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Thailand News Today | Protesters v Police, Quarantine reduction, VietJet passenger arrest | Nov 17

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A busy day of news with the protests underway as we were preparing today’s program. We will keep you up to date with the latest at thethaiger.com

Police use tear gas and water cannons against protesters outside Thai parliament this afternoon

Police in riot gear and gas masks have deployed water cannons and tear gas on protesters out the front of the Thai Parliament this afternoon.

Police were directing protesters to move back from a formidable 3-layer concrete barricade along the road outside parliament.

One protester threw a blue paint bomb at the police barrage. Protesters are also complaining that the water used in the high power water cannons was again laced with a chemical irritant. Protesters are numbered around 400-500 at this stage.

“Let parliament do its job” – Speaker of the House

Another joint sitting of parliament is underway as protesters gather at the front to push their polarised agendas.

is protesters from both sides to leave the politicians alone so they can get on with their job.

Parliamentary speaker Chuan Leekpai says six proposals have been submitted by MPs. A seventh draft, proposed by Internet Law Reform Dialogue and petitioned by 100,000 people, is also being debated.

1,350 unarmed police have been deployed to keep the peace. This morning there was a gathering of around 100 members from Thai Pakdee, royalists who are opposing any changes. The Ratsadon (People’s Movement) movement is currently rallying, demanding that the discussions also involve the constitution’s relationship with the Thai monarch.

The outcomes from this 2 days of debate will decide the setting up of a Charter amendment committee and its terms of reference.

Special holiday weekend expected to generate 12.6 billion baht – TAT governor

With this Thursday and Friday deemed “special holidays” , over 3 million people are predicted to travel around Thailand and circulate over 12 billion baht in tourism revenue.

But the ever-optimistic TAT says that recent Covid-19 cases could influence travellers’ plans. 4 mystery local transmutations over the past month have put question marks over the Thai government’s narrative of containment of Covid-19 in Thailand.

Along with Covid fears, the TAT governor says the number of travellers might not be high because several private companies decided not to grant the extra holidays… The Thaiger being one of them.

According to the TAT, the most popular holiday spots for locals are Chon Buri, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Rayong, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya. The international favourites of Phuket, Samui and Pattaya are, generally, off most local tourism maps.

Thai VietJet passenger arrested for allegedly saying the “airline should be bombed”

We might think all sorts of things when flight delays inconvenience us. But most of us stew in the departure lounge. Mike, a Thai man, decided to vent his anger.

A Thai VietJet passenger was arrested after he allegedly muttered “I think this airline should be bombed” just as he was boarding a flight at the Phuket International Airport. 26 year old Mike Wims was arrested by airport security for allegedly violating Thailand’s Air Navigation Act which prohibits false statements that could potentially cause panic.

Mike muttered his threat, seriously or not, just as an airline employee was handing him back his ticket. The employee then asked her colleague to contact the airline’s chief as well as airport security who then detained the passenger.

Mike claims he was angry about the flight delay and the statement was a “slip of the tongue.”He faces charges under Section 22 of the Act on Certain Offenses against Air Navigation.

Thailand’s Covid-19 task force to debate quarantine reduction proposal tomorrow, again

It’s on again. After deciding in last week’s meeting to continue on with the mandatory 14 day quarantine, the issue of a reduction from 14 days to 10, is back on the table.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration will meet tomorrow to discuss the proposal, again, to reduce mandatory quarantine from 14 days to 10, for arrivals from low-risk countries. But, again, a number of leading Thai medics are warning against the move, saying it could cause an uncontrollable spike in virus numbers. They are urging officials to wait until an effective vaccine is available, which it’s hoped could be within the next 6 months.

The Public Health Minister says that he understands the doctors’ concerns, but believes them to be unfounded, reminding them that the reduction would only apply to people coming from countries considered low-risk.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Robert K Choate

    November 18, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Question to the Thauger, the video when you were talking about the upcoming long weekend showing people shopping in a market and the one inside a shopping mall were they shot yesterday or file clips? Seemed to show a lot of Thais and foreigners there, this is why I am asking.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      November 18, 2020 at 9:01 pm

      File footage.

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Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings

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Thai netizens say pro-government royalists carried out Wednesday’s protest shootings | The Thaiger
Thailand’s netizens are refuting police’s claims that pro-democracy protesters carried out Wednesday’s rally shootings. The shootings occurred at the rally site near Bangkok’s Siam Commerical Bank head office, where the rally site was originally planned but was then moved after protesters tried to avoid a clash with pro-government royalists. However, shots were fired, with police arresting a suspect on charges of attempted murder, shooting in public without reason, and carrying a firearm in public.

The netizens found footage of the scene, in which they say they identified the faces of the offenders. The revelation came after Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Piya Tawichai blamed Ratsadon guards for the shootings and injuries.

Meanwhile, the pro-democracy leaders have been called into questionby donors to the movement, as they have criticised how the leaders have used the donations, when a guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money with some online comments mentioning the display of yellow ducks and props as a poor use of donation funds. Some criticisers pointed towards using the donations to buy protective gear for protesters after the shootings occurred, prompting the 2 leaders to issue a statement that they would now use such funds for the injured guards.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events

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Thai protests to continue in full force into December in line with symbolic calendar events | The Thaiger

The pro-democracy protests are set to continue well into December, according to Thai security officials. Officials have been preparing to cope with a rise in anti-government activities as symbolic calendar events are coming up. Today the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group says a protest will take place outside the 1st Infantry Battalion on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Phaya Thai District, giving credit to the predictions that there will no end in sight to the protests.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a secretary to PM’s Office Minister Anucha Nakasai, made the announcement yesterday in light of the Constitutional Court being set to pass a ruling this Wednesday on whether PM Prayut is guilty of occupying a house that is meant for military officials.

Prayut is accused by the opposition of engaging in the conflict of interest by occupying the army residence. Such a move should have ended with his army chief tenure in 2014, according to critics.

Following the upcoming ruling on Wednesday, the symbolic calendar event of Constitution Day falls on December 10, a day which will ignite more protests as one of the main demands of pro-democracy demonstrators is to have a new Thai charter, along with the resignation of Prayut and reform of the Thai monarchy.

But despite the anticipated rise in rallies, security officials have ruled out the possibility of a military coup. Critics remain sceptical as many demonstrators claim the government has put police on the front lines of the protests, dressed in yellow shirts, in an attempt to spark a clash to pave the way for a coup. The current PM, when he was the head of the Thai Army in 2014, also said there would be “no coup” against the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government. A month later the NCPO led a bloodless coup and installed Prayut Chan-o-cha as the interim prime minister.

Piya Tawichai, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says protesters yesterday gathered near the Imperial World Samrong shopping mall in Samut Prakan before marching to the Bang Na intersection to rally, partially blocking the road. According to Kissana Phathanacharoen, the deputy spokesman for the national police, the protesters did not obtain permission for staging the rally.

Some protesters also reportedly spray-painted traffic police kiosks with messages that criticised the police for “ditching the people,” and smashed kiosk windows. Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a protest leader, posted on Facebook yesterday that she has been summoned for violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, which bans anyone from criticising the King which states:

“Whoever defames, insults or threatens the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent, shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years.”

Rung says she believes the summons is linked to the September 10 anti-government rally.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries

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Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries | The Thaiger

Pro-democracy rally leaders are being questioned by followers over the usage of donation funds after a volunteer protest guard was shot and injured. Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money, prompting them to make an announcement on Thursday.

The announcement came after the rally on Wednesday at the Siam Commercial Bank HG, in which the “magic team” as dubbed by the leaders themselves, said they would channel all their efforts into taking care of injured protesters from December 2 onwards. Such criticisms of how Inthira and Pakorn were spending the donations have been trending on social media for days with questions such as the ones seen below.

“Guards on the frontline have no protective gear, yet 20,000 baht was spent on an army of inflatable aliens.”

But the pair of leaders say it was not possible to provide bulletproof vests or anti-riot shields because these were controlled items, and instead they say they bought safety helmets with donors’ money. As for the yellow duck props, they say they were donated and the duo spent their own money on matching duck accessories. When asked for a detailed list of how the donations were spent, however, the pair said “it would be too complicated” to explain.

Inthira says an accountant would have to be hired to detail the way in which the donations were used. But she added that she would return the money to donors who were unhappy with how their money was being spent. Furthermore, she says the donors should remain anonymous.

“Just show me a copy of the transfer and I will return your donation.”

Despite the criticisms, Friday’s protest at Bangkok’s Lat Phrao intersection still featured the yellow ducks with Pakorn and Inthira gracing the scene with big smiles. Pakorn took to social media later announcing the return of donations.

“Mine and Sine’s bank accounts are now flooded with donations.”

Inthira also speculated that maybe the donors don’t want them, dubbed “the fairy godparents,” to fade from the scene.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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