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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, June 10

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Thai Airways takes action to protect its planes from seizure

Struggling national flag carrier Thai Airways is petitioning 3 countries to try and avoid their planes being seized by creditors.

The cabinet was informed about the filing of debt rehabilitation requests in foreign countries by Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam, who chairs the committee tasked with coordinating a solution to the airline’s problems.

The airline has petitioned courts in Switzerland, Germany and Japan, and submitted a similar request in the US, where creditors are based. The petitions, if approved, will protect the company against its aircraft being impounded overseas when the airline takes to the international skies, in August.

A ban on international flights remains in force until at least the end of June, and Thai have announced their schedule, if everything goes to plan, for flights resuming in August.

Activist asks why the government wants public mobile phone data

The Thai Constitution Protection Association is asking why the government plans to ask phone operators for details of the public phone usage.

Officials are claiming it would only be used to prevent any resurgence of the Covid-19 virus.

But the association plans to file a petition with the National Human Rights Commission today, calling for the Ministry of Defence and the Disease Control Department to be investigated. He says the government’s actions are a violation of citizens’ freedoms, rights and human dignity, which are protected under the Thai Constitution.

Meanwhile, the MoD says it was only looking into the possibility of using the data to maintain the seemingly successful suppression of Covid-19.

More masks, more problems: Covid waste pollutes oceans

Disposable face masks and plastic gloves are ending up in the oceans around the world. The new pollution enemy is being called “Covid waste.”

Conservationists and non-profits in Europe and Asia worry that the items used to protect those on land from the coronavirus are now threatening life underwater.

The Opération Mer Propre, posted a video on Facebook showing the Covid trash, mostly face masks and plastic gloves strewn around the ocean floor. They warn that the number of masks in the Mediterranean could be potentially be more than the number of jellyfish.

OceansAsia in Hong Kong also reports a surge of face masks washing up onto shore. They say masks even showed up on the beaches on Hong Kong’s uninhabited islands with one 100 metre beach… “in the middle of nowhere” had 70 masks wash up on shore.

Students charged after tying white bows around Bangkok monuments

3 students were sent to a Bangkok police station yesterday after tying big white bows to the gate of the Democracy Monument on Rattanakosin Island.

The students called on the Thailand and Cambodia governments to address the abduction of an exiled Thai political activist.

The students were charged for violating the Road Traffic Act by tying the bows. There were hundreds of other white bows appearing around the capital yesterday.

Meanwhile many celebrities are taking to social media to protest the alleged abduction. Model and beauty queen Maria Lynn Ehren spoke up about the missing man who went missing in Phnom Penh last Thursday. She wrote that Thailand has been “ruled through fear” for as long as she can remember.

On Monday, around 30 activists gathered outside the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok, calling on the Cambodian government to help find the missing activist. They were met by an embassy representative who assured them that their message would be passed on to Cambodian PM Hun Sen.

The Cambodian police announced yesterday that they will investigate the 37 year old’s disappearance.

Deputy army chief proposes 15 day trial of lifting curfew

Thailand’s deputy army chief is proposing to lift the 11pm-3am curfew for a 15 day trial period.

He didn’t give any specific trial date and spoke in advance of meetings to discuss the anticipated Phase 4 of lifting of restrictions. He stressed that the trial period would be used to see how the situation progressed and monitor the overall state of affairs.

A ban on gatherings, including political gatherings, was also proposed to be removed.

He also mentioned that decisions on the emergency decree overall will take place next week. At this stage it is due to be lifted at the end of June although there have been murmurings that it may be extended again.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

State quarantine for Thais entering Singapore, while harder hit nations get a pass

Jack Burton

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State quarantine for Thais entering Singapore, while harder hit nations get a pass | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bloomberg

Singapore’s government will continue to require that all Thai arrivals to the city-state undergo a 14 day mandatory state quarantine before being allowed to enter the country and mingle with the general population.

Singapore, which has 45,298 total cases, says that Thais must serve their “Stay Home Notice” at dedicated government quarantine facilities. Arrivals from China, which has seen a total of 83,581 cases, Germany, with 198,765 cases, and Japan with 20,174, among other countries, will only need to be tested upon arrival and do not have to carry out their quarantine in government facilities. There has been no official explanation for the unfounded snub of people from Thailand.

Thailand was not included on a list of exempted countries, despite having only 3,197 cases out of a population greater than that of the UK.

Only days ago, the UK, with the eighth highest number of infections in the world, gave a similar snub to Thailand, actually including, then later removing, it from its “green light list,” despite the kingdom’s remarkable success in containing the virus, recovery rate of over 95% and no local infections for 44 consecutive days.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

US delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening

Jack Burton

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US delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: SMART Soldiers Strong ARMY Facebook page

The chief of staff of the US army, General James C. McConville, arrived in Thailand today with an entourage for a 2 day trip, at the invitation of the Royal Thai Army. He has also granted permission for the publication of the results of his Covid-19 swab test. McConville and his entourage landed at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport at 10:15am after completing an official visit to Singapore. The entire delegation had to undergo Covid-19 tests immediately upon arrival.

Army chief Apirat Kongsompong was on hand to welcome his guests as well as provide information on the preventive measures Thailand has taken, leading to its success in containing the spread of the virus, an extremely low mortality rate and a recovery rate of over 95%. The US delegation is the first group of government guests to arrive since the fifth phase of the easing of lockdown measures was announced.

The guests, as well as Thai Army officials, are required to strictly follow measures set out by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, including ensuring seats in all vehicles are partitioned, cleaned and sanitised as per guidelines.

The vehicles must also carry alcohol based sanitising gel and pads, waste bins for disposal, radio for communication with drivers and disinfectant spray for the driver to use to sanitise the vehicle.

The Thai Army chief says that if this system proves successfully, the government will use it for future official visits.

US delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening | News by The ThaigerUS delegation arrives, submits to Covid-19 screening | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Expats

Facebook group names and shames “farang prices”

Jack Burton

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Facebook group names and shames “farang prices” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Red Cat

In days gone by, a foreigner visiting a national park or tourist site could often expect to be charged several times the price charged to a local. Now, thanks to a Facebook community naming and shaming venues that apply “farang prices” to foreign visitors, those days are, well, numbered. Members of the 2PriceThailand Facebook group are warning each other about price gouging for foreigners regardless of their residence status, a practice openly endorsed by state and private businesses alike, despite calls of outright discrimination.

The double pricing or dual pricing debate has been around ever since foreigners stepped onto Thai shores. It’s a hotly debated topic with strong opinions on both sides.

“The intention of this group is to give foreigners the right to choose. We don’t think it is fair that some tourist attractions disguise the fact that they have a dual price system. Our opinion is that if they want to overcharge foreign tourists by as much as 200% then that is their decision. But, don’t do it in a way that is both sneaky and insulting.”

The group also says they hope to see the abolition of the dual pricing system in Thailand.

“Thai people are internationally known for their kind and generous hospitality. The actions of a few tourist attractions are damaging that reputation.”

Popular British blogger Richard Barrow, who regularly writes about Thailand’s tourist attractions and scams on his websites, is the group’s admin. In 1 post, user Aisha Moller Pedersen warns that the “foreigner” admission fee for Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is 150 baht; it’s 20 baht for Thais.

Just to step on the beach at Nangyuan Island Dive Resort, foreigners pay 200 baht (doubled from 100 baht due to Covid-19), while Thais pay 30, a member posted Monday.

Facebook group names and shames

Another user wrote that at Koh Chang Waterfall, the entrance fee is 200 baht for foreigners, while (adult) Thais only pay 20. A tourist attraction in Bangkok features its ticket prices in Thai and Arabic numbers. The “farang price” is nearly twice as high.

“I was there during the weekend and brought my work permit as well but no luck, and worst of all the ticket seller was very rude,so, we decided to leave. This is a widespread and systematic racism which should be stopped immediately.”

Another member wrote yesterday that adult foreigners pay 100 baht to enter the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden in Chiang Mai, while Thai adults pay 40. But it’s not all negativity – members also post places that offer the same prices for Thais and foreigners. “Sukhothai Historical Park offering same prices for Thai and farang,” wrote one user in a Sunday post.

“Doi Tung Tourist Attraction – no dual pricing, and the nicest gardens I’ve seen in Thailand,” wrote another, referring to the Mae Fah Luang Botanical Garden in Chiang Rai.

Facebook group names and shames

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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