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Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government. Show all posts

Thursday, 19 September 2019

#Thailand - “We could move the capital”, says Thai PM

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Citing overcrowded conditions in Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said moving the capital is a possibility.


He made the comment at the seminar “Connecting Thailand with the World”, hosted by the Office of the National Economics and Social Development Council in Muang Thong Thani on Wednesday (September 18), and also vowed to extend the registration deadline for low-income earners to receive state welfare.

“There are two possible approaches to moving the capital,” Prayut said. “The first is finding a city that’s neither too far nor too expensive to move to. The second is to decentralise the urban area to outer Bangkok to reduce crowding.”

The second approach would preserve Bangkok’s important landmarks, he said, while government and business facilities could be relocated to the city’s perimeter, reducing the need for so many people to travel in and out of the city centre and thus easing traffic jams.

Moving the capital is just an idea and would require extensive research as to the economic and social impacts, Prayut said, but it is a possibility under his administration.

“Past governments were never able to pull this off, fearing it would cause irreparable conflict in society,” he said. “The first priority now is to establish mutual understanding among the people to make sure they and the government are on the same page.”

Earlier this year Indonesia’s president announced that the capital of the world’s fourth-most populous country will be moved from Jakarta on the crowded main island of Java, though no new location has been chosen. 

Prayut also said at the seminar 14.6 million citizens had registered as low-income earners eligible for state welfare, though he believes the number should be higher.

“Some people missed the registration deadline, so the government will extend it indefinitely to make sure no one is left behind,” he said.

Source - The Nation

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Thailand - TM30 not fit for purpose


In March, the Immigration Bureau resurrected the draconian regulation known as TM30 with the aim of keeping track of foreigners' whereabouts. It is legitimate to wonder whether any foreign criminals have disclosed their movements to authorities via the TM30 form.

The possibility seems unlikely, even though this is the ultimate goal of the latest enforcement of this regulation. What is certain, though, is that it has blighted the lives of law-abiding foreigners with a hellish web of paperwork.

Over the past couple of months, a broad spectrum of expat communities here have chorused their disagreement with the regulation, sharing experiences of how the law has made their stay in the country unnecessarily complicated and is affecting the ease of doing business and investment here.

This diverse feedback should be treated as strong enough evidence for Thailand to put an end to the hassle. And a solution could be as simple as amending the 1979 Immigration Act. But the outpouring of expat frustration seems to have fallen on deaf ears in government.

The regulation was made at a time when the country was facing an influx of Vietnamese and Cambodians fleeing conflicts at home, and authorities understandably wanted to keep an eye on them. This was also a time when the number of foreigners was just a small fraction of the current figure.

The Immigration Act's Section 38 requires that landlords must report the presence of any foreign tenants to authorities within 24 hours of their arrival.

Section 37 imposes the same rule on foreigners. They must report their nightly whereabouts, as and when they move around the country.

Failure to report means a fine of 800 to 2,000 baht and also the risk that the foreigner may be denied extension or renewal of their visa or work permit.

As time went by, the regulation fell into disuse, largely because it was no longer practical and too rigid. Reporting foreigners' whereabouts to authorities was mainly done by hotel operators on a weekly basis to comply with the 2004 Hotel Act.

In the absence of TM30 enforcement, the country had been efficiently managing expats and tourists via the hotel law and other immigration regulations. Everyone seemed to be happy, until the TM30 rule was dusted off and began baffling both Thai landlords and expats.

The Immigration Bureau has cited national security as the reason for enforcing the law again, expressing concern over foreign criminals who stay here for extended periods.

But immigration officials' mission to keep "bad guys out" must now be bogged down by the huge volume of paperwork triggered by the revival of TM30 rules.

Ensuring public safety is a noble cause. But it won't be achieved by applying the toothless and outdated TM30 regulation as a blanket measure that treats all foreigners as criminal suspects whose movements need to be strictly monitored.

Officials appear to have forgotten that this self-disclosure measure only affects law-abiding people. Criminals or terrorists will not be as naive as to tip off authorities about their movements or even inform their landlords.

Authorities must come up with alternative anti-terrorism and anti-crime strategies if they want to stay a step ahead of foreign criminals.

The TM30 has done more harm than good. The government and parliamentarians should push for amendments to the Immigration Act to do away with it.

Source - BangkokPost

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Not a Red or Yellow, but a Black Day in #Thailand


Yingluck sentenced to five years in prison

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously to sentence fugitive former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to five years in prison.

The fugitive politician was convicted of negligence in preventing corruption and irregularities in her government’s rice-pledging scheme prior to the 2014 coup.

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders ruled that Yingluck had acknowledged the illegality of government-to-government rice deals but refused to cancel a contract with a Chinese state enterprise.

The court ruled that the deal involved ill-gotten gains and the dishonest discharge of official duties.

Not a Red or Yellow, but a Black Day in Thailand

“The defendant was found guilty of the alleged offences under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the Organic Act on Counter Corruption 1999 and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment,” a statement from the court read.

The court will issue another arrest warrant against Yingluck, after an initial warrant was issued when she failed to appear before the court on August 25, when the verdict was originally scheduled to be read.

Source - TheNation

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

#Thailand - Criminal Court ruling today in major human-trafficking case


The Criminal Court on Wednesday will rule on a major human-trafficking case involving as many as 103 defendants, including a senior military officer, Manas Kongpan.

The ruling is due to be delivered at 8.30am.
The trial began in 2015 as suspected syndicates were accused of trafficking migrants, notably ethnic Rohingya, to Thailand and via the Kingdom to other destinations.
Thai and Myanmar citizens were arrested that year following the discovery of a mass grave in jungle shelters in the border district of Sadao, in Songkhla province, used by traffickers to hold the migrants.
Investigations indicated a number of security officials as well as Thai and Myanmar civilians had taken the migrants – originally from Bangladesh and western Myanmar – to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The case attracted international attention to the regional migrant crisis across the Indian Ocean, and countries were criticized for ignoring the problem.
Thailand was then downgraded to the lowest level – Tier 3 – in the US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons” (TIP) report in both 2014 and 2015.

The Thai government has since taken a number of measures, including amendment of its trafficking law and the creation of a special division in the Criminal Court to handle human-trafficking cases in particular.

Wednesday’s ruling is the first such case for the new division.
Thailand, meanwhile, remains on the Watch List in Washington’s annual TIP report.

Source - TheNation

Monday, 5 June 2017

#Cambodia - CPP wins 70% of communes

CCP - Hun Sen
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 Opposition makes strong gains, but falls short of aspirations 
The Cambodian People’s Party won 70 percent of the country’s 1,646 commune councils at yesterday’s elections, according to unofficial results published by a government-aligned media outlet – a marked drop from the 97 percent it won in 2012 but one far smaller than the opposition had been hoping to inflict.

The results, published by Fresh News, said the CPP won 1,163 communes to the Cambodian National Rescue Party’s 482 but did not indicate the breakdown of the popular vote. National Election Committee spokesman Hang Puthea said he could not confirm the results.

The CPP won a whopping 1,592 of 1,632 communes in the June 2012 elections, with the two parties that later formed the CNRP winning only 40 between them – a 12th of what they won yesterday – but the opposition had been hoping for much larger gains.

Opposition leader Kem Sokha has said that the CNRP hoped to win at least 60 percent of the popular vote. Party spokesman Yim Sovann said at a press conference last night it had probably lost the nationwide popular vote 46 percent to the CPP’s 51 percent.

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Yet he nevertheless characterised the CNRP’s more than tenfold gains in its communes held – and its claimed 16 percent increase in popular vote compared to 2012 – as a triumph ahead of the July 2018 national elections.

“This is a big victory for the CNRP,” Sovann told reporters at a press conference held at the opposition party’s headquarters last night after the unofficial results were released, adding that he believed the results boded well ahead of next year’s vote.

“This means that we will manage around 500 communes in the upcoming mandate. Those are very big communes. There is potential for economic growth, and many people living there. We can conclude that [after] the 2018 election, the CNRP will rule the country.” 

“We expect 60 percent of the vote at that election.”

Opposition leader Kem Sokha casts his vote yesterday at a polling station in Phnom Penh. Sreng Meng Srun
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However, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan described the results as an overwhelming victory for the ruling party and a repudiation of the opposition’s claims it has been riding a wave of growing popular support that would make its victory inevitable in July next year. 

“The CPP won around 71 percent [of the communes] and the CNRP won around 29 percent,” Eysan said, adding that the ruling party’s internal numbers also showed it had increased its nationwide popular vote compared to the 2013 national election.

“Although the CPP dropped a number of communes, the number of voters [for the party] increased compared to 2013,” he said. “The CNRP now has increased its number of communes – but if it was compared to 2013, this party has lost more than 200 communes.”

The CPP defeated the CNRP at the disputed 2013 national election with 48.8 percent of the vote to the CNRP’s 44.4 percent, but many in the opposition had argued – even as they aimed for 60 percent – that the party would have a harder time in local elections. 

 A police official stands guard as people wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling station in Phnom Penh yesterday. Hong Menea
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 Voting went mostly without incident, with the first election run since the formation of the bipartisan NEC receiving the tick of approval of local elections monitors, who had observers at booths around the country reporting back to Phnom Penh.

“The elections at the polling stations went smoothly today,” Koul Panha, head of local elections group Comfrel, said at a press conference after voting closed, explaining his coalition of NGOs known as “The Situation Room” received few reports of irregularities. “We only had a few cases,” Panha said, noting the group had 14,000 observers around the country.

“There were no big cases of worry, because our observers were told to report them immediately, and they did not.”

Panha said observers had to be pulled out from two locations in Kandal province due to intimidation, and that there were 19 communes where large numbers of nonresident soldiers had registered and voted, and that the group would be investigating both issues in the coming days.

 Around the country, the CNRP made the largest of its gains in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap and Kampong Cham – the home province of Prime Minister Hun Sen, where the opposition won 76 of the 109 communes on offer, according to the unofficial results published by Fresh News.

 In Phnom Penh, the CNRP took 54 communes to the CPP’s 51, preliminary results showed, while in Battambang it won 48 communes to the CPP’s 54 – having won none of the communes in the province at the 2012 vote. In Siem Reap, the CNRP won 56 to the CPP’s 44.

The CPP had its most devastating victories in provinces like Pursat, where it won all of the 49 communes; Stung Treng, where it won 33 communes to the CNRP’s one; and the tiny seaside province of Kep, where it won all of the five communes available.

In Kandal province’s Takhmao town, Hun Sen opened the day’s voting to some fanfare, arriving at the city’s provincial teacher training centre with his wife Bun Rany to greet voters before entering the booths to choose their commune chiefs for the next five years.

 An election official helps a voter apply indelible ink to his finger after voting at a polling station in Phnom Penh yesterday. Hong Menea

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Crackdown on illegal waterway structures ‘too harsh, conflicts with Thai way of life’

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A MARINE Department crackdown on illegal structures built over waterways across the country is too harsh and conflicts with the traditional Thai way of life, according to a leading figure in the fisheries business and an academic.

The department announced recently that all structures deemed illegal would be dismantled and removed, unless the owners obtain retrospective permission by June 22.

The move follows the passing of the latest edition of the Navigation in Thai Waters Act, which includes provision of jail terms of up to three years for offenders.

In cases where permission is granted, owners will have to pay fines at rates of between Bt1,000 and Bt20,000 per square metre. They will also have to pay annual rent based on the area covered.
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 If permission is refused, the |owners will be fined and ordered to demolish their structure. If they fail to comply with this, the Marine Department will remove the structure at the owner’s expense.
Thai Fisheries Association chairman Mongkol Sukchareonkana said such “fierce” law enforcement would have a great impact on the people across the country and harm the fisheries business. 
He said Thai culture and way of life have a strong bond with water, with many traditional houses and businesses built over the waterways.
“All kind of structures over the water will be considered illegal in the eyes of the Marine Department, such as the traditional houses built over the water, piers, fish cages, fishing equipment, or waterside walkways. Many of these structures are built over public land, so the owners cannot ask for permission from the Marine Department and will be forced to dismantle them,” Mongkol said.
“The impact will be so great that, at a minimum, the damage to the economy and people’s way of life will be over Bt10 billion in each province.”
He said that in Samut Songkram alone, thousands of houses in more than 200 canals would be deemed illegal. This includes the Amphawa Floating Market, which under this law will have to be removed too.
He stressed that enforcement of the law in this issue was too harsh and did not consider the way of life and culture of Thai people. He urged the department to reconsider how the law is enforced and extend the timeframe to one year.
“I agree that construction over the waterways must be regulated, but the law should not apply |retrospectively. 
The Marine Department should strictly enforce the law to prevent current encroachment on waterways,” he said.
Marine Department director-general Sorasak Saensombat said the legislation had been in effect for a long time, but currently the government had a policy to strictly enforce the measure.
Sorasak said that if the department found violations of the act, courts could order the owners to pay retrospective fines covering six years from when the crime was discovered. 
A jail term of up to three years had been included in the new version of the law. However, Sorasak stressed that the department would not |prosecute all those in violation of |the Navigation in Thai Waters Act, as there were not enough officers to enforce it. 
It would focus on structures that have a great impact on navigation and people’s movement.
“We have to consider the public benefit first and everyone has to comply with the law. 
If people suffer difficulties from enforcement of this law, there are related agencies that ready to assist them. There are many solutions to the problems from implementation of this law,” he said.
Chulalongkorn University Urban and Regional Planning Department lecturer Nattapong Punnoi said that while he agreed that management of waterfront areas and structures over waterways was important, implementation of the policy should not be the same across the country.
“The restriction of structures over waterways is necessary in an urban area such as Bangkok, so as to improve the environment and prevent floods. But in rural areas, where people still have a strong bond with the river, they should be allowed to keep their traditional way of life on the water,” Nattapong said. He said the government should have a plan to assist people who have to move away from their homes on the water and provide them with proper housing. 
He also cautioned that it would be unacceptable if the government used the reclaimed areas on the water to build new structures that do not fit with good urban planning, such as roads or promenades.
Sorasak said that all structures over waterways including the Chao Phraya Riverside promenade would have to ask the department for |permission first, as official agencies also have to comply with this law.
Source - TheNation

Saturday, 6 May 2017

#Thailand - Royal cremation ceremonies to be broadcast live on all channels.

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All TV channels will broadcast live the royal cremation ceremonies of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October. 

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Friday that the royal cremation ceremonies on all five days, from October 25-29, will be broadcast live by all channels.
The Cabinet had earlier announced a national holiday on October 26, the cremation day.
Wissanu said the government had no intention to announce more holidays. 


He said it was too early to decide if the government would also declare holidays on October 25 and 27 to enable Thais from other provinces to travel to Bangkok to participate in the ceremonies.
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Source - TheNation
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Friday, 21 April 2017

#Cambodia / #Vietnam stops nine overloaded trucks with illegal lumber

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Authorities in Vietnam’s Gia Lai province have recently stopped at least nine overloaded timber trucks crossing into the country from the Kingdom, despite the Cambodian government ostensibly banning wood exports to its eastern neighbor, according to a Vietnamese news report.
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The report, published earlier this month by Baomoi.com, which is described online as a government-owned news outlet, complains about the danger of the overburdened timber trucks from Cambodia regularly barrelling down Vietnam’s National Road 19, which connects to the border crossing in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district, and refers to lax enforcement by Vietnamese authorities of the vehicles exceeding their weight limit.
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Chief traffic inspector for Gia Lai province Nguyen Dang Hung told the outlet that his forces had stopped nine trucks carrying twice their legal capacity. In those cases, Vietnamese authorities unloaded excess wood, temporarily seized the trucks and fined the drivers about $28, it stated.
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Not mentioned in the article is the fact that, since an export ban on timber was announced in January last year, no timber trucks from Cambodia should be present. Cambodian officials have repeatedly asserted that the timber trade with Vietnam has stopped following the ban and subsequent crackdown. 
The article presents figures attributed to the Gia Lai People’s Committee from late last year stating that 16 companies in the province had been permitted to import 300,000 cubic metres of timber from Cambodia.
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The Post was unable to reach a representative at the Gia Lai People’s Committee to verify the figure or establish its timeframe.
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Recently released Vietnamese customs data collected by the US-based NGO Forest Trends, however, revealed that last year, Vietnam imported 139,306 cubic metres of uncut logs and just over 171,000 cubic metres of sawn wood from Cambodia.
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Ratanakkiri provincial border police chief Heng Ratana, however, dismissed the report and figures. “Through my border there is no [timber smuggling],” he said, in comments later echoed by O’Yadav district police chief Mao Sann.
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“The report is not right. If there were cases of [wood smuggling] journalists would report about it,” Sann said on the phone. “Each month we have cracked down on many cases. This month we stopped about five or six.”
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However, saying timber flows to Vietnam were increasing, long-time anti-logging activist Marcus Hardtke called on the government to clarify its export ban policy and its legal status. “The trade to Vietnam is alive and well. If anything, it’s getting worse this dry season,” he said.
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Source - PhnomPenhPost

Monday, 3 April 2017

First Soi 38 closed, soon there’ll be no street food in Thong Lor, Ekkamai or Phra Khanong either

 

First Soi 38 closed, soon there’ll be no street food in Thong Lor, Ekkamai or Phra Khanong either

The government has directed all street food vendors to halt sales on a popular section of Upper Sukhumvit. 
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By April 17, stalls in Ekkamai, Thong Lor and Phra Khanong will be forced to shut down, despite the fact that Bangkok was recently named, for the second year in the row, the city for the greatest street food in the world by CNN
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One vendor in Thong Lor told BK Magazine that a City Hall police officer handed him an announcement advising him about the forced closure and made him pose for a photo with the paper. 
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The order, which apparently comes straight from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), will affect Soi Thong Lor, Soi Ekkamai, and Soi Pridi Banomyong (aka Sukhumvit Soi 71, the main street in Phra Khanong).
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 It’s a sad situation for everyone, but especially for the vendors themselves, who are being pushed out all over the city by the BMA and may not find new places to set up shop where they can make a living. It’s also difficult for the construction workers and others on low salaries working in the area who will have very limited choices for where to eat if the food stalls must close.
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A meeting was held between vendors and officials recently but they could not reach any compromises and, as it stands now, vendors will not be allowed at any time of day on any sidewalks on those streets. The BMA claims the ruling is because pedestrians have complained about the congested sidewalks. Those that are not technically on a sidewalk may be allowed to remain. 
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So, with no street food vendors in those neighborhoods, you may be able to walk more freely but there will be far fewer tasty places to go. 
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Source - Coconuts 
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Sunday, 26 March 2017

Thailand - Buri Ram set for MotoGP bonanza

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A GOVERNMENT plan for Buri Ram to host MotoGP international motorcycle road racing has been eagerly welcomed by local residents and businesses alike – with almost Bt2 billion in revenue expected to be earned and some Bt500 million going to the northeastern province.

In financial terms, the big-bike event is expected to benefit not only Buri Ram but also neighbouring provinces such as Surin, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said. 
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“We want to promote tourism in the Northeast, where there are fewer tourists than other regions. The Tourism Authority of Thailand sees that sport can be the answer in helping bring in tourism revenue,” she said.
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The Tourism and Sports Ministry estimated that the MotoGP event would attract around 110,000 spectators and bring in revenue of Bt1.89 billion, the minister said. The event would be broadcast to around 500 million viewers worldwide, more than any other racing sport event, she added.
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 Kobkarn said she expected the event to also benefit related businesses in Thailand, such as parts manufacturing and assembling of big bikes.
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Hotelier Wasan Thepnakorn, who is an adviser to the Association of Hotel Businesses in Buri Ram, said at least 100,000 motorsport fans from all over the world would flock to the province to watch the MotoGP competition.
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“I believe at least Bt400 million to Bt500 million will change hands during the racing period, with the money going to hotels, food shops and tourist destinations,” he said. “We thank the government and all the relevant sectors to make it possible for this world-class competition to be held in Thailand.”
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He added that the event was expected to help boost the local economy, particularly the tourism sector. The Cabinet last Tuesday approved a Bt300-million budget to cover licence fees for Thailand to host the MotoGP championship annually from 2018 to 2020. 
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The government will pay Bt100 million a year in licence fees to the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the ruling body of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. Regarding organisation costs, the government is seeking support from the private sector, according to Kobkarn. 
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The Buriram United Interna-tional Circuit will be the venue for the first MotoGP in Thailand.
A source in the motorsport circles said that MotoGP was the most popular motorcycle-racing event, with a strong following worldwide.
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While the Thai private sector is capable of affording the MotoGP licence fees, a government role would help boost the event’s image, the source said. “With only a company playing host, the event would not be grand enough,” the source said.
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At present, there are 18 MotoGP venues around the world, with four of them in Asia and Oceania – Qatar, Japan, Malaysia and Australia. There is a plan by Dorna Sports, the MotoGP commercial rights-holder, to increase the venues to 20 by adding Finland and Thailand.
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Source - TheNation
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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Indonesia offers Lombok airport to Australia

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Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has said that the Indonesian government will offer an Australian company the opportunity to jointly manage Lombok International Airport in West Nusa Tenggara.
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The offer came after a meeting between Budi and Australian Regional Development, Regional Communications, and Local Government and Territories Minister Hon Fiona Nash on Thursday.
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"We are offering an airport operator in Australia the chance to jointly operate Lombok airport," Budi said. Currently, the Lombok International Airport is managed by state airport operator Angkasa Pura (AP) I.
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 The airport has not yet been able to turn a profit and as such the minister hopes that the cooperation will increase traffic and spur further development of the airport.
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The meeting also highlighted possible cooperation between the two countries in tourism and aviation, especially in remote and border areas.
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The development of airports in border areas such as Rote Island and emerging tourist destination Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, were also discussed during the meeting.
Indonesia has invited private companies to take part in developing airports because of limited funds in the state budget.
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Australia mentioned the Christmas Island as well as an area in Brisbane as possible locations for collaboration in area development.

Fiona also welcomed the business talks between the two countries. "Certainly there are various ways to extend our opportunities in front of us," she said. (bbn)
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source: TheJakartaPost
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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Thailand - Funeral of King Bhumibol 'planned for late October'

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 The funeral of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be in late October, according to the government spokesman. 
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A government committee overseeing the funeral arrangements had agreed at a meeting on March 1 that that the rites be held by late October, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Wednesday.
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He said reports that the funeral would be held in late December were incorrect.
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It was reported that the Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn suggested the rites be scheduled for Dec 25-29 this year.
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The reports quoted the Prime Minister’s Office as saying the princess gave the advice during a meeting of the government panel overseeing the funeral of the late King.
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.Source; BangkokPost

Cambodia - Events call for equal rights


Activists and sex workers march in Phnom Penh yesterday to raise awareness of discrimination against sex workers ahead of International Women’s Day. United Sisterhood Alliance
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Human rights organisations called for an end to discrimination against women at a raft of events yesterday ahead of today’s International Women’s Day.
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The Women’s Network for Unity (WNU) organised a march that was joined by about 70 sex workers and women’s rights activists to raise awareness about sex workers’ lives and rights, strengthen solidarity and demand to be free from harm and violence.
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The half-hour march included women from different areas in Phnom Penh, many of whom carried red umbrellas – an international symbol for sex workers’ rights, according to Pech Polet, managing director of WNU. “What they are demanding is that sex work is [recognised as] work, and sex workers are humans. Sex workers’ rights are women’s rights,” she said.
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Discrimination against sex workers, she said “is getting worse and worse from day to day”, and the death of sex worker Pen Kunthea “still affects the sex workers today”. Kunthea drowned on January 1 while being chased by security guards in Phnom Penh’s riverside area.
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Boeung Kak lake activists, meanwhile, celebrated Women’s Rights Day yesterday near the Boeung Kak mosque, despite an order by the government not to do so.
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“We still did it because it is legal and we don’t do anything against the government,” activist Bov Sophea said.
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She said that more than 200 people came to “ask the government to respect human rights.” She said they also called on Prime Minister Hun Sen to release activist Tep Vanny as a “present” for International Women’s Day.
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At an event by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, female rights activists – including cis- and transgender women – yesterday pointed to the obstacles they encountered when advocating for labour, environmental and land rights. Executive director Chak Sopheap said women were often perceived as “second-class citizens” under Cambodian social norms.
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“Domestic violence and abuse, the exclusion of women from leadership positions in business, politics and public life, and the widespread perceptions of women as being weaker than men, are all symptoms of the same heteropatriarchal system that still rules Cambodia.”
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Though “more and more women are taking up leadership positions, both in business and public life … more continue to be oppressed,” she said, pointing to imprisoned activists Vanny and Lim Mony, and drowned sex worker Kunthea as examples.
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Today, the Cambodian Food and Service Worker Federation (CFSWF) will hold a workers’ rights event that will highlight women’s rights issues at work, according to CFSWF vice president Ou Tepphallin.
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She said women faced multiple issues, including having to support their families and take care of their children and parents while also working. Moreover, she highlighted that women who worked at karaoke bars or in restaurants had to work until late at night. When going home, she said, “they are not feeling safe when they walk, so they need to run”, because some areas “are dangerous at night”.
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Speeches to highlight the importance of women were also held at the Senate, the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Social Affairs, CMAC and City Hall, where employees will have the day off today for the holiday. 
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Source: PhnomPenhPost

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Thailand - Cabinet extends visa-fee waiver till August


The Cabinet has decided to extend the free-visa incentive for foreign tourists by another six months.



Under the measure, visa fees will be waived at all Thai embassies and consulates until August, though visas on arrival will still cost Bt1,000. 
On Tuesday, Government Spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that waiving visa fees from December to February 28 had resulted in a 12-per-cent increase in foreign arrivals. 
The move to waive visa fees was first introduced on December 1 after arrivals from China plummeted by 30 per cent due to last year’s crackdown on zero-dollar tours. 


The government hopes that extending the visa-fee waiver for all nationalities will give Thailand’s tourism industry a boost as it heads into what is traditionally a low season. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

King lives on through his legacy, says Thai PM

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha Friday urged government officials to keep in mind that HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej is still with Thai people via his legacy. 

“He is still around in the air, in the land, and in the water that he has conserved for us, in the environment that he has protected for us,” Prayut said during a seminar on government budgeting.
The much-revered King passed away at the age of 89 on October 13, bringing immense grief to his people.
Prayut also urged government officials to follow in the King’s footstep in pursuing sustainable development.

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Thailand - His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne


His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne. The year 2016 will go down in Thai history as one of the nation’s most significant years, since it marks the auspicious occasion of the 70th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s accession to the throne. The occasion has special significance for several reasons.
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His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej currently enjoys high honor and distinction as the world’s longest-reigning monarch. Few monarchs have ever attained such longevity on the throne. His Majesty is widely known as one of the hardest-working monarchs on earth. He occupies a special and revered position in the hearts and minds of the people.
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The Government has set the period from 9 June 2016 to 9 June 2017 for the celebrations of this occasion. People have been encouraged to display on their premises the royal ceremonial emblems, in commemoration of this special occasion. Various projects and activities have also been carried out as part of the celebrations.
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His Majesty assumed his kingship, succeeding his brother as head of state, on 9 June 1946. He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday, 5 December 1927. He is the third child and second son of His Royal Highest Prince Mahidol of Songkla and his consort, Mom Sangwal. His Majesty is a grandson of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the great reformer King, who strived to modernize his kingdom and improve the lives of his subjects. 
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Following the death of his father, His Majesty lived mostly in Switzerland with his mother, sister, and elder brother. After one official visit to Siam accompanying King Ananda, in 1938, the family remained cut off from their homeland during World War II. Prince Bhumibol had a relatively ordinary youth, displaying notable talents both in music and engineering, and obtaining fluency in three European languages – French, German, and English – as well as being at ease in different cultures.
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During the royal family’s first post-war visit, in 1946, his brother, King Ananda, passed away, and Prince Bhumibol suddenly found himself in accession to the throne as the ninth Chakri King, Rama IX.
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His Majesty returned to Switzerland to complete his education, changing from engineering to political science and law in recognition of his new role. During the course of this visit he met the beautiful, young Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara, daughter of the Thai ambassador to France. They were married in Bangkok on 28 April 1950, and seven days later His Majesty was officially crowned in ancient ceremonies held at the Grand Palace.
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Thai people are keenly aware of the fact that throughout the 70 years of his reign, His Majesty the King has conducted himself firmly in accordance with the Kingly Virtues. Above all, he has been working tirelessly for the peace and happiness of the land and the people.
 
His Majesty the King’s Accession to the Throne

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Thailand - Police nab 110 foreigners in overstay, criminal cases


THE Immigration Police Bureau yesterday announced cases of foreigners caught for overstaying their visas and committing crimes.

Thai Immigration police paraded a group of offenders yesterday at a press conference as they announced they had arrested 50 Pakistani nationals, 15 Indians, eight Somalis, three Nigerians, three from Papua New Guinea, three Vietnamese, a Mali national, a Bangladeshi national, a Sri Lankan national and twenty-three other nationals.

Measures to clamp down on foreigners who overstay their visa will go into effect in March.
Those who overstay for more than a year will be barred from the country for three years, while those who overstay for more than five years will be banned for 10 years.

Authorities have encouraged offenders to turn themselves in and avoid heavier penalties.
Immigration Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Natthorn Praosunthorn said the measures were taken to increase security in Thailand, claiming many foreigners who overstay are likely to have also committed crimes.


He cited the case of American boxer Malik Naeem Watson-Smith, who once fought Thai boxer "Buakaw," and was caught overstaying his visa on 14 Dec. He had been charged with assault in 2010.
Russian Eveniy Gubarev, 37, was arrested on Dec. 17 for overstaying his visa and is wanted on charges of fraud and laundering money, while an unnamed 47-year-old Belgian was arrested on Sunday for overstaying by 305 days.

In a separate case, a French man overstaying his visa was arrested on Dec. 11 and charged with attempted murder, detention, and robbery in relation to trafficking drugs, The Nation reported.


  Eveniy Gubarev, 37, a Russian national, was arrested on December 17 for overstaying, and is also wanted on charges of fraud and laundering money.

An unnamed 47-year-old Belgian was arrested on December 20 for overstaying by 305 days. He arrived on January 20 and was allowed to stay until February 18.

Related:

Source: Coconuts & The Nation 

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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Thailand - Blacklist awaits visa-overstaying foreigners

The Immigration Bureau plans to fine and blacklist foreigners who overstay their visas from March or April next year. (2016)

 Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prausoontorn said yesterday (Dec 9) that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had approved the bureau’s proposal on Nov 27 to fine and ban overstayers from re-entering the country for some years depending on the length of their overstay.

People who overstay will be treated according to whether they turn themselves in or are arrested.

For cases of surrender, those who overstay their visa by up to one year will receive a one-year re-entry ban, and for more than one year they will be banned from re-entering Thailand for three years. Those with more than three years’ overstay will blacklisted for five years. Excessive overstay of five years or more will result in a re-entry ban of 10 years.

In cases of arrest, those who overstay their visas by up to one year will be banned from re-entering Thailand for five years and those with more than one year’s overstay period will be blacklisted for 10 years.

The immigration commissioner expected the new regulation to improve control on visiting foreigners and screen out unwanted elements.

A large number of foreigners likely would pay fines and leave the country ahead of the imposition of the regulation, he said, while admitting that the fine was small at B20,000.

At present, European, American and Asian visitors without approved visas can stay for 30 days, renewable for 30 days. Those with prior-arranged visas can stay 60 days renewable for 30 days. Those who want longer stays for medical treatment or business could have their intention verified before approval, the commissioner said.

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Bureau chief Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prausoontorn said yesterday (Dec 9) that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had approved the bureau’s proposal on Nov 27 to fine and ban overstayers from re-entering the country for some years depending on the length of their overstay.
People who overstay will be treated according to whether they turn themselves in or are arrested.
For cases of surrender, those who overstay their visa by up to one year will receive a one-year re-entry ban, and for more than one year they will be banned from re-entering Thailand for three years. Those with more than three years’ overstay will blacklisted for five years. Excessive overstay of five years or more will result in a re-entry ban of 10 years.
In cases of arrest, those who overstay their visas by up to one year will be banned from re-entering Thailand for five years and those with more than one year’s overstay period will be blacklisted for 10 years.
The immigration commissioner expected the new regulation to improve control on visiting foreigners and screen out unwanted elements.
A large number of foreigners likely would pay fines and leave the country ahead of the imposition of the regulation, he said, while admitting that the fine was small at B20,000.
At present, European, American and Asian visitors without approved visas can stay for 30 days, renewable for 30 days. Those with prior-arranged visas can stay 60 days renewable for 30 days. Those who want longer stays for medical treatment or business could have their intention verified before approval, the commissioner said.
- See more at: http://www.thephuketnews.com/blacklist-awaits-visa-overstaying-foreigners-55329.php#sthash.vrkuUnZL.dpuf
The Immigration Bureau plans to fine and blacklist foreigners who overstay their visas from March or April next year. - See more at: http://www.thephuketnews.com/blacklist-awaits-visa-overstaying-foreigners-55329.php#sthash.vrkuUnZL.dpuf

Friday, 23 October 2015

Thai Junta announces 'Bike for Dad’ will not be a holiday


The Thai government yesterday shut down holiday excitement rumors percolating on social media, and announced that Friday, Dec. 11 would not be national holiday.

Despite the fact that the "Bike for Dad" cycling event to celebrate national Father's Day will be held on that Friday, the junta spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak said that they have not even considered making Dec. 11 another national holiday in addition to the Constitution Day on Dec. 10.

The “Bike for Dad” cycling event will be held at 3pm on Dec. 11. While the route is still being decided, it is expected to take place on Ratchadamnoen and Yaowarat roads and the busy Ratchaprasong junction.

Good luck getting home from work, guys.

On Sunday, Aug. 16, the Bike for Mom event attracted approximately 40,000 cyclists in Bangkok alone to ride through a 42-kilometer route. The event was held nationwide where a total of 146,266 cyclists participated, setting the Guinness World Record for a mass cycling event.

Source: Coconuts

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