Posts Tagged ‘Thais’

Anti-Government Protestors In Many Provinces Protested The Thai PM’s COVID-19 Policy

August 2, 2021

On August 1st, 2021, anti-government protesters took to the streets in Bangkok and other provinces, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
From Democracy Monument in the center of Bangkok to Don Mueang airport, drivers honked horns and motorcyclists raised their three fingers in a gesture of resistance inspired by “The Hunger Games” movie.
A 47-year-old protester speaking from his car revealed only his first name “Chai” for fear of government reprisals: “We can barely make a living now, all of my family members have been affected.”
“The government failed to provide vaccines on time, and many of us have not received any vaccine,” he said, “The government will ignore us if we don’t come out to make our calls.”
There were also protests in Tak, Khon Kaen, Kanchanaburi, Surat Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Phetchabun, and Nakhon Ratchasima.
An organizer from Nakhon Sawan seeking anonymity said, “We cannot accept the mismanagement of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on the Covid issue.”
In Kanchanaburi, Jessica Iem-un, a rally coordinator, expressed the same level of frustration, saying that the government should step down because it failed to handle the pandemic.
By the end of 2021, the government intends to inoculate 50 million people, but only 5.8% of the population is fully vaccinated, while 21% have received at least one dose.
Thailand reported 18,027 new cases and 133 more deaths from Covid-19 on August 2, bringing the total number of accumulated cases to 615,314 and the number of fatalities to 4,990.

Personal Note: There was indeed a protest in Ubon Ratchathani on August 21, 2021, in the afternoon. I could hear it from my house.

I could hear it, but I could not see it. A foreign friend told me today that there was a protest at the Rajabaht Univesity in Ubon. It is very close to my home.

I wish that I could have seen it and taken photos.

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A Look At Thai-Americans

July 19, 2021

A Look at Thai-Americans

According to Pew Research Center343,000 Thai Americans lived in the United States in 2019. The majority of Thai-Americans in the United States live in California.

33,000 Thai-Americans live in Los Angeles, making the city the largest location of Thai people outside of Thailand.

New York City also holds a large portion of America’s Thai Americans. Around 11,000 Thai people live in New York City. According to Asian American Federation64 percent of New York City’s Thai population is foreign-born.

The United States is allied with Thailand. In Southeast Asia, Thailand is a valued ally for the United States and the promotion of American interests in the region.

Thailand and the United States work together in countering narcotics, human trafficking, and wildlife trafficking.

America also supplies military training and weapons to Thailand.

Since 1950, Thailand has received U.S. military equipment, essential supplies, training, and other assistance in the construction and improvement of facilities.  We have $2.85 billion in ongoing Foreign Military Sales and an annual slate of more than 400 joint military exercises and engagements.

from U.S. State Department’s “U.S. Relations With Thailand

Charles Djou: First Thai U.S. Representative (2010-11)

Charles Djou is the son of a Chinese father and Thai mother. He was born in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of Pennsylvania. He later got his Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California.

Djou rose in fame throughout Hawaiian politics, becoming the House minority leader in the Hawai’i State House of Representatives. Prior to that, Djou served as Vice Chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party.

Djou won a 2010 special election for one of Hawaii’s two congressional seats. In Congress, he served on the House Budget committee and the House Armed Services committee.

Charles Djou broke from the Republicans several times during his short time in the House. He supported a repeal of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,” and supported a version of the DREAM Act.

Djou Out of Power

He lost re-election in 2012. In 2011, he suspended his campaign for months as he was deployed to Afghanistan.

He described his role during efforts at counterinsurgency in Afghanistan with Politico.

“A good chunk of them, I made the decision to let ’em go. Part of that is we didn’t have good evidence. Part of that is because when you’re in a counter-insurgency environment, you want to be extra cautious. You don’t want to detain a local villager, who really is innocent, and then basically just anger the village and the family and turn all of them against Americans.”

Charles Djou in “Charles Djou serves Afghanistan stint

Djou failed to win election to the House again in 2014, and he lost a bid for Honolulu mayor in 2016.

Today, Djou is attaining a Master’s degree from the United States Army War College. He is no longer a member of the Republican Party and endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

He is an independent and cited Trump’s personal character as his reason for leaving the GOP.

Tammy Duckworth: First Thai U.S. Senator

Tammy Duckworth was born in Bangkok in 1968. She and her family moved to Honolulu before Duckworth attended the University of Hawai’i. She would later earn a Master’s degree from George Washington University.

Duckworth speaks both Thai and Indonesian fluently.

In 2004, Duckworth’s life changed forever. While serving as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot in the Iraq War, Iraqi militants shot down her helicopter.

Duckworth lost both of her legs and partial movement in her right arm. This remarkable survival story makes her easily recognizable as she is the only wheelchair-bound U.S. Senator currently serving. She now uses prosthetic legs along with her wheelchair.

“When I see myself wearing those legs in a mirror, I see loss. But when I see this”—she gestures toward the steel-and-titanium prosthesis attached to her thigh above her right knee—“I see strength. I see a reminder of where I am now. People always want me to hide [my wheelchair] in pictures. I say no! I earned this wheelchair. It’s no different from a medal I wear on my chest. Why would I hide it?”

Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in Vogue’s “Senator Tammy Duckworth on the Attack That Took Her Legs—And Having a Baby at 50

During her medical recovery in Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C., Duckworth began to realize the insufficient services given to veterans. She referred to Walter Reed as the “petting zoo” as many high-profile politicians came for photo-ops with veterans while doing nothing to help them.

She won election to the House in 2012 and to the Senate in 2016.

Aside from being the first Thai-American in the U.S. Senate, Duckworth is also the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office. Much of Duckworth’s work involves women’s rights, Asian-American rights, and veterans affairs.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) at Senator Duckworth’s baby shower.

She was also on Joe Biden’s list of potential vice-presidential picks. Her memoir is titled Every Day is a Gift: A Memoir by Tammy Duckworth.

Conclusion

As we can see from Charles Djou and Tammy Duckworth, the legacy left behind by Thai-Americans on U.S. politics is immense, despite their numbers being small. Two war veterans of different parties both shaped the way that Americans view issues such as war, immigration, motherhood, and the acceptable behavior of a president.

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I like to thank Quinton Choy for this article. If you would like to email him, you can email him at wethecommoners@outlook.com. If you would like to write about Thailand, gaming or Myanmar, you can send the article to tomtardis@yahoo.com.

The Thai Government Sets The Goals of the Bangkok COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

May 13, 2021

One of the main focus of the vaccination effort is to get 5 million Bangkok resident within 2 months so that Bangkok can reach herd immunity as soon as possible.
So far, only 5 percent of the Bangkok population have been vaccinated against the pandemic.
Since April 2021, about 20,000 people have been infected by COVID-19.
The goal of the Public Health Ministry is administer 100,00 doas per dfay in Bangkok. The areas around the new Bang Sue Railway Central Station are going to be used as a vaccination hub. Officially, only people 18 and older in Bangkok can get the vaccination. Other resident and migrants who are not registered will still be part of Bangkok’s vaccination campaign, according to deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department.
The AsatraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines will be a part of the mass vaccination campaign, according to the chairperson of the government’s sub-committee on vaccination management, Sopon Mekthon.
In May 2021, the Thai government does expect more vaccine deliveries including 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca doses and 2.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
Recently, the Khlong Toey area of Bangkok has become a hotspot and a mass viccantiona campaign has already started. Hundreds of people have been tested positive. Some of the infected cannot afford to take time off work to self-isolate. The crowded conditions in this poor community have not helped, either.
Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai PM, says that so far, the number of people registered to get the vaccine is below what the Thai government.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says those who have now registered for a Covid-19 vaccine is below the target set by the government. Approximately 1.6 million people who are over 60, or who have an underlying health condition that puts them at risk of a severe Covid-19 infection, have signed up for the vaccine, of whom only 500,000 are in Bangkok. The Thai PM also said the following:
“We need to vaccinate as many people as possible so that Thailand can move forward… All types of (Covid-19) vaccines imported by the government are extremely safe and effective, as they are certified by the Public Health Ministry. They are used by millions worldwide, including many country leaders.”
Thailand plans to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of the year.

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Thai Bits: Expats In Thailand Can Set Appointment For Vaccine in June, BOI Promotion Working, Thai Holidays in May

May 10, 2021

Foreigners eligible to register for vaccines in June 2021

The Thai government has stated that foreigners living and working in Thailand will receive vaccinations and should be able to sign up in June, but the Mor Phrom app cannot register foreigners and the government is still working on a way of registering foreign residents.
Priority groups include medical workers, the elderly, people with one or more diseases, people living in clusters, people living in the border areas and foreign health volunteers.
As of June 1, foreigners working at embassies, international institutions and foreigners legally residing in Thailand will be eligible for the locally manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine based on their health and willingness to be vaccinated.

BOI promotion rose 143% year-on-year in Quarter 1

In the first quarter of 2021, foreign direct investment projects that applied for special BOI promotion rose 143 percent year on year. South Korea, China and Singapore dominated the top three source countries during the January-March quarter, with combined application value reaching 62 billion baht. Medical services grew the fastest. During April, 75 companies with an investment value of almost 8 billion baht applied for Foreign Business Licenses, focusing mainly on petroleum extraction, logistics services, mass transit services, advertising, and marketing.

Thai Holidays in May

Coronation Day, May 4th,2021
This celebrated the crowning of the current king of Thailand: Rama 10 or Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun.

Royal Ploughing Day, May 10th, 2021`
In one of the Buddhist temples in Bangkok, a buffalo or cow goes around the temple 9 times as 9 is considered lucky in Thailand. After completing his journey, the buffalo or cow is given food. If it likes the food, it will be a good Thia harvest. IF it does not like the food, ti will be a bad harvest.

Visakha Bucha Day, May 26th,2021
The three major events in the life of Buddha are commemorated on Visakha Bucha Day: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death.
During Visakha Bucha Day, the devout visit their local temples to attain merit by giving donations and participating in various rituals. During their stay, they listen to sermons on Buddha’s teachings, meditate, recommit themselves to follow the precepts of Buddhism, and serve food to temple workers. Some also set free birds or fish as a method of eliminating negative karma.
Thai law prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages on Visakha Bucha Day, so many bars close temporarily. Many of Thailand’s celebrations are religious and private, but tourists are allowed to visit the many temples.

Starting April 21st Phuket Imposes New COVID-19 Restrictions

April 21, 2021

As of Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, the Phuket Governor announced that there would be additional entry restrictions due to COVID-19.
If you fly into Phuket without that proof of vaccination, you will have to take a COVID-19 test for 300 baht at the airport, about 10 dollars. You should have proof that you are COVID-19 free.
In case you come to Phuket after April 21st, you may test positive for COVID-19 and end up in a field hospital. This should not happen if you have gotten a vaccine.
At the Thachatchai in Phuket (assuming you took the ferry as Phuket is an island) only drivers from the red zone provinces have to follow new restrictions. You will not have to do the paperwork if you come from an orange zone.
You should download Mor Chana and register at http://www.gophuget.com before visiting Phuket. This app will keep track of your movements so officials can get in touch with you if they need to.
The Thai government wants people to limit their travel, especially in red zone provinces. The following are the red zone provinces:

  1. Bangkok
  2. Chiang Mai
  3. Chon Buri
  4. Samut Prakan
  5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
  6. Samut Sakhon
  7. Pathum Thani
  8. Nakhon Pathom
  9. Phuket
  10. Nakhon Ratchasima
  11. Nonthaburi
  12. Songkhla
  13. Tak
  14. Udon Thani
  15. Suphanburi
  16. Sa Kaeo
  17. Rayong
  18. Khon Kaen

You can expect other provinces to enact similar restrictions over the next few days.

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What is the Songkran Festival in Thailand?

April 11, 2021

In the month of April in Thailand, there is almost always the Songkran Festival. It usually happens on April 13th, 14th, and 15th. In 2021, Songkran will begin on the 12th because they wanted to get more business from tourists.
You may have heard about it about Songkran or if you did not hear the name, you may have heard a description of it. Songkran is where Thais throw water at each other and sometimes, they slap you with talcum. They use anything they can to throw the water at you. They use hoses, water guns, buckets, and anything else that they can use to throw water at you. In some cities, they even go around with trucks and throw water at vehicles as well as pedestrians. Some people throw water back at the vehicles with water-throwing people. Songkran means that in some cities and towns, it turns into one big water fight.
Why do Thais do this? Songkran is also known as Thai New Year. The water symbolizes the cleansing of her or his soul before the new year begins. The rainy season also starts after Songkran so the water could symbolize the rainy season as well.
This does mean that Thailand has three New Years. There is the Western New Year on January 1st, the Chinese New Year (usually in February, based on the lunar calendar), and Songkran.
Songkran was not always one big water fight. In the past, the Thais would gently throw water at you and slowly slap talcum powder on your face. When I spent one Songkran at my girlfriend’s village, they did all the Songkran things, but they did it nicely. The Thais in this village told me that was really the proper way to do Songkran. This is based on hearsay, but I did believe them.
During Songkran, Thai people would visit their families, wherever they are in Thailand. It means that half of Bangkok is empty and there is hardly any famous Bangkok traffic. Songkran is the most important holiday for the Thais and you should not try to do business with them during Songkran.
I am obviously talking about Songkran before the pandemic. Since the pandemic, the Thai government has not allowed water throwing or talcum slapping. In Songkran 2021, all the entertainment venues in Thailand will be closed in 41 provinces. You should Google to find out what provinces are closing their entertainment place.
I hope that Thais will enjoy Songkran in 2021 despite the pandemic restrictions.

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