legitimate.

Police stepped up security at the US Embassy earlier out of fear that a third-party group may use the confusion during the protest to attack the embassy.

Police were deployed from the Metropolitan Police Division 5, Lumpini Police station, Special Branch Police, the 191 Task Force and Arintharat commando unit to guard the embassy from early in the morning. Police also guarded the US ambassador’s residence and the consular office.

In another rally, a group of people who called themselves “patriots” led by Srivara Issara, the owner of Charn Issara building began a cheerful parade heading to the headquarters of the Pheu Thai Party. About 300 police were deployed outside the party office after protest leaders announced their plan.

OPINION: For Pheu Thai, replacing Yingluck is not an option
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: House dissolution seems far more practical than making her resign

If not Yingluck Shinawatra, then who? This is the question haunting the Pheu Thai Party right now. From being a heroine ushered onto centre stage in a highly romanticized manner, PM Yingluck has seen her popularity plunge as fast as it initially skyrocketed. The amnesty push, according to a host of non-partisan commentators, was a political blunder on a scale rarely seen. Her innocent and conciliatory image had shielded her from accusations she was her older brother’s “puppet”, but the scandalous rush to pass a bill that would absolve him (even albeit along with his political enemies) has stripped her of that immunity.

Polls indicate that few people believed Yingluck when she vowed to bury the amnesty agenda. Although some protesters have returned home, the dents to her image could turn out to be permanent. A juxtaposition of incidents has made it difficult to take her pledge seriously, meaning she’s got a lot more to do to convince the growing number of doubters. The just-ended censure debate did not help that cause.

First came the leaked audio clip in which Thaksin discussed a legislative and executive plan to bring him home. Then an amnesty bill that had not originally included him was altered to do so. Last but not least, the Pheu Thai-dominated House of Representatives rammed the revamped bill through after just one day of debate – or opposition protest, to be exact. Through all of this, Yingluck tried to stay aloof. She began by insisting that amnesty had nothing to do with the government, only to take a dramatic and questionable U-turn by finally saying the government was “withdrawing” the bill.

If Yingluck is a “puppet”, she has not done a good job in the role. If she is not a puppet, she is bad at proving so. Being Thaksin’s sister has made her task difficult, of course. But that doesn’t mean a bill advocated by her party and paving the way for him to return home a free man had to be rushed through Parliament at an hour when much of Thailand was sleeping.

While Yingluck’s political “innocence” was winning hearts, attacks ricocheted off her without fail. Now, scepticism has eaten into her image and the previously harmless ridicule by rivals is taking a bigger and bigger toll. She is politically bruised and obviously anxious, prompting speculation that her brother might have to prop somebody else up in her place.

The question is, “Who?” The other influential Shinawatra sibling, Yaowapa Wongsawat, has always been mentioned as a replacement candidate, but switching from Yingluck to her would be a drastic change. Yaowapa is far more confrontational, and certainly doesn’t command as much public adoration as the incumbent.

Will Somchai Wongsawat, Yaowapa’s husband and a former prime minister, be brought back? Though he doesn’t seem confrontational, his active involvement with the red shirts would certainly bring him more torrid times as premier. Suvarnabhumi Airport was taken over by protesters while he was at the country’s helm in late 2008 – and that was at a time when Thai politics was not nearly as complex or super-heated.

Any other candidate deemed closely associated with the Shinawatras would face big trouble. Giving the highest executive post to an ally of Pheu Thai is also unthinkable. The late Samak Sundaravej was as far as Thaksin would go when it came to a non-Shinawatra at the country’s helm. It’s unimaginable for the prime minister’s post to be handed on a plate to, say, Banharn Silapa-archa.

The national impasse seems to have brought Pheu Thai to a major impasse of its own. Can Yingluck continue? That’s a big question, but the bigger ones are “If not House dissolution, then what?” and “If not her, then who?”

Abhisit could take Suthep’s place if protest leader arrested
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has suggested that he is ready to become a leader of the anti-government protest if former Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban is arrested.

Asked if he was

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Thaiger

Published

on

By

Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Economy

Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde

Published

on

PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Thailand

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals

Thaiger

Published

on

Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

2,044 new Covid-19 cases and 27 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,320 active Covid-19 cases. 1,170 Covid patients are in critical condition including 367 on ventilators.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 78,855 Covid-19 infections and 363 virus-related deaths.

Out of 27 new fatalities, patients were ages 30 to 90. Most of the deaths were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Several contacted the virus from family members.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New cases Total cases since April 1
Bangkok 869 16,917
Nonthaburi 201 3,032
Samut Prakan 165 2,902
Chon Buri 89 3,128
Samut Sakhon 69 1,299
Surat Thani 60 1,035
Pathum Thani 39 1,099
Chiang Mai 33 3,180
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 32 607
Nakhon Pathom 29 746
Ranong 29 329

 

Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toei 46
Pathum Wan 24
Bang Khae 24
Lat Phrao 13
Ratchathewi 10
Pom Prap Sattru Phai 9
Bueng Kum 9
Phasi Charoen 8
Bang Khun Thian 8
Din Daeng 8

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending