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Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21




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From 40 million visitors to 41: first STV tourists arrive

In 2019, almost 40 million tourists arrived in Thailand. Yesterday, it was 41. It was progress of sorts but a long, long way from the 110,000 daily arrivals at the same time last year.

Yesterday, the Kingdom welcomed its first tourists in 7 months, with the arrival of 41 Chinese tourists from Shanghai. The group landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport on a chartered flight laid on by Spring Airlines, a low-cost Chinese carrier.

The visitors are here on the recently-launched Special Tourist Visa and had to download a special app to track their movements while in Thailand. They were bundled off to their 14 day quarantine before they can explore the rest of the country. The STV grants them a stay of up to 90 days and can be extended twice.

According to the TAT, “Most of them planned to visit the beaches and already reserved hotel rooms.”

For anyone wishing to apply for the STV, your first port of call will be your local Thai Embassy and the website. Good luck!

2 Thai protest leaders immediately re-arrested after being released on bail

To some protest news and authorities have re-arrested 2 of the leaders at the centre of anti-government protests right after they were granted temporary release on bail.

The 2 were being held on charges of violating the State of Emergency and released alongside fellow a fellow protester, after Thammasat University professors paid bail of 200,000 baht for each of them.

But the initial 2 were promptly re-arrested on the basis of another warrant issued by police, this time charged over another mass gathering in violation of the State of Emergency. They are being held pending another detention request being filed by police.

Letter calling for Thai PM’s resignation signed by over 1,000 academics

A petition calling for the resignation of Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, has been signed by up to 1,118 academics and delivered to Government House.

The petition was created by the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights. A group of university lecturers and students have marched to Government House to deliver the letter. In the letter, academics slam the government’s clampdown on an October 16 rally in Bangkok, when police used high power water cannons, allegedly laced with blue-dyed chemical irritants, to disperse protesters at the Pathumwan intersection.

They’re also calling on the Government to refrain from violence when dealing with protesters, to stop the gagging of government critics and to put an end to laws that infringe on freedom of speech.

Protesters are also calling for a re-write of the 2017 Thai Charter (Constitution) and for reforms to the role of the Thai Monarchy.

Khao San Road evolving, all ages daytime event planned for Halloween

Bangkok’s iconic Khao San Road now looks very different as Thailand emerges from the local coronavirus outbreak.

Not only are the backpackers gone from the “backpacker mecca,” but the road in Bangkok’s Banglamphu neighbourhood has gone through a street make-over. Now, Bangkok officials plan to hold events for “all ages” during the daytime during Halloween. But chaos can still be expected at night, even if it’s mostly Thai customers at the moment as Thailand waits for the re-emergence of some sort of tourism industry.

Some 48.4 million baht was poured into a revamp of the “tatty” old Khao San Road, improving the drainage system and levelling out the road and sidewalk. There’s now designated space reserved for emergency vehicles. You’re invited to join in some Halloween celebrations at the new Khao San Road on October 30 and 31… events for kids will start as early as 9.30am.

Up to 5,900 jobs to go as Hong Kong carrier Cathay Dragon shuts down

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific is set to close its subsidiary, Cathay Dragon, with the loss of up to 5,900 jobs.

The carrier, that used to be called Dragon Air before being absorbed by Cathay, has become yet another casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic that has decimated the world’s aviation business.

5,300 jobs are expected to go in the airline’s Hong Kong base, with a further 600 axed in their overseas offices and operations. In total some 17% of Cathay’s total workforce. Cathay Dragon primarily operated short-haul routes within Asia, including direct flights from Hong Kong to Bangkok and Phuket


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