Thailand morning news for February 14

Thailand morning news for February 14
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Thailand morning news

Calls for schools in Chiang Mai to close as haze crisis worsens
WITH CHIANG MAI entering the global list for worst air pollution, calls are growing for schools and educational institutes in the northern province to close down temporarily for the sake of students.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Yellow-shirt leaders lose final appeal over Govt House seizure
The Supreme Court has upheld the sentencing of six former leaders of the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy to eight months in jail each for breaking into Government House in 2008.
— Bangkok Post

Goal! UEFA Champions League live on Twitter for (some) Asean fans
Football fans in four Asean member countries will be able to catch all of the action of the UEFA Champions League Round 16 direct on their smartphones or computers as the result of a deal between Goal media, Twitter, and the UEFA League.
— AEC News Today

Prayut barred from canvassing for votes
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is not permitted by law to help the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to canvass for votes, said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.
— Bangkok Post

Smog returns to Bangkok
Smog returned to most parts of the Greater Bangkok on Wednesday afternoon.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Export growth to shrink
Thailand’s exports are expected to see the lowest growth in three years because of the Sino-US trade row, a global economic slowdown and the strengthening baht.
— Bangkok Post

Dissolve Thai Raksa Chart, Election Commission decides
The Elections Commission (EC) on Wednesday decided to recommend that the Constitutional Court dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart (TRC) for nominating Princess Ubolratana to be its prime ministerial candidate.
— Bangkok Post

Shinawatra proxies set their sights on Thailand’s economy after failed bid to enlist Princess Ubolratana
Allies of Thailand’s exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra are seeking to woo voters with a plan to revive economic growth after a failed bid to run King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s sister as a prime minister candidate in next month’s election.
— South China Morning Post

Thai Raksa Chart asks EC to be allowed to defend itself
The Thai Raksa Chart Party (TRC) has asked the Election Commission for a chance to defend itself amid reports EC will seek its disbandment for nominating Princess Ubolratana as its candidate for prime minister.
— Bangkok Post

Govt readies report on anti-human trafficking efforts for TIP ranking
Thailand is getting ready to provide an update of its efforts to fight human trafficking in the hope of winning a better ranking from the US in the next Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Bank of Thailand extends debt clinic
The Bank of Thailand expects debtors at non-bank financial institutions to participate in the central bank’s Debt Clinic by the second quarter of this year.
— Bangkok Post

Supreme Court upholds 8-month jail term for 6 ex-PAD leaders
Six former leaders of the anti-Thaksin People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), including ex-Bangkok governor Chamlong Srimuang, have lost their legal battle as the Supreme Court upholds their eight-month prison sentences…
— Thai PBS World

Poll: Pheu Thai supreme in Isan
Pheu Thai has a commanding lead in the northeastern region in the run up to the polls, far ahead of Palang Pracharath, the party that supports Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s return to power after the…
— Bangkok Post

Cabinet resolves to make April 12th national holiday
The Cabinet has resolved to make Friday April 12th, 2019, a national holiday, following the request from the Secretariat of the Cabinet.
— NBT World

Cops nab local body deputy in records bust
A deputy mayor of tambon Wiang Lo in Phayao’s Chun district has been arrested for breaking into a police database to steal records of individuals for sale, police say.
— Bangkok Post

Smog problem made worse in the provinces by sugarcane burning
While Bangkok and surrounding provinces enjoy improved air conditions, the smog situation in several northern and northeastern provinces is deteriorating due mainly to the burning of vegetation, sugarcane in particular….
— Thai PBS World

Bahrain values Thai ties, says FM
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai says good relations between Thailand and Bahrain helped extricate Thailand from the controversy surrounding the Bahraini extradition request for footballer Hakeem al-Araibi, who has refugee status in Australia.
— Bangkok Post

Thai airports remove smoking areas
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) strongly supports Thailand’s move to ban smoking inside the passenger buildings in all its airports to protect non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke.
— The Nation (very annoying pop-ups)

Mukdahan immigration chief shunted over fleeing Uighurs
The immigration chief of Mukdahan has been transferred after his juniors let seven detained Muslim Uigurs flee the detention centre.
— Bangkok Post

Krabi tour operators call for crackdown on foreigners touting tour packages
Tour operators in Krabi are pushing for related government officials to solve the problem of foreigners illegally selling tour packages on Koh Phi Phi.
— The Thaiger

In cosmic chaos, Thai politicians turn to clairvoyants
A hand-drawn map of constellations and planetary orbits shows Thailand in the throes of a “gateway” year of change, says astrologer Pinyo Pongcharoen — one of a legion of fortune tellers sought out by politicians in chaotic and unpredictable times.
— Bangkok Post

Patong tsunami evacuation drill announced
The Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket) announced today (Feb 13) that a provincial tsunami evacuation drill will be carried out in Patong next month as authorities prepare for a regional exercise in April or May.
— The Phuket News

State mulls mobile operators’ petition
The government will continue to seek a solution to the petition by the top three mobile operators asking for a delay on the last payment of bid fees for the 900-megahertz spectrum auction, following a failure yesterday to reach a resolution.
— Bangkok Post

He’s Back (kind of): Former PM Thaksin Shinwatra launches weekly podcast
What does it take to shush a Shinawatra? Apparently more than being exiled or overthrown by a military government.
— Coconuts (paywall)

Pro-Thaksin Voice TV temporarily goes off air
Voice TV, a pro-Thaksin digital broadcaster known for its critical coverage of the military, went off the air at midnight as ordered by the broadcast regulator.
— Thai PBS World

US aircraft carrier anchors in Laem Chabang to kick off Cobra Gold
The US aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis has been anchored at the Laem Chabang deep sea port as a display of the close military ties Thailand enjoys with the United States.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

A rebuke against a sister and the personalising of monarchical control
On 8 February 2019, the final day for announcing prime ministerial candidates, all eyes were supposed to be focussed on whether junta leader Prayut Chan-ocha would throw his hat into the ring.
— new mandala

Magic Skin has 30 days to explain cash, pricey cars
The case against Magic Skin Co, accused last year of peddling substandard cosmetics and weight-loss products, inched forward this week.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Thailand’s jittery retail sector seeks government tax cuts, campaigns
THE Thai Retailers Association (TRA) on Monday said consumer spending is growing at a less than optimal rate in the first half of this year and has suggested that the government consider cutting taxes on luxury goods and launch campaigns such as a “Thailand Grand Sale” to attract tourists.
— The Phnom Penh Post

Thailand’s ‘Green Rush’
In 2018, Thailand’s military junta-appointed parliament gave the Thai people a “Christmas gift” by voting to amend the 1979 Narcotics Act, legalizing cannabis for medicinal and research uses. The decision is the first of its kind in a region that has long been notorious for its extreme drug laws, harsh sentences, and overcrowded prisons.
— The Diplomat

Government prepares for royal coronation, emphasizes public & traffic safety
The Royal Thai Government has held several meetings to discuss preparations for the royal coronation scheduled in May.
— NBT World (video)

Pharmacy Council wants ban on 3 farm chemicals this year
The Pharmacy Council has asked the national committee on hazardous substances to ban two herbicides, paraquat and glyphosate, and the pesticide chlorpyrifos before year’s end in the interests of public safety.
— Bangkok Post

One dead, one injured in Narathiwat garage shooting
A gunman has opened fire at a Malaysian garage owner in Narathiwat’s Sungai Golok district last night, killing him and severely injuring a Malaysian employee.
— The Thaiger

Koh Samui: “Awash with drugs”, ONB News
ONB News is reporting that Koh Samui is “awash with drugs” and that the local prison was crammed full of prisoners convicted on drugs charges.
— The Thaiger

Princess Ubolratana says she regrets for troubles caused
Princess Ubolratana said yesterday she regrets that her desire to help the country by entering the March-24 election as a prime ministerial candidate has ended up in trouble.
— Thai PBS World

Speedboat captain to be suspended, boat de-registered after oil tanker slam
The captain of the tour speedboat that slammed into an oil tanker off Phuket’s east coast while returning from Phi Phi Island on Saturday (Feb 9) faces a criminal charge of recklessness causing injury – and will have his boat operator’s licence suspended and the speedboat itself temporarily de-registered.
— The Phuket News

Thailand takes steps to improve transport safety for tourists
The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) is joining hands with state agencies including the Department of Land Transport, Marine Department and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to improve tourist safety standards nationwide and overturn perceptions of the country as a dangerous tourist destination.
— TTG Asia

Oversupply causes flat land prices in Bangkok
Average prices of land plots and condos in inner-city locations will be flat this year because of pressure from a massive oversupply that remains unsold, according to property consultant CBRE Thailand.
— Bangkok Post

Blue Flag Fair held in Songkhla to help Pabuk-affected people
The Department of Internal Trade (DIT) has organized the Blue Flag Fair in Songkhla province to assist those affected by severe weather conditions caused by tropical storm Pabuk earlier this year.

Thailand meeting South Korea over free trade
Thailand is eyeing economic opportunities in the 17th Meeting of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementing Committee (AKFTA-IC) in Seoul from February 12th-14th.
— NBT World (video)

Sri Lanka, Thailand to promote bilateral tourism
Given the close cultural and religious ties between Sri Lanka and Thailand, measures are being taken to promote bilateral tourism between the two predominantly Buddhist nations.
— Daily News

TCEB: Bright future for MICE businesses in 2019
The President of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has indicated that the MICE businesses in Thailand has a bright future, with more than 6.6 million local and foreign MICE travelers visiting the Kingdom over the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year.
— NBT World (video)

Laguna Phuket selected to host inaugural Thai Fight Phuket Asia’s premier
Thai Fight and the Sports Association of Phuket are jointly hosting the inaugural ‘Thai Fight Phuket’, a televised international sport entertainment event showcasing Muay Thai boxing and promoting Phuket tourism.
— The Thaiger

Swedish duo caught in Thailand for laundering 250 million baht
Thai police have announced the arrest of 51 year old Jan Olof Norlander for alleged money laundering following the arrest of his accomplice last November.
— The Thaiger

School chiefs told to clean up admissions
Education expert Sompong Jitradub has urged the Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) to do more in its bid to purge bribery from state school admissions by scrapping all seven special entry conditions instead of only three.
—  Bangkok Post

Thai steelmakers warn of job cuts as Chinese imports flood market
The Thai steel industry has warned the government that thousands of workers could be laid off if it does not take any action to stem the influx of cheap Chinese imports that are expected to reach a record amount this year.
— Nikkei Asian Review (paywall)

Political parties shun income-tiered healthcare, support equal coverage
Several political parties debated public healthcare policy at a recent forum, with many resolving to upgrade the standards of Thai healthcare services to be equitable and comprehensive across all social demographics, while opposing tiered hospital care.
— NBT World (video)

Thai-Myanmar anti-human trafficking deal endorsed
The cabinet approved an agreement between the governments of Thailand and Myanmar to suppress human trafficking and eliminate the trafficking at organizational level effectively and in timely manner.

‘Magic mud’ not a cure, not even safe to use, village warned
People rushing to soak in a “magic mud” found oozing from the ground in Ban Luam district, and even drinking the water, have been warned it’s highly alkaline and more likely to cause illness than cure it.
— Bangkok Post

Private construction to increase Thailand’s cement demand
Cement demand in Thailand is forecast to increase in the next few years after a recovery in the private construction sector, says Fitch Ratings.

Thai court says it will look at party ban issue
The Latest on the political fallout from a Thai political party’s failed attempt to nominate a member of the royal family as its candidate for prime minister (all times local):
— AP

Muslim students demand answers over loans
Around 300 Muslim students from the southern border provinces arrived at the Army Area 4 head office in Nakhon Si Thammarat to seek his help over their requests for educational loans.
— The Nation (very annoying popups)

Top 10 tips for tattoos in Thailand
by Inked In Asia and Carl Gulliver We know for many it might be a holiday whim, while for others it may require months of planning and preparation. Here are some common topics and questions for getting a tattoo in Thailand.
— The Thaiger


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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