Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Protesters shot, Baht boost temporary | Nov 18

There’s a link to the final story underneath the video on YouTube. Here we go for Thai PM extends emergency decree to January next year.

The government will extend a nationwide emergency decree until at least January 15 next year.

The PM has cited the need to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus infections during the peak New Year’s travel period. The impasse with protesters was not brought up as a reason to extend the current Emergency Decree.

The proposed extension will require official endorsement by the Thai Cabinet next week. It will be the 8th extension to the Emergency Decree which was first invoked in March this year.

After discussions, a decision to reduce the current 14 day mandatory quarantine has been deferred for now. But the CCSA did approve the use of golf resorts as quarantine centres.

6 protesters shot with live rounds in Bangkok, but police deny the claims

6 protesters were reportedly shot in yesterday’s chaos as police tried to repel advancing anti-government protesters as they attempted to march to the front of the Thai Parliament.

They were shot with live rounds according to medical staff who attended to their injuries. Inside the parliament lawmakers debated proposals for possible constitutional reform. At this stage it is not clear who opened fire.

Police also used tear gas and tear gas-laced water from a high powered water cannon truck on demonstrators. Protesters pushed through barricades of concrete blocks and razor wire, laid earlier in the day by police, to make their way to the front of parliament. The police maintain they were within their rights to defend the parliament building and its occupants.

According to the Erawan Emergency Medical Centre, ambulance officers and medical coordination officials, more than 50 people were injured in the melee, mostly caused by tear gas fumes. They also reported that 6 people were shot. Later in the afternoon Royalist and pro-government supporters were seen throwing bricks and other objects at protesters. Police have denied the use of live rounds or rubber bullets.

Deputy PM says rise of Thai baht is only temporary

The Deputy PM says that, while the Bank of Thailand is monitoring the current appreciation of the Thai baht, he believes the rise is only temporary.

He says the appreciation is being driven by foreign investors turning to the markets as they seek to make a profit by the end of the year.

The baht has appreciated 8.2% since April against the US dollar and now sits at around 30.34 baht to the USD. The BoT is blaming speculators for the current popularity of the Thai baht, a floating currency at the mercy of the world’s currency markets and speculators since 1997.

Thai law to be amended to allow for abortion up to 12 weeks

The Thai Cabinet has approved an amendment to the country’s laws that will permit abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The cabinet has approved to amend the law of abortion in the Thailand Criminal Code for women who are not more than 12 weeks pregnant, and can be legally aborted. In the announcement the cabinet said that the 12 week period of pregnancy is a safe period for abortion confirmed by the Medical Council of Thailand and The Royal Thai College of the Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

As far as we know there are no females in the Thai cabinet.

Taxi drivers in Bangkok can now charge “handling fees” for luggage

Bangkok taxis can now start charging passengers extra for large luggage items with handling fees ranging from 20 to 100 baht per item.

Under the new regulations, taxi drivers are required to tell passengers about the extra costs before the ride.

Bags larger than 26 inches will be 20 baht and items larger than 50 inches will be no more than 100 baht. Other large items like sports equipment, bicycles, surfboards or musical instruments can be charged up to 100 baht as well.

The Transport Ministry says people will not be charged extra for handicap equipment like wheelchairs and walking sticks.

Tracking down “The Beach” – the inspiration for the 2000 Hollywood movie

Tourists flocked to Maya Bay, you know ‘The Beach’ featured in the 2000 movie starring Leonardo de Caprio and directed by Danny Boyle.

Since 2000, the tourist magnet on Koh Phi Phi Ley became a Mecca for the back-packer crowd followed by a mass tourist flock, bringing some 5,000+ tourists to the small bay every day at its peak.

In June 2018 Thai marine officials and the management of the national park controlling the Phi Phi islands banned visits to Maya Bay. The pilgrimage to The Beach was over and the environmentally abused bay got a chance to recover.

But Maya Bay, used in the film, wasn’t even the inspiration for the original novel that spawned the film. The ‘actual’ beach was, probably, a secluded little stretch of sand on Koh Pha Ngan, on the other side of the Malay Peninsula from Koh Phi Phi Ley, in the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Samui.

The resort, and the beach along the front of the wellness resort is called The Sanctuary.

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