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Yingluck will be arrested if she tries to flee: NACC

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Yingluck will be arrested if she tries to flee: NACC
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who now faces criminal charges over the rice-pledging scheme, could be arrested if she shows any intention of leaving the country to avoid the court trial, the anti-graft body said yesterday.

Impeachment by the junta-installed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Friday was not the end of her troubles because the Office of the Attorney General has decided to indict her in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders in connection with the rice-pledging scheme.

The Election Commission is also looking at evidence to decide whether or not she used state funds and resources for a political campaign ahead of the February 2 election last year, which was the subject of major street protests.

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) secretary-general Sansern Polajiak said the public prosecutor has one month to write and submit a criminal writ to the Supreme Court.

After drafting of the writ is completed, prosecutors have to coordinate with the NACC to inform Ms Yingluck that she has to report to the Attorney General on the day the suit is filed at the court.

If Ms Yingluck fails to turn up, the Attorney General will ask the NACC to fetch her. If it looks like she intends to flee the country, the NACC would ask the police to issue a warrant for her arrest. However, Mr Sansern said he believed the former PM was ready to stand trial to fight the charges.

Former Pheu Thai Party MP Amnuay Khlangpha said the party would not protest over the prosecution of Ms Yingluck on criminal charges or her impeachment because the party wanted peace and stability. He believed Ms Yingluck would not flee the country because she has already announced her intention to fight the charges in accordance with justice procedures.

While some have said they see Ms Yingluck’s impeachment as a chance to open the door for an amnesty and reconciliation, Mr Amnuay believes it would be “extremely appropriate” to issue an amnesty law.

“Reconciliation is just ‘lip service’ without amnesty. These two must go hand in hand,” he said.

National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokesman Col Winthai Suvari said Ms Yingluck’s prosecution was a separate matter that had nothing to do with reconciliation. The NLA voted freely without any influence from the NCPO.

He said Ms Yingluck must still observe the NCPO’s rules and seek permission if she wants to travel abroad, which she has not made done since she was impeached and indicted on criminal charges over the rice-pledging scheme.

Col Winthai said there were no political “undercurrents” that might spark a new round of political conflict after Ms Yingluck’s impeachment. There had been only comments from people with different political attitudes.

Former education minister Chaturon Chaisang posted on his Facebook page that Ms Yingluck’s impeachment was not carried out democratically and the intent was to get the Shinawatra family out of politics.

He foresaw more “ill intentions” of the May 22 coup, such as hitting the strength of Pheu Thai Party, reducing the role and power of elected parties, allowing an unelected prime minister, senators and independent agencies, and increasing the authority of the Constitutional Court.

“I am not instigating protests but the voice of the people is always meaningful and once the collective voice gets louder, it would be strong enough to suspend disaster to democracy,” he said.

Pheu Thai’s acting deputy spokesman Anusorn Iam-saard denied reports that Ms Yingluck would hold a press conference at different places over her impeachment. He said Ms Yingluck would prove her innocence through the justice system.

He said the party hopes that once democracy returns to the country, justice will prevail. “What happened [with her impeachment] is the torment that must be kept in our heart. We will wait till the day the election comes,” he said.

Inquiries into Ms Yingluck’s activities are not over yet. Election Commission chairman Supachai Somcharoen said the EC sub-panel had not completed its probe into the allegation that Ms Yingluck used state funds and resources while campaigning in the North and Northeast prior to the February 2 election.

He said five panel committees would tentatively finish their probe before the end of January but he had no idea if they could wrap up the probe as expected, as he could not interfere.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Thailand

‘Safe zone’ in Thailand for refugees fleeing Myanmar violence

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

Due to the ongoing violence between the Myanmar military and ethnic troops, the Thai military has set up a “safe zone” for thousands of refugees in Mae Hong Son near the Salween River, the natural border between Thailand and Myanmar.

The prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement in Myanmar, leading to clashes with the military junta. Recently, the Karen National Liberation Army reported took over a military outpost near the Thai border. Those just across the Salween River in Thailand said they could hear the gunshots and explosions.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich says shelter and humanitarian assistance are being provided for around 2,200 people who have fled Myanmar.

Kongcheep says the “safe zone” is under tight security and only those authorised can enter. There are strict health and disease control measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

His statement comes after the local civil rights group People of Salween River Basin Network called on the Thai government not to push refugees back, claiming that Thai soldiers had been ordered to tell the refugees to return to their home country due to a potential negative impact with border trade.

They say the Myanmar military has been carrying out airstrikes on Karen army bases and many Karen villagers fear for their safety.

Mae Hong Son governor, Sitthichai Jindaluang, also told a United Nations representative last week that refugees have been given shelter and assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูล COVID-19

1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Thailand donates cash, equipment to Laos to help combat Covid-19 outbreak

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Royal Thai Embassy Vientiane

With Laos, just north of Thailand, under lockdown measures to control a spike of Covid-19 infections, the Royal Thai Embassy to Laos helping the country combat the outbreak and has donated cash and materials valued altogether at more than 16 million baht.

While cases have remained low in Laos since the start of the pandemic last year with active cases typically under 10, there was a spike in cases in mid-April and active cases are now at 1,302. The country reported its first coronavirus-related death yesterday.

Thailand donates cash, equipment to Laos to help combat Covid-19 outbreak | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Laos as of 9 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Donations from Thailand help supply mobile biosafety labs to conduct swab Covid-19 testing and beds for Covid-19 patients as well as protective equipment such including 50,000 medical masks and more than 2,000 Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, outfits.

An order of supplies valued at 8.5 million baht is set to be delivered by the end of the month. That order will have 2,000 more PPE outfits, Covid-19 test equipment, DNA/RNA extraction kits, and 2,500 test kits. Other equipment provided by Thailand include a defibrillator, patient monitoring machine, infrared thermometers, oxygen regulators, and pulse oximeters.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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