Archive for the ‘ASEAN’ Category

Myanmar Military Prrpaing For Next Election

October 15, 2021

Myanmar’s coup regime has stepped up efforts to interchange the country’s electoral machine to Proportional Representation (PR), which might make it less complicated for smaller events to win parliamentary seats and might consequently advantage the army’s proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
Last year’s election, wherein the now-ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) humiliated the USDP, changed into held below the First Past the Post (FPTP) machine, which means that during every constituency the candidate with the maximum votes received a parliamentary seat whilst the dropping applicants’ votes have been discarded.
Under the junta’s plan, seats in parliament might accept events primarily based totally on the share of the vote they obtained nationwide. In each of the preceding elections, the NLD changed into offered a percentage of seats that changed into better than the share it secured of the country-wide vote.
The junta’s repeated guarantees to keep new elections withinside the wake of its February 1 coup had been extensively derided with the aid of using pro-democracy activists, who say any ballot held below the army’s authority can be illegitimate and that the NLD have to be unconditionally lower back to power.
Many of the junta’s opponents, inclusive of the shadow National Unity Government, have dedicated themselves to overthrowing the dictatorship with armed resistance, moves and boycotts.
Since early June, the junta has continuously promoted the PR machine in its newspapers. Earlier this month its election fee launched an ee-e boat outing the advantages of the machine titled Studying the Legislative Parliamentary Elections (Part 1).
The fee marketed the ee-ebook as “the solution to questions including which PR machine will be great to put into effect in an election and what form of an election have to be held below the 2008 Constitution.”
The ee-ebook is a must-have for applicants and events making plans to participate in upcoming elections, the fee stated.
Commission member Khin Maung Oo stated at a press convention in Naypyitaw overdue closing month that almost all the political events have agreed to interchange to the PR machine, even though he did now no longer specify how many.
“We have organized the vital legal guidelines, principles, manuals and publications in an effort to be capable of putting into effect the plan proper after the UEC has mentioned with the political events and made the selection,” he stated. He brought that a PR machine isn’t in opposition to the 2008 Constitution.
The fee, led with the aid of using the previous trendy Thein Soe, held numerous conferences with political events in overdue February and in May to talk about the PR machine, in step with representatives of events that attended.
Most events that attended received only a few votes withinside the preceding election, have been aligned with the army, or each.
Sai Aik Pao, chair of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), stated he attended the conferences however did now no longer say anything.
“They talked specifically approximately the PR machine. I assume there can be every other assembly on the give up of this month,” he stated. “We ought to pay attention to them provide an explanation for approximately it. We can’t determine whether or not or now no longer we’d receive it without paying attention to their explanation.”
On Saturday, Lieutenant General Win Bo Shein pointed out the PR machine in element all through an assembly with the National Solidarity and Peace Negotiation Committee (NSPNC), which a few political events attended, BBC Burmese reported.
Coup chief Min Aung Hlaing has been vocal approximately his choice to extra de to a PR machine.
He stated all through an assembly in Naypyitaw with contributors of his army council in August that a PR machine might be “all-inclusive” and permit for constituents’ voices to be higher represented.
“It is vital to amend the manner representatives are elected and the election machine,” he stated. “During its tenure, the authorities will make those amendments with the aid of using coordinating with everyone.”
It isn’t the primary time the army and its supporters have touted a PR machine. In 2012, after the NLD received almost every seat it contested with the aid of using elections a Lower House lawmaker from the National Democratic Force (PDF), a USDP ally, submitted an offer in parliament to talk about a circulate in the direction of PR.
The NDF’s chair Than Nyein additionally despatched the election fee proper advice to undertake the PR machine. The PDF once more submitted an offer withinside the USDP-ruled parliament urging a extrude to PR in 2014.
While the then-ruling USDP and the PDF have been in favor of the machine, NLD lawmakers in large part adversarial it, with their birthday celebration anticipated to land a majority withinside the 2015 election.
NLD MPs submitted an objection to the notion on the Constitutional Tribunal. The NDF’s efforts failed, after which parliamentary speaker Shwe Mann concluded the talk with the aid of using mentioning the tribunal and maintaining that FPTP changed into the most effective electoral machine that changed into in keeping with the Constitution.
Now that the army council has entire manipulate over the election fee and the constitutional tribunal, there are now no longer any hurdles for Min Aung Hlaing to put into effect PR.
Khin Maung Oo, the election fee member, stated the FPTP machine might nonetheless be utilized in Myanmar’s six self-administered areas and 29 constituencies for ethnic affairs minister positions withinside the subsequent election.
“We will nonetheless abide with the aid of using the electoral legal guidelines covered withinside the 2008 Constitutions in imposing the PR machine and we can now no longer extrude the number of MPs,” he stated at closing month’s press convention.
The PR machine has additionally confronted competition from numerous ethnic events. The Zomi Congress for Democracy birthday celebration’s secretary trendy, Pu Gin Kam Lian, stated he adversarial the machine earlier than at the grounds it might be tough to put into effect in Chin State.
The birthday celebration might now take its lead on whether or not to aid PR from the United Nationalities Alliance (UNA), a coalition of 15 ethnic political events, he brought.
“We ought to determine relying on the UNA’s selection. And we nonetheless don’t realize what the NLD goes to do. All people inclusive of the NLD agreed to boycott the 2010 election, however, we gave our aid while the NLD stated it might compete withinside 2012 with the aid of using-election,” he stated.
“We can’t rush the selection now as we don’t realize what’s going to appear subsequent,” he brought.
Sai Aik Pao stated the SNLD additionally adversarial PR below the USDP authorities. “We objected to the concept returned then due to the fact we didn’t apprehend it fully. We nonetheless can’t make a selection now because it’s nonetheless a pretty new concept for us,” he stated.
A founding member of the New Myanmar Foundation election tracking group, who requested now no longer to be named, stated it regarded the junta desired to keep an election soon, especially because it had used fake claims of voter fraud to justify its coup.
“It seems that the ASEAN is likewise pressuring them as they used voter fraud as an excuse,” she stated, relating to the ten-member bloc of Southeast Asian nations that Myanmar is a member of. “So plainly they may be maintaining every other election very soon.”

Thai Crime: Thai Police Arrest 4 Women For Drug Possesion

October 15, 2021

Four girls had been arrested and two hundred kilograms of compressed marijuana seized from one in every one of their cars in Hat Yai district.
Border patrol police and narcotics suppression officials arrested the 4 girls touring on a pickup truck and a car, which had been stopped for a seek on Soi Bunnakan in tambon Kho Hong on Wednesday.
The officers discovered two hundred kilograms of compressed marijuana really well worth around 10 million baht hidden withinside the pickup truck, stated Pol Maj Gen Atthawut OnApp, commander of the Border Patrol Police Region 4, in the course of a media briefing on Thursday.
The 4 suspects had been Sawittri Sirisatipanya, 30, Wiphawan Phanlert, 33; Nuan-Anong Thanpirom, 37, and Nittaya Suksa-, 37, all from Ratchaburi. Four cellular telephones had been seized from them.
During questioning, the suspects confessed to having been employed through an overseas booking for 160,000 baht to smuggle the medication from Saraburi province to Hat Yai district.
They had picked up the medication in Saraburi at around three am on Wednesday and arrived in Hat Yai around three pm on an identical day.
They then drove to a shopping center on this southern border district and waited there till 7 pm.
The suspects stated they had been requested to supply the medication in tambon Kho Hong as a person might come to select out up the medication, which might then be transported to the deep South after which to a neighboring country
The arresting police stated the medication was smuggled from Laos. The 4 girls claimed that they’d smuggled the medication for the primary time. They had been charged with having illicit capsules in Category five of their ownership with a rationale to sell.

New Software Being Created For Thais and Others To Deal With Files and Records

October 15, 2021

Tanee Sangrat, the spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, stated a brand new web-primarily based totally software referred to as the Thailand Pass gadget, in which humans can accumulate records and add documents, is being evolved for the kingdom’s Nov 1 reopening.
Tanee stated the Thailand Pass will update the CoE gadget and facilitate the submitting of an immigration shape referred to as the TM6 and a fitness statement shape referred to as T8.
However, the CoEs are nevertheless required for positive agencies of humans, together with individuals who want to go into the united states through land or sea, he stated.
As for vaccination certification, certificates can be authorized online via way of means of the Department of Communicable Disease Control beneath neath the Public Health Ministry, he stated.
According to Tanee, his ministry has authorized greater than 400,000 CoEs for Thai and overseas nationals so far.
The Public Health Ministry on Thursday mentioned 11,276 new Covid-19 instances and 112 greater fatalities recorded withinside the preceding 24 hour

Thai Crime: Thai Police Are Cracking Down On Street Racing

October 13, 2021

The Thai police are cracking down on street racing and have charged thousands of racers and tens of thousands of parents whose children participated in the races since the start of this year. Those who report street racing and the information that leads to an arrest are being rewarded with 3,000 baht.
According to Nation Thailand, deputy chief general Damrongsak Kittipraphas said officers had confiscated 320,973 motorcycles and motorbikes used in illegal races. According to the deputy chief, more than 3,000 street racers have been charged with violating the country’s Traffic Act, and more than 1,000 bike shops have been charged for doing illegal modifications on bikes.
Meanwhile, over 40,000 parents were charged with violating the Child Protection Act for allowing their children to participate in illegal street racing, either as racers or spectators.”
To crackdown on illegal street racing, officers set up a 400,000 baht tip-off fund. When a tip leads to an arrest, the individual will be rewarded with 3,000 baht.
TThis year, more than 1.2 million people have been charged with traffic violations.tions.ions. According to The World Health Organisation, the traffic conditions in Thailand are the worst in Southeast Asia, and among the most dangerous in the world. They report that around 20,000 people die in road accidents in Thailand each year, a figure of about 56 people per day.

Thai Tourism Operators Are Debating About 500 Baht Tourism Tax

October 13, 2021

Tourism operators are divided over a plan to impose a 500 baht “tourism tax” on foreign arrivals from next year. Nikkei Asia reports that some operators are concerned such a move could stifle tourism just as the country prepares to reopen. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi is the president of the Thai Hotels Association.”The fee to be implemented is a considerable amount for those visiting Thailand, where hotel rooms can be found for as little as 1,000 baht. Potential visitors will rethink their travel plans due to this fee.”THA’s southern chapter’s Kongsak Khoopongsakorn agrees that the tourism industry needs the funds, but the government should pay for it, not tourists.”The fund will help our tourism industry grow sustainably in several ways. However, I don’t believe the funds should come from tourists.”The former chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Chairat Trirattanajaraspon, says now is the right time to introduce a tourist tax as the sector recovers from the economic devastation caused by Covid-19.The Covid-19 pandemic has already indicated a clear need for the tax, and I think now would be a good time to implement it. It would be a very useful mechanism if we faced another crisis in the future to support the tourism industry.”The proposed fee was originally 300 baht, but it was raised to 500 baht earlier this month. It would replace the departure tax already imposed on departing passengers and would turn Thailand into an upscale destination for foreign tourists. The fee still needs Cabinet approval before it can take effect.It used to account for 20% of Thailand’s GDP before the Covid-19 pandemic decimated it. However, Thailand is now taking small steps to revive the industry, from sandbox schemes to quarantine-free entry for travelers from low-risk countries.

Thai Crime: Thai Man Confesses To Killing His Son

October 12, 2021

A man has admitted he killed his own son and buried the body in a forest in Na Mom district of this southern province, police said.
Pol Maj Gen Thiewtawat Nakhonsri, the Songkhla police chief, identified the man as Aroon Plodkaenthong, 41.
Mr. Aroon was arrested in Pa Bon district, Phatthalung province, on Saturday and was brought to Na Mom district in Songkhla for questioning.
On May 22, the body of an unidentified man, stuffed in a sack, was found buried in a forest near Moo 9 village in tambon Na Mom. The body was later identified to be that of Chanchai Plodkaenthong, 21, Mr. Aroon’s son.
Police learned from an investigation that Mr. Aroon and Chanchai’s mother divorced about 20 years ago. After the divorce, Mr. Aroon took Chanchai to live in Phatthalung’s Pa Bon district where he married another woman, who later bore him a son.
Chanchai continued living in the same house as his father, his new wife, and their son. Chanchai then married a girl called Ms. Kung and they had a son. All six shared the same house.
Ms. Kung told police that she had an affair with Mr. Aroon, her father-in-law. On April 30, Chanchai and Mr. Aroon went out together to tap rubber in Na Mom district, but Mr Aroon returned home alone and did not say where his son was.
When Chanchai’s body was found on May 22, she suspected Mr. Aroon had killed his own son after quarreling with him over the affair.
Ms. Kung’s information led police to arrest Mr. Aroon at the house on Saturday.
Police said that during questioning, Mr. Aroon admitted he killed Chanchai, but said it was because he was addicted to drugs and had tried to kill him on several occasions. Mr Aroon said nothing about his affair with Ms. Kung, his daughter-in-law.
Pol Maj Gen Thiewtawat said Mr. Aroon was initially charged with premeditated murder. The investigation was continuing.

Opposition Using Landmines To Inflict Heavy Damage On Myanmar Military

October 12, 2021

Resistance forces in upper Myanmar say they used landmines to inflict heavy casualties against junta soldiers in recent days.
The attacks against columns of soldiers in Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions caused scores of injuries, local armed groups said, though they were unsure of the exact number of deaths.
A chapter of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) in Mandalay Region’s ​​Thabeikkyin Township attacked a military convoy last Wednesday night at Three Mile village, just outside of the town of Takaung and near the border with Sagaing.
Thabeikkyin locals said the attack injured at least 30 junta soldiers. The convoy was apparently heading towards Htigyaing Township in Sagaing from Thabeikkyin, one of the locals said.
“Three Mile village is right next to the town of Takaung. We heard the sound of the explosion and a military vehicle was caught in the fire,” said the local.
There was also a small clash near the cemetery in the nearby village of Taung Ta Lone at the same time as the landmine attack, he added. “We could hear the exchange of gunshots but heard no one was injured in that battle.”
The PDF in Thabeikkyin said the next day that it attacked the convoy in collaboration with resistance fighters from Htigyaing. A military truck was destroyed and several junta soldiers were injured, its statement said, without specifying if anyone died.
Higuain has been the target of a junta crackdown aimed at crushing the armed resistance after civilians-turned-guerrillas burned down police outposts there last week.
Before its landmine attack in Takaung, the Thabeikkyin PDF’s missions consisted of assassinating suspected military informants and pro-junta local administrators, as well as destroying phone towers owned by Mytel, which is part-owned by the military.
In Sagaing’s Taze Township on Friday afternoon, guerrilla fighters used landmines to attack about 20 junta soldiers who were returning on foot after patrolling the village of Nabetgyi.
The Taze People’s Comrades (TPC) set the mines near a bridge that connects Nabetgyi with Thetkeitan village in the north of Taze. After one of the mines exploded there was a clash between the two groups.
The TPC said several junta soldiers died while a local said at least 18 soldiers were killed. Myanmar Now is unable to independently verify the figures.
“We could see them marching on foot,” said the local, who is close to the TPC. “They all fell down when the landmine exploded. Two then stood up and started shooting at everything and everyone they saw for about 30 minutes.”
Although only one mine exploded, the soldiers were grouped together on the bridge and many were therefore caught in the blast, the local said.
Resistance groups in upper Myanmar are outgunned by the junta’s forces and depend largely on homemade weapons, as well as whatever they can seize from defeated soldiers.
PDF troops at an undisclosed location in Sagaing Region in August (Supplied)
PDF troops at an undisclosed location in Sagaing Region in August (Supplied)
The Taze resident said guerrilla fighters find landmines highly effective compared to traditional muskets but are struggling to raise enough money to buy the necessary components to make the explosives.
“Every resistance force is having this problem now, but we’re all selling whatever we own to make more weapons. It’d be a lot better if the NUG could provide us with more weapons,” he said, referring to the underground National Unity Government.
The NUG has declared war on the junta and said it will unite Myanmar’s numerous resistance forces under one banner and establish a chain of command.
Many of those who have taken up arms, however, say they have still received little or no help from the NUG.

A mechanic was shot and killed in Taze on Friday morning for reasons that are unclear.

Kyaw Win, 48, who owned the Htoo Tawwin mechanic shop, was shot four times by two unknown attackers in civilian clothes at around 6am, according to a local.

“He was shot twice in the stomach and once in the leg. He was serving as an officer for a social service group helping civilians get oxygen supplies,” said the local, referring to efforts to assist people suffering from Covid-19.
“We still don’t know who perpetrated the attack. Two armed assailants on a motorbike shot him,” he added.
Since the killing, soldiers have conducted searches in the town and tightened security.
Residents in some villages in Taze have continued to hold daily protests against the junta despite deadly crackdowns against unarmed demonstrators.
Also on Friday, PDF fighters from Magway’s Saw Township used landmines to attack a column of around 100 junta soldiers as they walked alongside five military trucks.
At least five mines exploded in the ambush, which happened six miles outside of the township as the soldiers headed towards the town of Kyaukhtu.
“Given the type of landmines we used, there was no way for them to escape,” said a member of Saw PDF who identified himself as a battalion commander. “However, we have yet to confirm the exact number of casualties on the military’s side.”
He added that the junta soldiers also fired around 40 shots using both light and heavy weapons during their departure from Saw.
“They have been using this new strategy where the vehicles only carry the drivers and the rest of the troops just march on foot beside the vehicles,” he said, adding that the military column retreated to Saw after the attack.
The Saw PDF on Wednesday issued a statement warning civilians not to use the road connecting Saw and Kyaukhtu as there may be clashes.
Last month the Saw PDF said it attacked junta forces with landmines on a road that connects Saw with a town 20 miles north called Kan Gyi, injuring at least 10 soldiers.
The townships of Saw and Kyaukhtu are connected to Kanpetlet and Mindat in Chin State, where armed resistance against the junta has been tenacious.

Thai Pm Wants To Reopen Country More In November

October 12, 2021

Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday he will push for the opening of the country to fully vaccinated foreign tourists from at least 10 countries by November 1.
General Prayut said in a national broadcast that fully vaccinated tourists from at least 10 low-risk countries would be allowed to enter Thailand by air without quarantine.
The United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, China, and the United States are among the first countries to benefit from the move.
The CCSA and the Ministry of Public Health have been instructed to urgently consider allowing international visitors to enter Thailand without quarantine from Nov 1 if they are fully vaccinated and arrive by air from low-risk countries,” he said.
The president promised to open the gates to more countries by Dec. 1, and to target others by Jan. 1.
Tourists from countries not on the low-risk list would be admitted, but they would have to quarantine, he said.
Singapore and Australia also loosened the restrictions for citizens to travel overseas after the announcement.
With the decision to open the country next month, Gen Prayut hopes to attract foreign tourists to Thailand over the next three months, including the upcoming year-end holidays
They would revitalize the sector and related businesses that employed millions in the country, he said.
The government had earlier planned to open only Bangkok and several provinces for foreign tourists on Nov 1. The other provinces are Chon Buri (Pattaya City, Bang Lamung district, and Sattahip district), Phetchaburi (Cha-am district), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin district), and Chiang Mai (Muang, Mae Taeng, Mae Rim, and Doi Tao districts).
Monday’s announcement indicated that the reopening would cover all parts of the country
The announcement came after the country saw the number of fatalities drop below 100 in recent days, with new cases hovering around 10,000.
Although the situation was improving in most parts of Thailand, a surge of new infections continued in Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala. The southern border provinces were in the spotlight of health authorities who were mulling additional measures to clamp down on the spike in the areas.
Tourism was the main economic engine of the country before the pandemic hit last year. The industry contributed about 20% of GDP if both local and foreign visitors are included. Foreign tourists alone accounted for 15% of GDP, as the country welcomed almost 40 million visitors from abroad, especially Chinese.
Bank of Thailand estimates only 200,000 foreign arrivals this year, rising to 6 million next year.

Thai Crime: Bangkok Police Raid Drug Party That Had Been Raided In May

October 11, 2021

Bangkok police raided a drug party at a gay club that was previously busted for operating illegally in May. It was reported to the police that people were drinking and using drugs inside the large venue on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 21.
In the raid, 10 men were arrested and taken into custody as a result of the involvement of the Children and Women’s Welfare Supervision Division and local Wang Thong Lang officers.
Two buildings, one 3 stories and one 5 stories high, house the large venue with 50 different rooms, including karaoke, a sauna, and even a swimming pool.
As a result of the complaints of drugs and drinking in violation of Covid-19 and Thai anti-drug laws, police searched the premises and found several controlled and illegal substances.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, as well as Viagra and other aphrodisiacs, were taken into evidence by the police. Drug paraphernalia and drug-taking equipment such as syringes were also seized.
Deputy officers from the CWWSD confirmed that 57 people were arrested in May at the same venue. According to reports, the venue decided to reopen and continue operations secretly in the hope that the police would not discover them or arrest them again.
Despite being busted by the police and facing criminal charges previously, the 63-year-old owner still admitted he had no license to operate the business.
Police in Thailand has been cracking down on illegally opened bars, clubs, and entertainment venues, punishing owners, staff, and patrons.

Myanmar Military Suffered A Lot Of Casualties Last Month

October 11, 2021

Myanmar’s military regime has suffered its heaviest losses in a month since the Feb. 1 coup with over 1,500 soldiers killed as fighting mounts after the civilian National Unity Government (NUG) declared war on Sept 7.
NUG’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration reported that 1,562 soldiers were killed and 552 wounded – more than double August’s death toll – in attacks by ethnic armed groups and civilian resistance fighters between Sept 7 and Oct 6.
The civilian ministry stated that 953 attacks were made on military and administrative targets and military-owned businesses.
Yangon reported the highest number of explosions with 178, followed by Mandalay with 81.
Sagaing Region topped the list for violent clashes with 81, followed by Magwe Region, Kachin State, and Kayah State with 32, 30 and 22 clashes respectively, according to the report.
Since late March, people have taken up weapons, including slingshots, homemade air-guns, and firearms, to resist the junta in response to the killing of peaceful, anti-regime protesters across the country.
Resistance forces step up operations against the regime after the NUG declared war against the regime on Sept 7.
The military regime’s spokesman, Major General Zaw Min Tun, admitted that attacks on junta personnel increased in Yangon and Mandalay after the NUG’s announcement.
On Oct 3, around 100 junta soldiers were killed in 37 attacks, including firefights with junta troops, ambushes on military convoys, and raids on security outposts and military-owned businesses.
In June and July, around 1,130 soldiers were killed and in August, around 580 soldiers were killed, according to the NUG.
The junta forces have also escalated inspections, arrests, raids and violence, including burning down and bombarding residential areas, especially in the resistance strongholds of Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin and Kayah states.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which monitors arrests and killings by junta forces, at least 1,160 people have been killed and more than 8,800 arrested since the coup.
Topics: civil disobedience movement, civilian deaths, Coup, crackdown, Democracy, Human Rights, junta, military in politics, military regime, Min Aung Hlaing, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, National League for Democracy, National Unity Government, November 8 general election, PDF, People’s Defense Force, people’s war, Political Prisoners, Rule of Law, State Administrative Council, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Tatmadaw