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  1. #76
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    It’s obvious that unlike his predecessors, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is an avid social media user. How he has been communicating back to the Thai people from San Francisco where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is another proof of that.

    Srettha has been reporting almost daily his activities on the X social media platform in both Thai and English.

    His latest post was a selfie he took with US President Joe Biden during a dinner he hosted for the APEC leaders on Thursday night.

    “Had the incredible opportunity to take a selfie with Mr. President today! Glad to have had the chance to meet and chat with such an influential leader,” Srettha said in his post in English.

    His series of posts in recent days included pictures of his bilateral meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

    “Fruitful meeting with Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau of Canada today. We had such a wide-ranging and productive discussion. It makes me confident for the future of expanded economic cooperation and deepened bilateral ties between Thailand and Canada,” he said.

    Srettha’s other posts were on his meetings with executives of major international hi-tech corporations which he said have shown strong interest in investing in Thailand. Among them are CITI of China, Apple, Meta and Tik Tok.

    Even while not travelling, the Thai prime minister has the habit of conveying his thoughts or responding to criticism of the x platform.

    In one of his recent posts, Srettha refuted observations by some senior journalists that he was a “puppet prime minister”.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #77
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The Public Health Ministry has consolidated the 13 national health plans previously proposed into 10 urgent or “quick win” policies, with the “30-baht treatment anywhere” scheme at its centre.

    The “30-baht treatment anywhere” scheme was part of the key election promises made by the ruling Pheu Thai Party.

    The aim of the 10 urgent policies is to achieve concrete results within 100 days, Public Health Minister Dr Cholnan Srikaew said as he announced the policies last month. He said some policies had already started and are expected to bear results in time for New Year as a gift for the public.

    The “treatment anywhere” scheme is a continuation of the 30-baht universal healthcare scheme implemented in 2002 by then-PM Thaksin Shinawatra’s government.

    Under the new iteration of the scheme, beneficiaries will be covered for key medical problems at participating hospitals, for which they pay just 30 baht.

    According to Cholnan, four health zones covering 27 provinces are now ready to implement the scheme.

    The other nine quick-win health policies are:

    • Continuation and expansion of healthcare units/hospitals under royal patronage or royal initiative projects.
    • Establishing district hospitals in all 50 districts of Bangkok, as well as a 120-bed hospital in Chiang Mai’s Muang district.
    • Each province must have a treatment unit for mental health patients and drug addicts.
    • Providing 1 million doses of HPV vaccine to women aged 11 to 20 nationwide.
    • Boosting morale and career development of healthcare professionals, including granting 3,000 permanent positions for nurses and specialised nurses.
    • Establishing a palliative care centre in each health zone.
    • Adding childbirth promotion to the national agenda and integrating it with policies of related agencies.
    • Promoting a health economy by establishing model communities and blue zones for long-living citizens.
    • Launching the “One Region, One Sky Doctor” programme to highlight Thailand’s readiness to attend to medical emergencies in a bid to attract medical tourists.

  3. #78
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin pledged to improve Thailand’s economy for the welfare of its citizens during a warm meeting with Thais living in the United States.

    Government spokesman Chai Watcharong said that the prime minister met with the Thai community at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco on November 17, where he also shared his personal experiences in the US.

    Srettha expressed pleasure in meeting the Thai citizens, and dwelt on his own past as a student in San Francisco for six years. He shared his challenges in finding a job in the US, which led to his return to Thailand and working for a foreign company. Srettha acknowledged that his own children were working abroad, and expressed his desire to see them return if better opportunities were available.

    The PM highlighted the importance of attracting Thai talent back to the country and encouraging foreign investments. He emphasised the significance of agriculture as a dignified profession and the need to elevate its status to bring Thai workers back.

    Chai said the prime minister acknowledged the positive outcomes of the past two months of travel and praised the efforts of the team across various sectors, attracting interest from companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Chinese investors.

    In his political role, Srettha told the Thai expatriates that he aimed to improve the standard of living by enhancing the country's capabilities. He emphasised the need for improvements in the education system, human resource development, and geographical infrastructure.

    He affirmed the Thai government’s policy of maintaining neutrality in global conflicts, and seeking opportunities for Thailand to benefit.

    The 300,000-strong community in the US is largest Thai expat community abroad. Most of them reside in California, with around 70,000 in the San Francisco and Bay Area regions. Los Angeles is home to the first "Thai Town" in the world. Nearly 200 Thai people in the US attended the meeting with the PM to show their support.

  4. #79
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Pheu Thai Party leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra, dressed in a sparkly Indian outfit, showed up in Bangkok’s Phahurhat area to celebrate Diwali with the capital’s Indian community on Friday.

    Accompanying her were other prominent government figures such as Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanich, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Puangpet Chunlaiad and Deputy Finance Minister Julapan Amornvivat.

    Paetongtarn exuberantly immersed herself in the festival, which is marked among Indians as the New Year.

    Her first stop was to pay respects at the Ganesha Shrine in “Little India” as the area is known, before enjoying traditional dance performances and exploring the Khlong Ong Ang Market, where she was served Indian tea and snacks.

    The event, organised by the government in collaboration with the private sector, aimed to boost tourism under the theme “One Day Trip, Three Religions, the Virtue of Merit”.

    Paetongtarn said this was the second time that she had joined Diwali celebrations in Little India, adding that the outfit she was wearing had been purchased last year.

    Expressing her vision for Thailand to become a festival hub, the Pheu Thai leader emphasized the significance of Diwali and how it fosters unity and cultural exchange among Thais.
    “It’s a beautiful event,” she said.

    She added that Diwali celebrations in Bangkok were far more colourful this year and encouraged more Bangkokians to participate.

    Diwali celebrations in Bangkok run all this weekend (November 17-19).

  5. #80
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    Generational change has swept through the ruling Pheu Thai Party leadership, with new executives including its youngest-ever leader, 37-year-old Paetongtarn Shinawatra, mainly in their 30s or 40s.

    Party seniors in the previous executive board explained it was time to pass the baton to younger politicians – a move analysts view as an attempt to compete with the opposition Move Forward Party, whose shock election win in May was attributed to its popularity among young voters. Prior to 2023, Shinawatra-linked parties had won the largest share of the vote at every general election since 2001.

    Just a few days before Pheu Thai’s general meeting to elect a new executive board on October 27, outgoing party secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong said it was time for the new generation of politicians to take charge. Phumtham Wechayachai, then-acting deputy party leader, confirmed Pheu Thai was ready to pass the torch on. After the meeting, he dismissed criticism that Paetongtarn had been elected due to her surname, insisting she had been chosen as the new leader for her ability.

    Paetongtarn, the youngest daughter of Pheu Thai patriarch Thaksin Shinawatra, said the new-gen leadership was launching a “great and important mission” to ensure the party would win the popularity contest among voters.

    With its younger leadership, Pheu Thai is expected to compete strongly with Move Forward – which is also run by relatively youthful politicians – for support from young voters.

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  6. #81
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    In his speech at the closing ceremony of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s 90th anniversary, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin highlighted the imperative need to transform crises into opportunities.

    He said this was necessary for building a sustainable economy for Thailand.

    The ceremony was held on Sunday at Bangkok’s BITEC Convention Centre.

    Srettha said there were many positive aspects to the Thai economy, especially post-election, but it was also necessary to take collective responsibility to contribute to its improvement.

    As for the controversial digital wallet scheme, he said that though opinions are varied, the 10,000-baht digital handout was crucial to addressing the ongoing crisis.

    Referring to the GDP of other ASEAN nations, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Srettha said their economic expansion figures were far higher than Thailand’s lower than 2% growth in the past nine years.

    Despite these challenges, though, he expressed confidence in Thailand’s potential to achieve similar results.

    He added that the government has over the past two months taken several economy-boosting steps such as deferring farmers’ debts, reducing electricity and oil prices and providing free visas in a bid to boost tourism.

    Srettha also underlined Thailand’s attraction as an investment destination but said to make the most of it, it was necessary to introduce supportive measures such as tax incentives and free trade agreements.

    He added that concrete action was required to attract investors, and for that discussions, negotiations and collaborative actions were needed.

    As for tourism, he said, his government was focusing on secondary cities and was opening new airports. He added that this was the time for the transportation sector to expand its reach.

    The problem of household debts was another issue the premier focused on, saying non-systemic debts were a serious societal scourge. However, he said, the government was devising guidelines for negotiations between district officers, debtors and creditors. The premier also said the excessively high interest rates charged by loan sharks were unlawful and solutions to tackle this will be announced soon.

    As for systemic debts, Srettha said, clear guidelines will also be announced soon.

    Meanwhile, the farming sector is also suffering, and the government is working on revitalising it by boosting export markets to enhance farmers’ prospects, he said.

    “Some people call me the nation’s salesman. I am not against it, as I am indeed helping promote and sell the country’s trade and investment potential for the Thai people,” Srettha said.

    The prime minister will be attending the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit in mid-December. For the past 50 years, Japan has played a key role in trade and investments in Thailand and has the most extensive production base in the country.

    Srettha said during his visit to Japan, he will showcase Thailand’s commitment to supporting investments, including the facilitation of free visas for Japanese businessmen.

    He also invited business leaders to join him on his overseas trips, emphasising collaboration in promoting trade and investments for the nation’s prosperity.

  7. #82
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Pheu Thai Party leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra on Sunday congratulated Anntonia Porsild for finishing first runner-up in the Miss Universe 2023 beauty pageant in El Salvador.

    Anntonia, a Thai-Danish beauty queen, was the first Thai to make it to the final stages of the pageant since Porntip “Pui” Nakhirunkanok was crowned Miss Universe in 1988.

    Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said Srettha was happy that Anntonia had finished first runner-up. The prime minster also thanked her for doing her duty to her best.

    “The prime minister congratulated and thanked Khun Anntonia for doing her best to represent Thailand until she won the first runner-up title,” the spokesman said.

    The spokesman said Srettha appreciated Anntonia’s successful expression of Thai culture as a soft power to the world, especially by dressing in the elegant national costume from the Ayutthaya period.

    The spokesman quoted the prime minister as saying that although Anntonia did not win the title, she had brought fame to Thailand on an international stage.

    “She won the hearts of all Thais and made Thais proud,” the spokesman said.

    Srettha also posted congratulatory messages on his X (Twitter) page.

    “I would like to congratulate, admire and thank Khun Anntonia Porsild for representing Thailand very well until she won the title of first runner-up of Miss Universe 2023,” Srettha posted.

    “The national costume of the goddess of Ayutthaya was very beautiful and spectacular. It was flawless and boasted Thainess. Congratulations indeed!”

    Paetongtarn said she was very excited watching the contest and she thought Anntonia had performed very well.

    She said she was impressed by Anntonia’s answers that showed the Thai beauty queen had an attitude.

    “The answers were great,” Paetongtarn said.

    “I really admire her. This shows that women can do anything,” Paetongtarn said.

  8. #83
    Thailand Expat OhOh's Avatar
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    Have you thought of starting a thread on the Thai Royal Family's daily activities.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Have you thought of starting a thread on the Thai Royal Family's daily activities.
    Haven't a clue either, something about a sweater. Guess winter is finally here. I'm still chasing the bigfoot thread.

  10. #85
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    South Korea is seeking to secure an economic partnership agreement with Thailand to reduce import-export taxes and establish an electric vehicle production base in Thailand, Trade Representative Nalinee Taveesin, has revealed.

    Nalinee was recently in Seoul for talks with Ahn Duk-geun, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Energy and Industry, who expressed interest in negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the two countries. Currently, the two nations have only regional trade agreements such as the ASEAN-Korea FTA (AKFTA) and the RCEP, and have yet to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

    The ROK’s Trade Minister also met with Thailand’s Commerce Minister during the APEC meeting in San Francisco and will be holding further discussions with his government on his return. The successful implementation of an EPA would significantly reduce import-export taxes and trade barriers while promoting supply chain integration and goods movement, especially in the automotive industry, which holds potential for both Thailand and South Korea.

    Moreover, Hyundai and Kia are currently expanding their businesses and planning to establish electric vehicle production bases in Thailand. South Korea has proposed leveraging EPA negotiations to prepare the private sector. Nalinee confirmed that Thailand is prepared to collaborate with South Korea in outlining the terms of reference (TOR) to swiftly develop the EPA.

    South Korea has previously invested in ASEAN members but faced obstacles in some nations due to inadequate public infrastructure and energy. Despite significant investment benefits, South Korea's major industries require considerable energy for production.

    Nalinee noted that South Korea recognises Thailand’s readiness and is considering distributing investments to reduce reliance on any single country.

    Thailand, for its part, is encouraging South Korea to invest, pointing to the benefits it would receive from the Board of Investment (BOI), the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and other projects, as well as Thailand’s position as a gateway to markets in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Europe.

    Thailand boasts a skilled workforce and annually attracts around 40,000 students interested in learning the Korean language, ranking first outside South Korea in Korean language learners. She believes this negotiation is an excellent sign of cooperation, coinciding with the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Thailand and South Korea this year.

  11. #86
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The Foreign Ministry launched a weeklong summit with Thai ambassadors, consuls general and trade representatives to give them instructions on working proactively to expand the country’s economy.

    The forum, which wraps up on Friday, was opened by Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara on Monday at the JW Marriot Hotel Bangkok. Attending were 65 ambassadors, 28 consuls general, heads of three Thai permanent missions to the United Nations and ASEAN, as well as Thai representatives.

    The aim of the summit is to brief the senior envoys on the government’s urgent policies and brainstorm ideas for drafting working plans for 2024 and 2025.

    The senior envoys are also scheduled to discuss the subject with representatives of relevant government agencies, so they can carry out diplomatic missions on economy-boosting endeavours like increasing border and cross-border trade.

    The envoys will also be briefed on the government’s mega projects and key policies like soft power, the southern land bridge scheme, driving green economy and industries, carbon neutrality policy and the digital economic partnership agreement.

    In his opening speech, Parnpree said the aim of the summit was to draft new-era foreign policies as Thailand needs to build proactive diplomatic missions in a divided world whose context is changing.

    He said the envoys need to be ready to cope with global changes so they can help protect national interests.

    He also urged them to stop focusing on routine duties and instead come up with ways to tangibly protect and boost national interests.

    The forum, which wraps up on Friday, was opened by Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara on Monday at the JW Marriot Hotel Bangkok. Attending were 65 ambassadors, 28 consuls general, heads of three Thai permanent missions to the United Nations and ASEAN, as well as Thai representatives.

    The aim of the summit is to brief the senior envoys on the government’s urgent policies and brainstorm ideas for drafting working plans for 2024 and 2025.

    The senior envoys are also scheduled to discuss the subject with representatives of relevant government agencies, so they can carry out diplomatic missions on economy-boosting endeavours like increasing border and cross-border trade.

    The envoys will also be briefed on the government’s mega projects and key policies like soft power, the southern land bridge scheme, driving green economy and industries, carbon neutrality policy and the digital economic partnership agreement.

    In his opening speech, Parnpree said the aim of the summit was to draft new-era foreign policies as Thailand needs to build proactive diplomatic missions in a divided world whose context is changing.

    He said the envoys need to be ready to cope with global changes so they can help protect national interests.

    He also urged them to stop focusing on routine duties and instead come up with ways to tangibly protect and boost national interests.

    Saying that since this economic mission would be key to driving the country forward, he urged the envoys to act fast and efficiently.

    Sarun Charoensuwan, permanent secretary for the Foreign Ministry, said this is the first such meeting to be held since 2016.

    He added that the envoys need to learn about how well they can protect national interests, especially at a time when the world is getting divided and global competition is getting fiercer.

    The agenda for the summit has been set as follows:

    • Tuesday: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will hand down policies to the envoys and diplomats on pushing for more trade.

    Surapong Suebwonglee, a member of the national soft power committee, will brief them on promoting Thailand’s soft power.

    • Wednesday: The ambassadors and consuls general will meet governors of border provinces to discuss how border trade can be boosted and how cooperation can be sought from neighbouring countries.

    • Thursday: Srettha will listen to diplomatic proactive policies to boost economic growth.

    • Friday: Parnpree will preside over the closing ceremony.

  12. #87
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The Pink Line monorail began its rehearsal runs on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin taking the first ride.

    He boarded the train at about 11.30am to ride the entire 34.5-kilometre stretch from Khai Rai intersection in Nonthaburi to Min Buri district in eastern Bangkok.

    The line, which covers 30 stations, will be open to public from 6am to 8pm for free daily from Wednesday until December 18, when the operator will start charging fares of between 15 and 45 baht.

    The service opened to the public on Tuesday from 3pm.

    The operator, Northern Bangkok Monorail Co Ltd (NBM), said the timings for free rides from December 3 to 17 will be adjusted and the public will be informed accordingly.

    The Pink Line monorail is one of the feeder lines for linking people in Nonthaburi to other main electric railway systems in the capital.

    The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) and NBM are also constructing an extension of the line from Si Rat station to Muang Thong Thani to serve residents in Nonthaburi’s Pak Kret district.

  13. #88
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    The Cabinet on Tuesday endorsed a bill amending the Civil and Commercial Code, so same-sex couples can marry and have the same legal protections and privileges as straight couples.

    Deputy government spokesman Karom Polpornklang said the amendment bill proposed by the Justice Ministry seeks to allow same-sex marriage with full legal rights. It will also allow members of the LGBTQ community to build families and ensure both spouses have equal rights.

    Karom said the bill’s main principle is to remove the terms “men”, “women”, “wives” and “husbands” from the civil code.

    The terms will be changed to “persons”, “fiancées”, “engaged couples” and “married couples”, so men can marry men and women can marry women and have the same rights as male-female unions.

    The deputy spokesman said the Cabinet has also called on the Council of State to amend other laws accordingly, so the surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage is entitled to receive the inheritance left behind by their partner.

    The Council of State has also been tasked with scrutinising the same-sex marriage bill, and once that is done it will be submitted to the House, Karom said.

    Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said the amendment bill would be different from the Life Partnership Act that was enacted by the last government.

    He said this act simply endorses the rights for same-sex couples to spend their lives together but does not provide full legal marital rights.

    ________




    Social Development and Human Security Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has ordered an urgent investigation into the presence of numerous Chinese beggars in Bangkok, to uncover whether international human trafficking is involved.

    Citing one female beggar, the minister said “The matter could become a sensitive and international issue as the female beggar is Chinese, therefore, investigators have to find out whether she is being exploited.”

    He said that he had been informed that, previously, when Chinese beggars have been arrested, there was a Thai female who told police that she was a translator and then tried to secure their freedom by offering bribes.

    The presence of the Chinese beggars came to light after an activist, known as Kan Chompalang, led police to arrest the female beggar and five others asking for money in front of a Pinklao shopping complex during the weekend.

    The female beggar’s face exhibited many serious wounds and her fingers were deformed. All the beggars arrested were dressed in Thai student uniforms. Confiscated from her was a bag full of Bt20 banknotes, which Kan estimated totalled about Bt10,000.

    According to Kan, some people have told him that beggars, of a similar appearance, had been sighted in other places in Bangkok, such as Pratunam. He doubted that the beggars were moved from place to place.

    A vendor in front of the shopping complex said that the group came to work there earlier this year.

    Caught Chinese beggars hold expired passports, free visa not to be blamed: Varawut

  14. #89
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has expressed concern at Thai workers returning to Israel

    In an interview after opening the MRT Pink Line’s test run, the PM told reporters that their return stemmed from the country’s economic problems.

    “If the economy in the country was good, why would they leave? Working in Israel is a dangerous place with a high risk of conflict. Of course, the government has no right to stop them, but with concern, I urge them to take care of themselves and stay safe."

    Srettha went on to say that the government must improve the Thai economy so that workers do not have to risk their lives to go abroad to earn money to support their families.

    Referring to a recently released video clip showing the Hamas group holding hostages including Thai nationals at a hospital, Prime Minister Srettha said that while he did not wish to disclose matters related to internal security, he has been assured by multiple sources including security officials that the Thai nationals are safe.

    The PM’s comments reflect the government’s concern about the economic situation in Thailand. The return of Thai workers to Israel is a sign that the economy is not providing enough opportunities for them to earn a living.

    The government’s efforts to improve the economy include investing in infrastructure, such as the MRT Pink Line mass transit train project, and creating jobs in the tourism and manufacturing sectors. However, it is likely to take some time for these efforts to bear fruit.

    In the meantime, the government is urging Thai workers to be careful when returning to Israel.

    __________







    Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company (BTSC) is ready to support the government’s policy to cap train fares at 20 baht on Bangkok’s suburban rail network, but on the condition that the government holds talks with the train operators about how it will help to shoulder the operating costs, BTSC CEO Keeree Kanjanapas said on Tuesday.

    BTSC subsidiary, Northern Bangkok Monorail, was awarded the concession to operate the Pink Line, which is on trial runs from today until December 18th. BTSC also operates the Green Line sky train.

    Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Transport Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit officiated at the opening of the Pink Line trial today. They rode non-stop from Min Buri to Wat Phra Sri Mahathat station, which took about half an hour.

    The prime minister thanked BTS Group Holdings for providing Thailand with a convenient public transport system, beginning with the Green Line sky train service.

    Keeree said that the company would like the train service to be affordable and is supportive of the government’s policy to cap train fares at 20 baht. He noted, however, that the government is yet to hold talks with the train operators on how they will be compensated if the fares are capped at Bt20, because the operators have already made their investments in the rail projects and expect to generate returns.

    Keeree also expects the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to settle the huge debt, owed to BTSC for the installation of operating systems and the costs for operating the two extensions of the Second Phase of the Green Line, which have been operating without charging passengers for a couple of years.

    The BMA plans to begin charging passengers a maximum of 20 baht on the two extensions from the middle of January, so it can generate revenues to enable it to repay its debt to BTSC.

    Keeree said BTSC cannot interfere with the BMA in setting the fares or the timing of their imposition. Nevertheless, the company expects to receive payment for operating the two extensions to cover its investment and operating costs.

  15. #90
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the fiscal year 2024 budget of 3.48 trillion baht.

    The budget represents an increase of 9.3% over the 3.185 trillion baht in the previous fiscal year.

    Recurring expenditure accounts for 2.535 trillion baht, or 72.85% of the total budget.

    Expenditures to replenish the Treasury is 118.36 billion baht, or 3.40% of the budget.

    Investment expenditure is set at 715.38 billion baht, or 20.56%.

    Allocation for the repayment of the principal amount on loans is 118.32 billion baht, or 3.40%.

    The budget for loans to cover the deficit is set at 693 billion baht, or 3.63% of the budget.

    This is a decrease of 2 billion baht, or 0.3%, over the fiscal year 2023 budget of 695 billion baht.

    The budget makes allocations to support economic recovery by investing in infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

    The budget makes provisions to provide social welfare benefits to low-income households and vulnerable groups.

    Under the allocations for environmental sustainability, the budget will invest in renewable energy and other measures to protect the environment.

    The budget is expected to be submitted to Parliament for approval in December.
    __________




    The Cabinet approved a bill on Tuesday which aims to amend the Act Governing Offenses Arising from the Use of Cheques (the Cheque Act), by decriminalising the issuing of bad cheques in most circumstances.

    Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said that the cabinet’s decision is in line with Section 77 of the Constitution, which states that criminal penalties are meant for serious offences and must be in line with international principles of the rights of the people and political rights, namely that a person should not be imprisoned simply because they have defaulted on debt repayments.

    He said that the Thai Bankers Association (TBA) agrees, in principle, that people who bounce cheques should not be subject to criminal penalties, but raised reservations over abrogating the entire Cheque Act, noting that civil proceedings to recover payments associated with bounced cheques are time consuming and may be unfair to creditors.

    According to Chai, the TBA has proposed that criminal liability should be retained for bad cheques if it can be proved that they were issued dishonestly by debtors with an intent not to pay.

    The TBA also proposed that creditors who have problem with bounced cheques can submit information to the Credit Bureau or to the banks of the debtors, so punitive action can be taken, if it can be proved that they had no intention of making the payment.

    The punitive actions include increasing fines for bouncing cheques or prohibiting the debtors in question from issuing cheques for up to three years, said Chai.

  16. #91
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    A campaign to rid Thailand of “influential figures” will kick off nationwide on December 1, aiming to eradicate so-called “red category” individuals within three months, the Interior Ministry says.

    The Interior Ministry will spearhead the campaign to ensure public safety as well as transparency in local administration, Deputy Minister Chada Thaiseth said on Tuesday.

    A list of influential figures – a euphemism for influential crooks – has been compiled since September from public input via the ministry’s hotline, with names of suspects divided into red and yellow categories.

    The red category covers suspects directly accused of wrongdoing in cases that lack evidence for arrest, while yellow-category suspects of lower priority require further monitoring.

    On Wednesday, Chada told the House committee on administration that there were 180 “influential people” operating in all but 10 provinces of Thailand.

    Investigators will follow their financial trails, taxation histories and business associations, he said.

    “We aim to use strongest measures against influential figures in the red group as well as their associates to set an example for others,” he said. “Within three months of the campaign’s launch, individuals in this group will be no more. Provincial authorities must report results from the operation every month.”

    Chada said that influential figures involved in drugs and illegal loans will be top targets as their operations affect local communities the most.

    For yellow-category suspects, the ministry will task agencies to verify facts and gather evidence and witnesses to build cases against them. Chada said he aimed to get rid of this group in six months, with provincial authorities reporting the investigation progress to the ministry every two months.

    Chada said help in gathering intelligence on influential figures will be provided by local officials including deputy governors, district chiefs, subdistrict chiefs, village headsmen, district doctors, village committees, and volunteer defence corps.

  17. #92
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    Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin appears to be in hot water over comments he made concerning requests for favors in the police reshuffle during a meeting of Pheu Thai MPs and party executives on Tuesday.

    At the meeting, the prime minister stated his belief that some individuals in the room might be disappointed as their requests for ‘special favors’ for the position of police superintendent were denied, attributing it to the overwhelming number of requests. He also noted that others in the room were satisfied as their requests had been fulfilled.

    Serial petitioner Srisuwan Janya said today that he will submit a petition to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) tomorrow seeking an investigation into whether the prime minister’s remark amounts to a violation of political ethical standards, in accordance with the Constitution.

    Meanwhile, Thai Liberal party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves said the prime minister might not have read the Constitution thoroughly, particularly Section 186 which prohibits any minister from using his or her status, directly or indirectly, to interfere in the performance of the duties of state officials for his or her benefit or in the interests of other people.

    Sereepisuth said that the prime minister should step down.

    Meanwhile, Move Forward party-list MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn said today that he will submit an interpellation to the House, when it is reconvened, to demand that the prime minister disclose the names of Pheu Thai MPs or ministers who sought “special favours” for promotions to superintendents and how many superintendents are involved.

    He admitted that it is extremely difficult for any police officer to get promoted to the rank of superintendent purely on merit or performance. They must also agree to pay a sizeable amount of money to politicians for help.

  18. #93
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    Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin on Tuesday underscored the government’s policy of proactive economic diplomacy to Thai ambassadors and consular officials as a strategy to boost people’s well-being and enhance national interests.

    Srettha presided over the 2023 meeting of Thai ambassadors, consuls-general, commercial attachés and investment attachés to countries around the world at the Vithes Samosorn Building in Bangkok.

    The PM called for “Team Thailand”, namely ambassadors, diplomats, agricultural and commercial attachés and representatives of government agencies, to work together to set the direction and strategy for the new era of foreign policy, making it tangible and what he called “edible” diplomacy.

    Srettha emphasised the importance of customer-centric government and a sense of urgency, as well as the need for a paradigm shift that focuses more on why this task needs to be done, its impacts, and how it can be achieved.

    The PM proposed two function-based frameworks for laying out working strategies. The first of these relates to economic diplomacy such as trade and investment promotion. Srettha wants Team Thailand to liaise with the private sector, guiding and communicating with them on market knowledge and economic insights. Officials need to work proactively to ensure the Thai private sector’s prompt response and action, and to encourage and facilitate foreigners to visit Thailand either for tourism or business, he said.

    The PM reaffirmed Thailand’s neutral diplomacy and the country’s position as a friend to every country.

    Thailand needs to understand the dynamics of each country and harness the information gained to enhance trade and investment opportunities for the national benefit.

    Srettha then called on Team Thailand to utilise proactive economic diplomacy by working together to craft an integrative and inclusive action plan for the promotion of trade, import and export, and both inward and outward foreign direct investment.

    The second framework relates to Thailand’s dignity and integrity, and assistance provided to overseas Thais and Thai businesses. The PM also underscored the protection of the country’s dignity and honour of the royal family.

    Team Thailand must place great importance on professionalism and responsibility, he said, adding that Thai delegations must create a positive work culture as professional diplomats in overseas missions.

  19. #94
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    Starting next Tuesday, Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will be paying rice farmers 1,000 baht per 0.16 hectares, up to a maximum of Bt20,000 per household, under the government’s program to encourage farmers to delay the sale their 2023-24 harvest until the market price is right.

    The “rice quality development and management program” will cost the taxpayer about 56 billion baht for the 4.68 million farming households who have registered with the Department of Agriculture Extension to receive financial support.

    Payments will be disbursed in five instalments:

    The first, scheduled for November 28, is for farmers in Chiang Mai, Nan, Phrae, Udon Thani, Roi-et, Maha Sarakham and Ubon Ratchathani.

    The second, scheduled for November 29, is for farmers in Lampang, Phayao, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Phichit, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanuloke, Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Uttaradit Uthai Thani and Tak.

    The third, scheduled for November 30, is for farmers in Bung Kan, Lamphun, Nong Khai, Mukdahan, Surin, Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum and Si Sa Ket.

    The fourth, scheduled for December 1, is for farmers in Khon Kaen, Sakhon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Nakhon Ratchasima and Yasothon.

    The fifth instalment is scheduled for December 2nd for the remaining provinces across the country.

    Farmers who choose to sell their crops to cooperatives for storage for 1-5 months will receive 500 baht for each tonne of their crop sold, while the cooperatives will receive 1,000 baht/tonne for the rice they buy for storage.

    Rice millers who bought the rice for storage from farmers will receive a 1% reduction in interest, from the rate charged by their creditor banks, to be shouldered by the taxpayer.

  20. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by S Landreth View Post
    under the government’s program to encourage farmers to delay the sale their 2023-24 harvest until the market price is right.
    Thailand and the new coalition government-hfhhgfhf-jpeg

  21. #96
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    Twelve Thai nationals who were held hostage by Hamas have been freed, said Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Friday night.

    The Thai Foreign Ministry has confirmed the news, and Thai diplomats will be picking them up, Srettha said in his X. The names of the freed individuals will be disclosed in the near future, he said.

    Twenty-five Thai nationals working in Israel were held hostage by Hamas following the October 7 attack.

    Meanwhile, the Thai Foreign Ministry stated in its statement that its Embassy in Tel Aviv was alerted about the release. The 12 Thais had already entered Israel through Rafah, and at the time of the press, they were en route to Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) to receive medical care.

    They will remain there for 48 hours. The ministry mentioned that its diplomats will visit them at the Shamir Medical Center and the names of the individuals will be revealed later.

    The ministry welcomed this positive news and extended gratitude to the Egyptian government, ICRC, and all parties involved in the negotiation. It hopes that the remaining Thais held hostage will be freed soon.

    12 Thai hostages released by Hamas as a truce holds in Gaza

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    The government has approved the construction of two hydro-power projects with a capacity of 170 Megawatts (MW), valued at almost $450 million.

    The initiatives will benefit not only the province but also contribute significantly to the nation’s power supply, according to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

    The group approved Khmer Electrical Power Co Ltd’s investment of $447.5 million for the ventures on November 21.

    The Stung Russei Chrum Kandal Hydropower Plant, located in Koh Kong’s Mondul Seima district, will have a capacity of 70 MW. The 100MW Stung Veal Thmor Kambot facility is located in the province’s Thma Bang district.

    The construction of the plants is expected to create 230 new jobs and will adhere to a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, in which the company will erect and administer the stations for a contracted period before handing over control to the government or private sector.

    Koh Kong provincial governor Mithona Phouthong stated on November 22 that the investment will considerably enhance the country’s economic growth. She emphasised the role of increased electricity supply in attracting more investors and tourists to the province.

    “Every production chain, including services, all need electricity, so when there is more … it will help attract more investors to Cambodia,” she remarked.

    Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rattanak reflected on the country’s energy sector development since 1979 at the “Mines and Energy Policy in Cambodia” forum on November 21.

    He noted that electricity was initially limited to just a few hours in the evenings in capitals and major cities. However, post-1998, the power capacity surged from 150MW to over 4,000MW, a nearly 30-fold increase.

    Rattanak highlighted that over 62 per cent of current electricity usage comes from clean or renewable sources, with more than 40 per cent derived from hydropower. He contrasted this with the past reliance on diesel and oil, which produced a significant amount of pollution.

    “Our energy sector has already almost doubled the ASEAN average for the 2023 plan,” he added.

    Te Taingpor, president of the Federation of Associations for Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia (FASMEC), believes that more investors would be attracted if electricity prices could be reduced.

    He emphasised that affordable energy is crucial for competitive production costs and, consequently, international market competitiveness.

    “Fuel and electricity prices are important factors in attracting investors because [they] are key components for the production sector, in addition to the costs of raw materials and labour. When … prices are stable and low, investors will see opportunities in all these factors,” he explained.

    The Ministry of Mines and Energy’s 2022 report states that the Kingdom had a total electricity capacity of 4,246.77MW. Over 73 per cent of this is locally generated, with the remainder imported from neighbouring countries. By the end of 2022, nearly 90 per cent of households nationwide had access to electricity from the national grid.

    In addition to these hydro projects, the CDC also approved investments in six garment factories, totalling $32.26 million, which are expected to create 8,784 jobs.

  23. #98
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    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday announced the names of 10 Thai nationals held hostage in the Gaza Strip by Palestinian group Hamas who were released on Friday under a ceasefire deal.

    The ministry clarified that Hamas had released 10, not 12 Thai hostages as announced earlier.

    The ministry said officials of the Royal Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv on Friday visited the released Thai hostages at Shamir Medical Centre Hospital (Assaf Harofeh) while they were treated by the medical team.
    The released Thai hostages are:

    1. Natthawaree Moonkan
    2. Santi Boonphrom
    3. Boonthom Phankhong
    4. Mongkhol Phajuabboon
    5. Withoon Phumee
    6. Wichai Kalapat
    7. Bancha Kongmanee
    8. Buddee Saengboon
    9. Uthai Thunsri
    10. Uthai Sangnuan

    The embassy said it had notified their relatives in Thailand of their release, and was monitoring the treatment of the released hostages at the hospital, where they are required to stay for 48 hours.

    During their stay, the released hostages would be evaluated by Thai-speaking psychologists and social workers, the embassy said.

    The ministry added that the 10 released Thai hostages included four who had never been confirmed by Israeli authorities as having been taken hostage. The ministry estimated that 20 more Thais were still being held in Gaza. Earlier reports had said that a total of 26 Thais had been confirmed by Israel as taken hostage by Hamas.

    The ministry vowed to continue working for the release of the rest of the Thai hostages as soon as possible, while thanking related parties in supporting the negotiations with Hamas, including the governments of Qatar, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

  24. #99
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    Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara said the 10 Thai workers released by Hamas were generally in good condition, with the exception of one man who is suffering from a perforated eardrum.

    He added that the nine men and one woman released are in good humour and do not appear to be traumatised.

    The Thai embassy in Tel Aviv has been in contact with the families of the 10 former hostages, though direct communication with the released individuals may not have occurred yet.

    The minister said at present the former hostages’ main requests are to be allowed to shower and to speak to their families.

    Parnpree said the release of the Thai hostages was the result of coordinated efforts involving several countries, including Qatar, Iran, Egypt and other Arab nations.

    Thailand has written letters of gratitude to the countries that assisted, he said.

    Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, who is in Thailand on an official visit, assured Parnpree that there was no reason to worry. Ali said on Thursday that his country was working to resolve the situation promptly.

    Separately, Parnpree said the next step will be to ensure the return of the workers released on Friday. He said his ministry has been making preparations and expects to bring them back on commercial flights.

    They are currently undergoing verification procedures in Israel and should be ready to travel within 48 hours.

    The ministry added that 20 Thais were still being held hostage, an increase from the initial estimate of 26 persons, as four of the people released on Friday had not been included in the list of hostages.

    Parnpree said he hopes the remaining 20 being held by Hamas will also return unscathed like this group.

    Thousands of Thais work in Israel’s agricultural sector, and records show that they account for the most foreigners killed or missing since the October 7 attack.

    According to government statistics, 39 Thais have been killed in the war, while three remain in hospital.

  25. #100
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    The government will continue its efforts to secure the release of 20 Thai nationals still being held hostage by Hamas, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said.

    While on a mission in Sa Kaew province on Saturday, the premier, who also holds the Finance portfolio, thanked all relevant parties, including the Foreign Ministry and the Royal Thai Armed Forces, for securing the release of 10 Thai hostages on Friday.

    Nine Thai men and one woman were released by the militant group under a ceasefire deal with Israel. The group was immediately taken to the Shamir Medical Centre in Be'er Ya'akov in Israel for treatment.

    Srettha said Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara and Defence Forces chief General Songwit Noonpakdee will personally fly to Israel to bring the group home.

    However, he did not confirm the date of the group’s arrival as some of them had sustained injuries and needed treatment.

    The Foreign Ministry believes 20 more Thais are being held hostage in Gaza. Earlier reports said that Hamas had taken 26 Thai nationals.

    Srettha added that the government was negotiating with several foreign authorities, including Iran, to secure the release of Thai hostages. Iran’s deputy foreign minister is currently on an official visit to Thailand.

    “The government cannot reveal all details of the discussion due to security reasons, but will update the public whenever we can,” the premier said. “The top priority is to secure the release of 20 Thai hostages as soon as possible.”

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