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Thaksin eyes London move

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Thaksin eyes London move | Thaiger

BANGKOK (Nation): Sources claim that Thaksin Shinawatra may fly from New York Thaksin to join his family in London, where he owns a luxury real estate.

As last evening’s coup took shape Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra, the wife of the caretaker prime minister, escaped to Singapore.

It was reported that the former Cabinet members of the Thaksin government may try to form a government in exile, prompting coup leader Gen Sonthi Boonyaklin to invite ambassadors and representatives of foreign countries in Bangkok for a meeting to clarify the situation.

It was not clear at press time this morning as to whether Thaksin has conceded power.

But any chances of his hope of regaining his power hinges upon strong military backing, whose support he appears to have lost.

Sources have said that Gen Ruengroj Mahasaranond, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was placed in custody together with Pol Gen Chidchai Vanasatidya, Deputy Prime Minister, as they tried to ward off the coup attempt last night.

Thaksin last night declared a state of emergency from New York by announcing the removal of Gen Sonthi and ordering him to answer to Chidchai at the PM’s Office. He also appointed Gen Ruengroj as in charge of all security aspects in Bangkok.

But Thaksin’s military supporters were subjugated. State television this morning aired a short broadcast showing Gen Sonthi with other heads of the armed forces making their way to the Chitralada Palace to brief His Majesty the King about the political situation.

It was reported that Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the president of the Privy Council, had an audience with HM the King late last night as the coup was under way.

The coup effectively tore apart the 1997 Constitution, abolished the Constitution Court, dissolved Parliaments and the Cabinet.

Gen Sonthi has emerged as Thailand’s most powerful magnate at the moment.

Thaksin was still in New York last evening and was scheduled to give an address at the UN General Assembly to discuss the current crisis in Thailand. But the event was canceled.

The ousted government’s spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said from New York that Thaksin would decide soon if he would still return to Thailand. “Prime Minister Thaksin is now in New York and he has not yet made up his mind where he will go. But he will have to make a decision soon,” he said.

After canceling his UN speech he holed up in a top New York hotel for much of the day as the coup went ahead in Bangkok.

The billionaire politician still has an official plane at his disposal. He has a private residence in London, where one of his daughters is studying.

A senior Thai official in New York said earlier that Thaksin planned to leave the United States overnight but that his destination was unknown.

A US official in Bangkok said the United States viewed the coup negatively and was keeping a close watch on the political developments in Thailand.

“We hope that Thai society and the political actors find a way peaceful solution. But, the US reacts negatively to what is happening in Thailand now,” he said last night.

It is not known where Panthongtae, the family’s only son, is, or whether he followed his mother to Singapore last night. The whereabouts of the PM’s daughters Paethongtae and Pinthongta were also not known. Pinthongta is a student in London while Paethongtae is a political science student at Chulalongkorn University.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive. The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… โ€œWe want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,โ€

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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