Connect with us

Thailand

Thailand News: Suthep shuns talks; PDRC to regroup; Santika boss jailed over B85mn tax evasion

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Thailand News: Suthep shuns talks; PDRC to regroup; Santika boss jailed over B85mn tax evasion | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Suthep shuns Abhisit move
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A campaign by Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to find a solution to the country’s political deadlock was generally welcomed yesterday although anti-government leader Suthep Thaugsuban appeared to shun his move.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra described Abhisit’s effort as a “good beginning” to allow the country to get out of the ongoing impasse and move forward. She said that she would have to study his proposal in detail.

“We should start by finding a common point and then go towards that direction,” the prime minister said. “It may take some time, but I believe that it’s better than turning our backs to each other.”

Yingluck called on Abhisit to discuss his plan with Suthep, secretary-general of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

Election commissioner Som-chai Srisuthiyakorn said Abhisit’s effort to find a solution to the political crisis was a “good approach”.

Abhisit on Thursday unveiled his plan to hold talks with some prominent figures and parties to find a solution.

Yesterday, he met Justice Ministry permanent secretary Kittipong Kittayarak and other members of the Reform Now Network.

He is scheduled to meet with Armed Forces Supreme Commander General Tanasak Patima-pragorn on Monday, and Election Commissioners on Tuesday.

Abhisit said that if did not accomplish his mission in 10 days, he would consider it a failure. Yingluck and Suthep would be the last people he planned to meet.

Suthep rebuffed any effort to involve him in the talks. He said he would listen to no one except the “great masses of people” who were calling for national reforms before the next election.

“Whoever he is, no one should dare appoint himself as the mediator,” Suthep said. “Whether he is my acquaintance, my former colleague or my friend, don’t poke your nose in other people’s business.

“I listen to no one but the people. The people want to see reform so we must chase away the government so that reform can be carried out.”

Suthep is a former Democrat secretary-general who served as deputy prime minister in a government led by Abhisit.

Suthep, who had a meeting with PM Yingluck, brokered by the armed forces, said he would no longer negotiate with her.

The PDRC plans to move its protest site this month from Lumpini Park to Democracy Monument as part of an “escalated rally”, according to a source familiar with the group.

The PDRC held its rally at the monument for two months before starting the “Bangkok shutdown” campaign in early January.

Abhisit said reform and an election were key components to help end the ongoing political stalemate and it was not important whether reform occurred before the

election or the election was held before reform.

He kicked off his campaign to find a way out of the crisis yesterday with a meeting with Justice Ministry permanent secretary Kittipong and the Reform Now Network, of which he is a member.

Abhisit said there were three areas where common ground was found: reform is a key element for the resolution; an election is a requirement no matter when it happens; and the election is a crucial part of reform.

“We have to start with commonality and expand the common features, steering away from difference,” he told reporters.

Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who heads the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order, said Abhisit’s plan was unnecessary and that an effective way to end the crisis was an election.

“Abhisit, no need to meet anybody, but just simply join the election and the elected government after such a poll would carry out the reform over a certain period,” he said.

Chalerm said nobody in the country had the credibility to play the role Abhisit had taken on himself.

“The politician’s chain has already become rusty. Nobody trusts politicians anymore,” he said.

“But if he wants to see me, I’m still available, I have no problem with him.”

The ruling Pheu Thai Party gave a cold shoulder to Abhisit, saying the opposition leader was being pretentious in his attempt to improve his image.

Democrat deputy spokesman Jurit Laksanawisit urged all concerned parties – including Pheu Thai – to give Abhisit a chance.

“If Prime Minister Yingluck is not ready, let’s allow Khun Abhisit to begin the task,” he said.

PDRC to return to Rajdamnoen
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Anti-government protesters will move from Lumpini Park back to the Democracy Monument to make a final push for an appointed prime minister and reform, a source said yesterday.

“We maintain the same stance to oppose the election until there is reform. We will disrupt the poll again whenever it is held,” the source said.

Anti-government protesters, led by Suthep Thaugsuban of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, yesterday marched from Lumpini Park to Thai Airways’ headquarters at Vibhavadi Road, where they received a warm welcome from most of the national flag carrier’s staff.

The airline’s acting director Chockchai Panyayong, other THAI executives and the carrier’s labour union chief Damrong Waikani greeted Suthep and the other protesters upon their arrival and gave them black T-shirts and purple scarves as gifts.

A lot of staff donated money and gave them roses to support the movement.

Suthep asked staff to join the movement to oust Yingluck Shinawatra’s government.

“I’m sad to know that Thai Airways has had a low performance over past years due to political intervention in management,” he said.

Jamsri Sukchotrat, an adviser to the labour union, said the airline would support the anti-government movement so as to have “good politicians” ruling the country.

“We will continue our opposition to the privatisation [of the airline],” she said. “I believe if we have good politicians to run the country, the state-run airline would be healthy.”

Over the past week, Suthep visited many state enterprises calling for support.

He said earlier he would announce a new plan for a big rally next Wednesday.

Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who heads the government’s Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said yesterday that he would soon order a “round-up” to arrest leaders of the anti-government who created trouble.

The move follows a spat of violence including a bomb blast on Thursday at the head office of the Daily News newspaper.

“I will make the final decision soon to arrest trouble-makers,” he said. “If anything happens after the round-up, let it happen,” he said.

The public prosecutor recently finished compiling cases against anti-government protesters and is prepared to prosecute 80 people for causing trouble, according Sirima Sunawin of the CAPO.

Daily slams M79 grenade attacks
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Two M79 grenade attacks on Thursday aimed at the Thai-language Daily News newspaper in northern Bangkok and the Central Adm

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Burmese child contracted Covid-19 while crossing the border, report says

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Burmese child contracted Covid-19 while crossing the border, report says | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The 2 year old Burmese child, who tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand, may have contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar, according to a report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department.

The department says they suspect the child was exposed to the virus while crossing the border from the Mae Sot border district in Tak to Myanmar’s Myawaddy town. The child’s parents worked in Ayutthaya and quit their jobs last month. The department says the toddler probably contracted the virus around September 4 to September 10 while the family was travelling.

The family crossed natural, unofficial passageways into Myanmar. The news website Xinhua says it was an “apparent intent to evade anti-pandemic measures at the Mae Sot border checkpoint.”

Those in Thailand who came in close contact with the family tested negative for the virus. 146 people who worked with the family at Ayutthaya migrant worker camps all tested negative for Covid-19. Those in close contact with the family in the Nakhon Ratchasima province, where the parents worked prior to Ayutthaya, tested negative as well. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Health officials are still investigating 2 apparent local transmissions of Covid-19. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a local transmission. The DJ tested positive for G strain of the virus, a more infectious strain that is typically found in imported cases detected during state quarantine rather than local transmissions. Health officials do not know where the DJ contracted the virus.

A Uzbek football player for the Buriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He was asymptomatic and tested negative for the virus multiple times during quarantine after he arrived to Thailand. Although it seems like a local transmission, some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.

SOURCE:Xinhua

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 | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020 | The Thaiger

Daily video news about Thailand with Tim Newton

Get a visa or go to jail.

Thai Immigration Tourists, and anyone else with a lapsed visa, ha ve only 5 days to renew their visa or they could get arrested. The current visa amnesty ends on September 26 and there isn’t going to be another sudden announcement for another grace period, according to immigration officials. Those who overstay will face arrest and be deported back to their home countries. Immigration officials estimate there are more than 150,000 foreign nationals who need to have their tourist visas renewed. Immigration officials said today that people without a valid visa after September 26 could face jail.

“Overstaying the tourist visa is punishable by both a jail term and fine under the Immigration Act.”

Some foreigners who arrived on tourist visas earlier in the year have been in Thailand since late March when the Thai borders closed and many international flights were cancelled due to the world coronavirus pandemic. The visa amnesty was renewed twice since many people were unable to their home countries, but now the amnesty is coming to an end this Saturday.

There were hopes that the end of the visa amnesty could co-incide with the introduction of the new Special Tourist Visa so that those either unable to leave, due to lack of flights or problems returning to their home countries, could ‘roll over’ onto the new 90 day visas. But that has not been announced at this stage and remains just wishful thinking. The best thing you can do, if you don’t currently have a valid visa to stay in Thailand, is urgently contact your embassy, make an appointment online at your nearest Immigration office, or speak to a professional visa agent. But, be warned, there are plenty of scammers posting official looking urgent posts in social media offering to issue you with a visa so you can stay in Thailand. Do your homework before spending money with any visa agent.

Weekend protest rallies draw 30,000 people but no formal response

Protesters gathered from early Saturday morning at the Thammasat Tha Prachan campus. Although officially denied permission to hold their protest on the Campus grounds, the demonstrators stormed the campus’s gates, without resistance from onlooking police or security officials. By the afternoon the crowd had reached some 30,000 people, less than the 50,000 expected but a lot more than the 15,000 expected by government officials in the lead up to the Saturday rally. Largely peaceful the protesters sat in the wet season drizzle to listen to speeches and performances before marching together to the adjacent royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang. Here the protest continued under the watchful eye of police, all unarmed, who barricaded off sensitive areas of the historic parade grounds and access to the Grand Palace.

The protest continued into the night and punctuated the themes of political freedom, new Democratic elections, the dissolution of the Thai parliament and, controversially, reforms to the country’s revered monarchy. On Sunday morning there was a symbolic placement of a brass plaque to commemorate the event, seen as a replacement to a similar plaque that commemorated the Siam Revolution in 1932 that mysteriously vanished in 2017. The protesters then marched to the Privy Council to officially hand over a copy of their 10 point manifesto.

Meanwhile, 45,000 books – a collection of speeches and poems by some of the protest leaders – were seized in a nearby Bangkok house. The books were to be handed out to protesters. 5 people were arrested at the time.

Alcohol banned at national parks after complaints of trash and drunk tourists Alcohol is now banned at national parks after tourists allegedly got drunk at a waterfall and others left a load of trash by their campsite. Just last week, trash left at a campsite at Khao Yai National Park was boxed up in a parcel and sent back to the campers. Other tourists were allegedly drunk and making a lot of noise at the Namtok Samlan National Park, Varawut says. He says both groups of tourists face charges for their actions.

• Alcohol is banned at national parks for the time being

• Loud noise is not allowed after 9pm and noise must be stopped at 10pm

• When renting a tent, tourists must provide identification, address and phone number

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

Protests

MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

MP files complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today

A member of parliament filed a complaint against 3 opposition MPs for allegedly joining the weekend’s pro-democracy protest where activists demanded reform of the Thai Monarchy. He’s also putting together a legal team aimed at dissolving the members’ 3 opposition parties.

Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjakha says he has a photo of the 3 members raising their hands in a 3 finger salute, a symbol of resistance against the military run government. He says the protest was illegal, and the location, the Royal Field next to the Grand Palace, is off limits to unauthorised people.

He filed the complaint with the Chanasongkhram police against Mongkolkit Suksintharanont, of the Thai Civilized Party, Peerawit Ruangluedolapark, of the Thai Rak Thai Party and Nattha Boonchai-insawat of the Kao Klai Party.

A legal team assigned by Sira will collect evidence and file a petition with the Constitutional Court calling on the dissolution of the 3 opposition parties: Thai Civilized Party, Thai Rak Thai Party and Kao Klai Party.

He says he also plans to ask the House Speaker to investigate the 3 members to determine if they breached the parliament’s ethical conduct.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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