Thailand Video News | Government to replace military installed Senate, reduce powers, New Visa-free policy announced for Russia

In this Thailand video news, Alex and Jay cover the stories across Thailand. Beginning with the significant changes are underway as the government sets its sights on replacing the military-installed Senate, aiming to curtail its powers. Simultaneously, a new horizon emerges for Russian travelers with the announcement of a visa-free policy. Amidst these political shifts, Lop Buri finds itself embroiled in “Serious Monkey Business,” while a chicken factory extortion scandal rattles the Royal Thai Police. Meanwhile, in Hua Hin, urgent concerns over drought have prompted emergency water distribution efforts, highlighting the diverse array of challenges facing the nation.

Thailand Reforms Senate, Strips Military’s Indirect Control Over Prime Minister Selection

Thailand’s government has approved significant reforms to the Senate, which will no longer participate in selecting the prime minister, effectively reducing the military’s influence over executive leadership. Since the 2014 coup, the military-appointed Senate has supported military leaders and blocked non-aligned parties from forming governments, notably the Move Forward party in 2023. The new reforms will introduce a Senate selected by professional groups from various sectors, with no role in government formation. This change comes after widespread criticism of the Senate’s role in political deadlocks and its support of military interests. The newly reformed Senate will focus on legislative scrutiny and appointing officials to independent bodies, with the elected House retaining the final legislative authority. The new Senate setup is scheduled to be operational by July.


Thailand Initiates Visa-Free Entry for Russian Tourists for Three Months

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced a three-month visa-free travel policy for Russian tourists, effective from May 1 to July 31, during a press conference at the Government House. This temporary measure, allowing a 60-day stay without a visa, aims to replace the previous 90-day visa-free arrangement expiring at the end of April. The announcement coincides with a similar visa-free offer for Bangladeshi government officials and follows amid mixed reactions from locals in Phuket towards Russian visitors, including concerns over job competition and criminal activities. This initiative is part of Thailand’s broader strategy to boost tourism, which has already generated significant revenue this year, with Russians being among the top three nationalities visiting the country.


Hua Hin Sets Up Emergency Water Stations Amidst Escalating Drought Crisis

Hua Hin’s Mayor Nopporn Wutthikul has convened a meeting with top local officials to address the acute drought affecting the region, particularly around Khao Takiap. With water levels critically low at the Hua Na reservoir, the city has established temporary water distribution points to assist residents in severely impacted areas such as Khao Takiap, Hua Don, and Hua Thanon. A water service truck will be available daily at the Wat Khao Krailas police booth from 9 AM to 4 PM. The Mayor emphasised the importance of the waterworks department in keeping the community informed and managing public expectations as they work on both immediate and long-term solutions to the drought problem.


Thai Police Officers Suspended in Extortion Scandal at Chicken Factory

A major scandal has surfaced in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, involving eight police officers from the Samkwaipuak Police Station who were suspended following allegations of attempting to extort 200,000 baht from a chicken factory owner. The controversy erupted after the owner publicly denounced the officers on social media and filed a formal complaint. The officers, accused of exploiting the presence of alleged illegal workers to justify their demands, faced immediate suspension by Police Major General Suwan Chiewnawinthawat. A video capturing the owner’s payment of the demanded bribe has gone viral, exacerbating public outrage and prompting a thorough investigation into the officers’ conduct, who are also accused of engaging in repeated extortion under the pretext of collecting for charitable donations.


Lop Buri to Relocate Troublesome Macaque Population Amid Urban Disruptions

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) in Thailand has initiated a plan to relocate over 2,200 macaques crowding downtown Lop Buri due to their disruptive behaviour. The DNP’s chief, Athapol Charoenshunsa, announced a two-phase operation beginning with the relocation of 700 macaques to a newly renovated facility in Po Kao Ton subdistrict. The plan includes setting up three enclosures and an overflow arrangement with nearby facilities if needed. The macaques, notorious for disturbing local businesses and posing risks to pedestrians, will be captured using food-baited cages. Those already captured are undergoing sterilisation before relocation. The phased relocation aims to restore order and safety in the city’s central areas, including historical sites frequented by the macaques.


Rare Endangered Tiger Spotted in Thailand’s Phetchaburi Province

Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi has confirmed the sighting of an endangered wild tiger, marking the sixth such discovery since 2019. The tiger, identified as KKT-006M through camera trap images taken in late March and early April, was seen engaging in playful behaviour in the Sab Chum Hed region. This area is part of an ongoing wildlife monitoring project by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Thailand and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation. The recent findings, which also included sightings of other tigers and various wildlife species, have been aided by an increase in prey populations like deer and wild boars. The distinction of KKT-006M as a new individual was confirmed through stripe pattern analysis, adding to the park’s growing record of tiger populations.

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