Connect with us

Thailand

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protesters threaten SET, AEROThai; Delay poll says expert; Yala blast kills 2

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Protesters threaten SET, AEROThai; Delay poll says expert; Yala blast kills 2 | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

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

AeroThai and SET are in protesters’ sights
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: In an attempt to increase pressure on the government, the hard-line movement Students and People Network for Thailand’s Reform (STR) yesterday confirmed it planned to blockade the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the offices of Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (AeroThai) if caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra did not resign.

STR coordinator Uthai Yodmanee said the group would wait until 8pm tonight – its deadline for Yingluck to step down.

“If Yingluck does not resign by then, the STR will block the stock market and the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand office,” he said, adding that STR leaders were designing a strategy on how to blockade the two places.

Any disruption of AeroThai’s services could cause chaos for civilian aircraft, including domestic and international passenger flights, scheduled to land in Thailand, as well as those flying through Thai airspace, Uthai said.

STR was ready to rally at any alternative venue where cabinet members worked on behalf of the caretaker government, he said. “The STR will step up its efforts in a peaceful way,” he added.

Caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said yesterday that if anti-government protesters occupied the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand compound as they have threatened, they would be charged with terrorism.

Police and soldiers had been mobilised to protect all operational bases of AeroThai, whose central command is located in Bangkok’s Thung Maha Mek area. The Stock Exchange of Thailand compound is located on Ratchadaphisek Road near the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre.

The president of AeroThai, Prajak Sajjasophon, said the agency’s operations were crucial to the safety of air passengers and international flights – so protesters should consider the country’s image before deciding to disrupt its services.

The main anti-government movement, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), which leads the anti-government efforts including the Bangkok shutdown campaign, yesterday reaffirmed it would not seize airports, key transportation systems or the stock market.

PDRC chief Suthep Thaugsuban yesterday declared a total shutdown of all state properties in the next few days, as well as the possibility of holding the prime minister and some Cabinet members captive to force her caretaker government to resign, to make way for a reform plan he had designed.

Speaking at a rally stage at the Asoke intersection, the PDRC chief said the capital would be occupied round the clock until protesters’ months-long street protests – of which the Bangkok shutdown campaign is a part – achieve their aims.

Suthep said he was approached by an unnamed individual yesterday morning and offered a postponement of the general election from February 2 to May 4, but he had snubbed the offer. “Government buildings will be completely shut down in the next few days. I will take the lead,” said Suthep.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said the committee had no plans to seize AeroThai, the train stations, the public transport system or the stock exchange.

“The PDRC wants the public to be minimally affected by its movement, and to leave them options for commuting,” he added.

If any PDRC ally decided to disrupt key transport systems, Akanat said, the group would negotiate with them and they would be unlikely to make any move beyond the PDRC’s resolutions.

About 1,000 protesters marched to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, as they claimed that the PM’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva would use the place to work. They blew whistles and urged officials there to stop work for five days. About 100 officials walked out of their office as protesters cheered and blew whistles. Having found no one left in the NESDB office, they closed the gate with a big lock.

Protesters urge govt workers to close down state agencies
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The highlights of the second day of the “shutdown campaign” and its impact on the capital and provinces across the country were anti-government protesters’ campaign for civil disobedience:

About 1,000 protesters marched to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, as they claimed that the PM’s secretary-general Suranand Vejjajiva would use the place to work. They blew whistles and urged officials there to stop work for five days. About 100 officials walked out of their office as protesters cheered and blew whistles. Having found no one left in the NESDB office, they closed the gate with a big lock.

• PDRC protesters laid siege to the Customs Department from morning till 6pm, urging them to stop work and join their campaign to oust the PM.

• Many educational institutes have suspended classes. They include Srinakharinwirot University, Pathumwan Institute of Technology, Rajamangala University of Technology’s two campuses, Bangkok University’s Rangsit campus, Chulalongkorn and Thammasat universities, plus Kasetsart’s Bang Khen campus, Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, Rajabhat University’s Suan Dusit and Suan Sunandha, and St John University. Ramkhamhaeng University has postponed exams till Friday.

• Protesters marched to the Commerce Ministry in Sanambinnam Road but left after they were told it was closed for three days.

• Protesters marched to the Department of Export Promotion after learning the permanent secretary for the PM’s Office would use this place as his office. However, after learning that the protesters were marching there, the high-ranking official did not turn up.

• Protesters continued to block seven intersections in Bangkok: Pathum Wan, Ratchaprasong, Asoke, Sala Daeng, Victory Monument, Lat Phrao and the the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road.

• As many as 8,000 PDRC protesters rallied in nine southern provinces, according to CAPO spokesman Pol Maj-General Piya Uthayo. He said another 50,000 – supporters of the government – had rallied in 32 provinces across the country in support of the government holding an election.

Delay poll, hold reform forum: top Justice man
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A second top official has called for the election to be set back and a forum organised to focus on political reform. He also urged the government to review its role as a caretaker administration.

The permanent secretary of Justice Kittipong Kittayarak posted on Facebook yesterday that the February 2 election should be postponed for three to six months, and a forum set up for all stakeholders to discuss a ballot that would lead to national reform.

Meanwhile, many parties have refused to join a meeting today being organised by the government to discuss problems about the election.

The Election Commission (EC) said yesterday it would not join a meeting of all parties hosted by the government today on the election and suggested a meeting with the government should take place first.

“The government and the Election Commission are the two responsible agencies, so we need agreement between us first,” Commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said.

He noted that the EC offered a meetin

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Thailand

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

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Thailand beaches may limit visitors until Covid-19 vaccine is available | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Merve Selcuk Simsek

Beaches and national parks might not fully open to international tourists until a Covid-19 vaccine is available. 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 is out.

Thailand’s borders won’t fully reopen to international tourists until a vaccine is widely available to the public, according to Tourism Council of Thailand president Chairat Trirattanajarasporn. 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.”

The new Special Tourist Visa is an effort intended to help revive Thailand’s tourism industry which has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic. According to Bloomberg, the sector makes but about a fifth of the nation’s economy. Last year, the tourism industry generated 1.9 trillion baht with about 40 million foreign visitors. With travel restrictions in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, Chairat predicts tourism revenue will drop 82.6% to 336.5 billion baht by the end of the year.

“Businesses that rely on foreign tourists, especially in Phuket, Samui, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, will continue to close in the coming months because there would only be a small group of people coming in after the reopening.”

SOURCE: Bloomberg

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Video & Podcasts

Thailand News Today | Phuket re-opens, TripAdvisor review saga, Samut Prakhan chem spill | Sept 30

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand News Today | Phuket re-opens, TripAdvisor review saga, Samut Prakhan chem spill | Sept 30 | The Thaiger

Daily TV news about Thailand. Updates and all the latest information from thethaiger.com.

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme will land in Phuket on October 8.

The flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

The resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine.

Minister calls for all complaints against Sarasas schools to be monitored amid abuse allegations

The Education Minister is asking the Office of the Private Education Commission to closely monitor all complaints filed against all Sarasas Witaed School branches around the country.

34 out of 42 of the schools have had complaints filed against them. Allegations of abuse first emerged when the actions of an abusive teacher at a branch of the school in the central province of Nonthaburi, just north of central Bangkok, were captured on CCTV.

Additional complaints made against several other branches of the private school allege harsh punishment, the charging of fees not sanctioned by the Education Ministry, and the use of unqualified teachers. The Thonburi school was also accused of using babysitters as teachers

The man who wrote the bad reviews for Koh Chang’s Sea View Resort has a criminal record

In the ongoing stoush between the American, Wesley Barnes, and Koh Chang’s Sea View Resort, it’s now been revealed that Mr Barnes has been of interest to the US judicial system in the past, being accused of firing a weapon at a bar in Jackson County, Missouri.

Wesley Barnes, who has been working in Thailand as a teacher, posted a number of negative reviews on different platforms, including Trip Advisor, allegedly accusing the Koh Chang resort of “modern day slavery”, amongst other complaints. He stayed at the resort in June this year.

But this isn’t the first time Mr Barnes has come to the attention of police.

In the US there was an incident which is now public record. There was an official police complaint against the 34 year old in 2017. He was accused of firing a weapon near Waldo Bar, and later at a convenience store, told people he was a federal agent prior to the initial incident.

Of course the man’s criminal record doesn’t prevent him from posting negative reviews but provides just a little more context to the ongoing saga between the hotel and Mr Barnes.

PM dismisses rumours of alliance with opposition to form new government

Thai PM Prayuth Chan-o-cha has rubbished rumours that the ruling coalition parties plan to join forces with the opposition Pheu Thai party to form a new government.

While the PM initially didn’t respond to the question, instead bidding reporters a good day and walking away, he did mumble that he had enough “headaches” with one of his coalition partners.

Meanwhile Deputy PM, Prawit Wongsuwan, also dismissed the question, accusing the media of being behind the speculation. Under the current constitution the Thai PM is elected by a parliamentary majority, and not automatically coming from the leader of the party with the most number of votes. But a coalition between Prayut and Pheu Thai does seem, at face value, extremely unlikely.

Around 10 villagers hospitalised after chemical spill in Samut Prakan

Around 10 people were hospitalised after a chemical tank spilled at a village in Samut Prakan, just southeast of Bangkok.

Those near the spill reported feeling nauseous and some had trouble breathing. Officials do not known what chemical was in the tank.

The 1 metre tank had been taken into the forest by 2 employees at a second hand shop who hoped they could take it apart and sell the scrap metal. The 2 employees fainted when the tank spilled. Trees and grass in a 100 metre radius of the chemical spill also died.

The chemical let off a strong odour and Thai media says the fumes spread to a nearby village. Those at the second hand shop, close by to the chemical spill, started to feel nauseous and some had trouble breathing. Some people reported skin rashes after the incident. Around 10 villagers, including children, were sent to hospital.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Thailand farmers hope to grow and export cannabis by next year

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Thailand farmers hope to grow and export cannabis by next year | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Esteban Lopez

Under a proposed law, Thailand farmers would be allowed to grow cannabis and hemp for export without going through cannabis certified universities or medical institutes. The National Farmers Council president Praphat Panyachatrak says he hopes the new law will be in place by next year. The legislation is still being reviewed by the Public Health Ministry and National Legislative Assembly, but Praphat says he expects an announcement will be made soon.

Thailand’s recent rush to decriminalise and even legalise marijuana follows the Bhumjaithai Party joining the government coalition in 2019, headed by current Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. His elected MPs provide essential votes for the fragile coalition. His party ran on a platform of legalising marijuana.

Thailand has been gearing up for the global cannabis trade with talk of classifying medical cannabis as an economic crop. The classification would allow the plant to be exported to other countries. The government has also talked about adding a variety of cannabis cultivars to keep up with the demanding cannabis industry.

The National Farmers Council has been advocating for the cultivation of cannabis and Praphat says the new law will make it easier for farmers to grow the plant. He adds that farmers would be able to get a permit to grow cannabis as soon as they got an order from overseas.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Thailand and is considered a Category 5 narcotic. Those charged with distributing cannabis face 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine from 40,000 baht to 200,000 baht. Those caught distributing over 10 kilograms of cannabis face up to 15 years in prison and a fine from 200,000 baht to 1,500,000 baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand | Chiang Rai Times

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending