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Thaksin ‘ready’ for talk, but not Prayut

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Thaksin ‘ready’ for talk, but not Prayut | The Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Thaksin ‘ready’ for talk, but not Prayut
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday rejected a call for him to have talks with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as part of the efforts to achieve national reconciliation.

Mr Thaksin, however, has said he is ready for such talks, a Pheu Thai Party source said yesterday. The ex-PM’s only condition was that he wanted to talk to someone with the power to make decisions, so that any agreement reached can be put into practice, the source said. “Thaksin has been fooled many times already. Such talks often failed in the past, so he wants people with actual power to talk with him,” the source said.

Mr Thaksin wants the country to be peaceful and to move forward, the source said.

PM Prayut said that as a state official, he was not permitted by law to meet with someone wanted by the authorities for legal prosecution. And he would be unable to send anyone else to meet Thaksin on his behalf, as that also was against the law.

“I can’t talk with anyone wanted by law. It’s because I am a state official,” he said. He was referring to the offence of dereliction of duty.”Don’t forget that Khun Thaksin has legal problems. Do you think I can talk to him?”

PM Prayut was replying to questions from a reporter in response to a suggestion by National Reform Council (NRC) member Wanchai Sornsiri for him to meet the ex-PM as part of the efforts to achieve reconciliation.

Mr Thaksin has been in self-exile overseas since fleeing the country in 2008, just before the Supreme Court sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail for abuse of power.

PM Prayut said all people who have fled the country who want national reconciliation should return to Thailand and re-enter the justice process. For him, Mr Thaksin could take part in the reconciliation process by returning and contesting the cases against him.

He said he had reiterated many times that nobody should stay above the law and laws should be applied fairly to everyone.

PM Prayut said it would be difficult for him to explain to Thais throughout the country why an amnesty should be given to certain political figures who broke the law.

The PM is also leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the junta that took power after the coup last May.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said yesterday that it was not the PM’s duty to have talks with Mr Thaksin.

“The prime minister’s duty is to make sure the law is enforced,” he said.

Mr Prawit, who is also defense minister, said the National Reform Council had the duty to encourage reconciliation and should do whatever it sees fit to achieve that goal.

“The NRC may hold talks if that’s necessary; we are ready to help. I think Khun Thaksin is also ready.

“General Prayut has repeatedly asked him to come back. The NRC should do whatever is necessary to achieve reconciliation,” he said.

Prawit said he had never had talks with Thaksin while overseas.

Anek Laothamatas, a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee, voiced support to the idea of talks between Prayut and Thaksin. But he said there should also be talks between the PM and other parties. Anek has pushed for a pardon or amnesty for people in political conflicts who broke the law as part of the reconciliation process.

Meanwhile, NRC member Kamnoon Sidhisamarn, who is spokesman for the Constitution Drafting Committee, said he thought the chance of PM Prayut talking to Mr Thaksin was very slim.

Mr Thaksin, however, has said he is ready for such talks, a Pheu Thai Party source said yesterday. The ex-PM’s only condition was that he wanted to talk to someone with the power to make decisions, so that any agreement reached can be put into practice, the source said.

“Thaksin has been fooled many times already. Such talks often failed in the past, so he wants people with actual power to talk with him,” the source said.

Mr Thaksin wants the country to be peaceful and to move forward, the source quoted him as saying.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Politics

Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care

The Thaiger

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Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care | The Thaiger

The majority of respondents to a Super Poll survey, say that they are still waiting to see where they will put their future support. For now they’re saying they neither support the Government or Opposition, preferring to wait to assess their performance.

Super Poll conducted the survey on 1,069 people from a wide range of occupations nationwide between October 1519.

The director of Super Poll, Noppadol Kannikar, says that one interesting finding was that 67.2% of respondents admitted that they prefer not to take sides, with the Government or Opposition, because both are currently under-performing and they want to wait to assess their performance.

But 16.9% of the respondents are supportive of the coalition Government, compared to 15.9% who oppose it.

On the question of Government spending, the survey showed 65.9% want quality health care as their top priority, 59.8% want good and secure jobs, 54.3% want security for their lives and property, 50.8% want increased road safety, 48.2% want government help for small and medium-size enterprises and 37.0% want government to provide them with housing.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thai Life

Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2019)

The Thaiger

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Top 10 English news sources in Thailand (2019) | The Thaiger

…in English, in no particular order.

This post is mainly for newbies, tourists and people-interested-in-Thailand. Locals already have their home favorite news sources. But all these Top 10 do it well, in their own way. All are trying to navigate their way through the labyrinth of modern media, some better than others, whilst punching out daily news. We think they’re all stars because doing media in Thailand, in English, is a tough gig.

These are all news and information sources and the list doesn’t include the myriad of excellent blogs around – a topic for another Top 10.

1. Bangkok Post

Traditional news, still delivered as a daily newspaper, but with an expansive and thorough website. It’s been going since 1946 and reported on a coup or two, or three. As far as making the move into digital media is concerned, Bangkok Post is doing it better than most. Editorially it has has taken a, mostly, neutral political stance with a few exceptions. But, as newspapers go, it walks down the middle fairly reliably. It is currently the leading English language news portal in Thailand and deserves its position on top.

2. The Thaiger

Please indulge us as we put our own website and news in the Top 10. The Thaiger, only running as a national website since April 2018, remains the fastest growing English-speaking online-only news and information site in the Kingdom (according to the ‘stats’).

The Thaiger curates the news and chooses topics it believes will be interesting, important or newsworthy, in English, Thai and now Vietnamese too. The Thaiger bought out the Phuket Gazette’s digital assets in August 2017 but now has a national and regional focus, whilst continuing to pay homage to its home turf in Phuket. Currently has the second highest readership of any English-speaking news website in Thailand.

3. The Nation

The Nation was the other major daily coming out of Bangkok, well for 48 years anyway, was a lot newer than Bangkok Post when it started up in 1971. The Nation took a more partisan line, famously turning its editorial voice against PM Thaksin Shinawatra. In latter years the paper struggled with circulation and was taken over by Sontiyan Chuenruetainaidhama, founder of conservative outlets T News and INN News. Falling circulation and advertising revenues eventual killed off the printed daily version. Final issue June 28, 2019. The Nation changed their domain name (suicidal) and continues as an online-only news source with an excellent coverage of local Thai politics.

4. ThaiVisa

Used to be the biggest and most popular news website in Thailand (in English). If it moves or breathes, you’d find the story on ThaiVisa. It’s full of news copied and pasted from partners who agree to share their news on the site. It’s also famous, or infamous, for its hugely popular forums where keyboard warriors dispense their opinions and wisdom on everything, usually tearing just about everything in Thailand to shreds. Whilst it was once the biggest English-speaking news website in Thailand for a decade it is now being challenged by new sources moving into the same web space. Plenty of info, a lot out of date, about visas and other snippets about living in Thailand.

5. Khaosod English

Fresh, selective, well-written and a rising star in real Thai english-language journalism. An offshoot of it’s much bigger Thai-language sister. To the point, original stories with a modern journalistic spark. They tend to choose their stories and provide excellent insight when they do. Original and deserving of your daily read.

6. Coconuts

Most would agree that when Coconuts started it was the best and cheekiest news blog for its time. Actually covering all of South East Asia, it’s Bangkok blog was a daily log-on for most hip expats. Now they’ve taken the brave ‘paywall’ option (because people want to pay for good journalism they say) which seems to have killed off some of their web traffic but the company says they will persist with the subscription model. In our opinion it’s lost a bit of its verve but it’s still a healthy and reliable daily read for Thailand and the region. Singapore it its most popular location, Thailand is third.

7. Thailand News

A shameless aggregator, they copy and paste headlines and a few paragraphs with a link to the original story. Designed to rank in Google, the site is still in its early days. To avoid any copyright issues, the stories usually include a photo library ‘look-a-like’, instead of the real photo from the story. For all we know the entire site could be run by cleverly-coded robots.

There is no sign of a human touch anywhere. Rather than a contributor to the world of Thai journalism, the site is just a parasite using everyone else’s news. Bottomline, it’s nicely set up and has, well, most of the stories around Thailand, all in one neat package.

8. Chiang Rai Times

Chiang Rai Time is a local website that is regularly updated, nicely laid out, aggregates most of the main international stories and has plenty of local news relevant to the residents of northern cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. You may notice a similarity with The Thaiger as they used the same WordPress theme – we’ll take it as a compliment. There’s also Chiang Mai City Life which is a bit less ‘newsie’ and has plenty of northern lifestyle info in addition to the local news.

9. The Pattaya News

Whilst the rest of Thailand does things one way, Pattaya does things differently, in every aspect, including its media. But The Pattaya News does a better job than most with daily content, some original, and translating stories from Thai media. Easy to navigate, clear and readable, unlike a lot of others!

10. Thai PBS World

A government news agency but has demonstrated its independence over the years. As a website it’s had more face-lifts than Joan Rivers but remains solid, reliable and surprisingly (especially as it’s run by a quasi-military government) unbiased. Also tends to cover stories the other news sources don’t.

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Expats

Thai app will ease expat immigration woes and make 90 day reporting simple

May Taylor

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Thai app will ease expat immigration woes and make 90 day reporting simple | The Thaiger

The “OSS Foreigner” app is coming, and you will be able to use it for 90 day reporting, according to the Secretary-General at the office of the PM.

Dr Kobsak Pootrakool says the planned app can be used for all immigration reporting, including 90 day reports, adding that typing in the required data and uploading a selfie will accomplish the same result as filling out paperwork at the local immigration office but without having to make the trip there.

Dr Kobsak has been given responsibility for sorting out the TM30 debate and says the immigration app, called OSS Foreigner, is nearly complete and should make all those who live and work in Thailand feel more welcome and make compliance easier and more convenient.

The TM30 form, and its companion, the TM28, have been a source of expat displeasure over the past five months since the immigration department decided to enforce a little-used 1979 law that required foreigners to report their whereabouts if they had stayed overnight at an address different from their registered address.

This latest move comes as part of a wider program to make Thai public services more efficient, with Dr Kobsak making the announcement while outlining plans for all Thai government departments to embrace digital technology by as early as 2022. Meanwhile, the Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak is championing a programme to improve Thai public services for both Thai citizens and foreigners.

“The government’s new approach to IT and digital technology is designed to deliver a smarter, easier service as part of the Thailand 4.0 economic model.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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