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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, May 20

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Start off today with a sign of one of the new normals, at the Seacon Mall near Bang Na in Bangkok.

Here you can see that they’ve installed foot switches for the elevator system. First to call the elevator and then, once you’re inside, to select the floor and close the doors. Luckily in the case of this elevator there were only 5 floors. Going to be a mess of foot switches for some of the higher buildings.

Most of Thailand placed on storm alert

As Thailand continues to feel a few effects of cyclone Amphan, officials from 62 of Thailand’s 76 provinces have been ordered to monitor for possibilities of flash flooding until tomorrow.

Authorities say 223 households in Nan, Lampang, Kalasin, Surin, Amnat Charoen, and Uthai Thani have already suffered damage from thunderstorms influenced by the wider effects of the huge cyclone, which is centred to the west in the Bay of Bengal and heading north towards the Indian-Bangladeshi coastal areas.

The effects on Thailand’s weather are not direct but the size of the storm has intensified the south-west monsoon.

Redshirts leader says “justice will never be served” over 2010 military crackdown

The leader of the “Redshirts”, political activists supportive of former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra, says the military government will never be held to account for a 2010 crackdown that cost the lives of nearly 100 people, most of them civilians.

His comments come just days after a spokesman for the Democrat Party, a member of the ruling government coalition, claimed the crackdown was legal.

Jatuporn Prompan was speaking at a Buddhist ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of government action that ended 3 months’ of anti-government protests in Bangkok during 2010.

And a Bangkok temple, where 6 people were shot and killed by the military during the 2010 “redshirt” political protests, was closed today.

A sign was put in front of Wat Pathum Wanaram saying it was closed for “disinfection”. But most Thai’s recognise the significance of the closure relating to the events a decade ago.

More about those events at thethaiger.com

Thai Airways’ credit rating downgraded

The credit rating for Thai Airways is being downgraded before bankruptcy and restructuring process start.

The Thai Rating and Information Services has downgraded the rating for Thai Airways and its rating for Thai Airway’s senior unsecured debentures from “BBB” to “C” while maintaining a negative Credit Alert.

Following the government’s resolution yesterday it seems that the national carrier has anticipated a freeze on all Thai Airway’s debt obligations under bankruptcy law. They will also be filing a petition for restructuring via Thailand’s Bankruptcy Court. It’s expected that once the court accepts the petition, it will trigger an automatic freeze on debt obligations.

Security guard stabbed to death in Samut Prakan

A female motorbike taxi driver has allegedly stabbed a security guard to death after a quarrel at a parking building in Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok.

Police heard about the fatal stabbing of the 37 year old at 10am this morning. The victim was found lying in a pool of blood and had a stab wound on the left side of his chest.

The 66 year old suspect and her husband, aged 73, both motorcycle taxi drivers, waited for police at the scene of the crime. They told police they got into an argument with the security guard, a scuffle broke out and she accidentally stabbed the man in his side. The man died before help could arrive. The pair have been charged with manslaughter and police are continuing their investigation.

Thai massage shops may reopen soon, from the waist down only

The Thai Government is debating whether to allow massage shops to reopen soon, provided treatment is limited to the lower body only.

Upper body massage, including the back, shoulders and neck, will not be permitted for now as it may involve a higher risk of Covid-19 infection.

But massage shops might be able to offer massage treatments from the waist down. Representatives from Thailand’s massage shops have petitioned the government saying that they’re suffering financial hardship as a result of the enforced closure of their premises.

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