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Thailand and the US sign new defence treaty

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Thailand and the US sign new defence treaty | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper with the newly-signed defence alliance treaty yesterday in Bangkok – The Nation
The US-Thailand Joint Vision Statement 2020 advances the 2018 US National Defence Strategy and Thailand’s 20 Year National Strategy objectives “by reaffirming our shared commitment to the long-standing defence alliance.”

This statement was issued by the US embassy in Bangkok following the signing of the treaty yesterday.

“It strengthens the special relationship with a focus on the long-term advancement of mutual interests and shared values while also promoting security cooperation capable of deterring or acting decisively to meet the shared challenges of the future.”

Thailand and the US have signed the defence treaty “to enable stability, prosperity and sustainability in the Indo-Pacific region in support of an inclusive and rules-based international order”.

According to The Nation, academics are criticising the new treaty saying that it reaffirms the US policy of putting defence, economic and other cooperation above democracy and human rights.

The Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at Ubonratchathani University, Titipol Phakdeewanich, skas the defence alliance demonstrated that the US government does not give any priority to democracy and human rights in Thailand.

“It shows that the US-Thai relationship is based on mutual interests related to defence, economic and other areas of cooperation rather than promoting democracy.”

He believes that both the EU and the US have compromised on democracy since Thailand held its general election in March, even though the military still exerts considerable influence over Thai politics.

Before the March 24 election, western powers would not fully engage with the former junta-backed government following the 2014 coup.

Addressing the suggestion that the US aimed to counter China’s influence over Thailand and ASEAN, Titipol said that was “unlikely to be the main objective because Thailand and the US have long cooperated on defence”.

“As demonstrated by a 65-year defence alliance, the United States and Thailand are stronger together,” the US embassy statement said.

“The alliance supports Thailand’s leadership role within ASEAN and other international security to advance mutual interests and reinforce the rules-based international order.”

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Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective?

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Is spraying disinfectant on the Thai-Burmese border effective? | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Spraying disinfectant has been effective in the community but controversial in forested refugee camps.

Some controversy exists over the Royal Thai Army attempting to sterilize areas of the Thailand-Myanmar border by spraying disinfectant along the border region. The army sprayed areas set up as a temporary holding facility for many Burmese refugees. The move drew condemnation from critics who claimed the disinfectant was not effective and not worth the expense of implementation. A spokesperson for the Royal Thai Army responded to social media ire justifying the action.

The spraying was done after the Burmese refugees had returned across the border to Myanmar, after fleeing temporarily to escape the escalating humanitarian crisis following the February 1 military coup. After the refugees left, disinfectant was sprayed around the area in compliance with Public Health directives designed to slow the Covid-19 spread and maintain safety. The disinfectant was intended to kill any possibly contagious remaining virus or disease in the area.

The spokesperson said the military used existing government equipment they requested from the Ministry of Public Health to efficiently disinfect the area. She asserted that the spraying was not just to help local people, but also to reassure them that it was safe to return to their daily lives in the area, to go to work or do farming, without fear of becoming infected with Covid-19.

While the response online to the spraying disinfectant scheme is still generally negative, it’s worth noting that the same spraying has been used to effectively sterilize 162 schools and 268 other areas since January. The spray is a safety precaution to minimize the spread of Covid-19 and has been used throughout communities in places like bus terminals, marketplaces, temples and other places where people tend to gather.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Songkran road safety day 5: 37 deaths, 330 accidents

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Songkran road safety day 5: 37 deaths, 330 accidents | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Stay safe driving home from Songkran holidays.

On the fifth day of Songkran’s infamous “seven dangerous days”, there were 330 road accidents resulting in 37 deaths and 328 injuries reported across Thailand. Songkran brings an increase in travel, and with it, an unfortunate increase in traffic accidents and road deaths. With Covid-19 severely curbing festivities this year, figures are generally down, but the government continues to encourage its Songkran road safety campaign.

New revelations today from the Director-General of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation who observed that inter-provincial roads and secondary backroads are more dangerous and deadly statistically, data he attributes to the amount of drinking and driving on these roads. The DDPM has ordered surveys of these roads and high-risk areas that produce higher than average injury and death rates. The departments in these areas will survey the areas for the remainder of the safety campaign, as road accidents may increase in the coming days as holiday travellers begin to return home to work.

DAILY FIGURES

As usual, speeding was the top cause for accidents with nearly 35% of crashes attributed to it, with driving while drunk accounting for nearly 32% of all accidents. Once again motorbikes were involved in the overwhelming majority of road accidents, with 86% of crashes. And again, straight routes were the location of 61% of accidents, a wide majority. 37% of yesterday’s road accidents were on national highways while slightly more accidents, 38%, occurred in local communities and villages.

Accidents were most frequent during the late afternoon and early evening again, with 27% of reported accidents happening between 4 pm and 8 pm. 18% of injuries and deaths were between 30 and 39 years old, the most common demographic.

Pathum Thani was the most fatal province today, with 4 reported road deaths. Prachuap Khiri Khan had the highest rate of road accidents, with 12 incidents within the province. 13 was the number of the most injuries in a province, with that figure being tied by Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Tak.

TOTALS

After 5 days of the Songkran “seven dangerous days” there have been 1,795 accidents reported. 1,818 people were injured on the roads of Thailand in the last 5 days, with 192 road deaths reported nationally.

Nakhon Sri Thammarat has become the most dangerous province, with its 76 road accidents being the most of any province as well as its 82 injuries topping the list of injuries by province. The most deadly provinces were Bangkok, Khon Kaen, and Pathum Thani.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Thailand News Today | New record high for daily Covid infections | April 15

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Thailand News Today | New record high for daily Covid infections | April 15 | Thaiger

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours, The governor of Bangkok says anyone who has had contact with a Covid-19 patient must self-isolate for at least 10 days, Denmark has announced that it is abandoning the AstraZeneca vaccine and Vietnam has overtaken Thailand to become the highest-priced exporting rice in the world.

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