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PM Prayut gives officials three months to show results

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

PM Prayut gives officials three months to show results
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha said he would give civil servants three months to deliver work results as per government policy and those found to be slacking would be “dealt with”.

He also said Thailand needed a five-year vision for stability, where people are well-off and have overcome the “democracy” trap. The premier-cum-junta leader also acknowledged the fact that the root cause of political conflicts continued persisting.

The premier made these remarks at a press conference at Government House yesterday to announce his government’s achievements in its first three months.

Gen Prayut said Thailand has been caught in a “democracy trap” since the 1932 revolt, with so many military coups, so now, he said, the focus should be on strengthening people, the country and all sectors.

“Today the country is relatively peaceful, but some think nothing has changed and want an elected government quickly. But while things appear to be orderly, without conflicts or protests, the root cause [of the conflicts] still persist, be it in terms of people or weapons of war.

“So we have to deal with it in parallel with everything else. As long as these causes are not resolved, the roots of conflict will not end, the judicial process will remain unfinished and we will not be able to solve anything – just like before. I’m just keeping the situation [afloat], but it still poses a danger to democracy in the future,” Gen Prayut said.

As for government officials, Gen Prayut warned that they should carry out their duties without delay, otherwise Thailand risks becoming a failed state. He said the government had spent the past three months solving all sorts of problems, which are numerous, something the past governments failed to resolve. However, he did not clarify exactly what he was referring to.

He said he hopes that his government’s work will become more apparent in three months from now, including the on-going judicial cases.

Gen Prayut warned the media to be fair when criticising the government. He accused a Thai-language newspaper, without naming it, of constantly reprimanding him and threatened to exercise martial law to shut it down.

“I will call on the [media] association to look into the newspaper which writes [to criticise] me every day. I have been putting up with it for a long time; they continue attacking me on all issues and all pages. What’s wrong with them? Are they mad or what? They always criticise, no matter who becomes [the prime minister]. What’s good about that? The proprietor will end up dying in prison.

“I don’t want to support the paper, but somebody bought it for me [to read]. I don’t really want to read it because it only makes me mad, which affects my behavior and stature as a leader when I fume. But I don’t know what to do, as I will be criticised tomorrow for saying this. But this time I’m really going to shut down this paper, because it will continue to creep on me if I let it go… What’s the point of martial law then? We have it to ensure peace and [I will use martial law] constructively,” he said.

As for the absolute power he is granted under the interim charter’s Article 44, Gen Prayut said this power should only be used constructively, not to execute anybody.

“I haven’t put anyone in prison or in front of the firing squad,” he said.

Regarding criticism from foreign governments in relation to the May 22 coup and democracy building, Prayut said Thailand was moving forward and those who did not believe this can refer to the provisional charter.

“That’s the answer [I give]. The more answers I provide, the lengthier the issue becomes,” he said.

On the establishment of the Asean Economic Community next year, Gen Prayut said Thai people should think about mutual benefits and realise that it will strengthen Asean.

In his long speech, Gen Prayut referred to himself as a “referee” and a “school principal” who had stepped in to speed things up.

On a personal note, Gen Prayut said his family did not know what he was doing on the day of the coup.

“On May 22, everyone at home cried and I didn’t tell anyone. I told my seniors [who used to be in the Army] later. But I had to do it, otherwise I would be condemned after my retirement for letting things continue this way.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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

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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.

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“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)

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Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thai Post

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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.

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SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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