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Thailand News Today | Burmese coup & tourist visa ’emergency extensions’ | February 1

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Thailand News Today | Burmese coup & tourist visa ’emergency extensions’ | February 1 | The Thaiger

Myanmar’s military has taken control of the country in a political coup, deposing the elected government after reportedly detaining de-facto leader and ‘State Counsellor’ Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other politicians early this morning.

The military-owned Myawaddy TV announced a state of emergency had been declared for 12 months and power transferred to the Junta. A news presenter referred to a section in the military-drafted constitution that allows the military to take control during times of national emergency.

The coup comes after tensions rose between the civilian government and the military following a disputed election last November. The military said it was stepping in and handing power to the Army commander-in-chief because of alleged “election fraud” and the failure to postpone the election due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy won last November’s election in a landslide. She’s broadly considered a hero of democracy in Myanmar, certainly by the Burmese. She spent years under house arrest, still struggling for democracy. Her efforts won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. But her reputation has been tarnished of late by her lack of action against the military crackdowns on the country’s ethnic Rohingya, considered as ethnic genocide by the UN.

Myanmar was ruled by the military for 5 decades until democratic reforms began in 2011. The coup came on the morning the new Parliament session was set to begin.

Suu Kyi’s party claimed victory after the general election in November 2020. It won 396 out of 476 seats. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party won only 33 seats.

Thailand tourism officials are shooting for a goal of 5 million international arrivals this year. That may sound like a lot, but it’s half of the original forecast predicted at the start of the year, and a far cry from the roughly 40 million visitors welcomed to Thailand in 2019.

The tourism and sports minister says Thailand needs to gain confidence between China, India and Malaysia to make sure tourists feel comfortable visiting Thailand. Tourists from China, India and Malaysia made up 40% of the 39.8 million arrivals in 2019.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry is working on a Covid-19 “vaccine passport” which would be on a smartphone application or a smart card. The Minister says that once the scheme is ready, tourists with the vaccine passport will be able to enter Thailand.

With Thailand’s mass Covid-19 immunisation plan expected to start within the next month, the Tourism ministry plans to talk with the PM and the Public Health minister about including tourism workers in the first round of vaccinations.

The first group to be vaccinated are frontline health care workers and people over the age of 60 who live in areas classified as the highest risk of infection.

5 police officers have been injured in a bomb explosion in Narathiwat, a predominantly Muslim province bordering Malaysia that has been plagued with violence related to the religious separatist insurgency for 2 decades.

Officers were on their way to investigate a fire at a mobile phone tower in the Si Sakhon district when a bomb planted under the road exploded, injuring 5 officers and damaging their pickup truck. The officers were sent to the Si Sakhon Hospital and are now in stable condition.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal team investigated the site. They say the bomb was planted under the road and wired to a 25 kilogram liquefied petroleum gas cylinder. Narathiwat police suspectsthe bomb was triggered using a radio signal.

Threats were made to Buddhists and soldiers in the area and 2 mobile phone towers for True and Dtac were set on fire before the explosion yesterday morning.

Stranded foreign tourists, either genuinely stuck in Thailand since April 2020, or stuck here by choice, are able to stay in Thailand until May 30, according to an order signed by the Immigration Bureau last week. The order empowers local officers to grant a 60 day visa extensions in the time between January 29 up to May 30.

The order allows for a further 60 day extension for people on a tourist visa beyond January 29 when the previous order expired.

Immigration officials have explained the reason for the latest extension is the “ongoing pandemic which has seen many European countries close their borders to non-European Union air traffic.”

There has also been stricter border controls in the UK, US and Australia in recent weeks.

If you need to extend your visa, or your visa deadline is approaching, or lapsed, visit your local immigration office and check you options.

Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station is scheduled to stop being the hub for the country’s train networks in November this year when the newer, much larger Bang Sue Grand Station comes on line near the Chatuchak market, north of the city centre.

Hua Lamphong Station, open for 105 years, will end its role as the city’s main rail transport hub.

State Railways or Thailand is proposing that the historic Hua Lamphong railway station will be used as a train depot and maintenance station.

But the State Railway Workers’ Union won’t hear of it and has rejected plans to close train services at Bangkok’s main train station.

The president of The State Railway Workers’ Union has sent an official letter to Transport Minister stating that “thousands of commuters will be affected if all train services to Hua Lamphong Station closed this November as planned”.

The SRT governor admits some train commuters will be affected but that the agency has completed a contingency plan to help reduce the impact.

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Another dictatorship I so feel for the Asian people it’s all playing into big brother China’s hands such fools ,
    The west must act and clear out the thai dictators at the same time

    • Avatar

      dispensed

      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9:03 pm

      The West is itself becoming a dictatorship thanks in large part to the media’s labeling of civil liberties as selfish, and of irrational fear of CV as virtuous, among other problems like the rapidly expanding gap between rich and poor (another problem driven heavily by CV hysteria).

  2. Avatar

    Comicus

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    It seems that the media around the world needs a bit more education. An exact meaining of Coup d’état is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator.

    As the Myanmar military took control under their constitution, therefore, it was not illegal and was not a coup.

  3. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    It’s still wrong and all the world’s leaders have condemned it

    • Avatar

      Comicus

      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:40 am

      Firstly, my post referred to the level of education, not particularly an action of the Myanmar military.

      Secondly, whether the action of the Myanmar military was right or wrong, it has nothing to do with the display of the low education of politicians and journalists, especially when journalists did not present the news but their own opinions. As Sir Wharton wisely said “Once you start interfering in the internal squabbles of other countries, you are on a very slippery slope.”

      In the final analysis, the term ‘the world’s leaders’ should only be used if and when 100% of leaders on this little rock were involved. So if there were just the governments that cover no more than 20% of the world population, those are simply a minority group, therefore, ‘a few of the heads of some government’ might be more appropriate in majority of cases, yes?

  4. Avatar

    Siso

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Next on the list will be very likely Taiwan that will be invaded by communist China, at least the friends I spoke to there are very worried that sooner then later there will be some kind of invasion but hopefully those filthy communist stand down

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Thailand News Today | Changes to quarantine, ‘adult content’ ban continues | March 5

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Thailand News Today | Changes to quarantine, ‘adult content’ ban continues | March 5 | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Public Health Minister is chairing a meeting next Monday, where a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles is on the agenda. Anutin says those who’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

In related news…. From next month, foreign visitors to the Kingdom will be able to experience the delights of “area quarantine”, after the government confirmed the scheme for 5 provinces. Following a meeting with the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Minister confirmed that Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Surat Thani, which includes Koh Samui, have been chosen to pilot the scheme.

P**nhub and other adult websites are remaining blocked in Thailand as they apparently “conflict with good morals for upstanding citizens”. The Thai Government says the websites encourage “poor moral standpoints and can affect youth in a negative manner”.

The Acting Minister of Digital Economy and Society and current Minister of Culture says that the decision that was made by the previous office holder will be upheld. The decision also includes keeping other popular adult websites blocked as the Thai Government has labelled them to be “obscene”. But the move to ban adult content has brought protests with those disagreeing saying such sites are a part of freedom of expression.

A houseowner in the central province of Ang Thong, central Thailand, has discovered 3 skeletons on his land that are thought to be over 3,000 years old. 54 year old Somkiat Briboon says this most recent discovery isn’t the first, as the first lot of bones was found last year after preparing his 17 rai plot of land to be rented out for sugarcane farming.

The Thai PM says he’s ordered an investigation into allegations that the military has been using fraudulent social media accounts to aggravate the ongoing unrest in southern Thailand. Facebook has announced the removal of 185 accounts and groups that it has accused of “information-influencing”, targeting audiences in the deep south of the country, where Muslim insurgents continue to fight for independence. The PM says he’s tasked the Defence Ministry with looking into the matter and explaining it to the public.

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Thailand

Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk

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Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk | The Thaiger

A group of pro-democracy protestors, on an almost 250 kilometre walk, are expected to reach the outskirts of Bangkok today. The group has been walking for 17 days, starting from the Thao Suranaree statue in Korat province’s Muang district to protest the imprisonment of 9 pro-democracy demonstrators who are being denied bail.

The demonstrators imprisoned include 4 protest leaders from Ratsadon named Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Morlum Bank” Saraiyeam. The 247.5-kilometre march, named “Walk Through the Sky: Bring Back the People’s Power,” started on February 16. Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, from the student-led protest group Ratsadon, is leading the walking protesters and says they have been held in jail without bail since February 9.

The 4 are facing charges under Article 112, which prohibits lese-majeste, or the defaming of the Thai Royal Monarchy. Lese-majeste carries a jail sentence of 3 to 15 years. They are also facing charges of sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, which carries a jail term of 7 years, as they are accused of organising pro-democracy rallies.

“The ignition and the fuel for the walk is simple. They have started to incarcerate our friends while denying their bail requests, which made it impossible for us to do nothing.”

The court has denied the demonstrators bail requests 4 times now, citing that their release would create more unrest.

Pai said he emphathises with the detained protestors as he has been imprisoned for lese-majeste before. He says he spent 2 years and 6 months in prison for sharing a BBC Thai’s biography of the monarch on Facebook.

“When I was in jail, there were people outside who were protesting for my release so now that my friends are in jail by an unfair law while being denied their right to political expression, I must come out and do something.”

“A walk is a type of a fight against injustice and we choose to fight this way in order to peacefully spread the words about police brutality, the uses of various laws to silence dissidents, the plights of the poor and the mismanagement of the government’s covid-relief measures and natural resources.”

The walk-in protest group is expected to reach Zeer Rangsit in Pathumthani around 5:30 pm today and will camp out near the department store before marching at the Bang Khen intersection tomorrow. On Sunday, the march is expected to end at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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