Posts Tagged ‘Bangkok’

Thai Bits: Some Schools Will Not Open On June 14th, Bangkok District Officials: SIlom Market COVID-19 Infections Are Being Exaggerating

June 11, 2021

Some Schools Will Not Be Open To Students On June 14th, 2021

The new school year will begin on June 14, 2021, but on-site learning will be prohibited in Bangkok and three neighboring provinces, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced June 10, 2021.
Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokesperson for CCSA, said the Education Ministry approved starting the new school year on June 14, 2021.
Classrooms will remain closed in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan, which will rely on remote learning for students.
Dr. Apisamai said the provincial communicable disease committees could halt the reopening of classrooms if an area was deemed unsafe due to transmission of Covid-19.
Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan are the areas hit hardest by the third wave of novel coronavirus disease.

Bamgkok District Believes That Number of People Infected From Silom Market Was Exagerated

The Bang Rak district office in Bangkok has denied reports that 310 people were infected with Covid-19 at the Lalai Sap market. The district is seeking vendors’ cooperation to suspend trading for 3 days between June 10 and June 12 2021 in order to conduct deep cleaning and mass testing. Silom market has been ordered indefinitely closed.
Recently, the district office said on its Facebook page that there have been just 13 infections at the market on Silom Soi 5 since May 26, 2021. Nine members of the family were deemed at risk.
The Covid-19 virus will be tested on 1,000 people at the market on Friday between 9am and 2pm, as well as local residents, officials said.
The district has asked vendors at the market for their cooperation in suspending trading from June 10 to June 12 for deep-cleaning and mass testing.
People are being urged to stop sharing fake news and help spread correct information.

In Bangkok, Soon, A Thai Can Go To The Local Mall And Get A COVID-19 Vaccination

May 9, 2021

Soon, a Thai will be able to go shopping at the local mall in Bangkok and get a COVID-19 vaccination as well. Expats will hopefully be able to do the same.
Bangkok City Hall is soon going to have COVID-19 stations at the Bangkok mall near you. So far, they plan to have 25 of these stations.
On Saturday, May 8th, 2021, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwarmuang met with Thai Chamber of Commerce reps to discuss how they will work together regarding vaccination distribution.
The chamber and BMA had worked out a deal to set up 14 vaccination stations outside hospitals.
SCG head office in Bang Sue, Central Plaza Ladprao, The Mall Bangkapi, Robinson Lat Krabang, Tesco Lotus Minburi, Samyan Mitrtown, True Digital Park, Thanya Park, Asiatique, Central Plaza Pinklao, Iconsiam, a PTT station on Rama II Road, The Mall Bangkae and Big C Bang Bon are the locations of the 14 vaccination stations.
After the chamber recommended 11 more sites, equipment is being prepared, and the BMA Health Department will check everything to make sure everything meets the standard requirements.
Each of the 25 vaccination sites will be able to inoculate 1,000 to 3,000 people a day, according to the BMA. With 25 vaccination sites, 38,000 to 50,000 people will be vaccinated a day.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will open the system the following day. A demonstration of the system will take place at Central Plaza Ladprao on Tuesday, May 11th,2021.
The venue plans to inoculate 1,000 people a day, from 8 am to 5 pm. The targeted groups are medical frontline workers and people in at-risk occupations, such as garbage collectors in BMA’s 50 districts and teachers. The other vaccination venues will soon be open.
There are more than 160,000 teachers in Bangkok working in pre-school, primary, secondary, and vocational education levels. At Saturday’s meeting, participants decided to give priority to medical frontline staff, as well as teachers who interact closely with students.
The BMA indicates that high-risk groups with seven chronic diseases and the elderly will get shots after these groups get vaccinated.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported 1,112 cases out of 2,419 new cases reported in Bangkok on Saturday, the highest of any province.

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Thai PM Gets Fined For Not Wearing Face Mask at Cabinet Meeting by Bangkok Governor

April 27, 2021

Even if you prepare everything beforehand, there is always a chance that you will forget something. The Thai PM was fined about 6,000 baht when the Bangkok governor found out he forgot his mask for the cabinet meeting.
After the cabinet meeting, a photo of the PM without a mask was shared on the Prime Minister’s Facebook page. It was deleted later, but too late. Netizens already noticed that he had forgotten to wear a mask to an April 26th, 2021 meeting.
At the end of the cabinet meeting on April 26th, 2021, Bangkok Governor Asiwin Kwarmuang went to the Government House to meet with an officer from the Dusit district police station in Bangkok and the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief. When he met with the PM, he revealed that he violated the law by wearing a face mask in public and was fined 6,000 Thai baht. The usual maximum fine for this offense is 20,000 Thai baht. It could be less for a first-time offense.
Afterward, when the Bangkok governor spoke to the media, he said the prime minister was happy to pay the fine. This could be an example for us all.

Note: Bangkok is a province rather than a city, so it has a governor to manage it, not a mayor.

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Myanmar Pageant Contestant Speaks Out About Myanmar Military Crackdown

April 6, 2021

What an Asian beauty pageant says at a pageant usually is not newsworthy, but what Han Lay, Miss Grand Myanmar, said at her pageant made headlines.
According to Han Lay, many people are dying in her country. People should attempt to help Myanmar, and they should do it soon.
Han Lay, a 22-year-old, was on the streets of Yangon protesting against the Myanmar junta a month ago.
The Myanmar military took control of the country on February 1, 2021, using the excuse that the election won by the opposition was not fair.
Many people took to the streets, and the military used water cannons to disperse them. A week after that, they used rubber bullets, and then they used live ammunition.
More than 500 people have been killed since February 1st. According to Save The Children, 45 of those killed were children.
Han Lay, a student of psychology at the University of Yangon, decided to talk about her home country on a global stage at the pagest.
Her interview with the BBC in Bangkok said that she knew reporters were being detained and wanted to tell the world about it.
After the pageat, she decided to stay in Thailand for the next three months because she was concerned that the Myanmar military may come after her.
The reason why Han Lay is so worried about my safety and my friend is because she has been talking a lot about the military and the Myanmar situation. Since she is from here, she knows there are limits to what can be said.
Friends have advised her that she should not return to Myanmar.
Two journalists, social media influencers and 18 celebs have been on the names of Myanmar’s National Security and Intelligence Service since the coup last week. They have reported “bad things” about the coup.
Her speech at the pageat left her with no contact with the military or any Myanmar official. When she looks at her social media accounts, people have made threatening comments against her.
They threaten her on social media and say that prison awaits her. She has no idea who is making the threatening remarks. Most of her social media has actually been supportive.
An activist group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), believes that about 2,500 people have been placed in jail by the Myanmar military.
One of her friends was killed when he went to a restauran to get some coffe and he was shot by someone.
Her home country is in really bad shape.

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2 Protests Were Dispersed On A March Sunday By Bangkok Police

March 30, 2021

According to the Bangkok Post, the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) (Bangkok police) cleared a protest site as well as 99 demonstrators from the Government House.
The Government House is where the Thai parliament meets.
The MPG dispatched four companies of police officers at 6 in the morning Bangkok time (6 pm Eastern Standard Time) to deal with two groups of protesters. Most demonstrators returned near the Government House later in the day after being kicked out of the grounds of the building in the morning.
Demonstrators are demanding the release of the members who were arrested in the morning. They want a new Constitution to be enacted and for Section 112 of the criminal code to be abolished. There is a section in Thai law that deals with lese majeste, which means that you cannot say bad things about the King of Thailand.
The deputy commissioner of the MPB, Major General Piya Tawichai, announced that 99 protesters were arrested overall after the two protests.
They were taken to Border Patrol Police Region 1 headquarters in Pathum Thani on Rangsit Road. This would be near Future Park Rangsit, one of the largest malls in Thailand.
Piya believes that they would, at first, would be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Control Act and the emergency (two laws that have to with COVID-19)
after they were arrested, two monks were apprehended at Wat Benjamaborphit near site of the protest. It can only be assumed that this means that they had to take off their monk clothes and wear normal clothes before going to jail.
Piya believes that the protest was illegal as they had trespassed on government property. It did not they vandalized fixtures in the area.
Police Major General Chiraphat Bhumichtir, the deputy MPB commissioner, said that the police had received complaints of traffic congestion and loud noises that were caused by the protest. It should be noted that loud noise and traffic congestion are regular occurrences in Bangkok.

Two one-liter bottles of kratom leaf juice and half a kilogram of marijuana were confiscated inside the tent behind the protest stage. Condoms and sex toys were also some of the things found near a protest site. This does sound more like a party than a protest.
There were two groups of protesters or partiers, depending on your point of view.
The first group was ethnic Karen people from the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi, a province only about 2 hours east of Bangkok. They had been there from earlier this month. They were demanding justice for all ethnic minorities in Thailand. The government has been accused of burning down a village in Kaeng Krachan National Park in 2011.
A second group is from Nakhon Ratchasima, also called Korat, one of the largest provinces in Thailand. They were there in order to obtain government reforms. On March 14th, 2021, this group had come and merged with the first group, leaving them as one group protesting against the government establishment.
On a Sunday morning in March 2021 at 6 am in morning, four companies from the Protection and Crowd Control Division police arrived. They used loudspeakers to tell all the protesters to pack their stuff and leave the vicinity in three minutes.
The protesters really wanted more than three minutes to leave, but they were arrested in three minutes anyway.
The ordnance disposal and forensic police arrived after the protesters were arrested.
There were many protesters from the morning at Chamai Maruchet Bridge near Government House at 3 pm. They then had a live music performance where they complained about how they dispersed them earlier.
The protesters had gone onto the streets holding banners with anti-government messages about two and a half hours later, about 5:30 pm, the crowd control police moved in and closed the traffic at the intersection of Hang Loeng and Miskawan.
The police re-issued an ultimatum to these protesters at 6 pm. The protesters must leave the area or they will face legal action.
After the ultimatum was ignored, cops swung in from Wat Benchamabophit and Phitsanulok and

arrested 32. Most of these protesters had photos of their leaders, who are in jail without bail.
This probably will not be the last protest at or near the Government House.

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Test Runs on New Red Line in Bangkok

March 26, 2021

Test runs on the new Red Line subway train route will commence on March 26th, 2021. This new line will run to the new rail hub at Bang Sue Grand Station.
The line will run from Rangist in the northern part of Bangkok to Taling Chan in the western part of Bangkok. It will pass right through Bang Sue Grand Station.
On the 26th, Transport Minister Saksayan Chidchob launched the first test run. He believes commuters can use the line at no charge starting in July. It will be commercial in November. Tickets range in price from 12 Thai baht to 42 Thai baht.
You can purchase a pre-paid ticket card for 700 baht for 10 trips, which means that your trip would be only 35 Thai baht. You can also purchase a 900-baht card for 30 Thai baht or 1200 baht for 50 trips.
Bang Sue Grand Station will be the largest railway hub in the Southeast Asian region. High-speed, airport, long-distance, and commuter trains will all converge here.

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Sumat Prakan Has Become A New Thai Hotspot

March 22, 2021

As of March 3rd, 2021, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) in Thailand announced that Samut Prakan, a Thai province, has become a flashpoint again because some migrants have been found with the pandemic.
According to Opas Karnkawinpong, the director-general of DDC, 17 workers were diagnosed with the pandemic and then 584 people were placed under close supervision.
A 29-year-old worker from Myanmar is believed to have been the most recent patient zero at Samut Prakan. When she tested positive for the pandemic, the DDC decided to test migrant workers at camps on Sukhumvit 106. The road starts in Bangkok and goes to Cambodia. The road is one of the longest in Thailand. After testing, an additional 16 workers were infected. There were 10 Cambodians, 4 Thais, and two Myanmar people.
The COVID-10 Situation Administration (CCSA) reports that 45 infections were recorded in hospitals on Sunday and 26 were found by mass testing. Most of the infected area is in Samut Sakan, with 81 infected.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 27,594 cases. The total deaths has been 90. 53,842 have been vaccinated. The total Thai population is about 70 million.
Recently, the focus of the CCSA has been to stop the spread of an outbreak that started in Bang Khae. Cases from this outbreak have been detected in Songkhkla and Si Sa Ket.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) reports 384 people have been infected with COVID-19 in the Bang Khae cluster, including those who visited markets. An additional 16 people were infected after visiting markets in Bang Khae.
Vaccinated from the Bang Khae cluster are approximately 2,600 people.
BMA has set up a second field hospital close to Rajpipattana Hospital in the district of Thawi Wattana. The BAM opened its first field hospital last January near Bang Khunthian Hospital, containing 600 beds.

About 1,200 respondents were surveyed by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University recently regarding the impact of the pandemic on their savings.
Some 47$ of their respondents’ savings have gone down, while about 22% think that their credit card debt is very deep.
Around 43% of respondents had to borrow money from family members. 33% of respondents had to borrow money from a bank while 28% had to borrow money from friends and colleagues. This is according to a Suan Dusit Poll.

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The 2010s: The Red is Dead

June 4, 2010

He was the most famous victim of the recent Thai turmoil was Major General Khattiya Sawasdipol, mostly known by his nickname of Seh Daeng (Thai for Red Commander).

He spent his last moments as he did for the last few weeks: inspecting the red shirt security around the red shirt protest on Ratchaprasong and Ratchadamri roads. He stopped to talk to the press near the Sala Daeng intersection. Shots rang out. One bullet hit him in the forehead and he fell to the ground. He did not survive this wound. He died a few days later as the city burned as he wanted it to.

When he was younger, he supposedly helped the Americans in their “secret” (can’t be a secret when everybody knows about it) war against Communists in Laos and Cambodia. He allegedly went undercover as a Communist. There is no proof that he did any of these things. The only evidence is that he turned his experiences into books. These books were very popular in Thailand. He became one of the most well-known soldiers in Thailand.

During the last ten years, he became an ardent supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra and his people. This, of course, developed into a problem when the new non-Thaksin government came into power 18 months ago. He went to red shirt rallies and vocally voiced his oppositions to the governments as well as to the head of the Thai military. They first punished him by demoting him and making him teach an aerobics class. He said he would teach them the “throw-the-grenade-over-the-head” exercise. Despite this punishment, he continued to speak out against the government and they finally suspended him after few months. There was a rumor going around that the military was slow to suspend because he had high friends in the military who were protecting him. Presumably, he was not part of the military when he died.

The only known duties that he was doing at the time were for the Red shirts.

I do not support the Redshirts, but I could never like a person like Seh Daeng, no matter what sided he was on. He seemed to relish talking about violence and wanting it to happen. There was never going to be peace as long as he part of the Redshirts or any other Thai group. After he died, there was peace, but only after many people died.

Seh Daeng is dead and I hope there is no one to replace for his kind of evil should stop when he or she is dead.

Memories of Burnt Things

June 4, 2010

After the government finally broke up the Red shirt rally on May 19th, 2010, the red shirts who were not put in jail, reacted by trying to burning down buildings and causing even more violence. To me, the Red shirts reverted ti what they have always been: sore losers.
In 2008, Thaksin Shinawatra and his people which included the Red shirts, had to two chances to control the Thai government. They failed due to the Yellow shirts and their own stupidity. They just couldn’t help being corrupt and breaking laws. After backing two losing horses, they decided to back the second largest party in the Thai parliament, the Democratic Party. Through parliamentary maneuvers, the new government was formed with the Democratic Party controlling reins of power.
Instead of accepting that they lost, the Red shirts have spend the last year and a half trying to bring the government down. It is true that it was not the best way to form a government, but you do have to accept it. Your side lost and you should spend the time until the next election making sure that you rule the parliament without a coalition. You don’t trash an ASEAN summit. You don’t have riots during the Songkran Festivel of April 2009. You don’t try to get amnesty for Thaksin Shinawatra from the King of Thailand in an illegal way. Only the family of the accused can ask for amnesty and the accused have to be in jail. You don’t shut down the city of Bangkok. You don’t burn down buildings. Politically, the Red shirts should have their status of losers and try to work within the system to become the winners they want to be.
Thaksin and his people have twice not accepted losing gracefully. God knows what is going to happen if they lose the third time.

Thailand Political Players 2006

December 5, 2009

If you live in Thailand or have read about this country in the last months, you know that the political situation is quite messy. It is so messy that it would certainly take more than 900 words to describe the situation fully. The best I can do is at least tell you who some of the players in this mess:

  1. Thaksin Shinawatra: The last official prime minister of Thailand and the instigator of the mess. He was a police officer in Chaing Mai, Thailand, and resigned from the ranks to start his own company, using his police contacts. His company was the Shin Corporation and it became the biggest corporation in Thailand by running a mobile call service called AIS. For some reason, he stepped down from this company and he started a political party called Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) (rak meaning love in Thai). He became the prime minister in 2001 and did a lot of things that eventually would cost him his job. He viciously put down his critics. He called NGOs (non-government organizations) lazy lunatics when they didn’t like what he was doing. When there was a drug war by the government in 2003 that killed 3000 people and the UN human rights complained, he said that the UN was not his father. He had some scandals. The Burmese government bought a Shinawatra Corp. satellite with a loan from the Thai government. The buying of a bomb detector in the new international airport in Bangkok was very suspicious. The big scandal that brought him down was Temasek, a Singapore company, It bought Shinawatra Corp. for 1.9 billion dollars and he had to pay no taxes. This is when the Thai people finally got angry and he had to resign as prime minister.
  2. Chavalit: A former prime minister who is partly responsible for the Thai economy collapsing in 1997. He became a part of the TRT government as a Deputy Prime Minister. Thai soldiers were inspecting bombs at an arsenal and accidentally caused one of them to explode, destroying a nearby village, When he went to the village, he criticized the villagers for living too close to the village. He retired then he rejoined the government to help the government help fight poverty despite his bungling of the economy in 1997
  3. Chalerm: A mobster who occasionally gets involved in politics. He has three sons. Two of them who are police officers spent 5 years starting fights in Thai bars. The only thing that stopped them was that bar owners were beginning to bar them from their establishments unless they stopped their fighting ways. The youngest son was accused of killing a cop in a nightclub and was found not guilty due to lack of evidence even though he did it in front of 200 people. He ran for the governor of Bangkok in the last election and lost. What he is currently doing has not been reported by the newspapers.
  4. Chuwit: He bribed police officers and military people to demolish property that he was having legal problems with. He was not punished for this act and actually became famous for this act. He became a politician and ran for the governor of Bangkok. He lost. He formed his own political party then quickly dissolved it to join a more established party. He became a Thai Senator and he is a not Senator now because he did not run in the last election due to more legal problems. Once his problems are resolved, he will probably come back. He did run for governor again, but had to stop because he punched a reporter. 
  5. Samak: The last governor of Bangkok and future Thai Senate speaker. As governor, he did not very interested in the position; he seemed more interested in his cooking show. He had a website that was devoted to his cooking show, not the Bangkok government. He said that the Bangkok flooding was due to mother nature. He said that all rubbish bins should be removed to beautify the city of Bangkok during a summit of world leaders that was held in Bangkok once. A year before the end of his term, he said that the problems of Bangkok were too much for him. He did not run for governor and ran for the Senate this year. He won.
  6. Apirat: The current governor who actually seems to do constructive things for the city of Bangkok and has not made any strange statements or has had any scandals.
  7. Abhisit: The head of the Democratic Party and wants to be the next prime minister when they resolve the mess caused by Thaksin’s resignation. He seems to be competent and has not done anything to question his competency.     
  8. Banharn Silpa-archa: The head of the Chart Thai Party. His nickname is The Eel. His party usually forms a coalition with the party that has the most seats, but not enough to dominate Parliament. It makes sure that his party is part of the people in charge. It does mean that you are never sure what he is going to do. He is slippery like an eel.