Thailand morning news for February 18

Thailand morning news for February 18
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Thailand morning news

Thai government considering officially extending Songkran Holiday this year to boost tourism
The economic sector is discussing an extension of holidays during the Songkran festival – from April 11-19 – before it proposes the measure to the government on February 18, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said.
— The Pattaya News

Gov’t Eyes Plan for State Media to Take Over Coverage in National Crisis
The government’s proposal to monopolize news coverage during times of national crises drew criticism on Monday from media personalities, who warn that the measure risks eroding press freedom even further.
— Khaosod English

Thailand announces one more confirmed case of COVID19 bringing total to 35 in Thailand
The health ministry said on Monday that Thailand had recorded one new case of the novel COVID19 coronavirus and was increasing screening of visitors from Singapore and Japan entering the country.
— The Pattaya News

Economic growth slips to 5-year low, virus to hit tourism
Thailand’s economy grew at its weakest pace in five years in 2019, as exports and public investments slowed, and the impact from the coronavirus epidemic is set to pile more pressure on Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy this year.
— Bangkok Post

Thailand leads in ASEAN with its smart cities
Thailand introduced the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative to transform three Thai provinces into smart cities during the 2019 ASEAN Summit. This move has proved to be a successful one, one report notes.
— OpenGov

Army gives up cash cows
The army has struck a deal with the Finance Ministry’s Treasury Department on the management of its commercial welfare projects and its commercial use of state land to ensure transparency and regulation compliance.
— Bangkok Post

It’s OK if Opposition limits debate on previous government to 20%
The government’s chief whip says there would be no objection to the Opposition questioning the performance of the previous administration, also under the premiership of General Prayut Chan-o-cha, if such matters occupy no more than 20% of the allotted 3 days of the censure debate, due to start on Monday.
— Thai PBS News

2019: Survey of the Thai Political Landscape in Transition
2019 is counted as the year when the arc of Thai politics was most striking since it was a time of transition from the ‘dark era’ under almost 5 years of the NCPO to the ‘hazy era’ after the election (which had been postponed 6 times) under the 2017 Constitution whose complicated design locked politics into a multilayered parliamentary system, and the Future Forward Party emerged to strongly challenge the old system.
— Prachatai English

Thailand to decide on TPP participation around April, says Japan minister
Thailand will likely decide whether to join a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership around April, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said Monday.
— The Japan Times

Pollution Control Warns of Dangerous PM2.5 Levels in Northern Thailand
Pollution Control has warned that PM 2.5 dust levels in the North however, have reached dangerous level in Mae Hong Son and Chiang Rai provinces.
— Chiang Rai Times

Thai army to transfer control of land after mass shooting
Thailand’s army agreed on Monday to transfer management control of 160,000 hectares of commercial land to the finance ministry in a drive to reform its business practices after a soldier went on a shooting spree over a property deal gone sour.
— Reuters

Thailand Open raises over $50,000 for breast cancer charity
Thanks to the fundraising activities of the GSB Thailand Open presented by E@ and its associated supporters Proud Group, APG and WTA Charities, over THB 1.6 million (around US$53,000) has been raised for the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation.
— WTA (media release)

Post-Coup Overview on Exiles: ‘at least’ 6 disappeared, 2 dead, almost a hundred in flight
After the 2016 coup d’état, data in a 2018 report compiled by the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights Centre showed that at least 86 political refugees left the country for coup-related reasons.
— Prachatai English

Northern districts successfully reforest vast forest lands
Parts of the rich green forests of Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provinces that we see today are the result of a collaboration of many local residents who changed the fate of these prime locations. Panod Srisinsuphya takes us to see how they were able to achieve so much.
— Newsline (video)

FFP deputy leader resigns, will leave army house
Future Forward (FFP) deputy leader Lt Gen Pongsakorn Rodchomphu has announced his resignation from the party’s executive board and said he will be moving out of his military-owned house by the end of March.
— Bangkok Post

Japan praises Thailand as being investment friendly
According to the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, the land of the rising Sun continues to view Thailand as an investment-friendly economy.
— Pattaya Mail

Gov’t introduces financial measures aiding tourism industry
The Thai government is introducing a set of financial aids to help operators in the tourism sector cope with the impact of Covid-19 or the new coronavirus.
— Newsline (video)

‘War rooms’ to target censure hoax
A number of “war rooms” will be set up to help fight disinformation as the censure debate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five of his ministers edges closer, according to the government.
— Bangkok Post

Phuket businesses seek B50bn in help
Phuket: Businessmen are making an urgent call on the government to allocate 50 billion baht in soft loans as part of financial assistance to shore up tourism in Phuket, currently left reeling by a sharp drop in Chinese tourists as a result of the widening Covid-19 outbreak.
— Bangkok Post

Valentine 2020 : Bangkok’s district office denied LGBTQ marriage registration
Valentine’s Day remained a popular day for couples to get married in Thailand. This year, 2194 couples register their marriage on 14 February in Bangkok alone.
— Prachatai English

Gov’t assures sufficient water supply as drought continues
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has assured a sufficient water supply throughout the remaining dry season, while relevant agencies work to refill dams along the Chao Phraya River.
— Newsline (video)

Missing teen found in Thailand
The father of missing teenager Kim Channee Weightman has announced that she has been found in Thailand. The 13 year old left home on February 4th.
— Khmer Times

Poll shows public looking forward to censure debate
Welcome back to Newsline. A Suan Dusit Poll has been conducted ahead of a censure debate against the government scheduled in parliament for later this month, and designed to gauge how interested people may be in the process, along with what problems should be addressed.
— Newsline (video)

Malaysia, Thailand boost development of 5G services
Malaysia’s own security standards will dictate which companies take part in its planned 5G rollout this year, Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo said on February 17.
— Vietnamplus

Chonburi Police continue crackdown on motorcycle racing gangs after continued complaints
Bang Lamung Police have launched a renewed crackdown on hundreds of illegal motorbike racers during the past weekend, many who gathered in the area for a bike meetup.
— The Pattaya News

Phu Kradueng fires ‘under control’
A bushfire in Loei’s famous Phu Kradueng National Park was finally brought under control on Monday morning, after destroying about 3,400 rai of forest.
— Bangkok Post

Ex-Pheu Thai boss jailed for two years
Former Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Wichaidit will serve two years in jail after the Court of Appeal denied his request to appeal its ruling last year that found him guilty of allowing the sale of monastic land to make way for the Alpine golf course.
— Bangkok Post

Thai Government set to introduce major new measures to help tourism sector and economy in March
The government is set to introduce major measures to help the tourism sector and the economy affected by the COVID-19 virus situation.
— The Pattaya News

Emergency decree in Deep South extended for 3 months
The emergency decree, currently in effect in Thailand’s three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat and certain districts of Songkhla province, is to be extendeduntil June 19th.
— Thai PBS News

Four people in custody accused of spreading fake news about coronavirus
Four people have been arrested by police, for allegedly spreading fake news about the COVID-19 virus, in coordinated raids in four provinces.
— Thai PBS News

Bank loans may grow more than 2% this year: BoT
Commercial bank loans in Thailand may grow more than 2% this year while bad loans are likely to increase as the economy slows, a senior director at the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said on Monday.
— Bangkok Post

Cooler weather in north, cloud and possible rain in south
The TMD (Thailand Meteorological Department) says that another high-pressure system originating in China is covering Thailand’s north-east and affecting weather in the South China Sea, while weak easterly winds continue to prevail across the Gulf of Thailand.
— The Thaiger

21 Vietnamese fishermen taken for coronavirus testing in Songkhla
21 Vietnamese crew from four Vietnamese fishing boats looking for sea cucumbers have been taken ashore to a Songkhla Navy hospital by Royal Thai Navy officials last night.
— The Thaiger

Excise delays levy process
The Excise Department has put on hold a process to consider levies on salty food and non-alcoholic beer until the Covid-19 epidemic is under control, its chief says.
— Bangkok Post

Sattahip Police believe illegal beauty clinics dumped dozens of syringes in Sattahip Canal
Sattahip-Police are investigating local illegal beauty clinics after dozens of needles and blood capsules were found in a canal in Samae San.
— The Pattaya News

Nine-day Songkran under consideration
The government is considering adding two more public holidays during the Songkran festival to bolster the sagging tourism sector, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday.
— Bangkok Post

Doi Chaang vows to pay debt-hit farmers money it owes
A major Thai coffee brand has vowed to pay about 200 farmers who were forced to take out loans while waiting nearly three years for payments due them, leaving them with spiralling debts.
— Bangkok Post

Five quit Democrats, join Pheu Thai
Five members of the Democrat Party resigned and joined the Pheu Thai Party on Monday, saying the Democrats had broken their promise by supporting Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
— Bangkok Post

Chinese Automaker to Buy GM’s Thailand Plant in Rayong
China’s leading sport utility vehicles (SUV) and pickup maker Great Wall Motors on Monday said it will purchase General Motors’ Rayong car production facility in Thailand.
— Khaosod English

Army signs MoU for private sector management of its real estate assets
Thailand’s Army and the Treasury Department signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) this morning, under which the Army’s 40 commercial welfare schemes, which include golf and race courses, land, buildings and recreational venues, will be professionally managed by the private sector with benefits shared between the Army, the Treasury and the private sector.
— Thai PBS News

GM to withdraw from Thailand this year
General Motors (GM) announced it will stop selling Chevrolet vehicles in Thailand and sell its Rayong plant by the end of this year.
— Bangkok Post

Ex-Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Vichaidit to serve 2 years in prison
Former leader of Pheu Thai party, Yongyuth Vichaidit, was today sent to prison to serve his two-year sentence after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal to the high court.
— Thai PBS News

Countdown to reopening – contracts awards for new Maya Bay infrastructure
New plans are now being enacted which will lead to the re-opening of Maya Bay to tourism again.
— The Thaiger

Chon Buri sugarcane vendor dragged behind motorbike after thief steals his phone
An elderly sugarcane vendor in Chon Buri province’s Sattahip district sufferered multiple injuries when a potential customer stole his phone and tried to speed off on his motorbike, leading the vendor to grab onto the bike in a desperate attempt to to get it phone back.
— The Thaiger

Grandparents and 2 Year-old Grandson Killed in Three Vehicle Collision
A couple and their grandson have been killed in a three vehicle collision in northeastern Thailand on Sunday.
— Chiang Rai Times


Feature photo Krung Tap Thai school

This week’s Thailand morning news feature photo focuses on International Mother Language Day, February 21.


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).



About Thailand morning news.

Thailand morning news roundup is the most comprehensive hand-curated selection of Thailand English language news headlines published. Each weekday we scour hundreds of local and international news sites and websites to find the most recent Thailand English language news today.

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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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