Thailand morning news for February 13

Thailand morning news for February 13
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Thailand morning news

Six digital bills passed in Thailand by NLA
According to a recent report, six digital bills were passed during the second round of the National Legislative Assembly, according to the Minister of Digital Economy and Society.
— Open Gov

Investors flee as political risk escalates
In a span of three days, more than $3.85 billion has been erased from the stock market as political risks heightened ahead of national elections.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

FM’s talks with Bahraini royal helps win footballer his freedom
Bahrain’s shock decision to drop its extradition request against Australia-based former Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi seemed to have come after behind-the-scenes negotiations, including a visit by the Thai foreign minister to Bahrain.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Hakeem Release a Favor From Bahrain: Foreign Minister
BANGKOK — Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the release of Hakeem AlAraibi was due to Bahrain’s desire for Thailand not to be in a difficult position.
— Khaosod English

Thai princess apologizes after being disqualified from PM run
The Thai king’s sister, disqualified this week by the Election Commission from running for prime minister, apologized on Tuesday for causing “problems” for the Thai people ahead of next month’s election, the country’s first since a 2014 coup.
— Reuters

Thailand to send more concrete progress report on human trafficking suppression to US
The Social Development and Human Security Minister, Gen. Anantaporn Kanjanarat, has expressed confidence that Thailand will send a clearer and more concrete progress report on anti-human trafficking operations to the United States this year.

Farmer aid scheme topped up with B5bn
Another 5 billion baht has been added to finance the rice harvest and quality improvement scheme for farmers in the 2018-19 season.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Voice TV Ordered Off the Air 15 Days
A television channel previously sanctioned by authorities for its content has again been ordered off the air. Voice TV will be taken entirely off the air Tuesday for 15 days by order of broadcasting regulators on the basis of rules put in place by the ruling junta several years ago. …
— Khaosod English

Nine automakers to reduce PM 2.5 with new Euro 5 cars
The Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) has reported that nine carmakers are addressing the issue of seasonal smog by producing new vehicles that emit up to 80 percent less pollution by 2021, in line with European emissions standards.

Pheu Chat Party rally draws thousands, a homecoming for many in Khon Kaen
For the first time since the 2014 military overthrow of the government they had helped to vote into power, followers of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), or the Red Shirts, gathered to call for democracy and show support for the Pheu Chat Party.
— The Isaan Record

Ying Kai wins appeal in child-maid forced labour case
The Appeal Court has acquitted Monta Yokrattanakan, aka Ying Kai, of human trafficking, finding no evidence she had forced a girl to work as her maid.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Avoiding the great outdoors
Exercise enthusiast Saowaphak Pinijpichitkul mistook the toxic haze that had shrouded Bangkok earlier for dense morning fog, and thus didn’t realise the health risks when she decided to continue her outdoor…
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

EC resolves to forward Thai Raksa Chart matter to Constitutional Court
The Election Commission (EC) has resolved to escalate the matter regarding a possible dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart party to the Constitutional Court.

What Princess Ubolratana’s failed candidacy means for Thailand’s elections
The Thai royal family returned to politics last Friday when Princess Ubolratana Mahidol announced her candidacy for prime minister in the country’s upcoming elections but was promptly blocked from running by her younger brother, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
— Asean Today

Use the Thai vote to bridge social divides
Thailand’s military government has announced that the country’s long-awaited general election will be held on March 24.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

EC gives clarification about dissolution of political party
The EC has reiterated that the dissolution of a political party must be done in accordance with the law.

Guns drawn as tempers flare in Nui Beach land dispute
Karon Police will seek arrest warrants to be issued tomorrow (Feb 13) for two men who threatened their rivals at gunpoint over land dispute on the dirt road that leads to Nui Beach.
— The Phuket News

Thailand-Russia Security Ties in the Headlines With Foreign Ministers Meeting
Last week, Thailand’s foreign minister paid a visit to Russia. Though the scheduled interaction was just one of many between the two sides, it nonetheless highlighted the ongoing activity between them in the defense realm.
— The Diplomat

Unpredictable politics in Thailand
Thailand was recently taken by surprise when news broke that its princess, Ubolratana Rajakanya, had been announced as prime ministerial candidate for the Thai Raksa Chart Party – a party reportedly affiliated to Thaksin Shinawatra.
— The Asean Post

How a princess entered, shook and left Thai politics in one day
“There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen,” Vladimir Ilych Lenin famously said.
— Aljazeera

Abhisit denies rift over party-list rankings
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva is downplaying reports of a rift in the party, after one of its leading members complained about the low party-list ranking he was given.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Thailand startup iNFOFED secures funding to finance Esports league
iNFOFED, the virtual reality content creator startup from Thailand announced today that it has welcomed Singapore-based KK Fund and EventPop as the company’s investors..
— Yahoo News

Wait — what’s going on in Thailand? Here’s the background.
Last week brought an unprecedented event in the history of Thai politics. Princess Ubolratana was named the Thai Raksa Chart party’s nominee for prime minister, breaking decades of tradition that has kept the monarchy out of politics in Thailand.
— The Washington Post

Plot twists put democratic return at risk
An explosion of far-right anti-Thaksin extremism is by far the most worrying fallout from the political tumult that grabbed the nation by the throat last Friday, among other disturbing developments.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

TRA predicts flat spending in first half
The Thai Retailers Association (TRA) predicts flat consumer spending in the first half, despite bullish consumer sentiment from the planned general election and the value-added tax refund for Chinese New…
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Thai, US soldiers build school ahead of annual exercise
On Monday, soldiers from eight countries, including Thailand and the United States, constructed a school building in the northern Thai province of Tak ahead of this week’s 2019 Cobra Gold light military drills.

Five sentenced for stealing pickups used as car bombs
Five men have been sentenced for holding up a car dealer in 2017 and stealing five pickup trucks for use as car bombs.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Cobra Gold military drill begins in Thailand
One of the Indo-Pacific’s largest multinational military drills has gotten underway in Thailand. The annual Cobra Gold exercise has brought together the military forces of Asian countries and the United States.
— NHK World-Japan

Cambodia, Thailand boost cooperation along border
ambodian Defense Minister Gen. Tea Banh will meet with his Thai counterpart Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon this week to discuss cooperation along their border, according to a statement released by the Cambodian Defence Ministry on February 11.
— Vietnam Plus

EC: Thai Raksa Chart dissolution decision not final
Media reported that the Election Commission (EC) recommended on Tuesday afternoon that the Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) Party be dissolved for allegedly drawing the monarchy into politics, but at 6pm the EC president told the Bangkok Post that the decision was yet to be finalised.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Buddhist Group Wants Party Disbanded for Citing Buddha
BANGKOK — A Buddhist organization on Tuesday asked the Election Commission to dissolve a conservative party claiming to apply the Buddha’s teachings to their policies.
— Khaosod English

Police to target motorbike rental shops when renters are unlicensed
Police are targeting the rental operators of motorbikes when unlicensed foreigners have motorbike accidents.
— The Thaiger

Urgent : CAS annuls ban on former Thai football chief Worawi
Lausanne – Former Thai football chief Worawi Makudi had his three-and-a-half-year ban rescinded by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Air Asia booking system down for 24 hours this weekend
Air Asia will be upgrading it Navitaire New Skies reservation system over the weekend causing a 24 hour blackout for all booking systems across all channels. Flight booking for Air Asia will be unavailable on Saturday, February 16 from 2pm (GMT +8) until Sunday, February 17 at 3pm.
— The Thaiger

Rice regulator approves 5 bn baht in agro assistance
The National Rice Policy and Management Committee has approved over five billion baht in assistance funding for the harvesting and development of rice grown by small-scale farmers, amid headwinds in Thai rice exports.

Smog in Thailand set to ease, but summer brings water shortage fears
Winter in Thailand will be over next week, the Meteorological Department announced on Monday (Feb 11).
— The Straits Times

Thais deport Islamic students
Eight out of 11 Cambodian students detained over suspected links to a militant insurgent group in Thailand’s Pattani province have been deported .
— Khmer Times

GSSI welcomes CP Foods as new global partnership
The Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) announced Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) has joined its global partnership with strong intention in working towards sustainable seafood.
— Khaosod English

Improper Display of King Portrait Brings Police to Thai Raksa Chart
Word that a party allied with former leader Thaksin Shinawatra was inappropriately displaying His Majesty the King’s portrait prompted a police visit Tuesday morning.
— Khaosod English

Ramathibodi Hospital pleads for urgent blood donations
The Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok is pleading for urgent blood donations, after running short of blood stocks.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Weed Amnesty Proposed by Thai FDA
Take your stash of marijuana to regulators after medical cannabis is legal and all will be forgiven under an amnesty program proposed Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration.
— Khaosod English

Cabinet approves April 12 as additional holiday
The cabinet has approved April 12, 2019 as an additional holiday, bringing the total number of Songkran holidays this year to five — from April 12-16.
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Cobra Gold military exercise kicks off in Phitsanulok
One of the Asia-Pacific region’s largest multinational military exercises, Cobra Gold, kicked off Tuesday in this northern province with the participation of around 10,000 personnel and 29 countries
— Bangkok Post (annoying popups)

Sentences handed down for militants linked to truck theft and murder in Songkhla
One militant has been sentenced to death and another three handed down life sentences. The sentences were handed down by the presiding judge at the Na Thawee provincial court yesterday in the southern province of Songkhla after being found guilty of murder, robbery and illegal detention.
— The Thaiger

UPDATE: Speedboat captain charged, two Chinese tourists remain in hospital
A speedboat captain has now been charged over a “reckless act causing injury” but the captain is denying the charge.
— The Thaiger

Cabinet nod for transfer of senior Education Ministry officials
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the transfer of two senior Education Ministry officials, Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin said.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)


Feature photo ILO in Asia and the Pacific

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo acknowledges International Day of Women and Girls in Science, February 11.


Find our previous morning news feature photos in the AEC News Today Morning News Feature Photos gallery where you will find a pictorial display of daily life throughout the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Thailand morning news by AEC News Today is your one stop source for Thailand news on matters of governance and policies affecting Asean business communities. It is published M-F by AEC News Today: Governance, not government; policies not politics. 



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John Le Fevre

Thailand editor at AEC News Today

John is an Australian national with more than 40 years experience as a journalist, photographer, videographer, and copy editor.

He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.

He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.

In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.

Prior to AEC News Today he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.

In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.

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