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Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12

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Daily Thai TV News, with all the latest updates. Posted around 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Protest leader says activists “in it for the long haul”

Human rights lawyer and protest leader, Arnon Nampa, says political activists seeking to oust the current Thai government are “in it for the long haul”.

The leader of the People’s Group (formerly the Free People movement) says protesters will gather at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument on this Wednesday before proceeding to, as they say it, surround Government House. There, he says they will set up camp, possibly for at least a month, to maintain pressure on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign.

There has been no response from government officials or police about the group’s proposed ‘camping’ campaign.

Speaking at another anti-government rally in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Arnon said his group’s finances are now strong enough to support a sustained gathering at Government House.

Meanwhile, Thammasat university students are asking that classes be cancelled for 3 days so students can take part in the rallies.

Government refloats the idea of a land bridge

Now today’s main story, and the deputy government spokeswoman says the government is still mulling the idea of a land bridge between the southern provinces of Ranong and Chumphon. The project would connect the Gulf of Thailand directly with the Andaman Sea, to better connect Middle Eastern and European oil producers with importers and manufacturers in Japan, South Korea and China.

Currently shipping from the two parts of the world needs to detour down the Mallacca Straits and swing around Singapore before continuing their journeys northward again. The land bridge would provide a more direct route but needs infrastructure for cargo to pass across the Malay Peninsula, aka. the Isthmus of Kra.

The land bridge would consist of a 130 kilometre motorway and a 2-track railway between the provinces of Chumphon and Ranong. These would connect deep-sea ports in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, reducing the current shipping travel time via Singapore, by 2 days.

The land bridge is a replacement proposal for the much-discussed Kra Canal which would have been a canal cutting across the Peninsula from around Krabi to the Gulf of Thailand, much like the Panama Canal.

The Pattaya to Hua Hin bridge. Government discusses 900 billion baht investment

The reviving of the proposal comes not he same day a new “Thai Bridge” is being floated that would connect Pattaya to Hua Hin, an estimated 900 billion baht investment.

The bridge would join other Eastern Economic Corridor mega-projects, like the high speed rail that will link the major airports in Bangkok… Don Mueang Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao Airport (south of Pattaya).

The around 100 kilometre bridge would connect Pattaya (actually likely to be just south of Pattaya in Sattahip),to Hua Hin , and would more broadly connect Chon Buri to many provinces in the South.

Chiang Mai woman arrested for allegedly hiring hitman to kill her ex-husband

A 63 year old Chiang Mai woman has been arrested for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill her ex-husband because she wanted his life insurance payout.

The woman is also being investigated for her alleged involvement in 6 other possible murders after a number of people died after being poisoned, and the same woman received payouts from their life insurance policies as well. Sort of incriminating evidence really.

Police say that the woman’s 58 year old deceased husband was killed last week. His neck and face had been slashed. The alleged hitman, a 48 year old, confessed to the murder. Now the woman has confessed to police she didn’t want her ex-husband to die, she just wanted him to be hurt really bad.

Another 6 men have been poisoned where the same woman was listed as a beneficiary for the deceased mens’ life insurance policies.

Woman arrested for allegedly scamming 500 Burmese workers, promising visa extensions

A Thai woman has been arrested after allegedly promising more than 500 Burmese workers that she could extend their visas.

After collecting a total of more 6 million baht from the workers for her apparent “services”, the more than 500 workers filed a report with police after the woman allegedly falsely advertised that she could issue the Burmese migrants new passports and visa extensions.

The Burmese workers paid 19,600 baht for the services, according to Thai media. The hundreds of workers say their visas were not extended and they did not receive their new passports.

The woman’s husband is a police officer, but says he has nothing to do with his wife’s alleged crimes.

Thai Airways seeks to conserve finances by offering unpaid leave, early retirement

Thailand’s long-suffering national carrier is trying to slash even more costs by offering staff early retirement or unpaid leave to remaining staff.

The national airlines’ acting president says 80% of the airline’s employees have agreed to salary cuts and unpaid leave, adding that their support means the company can survive until the end of the year. However, he points out that, without taking further steps, the airline is unlikely to survive 2021, particularly with the Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating.

Broken railway crossing signal contributed to fatal bus-train collision

A broken crossing signal led to the fatal collision yesterday where a charter bus collided with a cargo train. The incident killed 18 bus passengers and injuring 44.

The bus was carrying dozens of factory workers to a Buddhist merit-making ceremony when it crossed the railway track and was struck by the freight train. The bus was found overturned, laying on its side with part of the roof ripped off.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    geoff strongstorm

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    The faulty rail signal says it all. stuff just doesnt get any maintenance in Thailand. its just disaster maintenance. i.e. when it all goes wrong.

    This extends everywhere even in rental accommodation where your a/c unit only gets maintenance when it starts dripping water all over the floor.

    People get electrocuted by dodgy wiring all the time and all the car accidents.

    The attitude towards death is just very relaxed in Thailand, thats the dark side of the culture.

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Insurgency

Suspected insurgent killed in gunfire exchange with rangers in Thailand’s deep south

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A suspected insurgent was shot and killed in a gunfire exchange with Thai rangers in Narathawit, a province in Thailand’s deep south by the Malaysian border plagued with violence from the religious separatist insurgency. 2 other men were arrested after the clash with rangers in the Bacho district this morning. Another suspected insurgent is on the run.

Rangers got a tip that 4 insurgents were hiding out at a home in the district. The rangers surround the home at around 5am this morning. The men inside the home fired shots at rangers, shooting a 28 year old soldier in the wrist. The gunfire exchange lasted about 10 minutes. A suspect, identified as Sufian Yoso, managed to escape out the back of the home.

Rangers searched the area and found the body of Suraidin Katae, also known as Madong, who had a warrant out for his arrest. Suspected insurgents Ku-afnan and Ku-amran Kupama, who are brothers, were arrested. Rangers say the men had a 11mm pistol and an AK102 rifle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Thailand signs trade agreement with EU, same tax rates as before Brexit

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Under a new agreement with the European Union, Thailand can export to the trade bloc under the same tax rates and trade privileges from before Brexit. After the UK left the trade bloc on January 1, the tariff rate quota deal between Thailand and the EU was renegotiated. The agreement goes into effect next month.

The recent agreement only covers the same quotas for goods under the previous agreement, according to Thailand’s permanent representative to the World Trade Organisation, Pimchanok Pitfield.

“Products covered in the agreement include rice, poultry and fishery products, which Thailand will still be able to export to the EU with the same trade privileges extended before Brexit.”

She says Thailand’s Department of Foreign Trade has been the main negoitator for the deal and they had been working since 2019 to secure, at the least, the same quotas and rates Thailand had with the EU prior to Brexit.

There will be other, separate negotiations between Thailand, the EU and UK on export duty reductions and Thailand’s Commerce Ministry plans to push for higher quotas and lower duty rates for exports of goods related to agriculture and fishery, Pimchanok told the Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Crime

Police step up border patrols and checkpoints, arresting 49 illegal migrants today

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Police are stepping up border checkpoints and patrolling as 49 more illegal migrants from Myanmar are arrested today. In the North, Trairong Piewpan, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 6, says checkpoints have been set up along the roads, waterways and natural foot trails in an effort to block all possible channels for illegal border crossings from Myanmar. In Songkhla, a southern border province, combined police units were deployed heavily among the mountainous areas of the border with Malaysia, to stop border crossings.

The border crossings bring fears of the Indian and South African Covid-19 variants, as well as more infections of the original virus. Yesterday, 10 Burmese job seekers were arrested after crossing over the Malaysian border and into Thailand. And, today, 49 illegal Burmese migrants and 3 guides were arrested near a border village in Lat Ya province. None of them were carrying travel documents.

Soldiers in PPE suits took their temperatures, with none displaying a fever. The illegal border crossers said they had walked 3 days along natural trails from Dawei to the Thai border. They were to pay 13,000-20,000 baht each in brokerage fees for jobs in Thailand, but say they had not made a payment yet. The 3 guides were charged with human trafficking as well as illegally entering the Kingdom and violating the emergency decree. The others were charged with the same offenses minus the human trafficking. Police say they were given food and water before being handed to the Muang district police to face legal action on the charges detailed above.

It has not been disclosed whether the migrants were tested for the Covid-19 virus, but we will update the information if more is given concerning the migrants’ virus status.

Meanwhile, Thailand reported 1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths today. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

 

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