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PM wants world to accept the new charter

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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


PM wants world to accept the new charter
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The new charter must be accepted by the international community, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.

After the Cabinet meeting yesterday at Government House, PM Prayut said he was not worried about domestic acceptance of the new constitution, but then asked what if the international community rejects it.

“If they [international community] won’t accept it [the new charter], they will claim that our country has no democracy, similar to what they think about Article 44 under the interim charter. We use it to benefit the country, but they accuse us of coercing [people on this],” PM Prayut said.

The PM said the government would invite legal specialists from Germany and France to share experiences about drafting their charters and how they manage after a coup. He spoke after a meeting of the five junta-appointed agencies.

“The NCPO has solved less than 30 per cent of the problems facing the country. We need the public to know how we can move forward and end divisions. We need public acceptance. That is why we need to look how foreign countries tackle their problems,” PM Prayut said.

The PM also insisted the new charter is not drafted to benefit any political party in particular, saying the importance of the Constitution was to create a learning process for people both domestically and internationally on how the new charter is different from previous ones and for what reasons.

Meanwhile, PM Prayut cast doubt on people’s level of understanding of the new constitution and democracy itself.

“I want people to ask how they could cooperate, but no one asks such questions. They only ask when there will be an election,” the PM said.

Nonetheless, PM Prayut put the question back to the public, saying there have been calls for an election as soon as possible but one must ask: “Does Thailand today need reforming? If not and you request an election to be held now – just tell me so I can take a rest.”

He said the new constitution should focus on national reform to prevent corruption and have better checks and balances, since scrutiny to prevent people doing wrong was not clear.

Asked whether the government will help people understand the constitution and the process of how it came to its final draft, PM Prayut replied the government was still discussing this matter.

“Sometimes people do not understand this matter clearly, they only understand that democracy is having an election and give full freedom and authority to the people, but no-one asks for the people’s role.

“I want people to question their duties on how they can cooperate with the government,” he added.

The PM was also asked whether the government is considering holding a referendum on the new charter, but Prayut now was not the time to consider that issue.

Meanwhile, an official said the government was keeping to a schedule that includes an election in early 2016.

“We are committed to the road map where an election will happen after the new constitution is put in place,” NCPO spokesman Col Winthai Suvari said.

He said the constitution was due to be completed later this year, but he refused to comment on statements by other officials that the junta could stay in power longer, if necessary.

That statement came after PM Prayut reportedly visited a famous astrologer, who said he should stay in power for three more years.

But PM Prayut has reportedly told the fortune-teller to stop predicting his future. He insisted that he will follow the road map to restore democracy and hold an election next year.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Public Health Minister gets first Covid-19 vaccine shot in Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Public Health Minister gets first Covid-19 vaccine shot in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ Anutin Charnvirakul

Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccine campaign started with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who was jabbed with China’s Sinovac vaccine. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was initially planned to be the first to kick off Thailand’s immunisation plan with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but due to problems with paperwork, the prime minister’s injection was postponed. Doctors advised Prayut to get the AstraZeneca vaccine due to his age. Prayut is 66 and doctors say the Sinovac vaccine has been declared safe for people ages 18 to 59.

Both shipments of the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines arrived last week, the AstraZeneca vaccine still needs to be endorsed by the Medical Science Department. Anutin says the pharmaceutical company has not submitted documents and samples needed for the endorsement.

Along with Anutin, a number of other government officials and health professionals were vaccinated against the coronavirus. Anutin’s shot was administered by Thailand’s top virologist Yong Poovorawan.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Royal Thai Police accused of “ticket” promotion system to buy senior positions

Caitlin Ashworth

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Royal Thai Police accused of “ticket” promotion system to buy senior positions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Royal Thai Police are being accused of using so-called “elephant tickets” to buy their way into promotions and pay their way up the police force’s chain of command. The corruption among the police force and the buying of positions without meeting the requirements for a promotion has been a longtime problem, according to the Bangkok Post.

The “elephant ticket” issue was recently brought to light by an opposition MP at a censure debate who said it fast tracked the promotion system and allowed some people who were unqualified and undeserving to raise their rank. Some Thais have protested the “elephant ticket.” Many gathered in front of the Royal Thai Police headquarters in Bangkok last week, including one person who dressed up as an elephant.

At the censure debate on February 19, Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome called out PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, who chairs the Police Commission overseeing the Royal Thai Police, and said the prime minister allowed the “elephant ticket” promotions. Prayut later said there were problems within the police force and that he would handle it.

Police who want a promotion need a ticket, which is basically just a reference or a stamp of approval from a senior officer or even a politician or business person. To get an “elephant ticket,” some can pay for the ticket. A source told the Post that positions for police superintendents cost between 5 to 10 million baht.

Others can get a ticket by doing favours for their superior or even just serving their superior for a long time, sources told the Bangkok Post. The higher the position a senior officer has, the more tickets they have to give out.

To read the full special report by the Bangkok Post, click HERE.

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Crime

Woman talks about the life of a Thai “pretty” after model’s death

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman talks about the life of a Thai “pretty” after model’s death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Instagram/ wawa_manika

Following the news of a model who died after working as a hostess at a Bangkok party, Thai media spoke with a woman, known in Thailand as a “pretty,” about what it’s like to work in the lucrative, yet shady Thai model entertainment industry where many work as hostesses at parties and events that often involve alcohol, drugs and sex work.

“Miss Cake” told the Thai news outlet Daily News that pretties are sent to parties by “modelling agencies.” The parties are even categorized depending on if drugs or sex are involved. Apparently the parties are either “En-Up,” “En-V” or just “En” for entertainment. En-Up means drugs are involved, while En-V means the pretties will offer sexual services. Other pretties work at promotional events like auto shows. Since nightclubs and other entertainment venues in Bangkok have been closed due to the pandemic, many of the parties are now held at private homes.

If a pretty is working at an En-Up party, Miss Cake says that means there will be ecstasy, known as “khanom,” the Thai word for a dessert or snack. She says good “khanom” shipped from overseas costs around 900 to 1,000 baht while the poor quality, Thai-made drugs cost 500 baht. Just about every pretty takes drugs, she says. If mixed with ketamine, Miss Cake says it can be dangerous.

Daily News spoke with Miss Cake following the death of a 33 year old Witchayaporn “Wawa” Wisetsombat who worked died in a hospital after working as a hostess at a party in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. She had been hired by a modelling agency to serve drinks at a private party. Her younger sister told the Bangkok Post that Wawa was a product presenter and never sold sex or used narcotics. Doctors told the Post Wawa died from respiratory and blood system failure. They are still waiting for the results for a toxicology test.

The death of another model back in 2019 shed light on the abuse and danger many pretties face in the industry. 25 year old Thitima “Lunlabelle” Noraphanpiphat died from “extreme alcohol intoxication,” according to an autopsy report. Her dead body was found in the lobby of a Bangkok condominium. 6 people were found guilty for involvement in Lunlabelle’s death.

Abuse is common in the industry and many women working as pretties are often pressured into drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. The work of pretties is looked down upon in Thai society. Due to the stigma, many due not file complaints when they are abused.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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