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Thailand News Today – Thursday, June 11

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Thailand News Today – Thursday, June 11 | The Thaiger

Transport Company resumes service, bans foreigners

The wheels on the bus go round and round. But not for foreigners living in Thailand. It’s now official. If you’re a foreigner you won’t be allowed on intercity buses operated by the state owned Transport Company, under the auspices of the Thai Ministry of Transport.

They announced today that foreigners are banned from its services due to the Emergency Decree. Although services have resumed on most of their routes across the country, foreign travellers are not allowed to board because they do not have Thai national ID cards. Well that’s the official excuse according to a service agent. Asked whether passports can be used instead, the agent said “no”.

“It’s the company policy, sorry for any inconvenience.”

The company also announced on its website that it reserves the right to book tickets for Thai nationals only, citing an unspecified clause of the Emergency Decree. Private operators Nakhonchai Air and Sombat Tour say foreigners are welcome on board.

But Thaiger has had four messages in the past week saying they were unable to buy tickets or board Sombat Tour buses. This message from a New Zealand expat who tried to board a Sombat Tour bus last week.

“I wanted to go and visit my friend in Bangkok and she went ahead and booked a ticket from Chiangmai to Bangkok.

The next morning I got a call from the company saying foreigners are not allowed on the bus. I am deeply offended by this discrimination. I have been in Thailand well before Covid arrived. Does this mean I can’t travel on planes also?”

The State Railway of Thailand says foreigners are also welcome to board long distance trains.

Man rides in on jet ski, fires shots as hundreds raid his illegal shellfish farm

Like a scene in an action movie, a man rode in on his jet ski, firing a gun in the air as around 300 other fisherman raided his illegal shellfish farm off the Surat Thani coast.

Apparently fishermen have been having ‘Cockle Wars’ for a while, with some claiming ownership to parts of the Gulf of Thailand near the Phunphin coast. Legally, of course they don’t have that authority.

But here a 29 year old, shooting warning shots from his jet ski yesterday, saying he’d spent 2.2 million baht on cockles to invest in his breeding farm. Police charged him with discharging a firearm in a public place.

The Royal Thai Navy plans to crack down on the illegal cockle farms by removing the huts built over the water.

Economist predicts economy will shrink 8.9% this year, despite easing of restrictions

A leading economist is predicting the Thai economy will contract by 8.9% this year despite the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, far higher than previous estimates.

The head of the research office at CIMB Thai Bank says that although Thailand is heading toward the fourth phase of lockdown easing, with more businesses to be reopened next week, the economy is still far from showing signs of recovery. He believes that the impact of Covid-19 on the Thai economy will be most evident in the second quarter, with an expected 14% GDP contraction for the quarter.

Thailand renews cap on permanent residency applications

The Thai government has once again capped the number of expats who can apply for permanent residency in 2020 at 100 per nationality.

The quota remains the same as in previous years and has now been confirmed by Immigration officials.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha signed the order and it has now been published in the Royal Gazette, making it official. For people living in Thailand, with a stateless status, the limit has been lifted to 150 people from places like Myanmar and Laos.

Foreign nationals can apply for permanent residency provided they meet certain criteria. These include holding a work permit for at least 3 years prior to application, working for the same organisation for at least a year prior to application, and earning at least 80,000 baht a month for the previous two years.

Applicants must also be able to understand and speak the Thai language.

Footage found of Ukrainian in suspected murder investigation

Police in the southern province of Surat Thani say they’ve found CCTV camera footage of a Ukrainian woman shortly before her death on Koh Samui.

Authorities say the footage shows her on the same day she was reported missing. The 32 year old was found dead earlier this week in a case police suspect involves foul play.

Koh Samui police say that the route the woman took is “traceable” to the spot where her body was found. However they’re still unsure how she got there. The body was recovered Sunday by a local mushroom picker, 2 weeks after her husband reported her missing.

The investigation continues and we’ll have all the latest report at TheThaiger.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Kevin Skinner

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:06 am

    They’ll undo this but then only allow farang on the back seat instead.

  2. Avatar

    John Richard Shaw

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    Seems like Thailand wants to commit financial suicide. The harder they make it for foreigners to live, work, visit Thailand the more will go to neighboring countries and find out how much better they are than the ‘land of smiles and knife in the back’

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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

The Thaiger

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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 from the 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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