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Thailand News Today | Protests to escalate, Domestic violence, Tourist visa exemptions? | Nov 19

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Just a reminder that it is still safe to travel to Thailand. The protests are in very small pockets around Bangkok and well publicised in advance. If you can, and are prepared to go through all the hoops and paperwork, it’s still a great place to visit.

Bangkok police blame insufficient manpower for failure to control Parliament road clashes

Police in Bangkok have admitted they had insufficient manpower to handle clashes that erupted at protests on Tuesday. 

Anti-government activists clashed with pro-establishment groups at the Kiakkai intersection outside the new Thai Parliament, leading to at least 55 people being injured, including 6 who were shot, according to medical officials at the Erawan Medical Centre who attended to the wounded.

The police have come in for heavy criticism for their failure to prevent violence breaking out between rival protest groups.

Anti-government activists condemn rejection of iLaw draft, vow to fight on

Meanwhile, protests look set to continue following Parliament’s decision yesterday to reject a draft charter amendment submitted by human rights non-profit group iLaw, with the backing of over 100,000 signatures. 

Protest leaders say the decision has left activists with no choice other than to continue with more, and larger, protests. The Free Youth group accuses parliamentarians of serving a “dictator”, and ignoring the demands of the Thai people. 

Last night, protesters ended their rally in central Bangkok just before 9pm. There was quite a lot of graffiti damage around the area as slogans were written on footpaths and BTS train pylons. The front gate of the adjacent police HQ was covered in paint.

Domestic violence on the rise amid falling incomes and rising alcohol consumption

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation says the Covid-19 pandemic may be causing a spike in domestic violence, as incomes fall, debt rises, and more people turn to alcohol.

The foundation claims incidents of domestic abuse have risen by 66% since March, when Covid restrictions were introduced. The biggest rises are in the south of the country, with cases jumping by 48%. Bangkok recorded the lowest rise in incidents, at 26%.

Some Thai embassies dropping 500,000 baht requirement for 60 day tourist visa

Reports are circulating on social media that some Thai embassies are no longer insisting on proof of funds of 500,000 baht for a 60 day tourist visa (not to be confused with the Special Tourist Visa).

Posts in various media groups about the 60 day tourist visa, including some emails to The Thaiger, indicate that some embassies and consulates are no longer listing the requirement for proof of the equivalent of 500,000 baht in an applicants bank account for at least 6 months. 

But any applicants on any visa still have to get all the required paperwork together… multiple Covid tests, a fit-to-fly certificate, a certificate of entry from your local embassy, and insurance cover of at least US$100,000. You also have a 14 day quarantine awaiting you when you arrive, at your expense.

Government aims to offer work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million

Probably the most expensive Work Permit in the world. The Thai government is considering offering work permits to foreigners who invest at least US$1 million in Thai property or businesses. 

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration has approved a proposal to grant work permits to eligible Thailand Elite Card holders. In order to qualify, they must have the top-tier Thailand Elite membership. They must also be prepared to invest their funds for at least 5 years.

Just another ‘proposal’ we have to keep track of as the visa situation in Thailand becomes increasingly complex.

Apirat Kongsompong appointed deputy director of Crown Property Bureau

His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn has appointed former army chief Apirat, an ardent royalist, as deputy director of the Crown Property Bureau. 

Apirat Kongsompong‘s appointment has been announced in the Royal Gazette and is effective immediately.

The Crown Property Bureau is the quasi-government agency responsible for managing the property of the Monarchy of Thailand. The bureau is legally defined as a separate juristic agency and not a government agency.

Apirat has caused some controversy in the past by stating his belief that military intervention is necessary when political unrest gets out of control. He has also in the past denounced politicians and academics he considers, “communist” or “extreme left”.

He’s also expressed his devotion to the Thai monarchy and describes himself as a hard-line royalist.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Don R

    Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    Cool, 1 restriction down, only 5 more to go before people consider Thailand as a travel destination.

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