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Thailand News Today – Monday, June 8

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7 new Covid-19 cases reported in Thailand

7 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 in Thailand today. All 7 were reported as Thai nationals who were recently repatriated from aboard.

• 2 were students returning from Pakistan

• 3 were masseuse returning from the UAE

• The other was a Thai woman returning from the US

Today marks the second week, with no new cases of Covid-19 transmitted locally. The Thai Government, however, says their current target is to reach a full 2 virus incubation periods – 28 days – with no cases spread locally until they feel secure in the country’s lack of a-symptomatic carriers.

Police officer faces scrutiny after flying helicopter onto temple grounds

A high-ranking tourist police officer landed the department’s helicopter at a famous Buddhist temple in Southern Thailand.

The senior regional officer for the Tourism Police Bureau parked the helicopter inside the compound of the Wat Chedi in Sichon, a district in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The officer is going to be transferred to Tourist Police HQ after photos of the helicopter parked at the temple were posted on a Facebook page. The temple responded, saying that the police officer was there to monitor safety and coronavirus prevention measures. It’s unclear why he needed a helicopter for that and he couldn’t have arrived by one of those normal car things.

The temple is highly revered by local people in the area.

Bangkok cinema closed after breaking social distancing rules

Clearly violating social distancing guidelines, fans on Friday jam-packed in front of Major Cineplex at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon mall for an event to see two popular Thai actors.

The cinema was ordered to close for 3 days for breaking the coronavirus prevention rules stipulating that cinemas would have to follow social distancing rules and wear facemarks like all other businesses.

The cinema was hosting a meet-and-greet with two actors to promote the new Thai drama “End of Love.” Photos of the event show hundreds of people crowded together with zero attention to social distancing.

Meanwhile at Bang Saen Beach…

The mayor of Saen Suk municipality in Chon Buri has posted a warning on his Facebook page saying that Bang Saen beach could face another closure if tourists fail to comply with safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections. The beach was re-opened last Wednesday, closed the next day because of the hordes of crowds and re-opened again on Friday. The mayor said…

“If tourists continue to violate health measures, closure can be enforced once again.”

Maybe the mayor needs to spend 5 minutes in Bangkok seeing what happens on the BTS and MRT public transport systems.

Beer delivery company hit with 50,000 baht fine for violating Alcohol Control Act

A craft beer delivery company says it’s been fined 50,000 baht for allegedly violating Thailand’s Alcohol Beverage Control Act.

Posting on its Facebook page, Beervana says it wants to warn other companies and is also petitioning for the law to be abolished, claiming it’s hurting businesses that are already struggling during the Covid-19 crisis.

Under the act, suppliers are forbidden from promoting particular brands of alcohol, posting branded bottles or glasses, giving alcohol away for free, issuing invitations to try a particular alcoholic product or using celebrities to endorse alcohol brands. The act has been around since 2008 but sporadically enforced.

Finance Ministry looking at 3,000 baht ‘travel bank’ in next stimulus round

The Finance Ministry is looking at giving domestic tourists a 3,000 baht ‘travel bank’ to deduct off the cost of participating hotels, restaurants and tourism attractions.

This time the restaurants, hospitality options and attractions will need to register for the service while the users won’t need to register. They can’t cash in the credit, just use it on goods and services with registered businesses.

It is hoped the new scheme will help tourism-related businesses re-open and service some domestic tourism before the borders are re-opened for international tourists some time later. International borders remain closed to scheduled international flights and tourism until at least the start of July.

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Crime

Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized

Caitlin Ashworth

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Another drug bust near the Mekong River, 500 kilograms of cannabis seized | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

In another drug bust in Northeastern province Nakhon Phanom, police arrested a man and seized 500 kilograms of compressed cannabis. Just yesterday, border patrol police in the province seized 920 kilograms of compressed cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. In both cases, police suspect the cannabis came from Laos, just across the river.

Police say they searched a black Nissan Navara pickup around 1am in the province’s Na Kae district. Police opened the truck’s bed cover and found 12 sacks with 500 packages of dried, compacted cannabis. Each package of cannabis weighed 1 kilogram, similar to the previous bust on the river.

28 year old Saravut Butngam was arrested. Saravut previously worked in construction, but has recently been unemployed. He allegedly told police that a man called him with an opportunity to make 50,000 baht. He was told to drive the pickup truck from a petrol station in the Na Kae district to a specified location in the neighbouring province Sakon Nakhon, police say. From there, another driver would take over.

Border police commander Sippanan Sornkhunkaew says he suspects the cannabis seized in the province was trafficked from Laos across the Mekong River. He says he believes the cannabis was planned to be trafficked to Southern Thailand and then smuggled across the border, possibly to Malaysia.

On Sunday morning, police confiscated 920 kilograms of cannabis from a boat on the Mekong River. When police approached the boat, men jumped off onto a smaller boat and fled the scene. The dried, compacted cannabis was wrapped in 1 kilogram packages.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

How to Wai like a Thai, with Som | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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How to Wai like a Thai, with Som | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The wai, the polite gesture Thais use for greetings, farewells, prayers and even apologies, dates back to the 12th century, where both hands clasped together in front proved that you weren’t holding a weapon. That’s the folklore anyway.

Recently, the greeting has increased in general popularity around the world as a anti-Covid ‘safe’ replacement for the western handshake. So, how, when and with whom should you wai? Here’s a few easy tips to learn how to wai. Today Som teaches us some of the basics of the lovely Thai ‘wai’ (pronounced ‘why’).

As a foreigner you don’t look Thai, dress Thai and you probably can’t eat full-strength Thai curry either. So this means you’re exempt from Thailand’s most nuanced courtesies. There’s a lot of subtlety in the Thai wai so, chances are, you’re not going to get it right. But your best efforts will be appreciated.

How to wai when you’re uncertain? At a minimum, when someone wais to you, return the gesture with a kind smile and an acknowledging nod. In restaurants and shops: You’ll often receive a wai from shop and restaurant staff. It’s not necessary to wai in return to anyone providing you with a service of this nature. Instead, a nice (grateful) smile is plenty. To children / those younger than you:

Also, there’s no need to wai to a child or anyone who’s clearly younger than you – so, baby boomers, you’re increasingly in the clear! The wai is a mark of respect to elders.

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Bangkok

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protest fallout, northern fire bans | March 1

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Thailand News Today | Bangkok protest fallout, northern fire bans | March 1 | The Thaiger

Coming up today… the fallout from yesterday’s latest protest violence in Bangkok, the first vaccine in Thailand who got it, and a major drug haul along the Mekong.

But first we’ll start up north where Lampang Province is joining other northern provinces todday by putting a total fire ban in place from today, March 1, until the end of April. Chiang Mai also started a ban on all deliberately lit fires from today and Lamphun, just south of Chiang Mai, already has one in place.

The bans are timely after a horrid weekend of air pollution in many of Thailand’s provinces over the long weekend, even as far south as the tourist destination of Phuket where visibility was down to about 1 kilometre and the smell of smoke was noticeable.

Whilst up in the north… 4 Thai women were arrested at a security checkpoint in Tak’s Mae Sot district after they illegally crossed the border from Myanmar into Thailand.

Illegal casinos and fancy hi-so massage parlours in Myanmar in areas near the border, have attracted wealthy Thais and Burmese. The establishments have also attracted plenty of Thais looking for well-paid work across the border.

In a major bust along the Mekong River, a notorious hotzone for drug trafficking, border patrol police seized 920 kilograms of dried, compacted cannabis from a boat along the Nakhon Pathom riverbank, bordering Laos.

Now to the weekend violence as the protests resume where they left off last year…

At least 22 people were arrested during the major Bangkok protest yesterday. It turned violent as pro-democracy activists marched toward the Thai PM’s residence. It’s been reported that one officer died during the rally, reportedly due to heart failure.

At least 33 people were injured… that includes 23 police officers. The clashes happened in front of 1st Infantry Regiment barracks on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road and involved around 1,500-2,000 activists fromthe Restart Democracy movement, part of the Free Youth group. The group has been protesting against the government and calling for reform of the country’s constitution and monarchy since protests began in July of last year.

And Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccine campaign started with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who received the first of China’s Sinovac vaccine yesterday. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was initially planned to be the first to kick off Thailand’s immunisation plan with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but due to problems with paperwork, the PM’s injection was postponed.

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