Search Keywords:
Searched the site for keyword(s):  
Search again ordering:  alphabetical  newest-to-oldest  oldest-to-newest
Results - of matches
Search took seconds
               

Thaksin may return if ...

Posted by hasekamp on 31 December 2008 at 11:55 AM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he was not surprised that fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra still hoped to return to politics in Thailand, saying that Mr. Thaksin's political comeback was possible on condition that he meets the qualifications to participate in political life and accepts the country's legal system. Mr. Abhisit also stressed that the government would ensure fairness in his trials. The prime minister was responding Mr. Thaksin's interview with CEO Middle East magazine in which the billionaire tycoon said he wanted to return to Thailand, become prime minister and lead the country again. Mr. Abhisit said the best way for Mr. Thaksin to re-enter political life was to respect the Thailand's system of justice, and not start any political movement, as it may cause damage to the country and also Mr, Thaksin himself. Mr. Thaksin was toppled in a military coup in 2006 and is now a fugitive, having jumped bail during legal proceedings against him in August. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

New Year wishes to the King

Posted by hasekamp on 30 December 2008 at 15:53 PM
HM the King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been receiving New Year greetings from his subjects by mail. The greetings have come from Thais across the country, as well as those living overseas. "Some letters have arrived from as far as the United States, Brazil, and the United Kingdom," Rajdamnoen Post Office chief Thongchai Kijbamrungsilp said yesterday. He said the mail greetings addressed to His Majesty had been flowing in since December 15. "We have delivered these greetings to the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary," Thongchai added. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Policy address

Posted by hasekamp on 30 December 2008 at 15:50 PM
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday pledged his coalition government would try to solve deepening social divisions which have impacted the nation's development which has already been hurt by the global economic slump. The venue for the policy address by the premier was relocated from Parliament to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, several kilometers distant, to avoid confrontation with a siege of the parliamentary premises by anti-government protesters. Delivering his government's policy statements to a joint House of Representatives and Senate session at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the premier said his coalition government has issued urgent policies which would be implemented and completed within one year.
"The government will boost confidence and stimulate the overall economy, promote reconciliation and the unity of the Thai people, and to establish a permanent office to administer the southern border provinces to resolve the problems in the region as well as making it a special development zone," Mr. Abhisit said as he addressed 330 members of parliament and senators during his two-hour policy speech. Urgent measures will be adopted aimed at easing cost of living while school children will receive free education, text books and school uniforms until they complete higher secondary education, he said. Free education is expected to begin in the 2009 educational year, due to start next May. "The government will set up an economy-related ministerial committee and a joint public/private consultative committee to help solve economic problems," Mr. Abhisit said. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Policy statement postponed

Posted by hasekamp on 29 December 2008 at 11:23 AM
House Speaker Chai Chidchob postpones delivery of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's policy statement for the second time Monday after the Red Shirt UDD protesters continued to blocking the entrance to Thailand's Parliament. The policy statement delivery had been scheduled for 9.30am but was first postponed to 2pm Monday afternoon, and then moved back again to 5pm. Mr. Chai said the session may be postponed to Tuesday at 9.30am if passage to Parliament is not possible for the legislators. The roads around Parliament were blocked and few MPs were able to enter the compound. Mr. Chai expressed hope that the protesters would eventually open way for the members of parliament to pass in and out of the Parliament premises without harassment or being hindered. The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), known as the Red Shirts, first started their demonstration protesting against the government at Sanam Luang on Sunday and late in the day moved to surround Parliament to prevent the prime minister from delivering the government's policy statement. The Red Shirts of the UDD investing and blocking access to Parliament appears to be a 'copycat' action following the earlier example of the Peoples' Alliance for Democracy, whose Yellow Shirts came to represent opposition not only to deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra, but to the successor administrations. National Police Chief Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwan earlier met UDD leader Veera Musikapong, a veteran politician who is the core organizer of the Red Shirt demonstration Monday morning to negotiate the UDD opening a way for the MPs to enter Parliament by car. They reached no agreement, but Mr. Veera said the members of either house, MPs and Senators alike, could enter Parliament only by foot, and that the UDD, which called on Prime Minister Abhisit to dissolve Parliament, would not obstruct but facilitate their walking through the UDD ranks to Parliament. Mr. Chai was unsure about the safety of the MPs if they walk through UDD protesters. By the way, does Mr. Kasit find this "a lot of fun" too? (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Pro-Thaksin rally

Posted by hasekamp on 28 December 2008 at 23:02 PM
Red-clad demonstrators will rally continuously on December 29-30, when Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva will deliver the government's policy statement, according to Veera Musikapong, a leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD). The UDD leaders began addressing the demonstrators at 4pm from their Sanam Luang platform on Sunday, one day ahead of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's delivery of the government's policy statement in Parliament. Mr. Veera said UDD leader Nuttawut Saikua planned to talk on stage about financial support from TPI Polene Pcl to the Democrat Party and show evidence of money transaction. He said the wrongdoing can be punished by the party's dissolution. UDD leader Chatuporn Promphan said that the UDD will announce at 8 pm Sunday evening whether it will move its widely publicized protest to Parliament to pressure the government on Monday or not. About 5,000 police officers have reinforced security at Parliament. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Kasit tries to lure tourists

Posted by hasekamp on 28 December 2008 at 18:56 PM
Mr Kasit said the government was determined to turn the economy around. Clear-cut policies would be introduced, particularly on tourism promotion, to put the country back on its feet. In an effort to win back foreign confidence in the tourism sector, the ministry has instructed embassies abroad to spread the message that Thailand is back in business regarding government stability, natural beauty, accommodation and facilities to serve foreign visitors. Mr Kasit said his government was doing everything possible to promote tourism, which was badly hurt by the eight-day closure of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports earlier this month. He said many visitors from China were looking forward to celebrating the Chinese New Year in Phuket in January. The ministry is coordinating the travel plans with the Chinese embassy in Bangkok and has asked it to cancel its travel advisory urging its citizens not to visit the country due to political instability and public unrest that could compromise their safety. Better security measures would also be introduced for visitors, he said, but did not elaborate. To revive the country's image, he has asked foreign ministry officers abroad to explain to the world that Thailand is a democratic country where people enjoy equal rights and the political situation has now returned to normal. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Thailand wants tourists back

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2008 at 23:30 PM
As the New Year 2009 approaches, Thai people in all parts of the country are now in a festive mood. Foreign tourists have been urged to join Thais in celebrating the New Year festival in Thailand. In Bangkok, the event, \93Bangkok Countdown 2009,\94 will be held from 31 December 2008 to the early hours of 1 January 2009 at the Ratchaprasong area, on Ratchadamri Road, near Pratunam, with live concerts and entertainment activities. Major tourist cities, such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya, will also hold New Year celebrations on a grand scale. Northern Thailand\92s most popular destination, Chiang Mai, celebrates New Year mainly around the old city\92s Phae Road and at Tha Phae gate. There will be live concerts and a countdown party on the road, which will be closed to traffic. A release issued by the Tourism Authority of Thailand says that travelers are welcome to join the fun of the New Year countdown just about anywhere in Thailand. (Source: Public Relations Department)


Category: Default

Abhisit will succeed or go

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2008 at 23:21 PM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Friday he is ready to step down if he fails to solve the country's problems, particularly economic ones. He also said the government's 300 billion baht economic stimulus package, which will start in January, is realistic. The Democrat-led government plans to inject 300 billion baht to bolster the country's sagging economy and reduce the risk of a damaging global downturn. Mr Abhisit said the stimulus package will be unveiled in January and the money is expected to be injected into the economy in March or April. "I will do my best to solve the country's problems. If I could not solve the problems, my position is clear - that is to give the chance of leading this country to someone else," said Mr Abhisit. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

New protests expected

Posted by hasekamp on 27 December 2008 at 11:42 AM
Leaders of the anti-government United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) said Saturday that its protest would not block the Thai Parliament next week when the newly-appointed coalition government delivers its policy statement to chamber members. However, the three leaders of the UDD said the group would hold a massive rally on Sunday to oppose what it termed as a "coup in disguise" launched jointly by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the military and capitalists. The demonstrators will not move to Parliament Monday and Tuesday when the new Cabinet presents the government's policy to Parliament, the trio said, adding that former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will not telephone to the rally. Pledging that the demonstration will be held in peaceful manner, they said that it will focus on donations amounting to more than Bt300 million given to the ruling Democrat Party which they claimed are against the law. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Foreign minister not fired

Posted by hasekamp on 24 December 2008 at 11:32 AM
Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Wednesday brushed aside a call for him to dismiss his protest-linked foreign minister, saying the minister's remarks were made before he was appointed and may have been misinterpreted by the media. The premier commented after a leading member of the United Front of Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) on Tuesday demanded that Mr. Abhisit rescind his appointment of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, as Mr. Kasit had joined in the shutdown of Suvarnabhumi Airport in late November. Jatuporn Prompan, a party-list member of parliament for the Puea Thai Party and also host of a television political talk show, demanded that the prime minister remove Mr. Kasit from the ministerial post after he was quoted by foreign media as saying the seizure of the airport by People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters from November 25 to December 3 was "a lot of fun". Mr. Jatuporn said the remarks made by Mr. Kasit, who officially began working at his post on Tuesday, were considered as "challenging the feelings of people nationwide" and that the action had severely damaged the country's economy, and therefore Mr. Kasit should not be given the ministerial post. The premier defended Mr. Kasit's past role as a PAD guest speaker, saying he had exercised his constitutional right in expressing his own political opinion.
This shows the face of the new government. Especially a foreign minister is the face of a country abroad. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Counterfeited 1,000 baht notes

Posted by hasekamp on 23 December 2008 at 10:44 AM
The public can bring charges against shops that refuse to accept 1,000 baht banknotes for fear they might be counterfeit, police say. Deputy Metropolitan Police chief Pol Maj-Gen Amnuay Nimmano said yesterday people who are issued counterfeit notes by ATMs can also file charges against banks with police. Banknote forgers would be liable to life imprisonment and people who knowingly pass fake notes face one to 15 years in jail, he said. The police chief spoke out after reports that many vendors were refusing to accept 1,000 baht banknotes from customers and that people were choosing to withdraw less than 1,000 baht from ATMs at each transaction, to avoid receiving 1,000 baht banknotes. Twatchai Yongkittikul, secretary-general of the Thai Bankers Association (TBA), said the public should not panic about fake notes. "There is no problem about receiving counterfeits from ATMs," he said. "All banks check banknotes before they put them in ATMs." He said even though the number of forgeries had increased, there were still relatively few in circulation. Bangkok Bank, the country's largest bank, said it was training counter tellers to check banknotes carefully, especially 1,000 baht notes. The number of counterfeits increased significantly over the festive season. Giant retail stores report finding fake notes in many provinces. If there is doubt about a note's authenticity, clerks ask customers to pay with another note. Machines to check watermarks on notes have also been installed in toll booths. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

King gives advice to cabinet

Posted by hasekamp on 23 December 2008 at 10:39 AM
His Majesty the King has advised Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his new government to do their best to move the country forward and restore peace and order. Mr Abhisit led his 35-member cabinet to take the oath of allegiance before His Majesty at Chitralada Palace yesterday. The King told them they have a very important duty - restoring happiness and order in the country. When they fulfilled that duty, it would be a blessing for Thailand, he added. The country needed to be taken care of, otherwise people would not be able to carry out their own duties properly, the King said. If even one person in a high-ranking position, or anyone in general, committed a misdeed, the country could collapse, His Majesty added. "You [the cabinet members] have important duties and because you are in high places with high responsibility you are obliged to carry the country through," the King said. "If you can ensure the country's prosperity and peace, which are most necessary for Thailand, you, as well as people from all walks of life, will all be happy." Emerging from the audience with the King, Mr Abhisit told reporters he would put the King's advice into action. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Justice at last?

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2008 at 14:45 PM
Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday that protesters who occupied government offices and blockaded the two Bangkok airports should be held legally accountable for their actions. Supporters of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) first took to the streets in May in their bid to unseat the previous government. One of the leaders of the PAD is Somkiat Pongpaiboon, a member of Abhisit's Democrat Party. "With every incident that has happened we must uphold the rule of law," Abhisit told reporters at Government House, the site besieged by protesters for two-and-a-half months, causing about one million dollars' worth of damage. "My party member is also under the same law. I have told him not to use immunity," Abhisit added. Democrat Party member Somkiat was among a group of PAD leaders who led thousands of protesters to occupy the compound in late August, demanding allies of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra leave government. The PAD campaign culminated in an eight-day blockade of Bangkok's airports late November that left about 350,000 travelers stranded. The demonstrators left their protest sites only on December 3, when a court ruling forced premier Somchai Wongsawat from office and disbanded his People Power Party, paving the way for a new coalition led by the former opposition Democrat Party. The Democrats were forced to woo former allies of Thaksin in order to gain enough votes to form a coalition, but Abhisit told the BBC he had not "sold his soul." "I have made very clear in my talks with all the groups that are joining me why we are putting this coalition together. We just want Thailand to move on," Abhisit said. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Cabinet sworn in

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2008 at 12:57 PM
Thailand's newly-appointed Cabinet under Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has been granted an audience for the swearing-in ceremony with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Monday evening before starting work on Tuesday.
The 36-member Cabinet attended the ceremony at 5pm, and Mr. Abhisit arrived at Government House at the auspicious time of 8.19am Tuesday to start his work. All 35 cabinet ministers, except Mr. Abhisit, were appointed by the king on Saturday, while the premier himself was named Thailand's 27th prime minister on December 17. As the prime minister and deputy prime ministers plan to begin their official duties Tuesday, civil servants assigned to Government House began work there Monday while workers continue to renovate the building which was occupied by protesters from August 26 through December 3. Pongsak Siriwong, head of the Government House building and security unit, said workers are working
round-the-clock to renovate Government House and its landscape which would cost an estimated Bt25 million. Renovation is expected to be completed next month, Mr. Pongsak said. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Thais happier

Posted by hasekamp on 22 December 2008 at 12:51 PM
The Thai people are enjoying relative happiness after a new government was formed with the political help of a former People Power Party (PPP) faction which streamed together with the Democrat Party after a time of political turmoil, according to a happiness survey conducted by Assumption University. The Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) index of the Thai people surveyed has risen from 4.84 out of 10 in October to 6.55 this month after the Democrat Party successfully formed a new government, according to the Academic Network for Community Happiness Observation and Research (ANCHOR).
Comment: The Thai people may be happier, and we sincerely hope they are, but of course not because there is a new government, but because the PAD has stopped its country-destroying actions. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

New cabinet endorsed

Posted by hasekamp on 21 December 2008 at 12:04 PM
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej late Saturday gave royal endorsement for Thailand's new cabinet line-up as proposed by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva who earlier announced the new government would focus on building reconciliation and reviving the economy.
The economic team will be led by Mr. Abhisit himself with Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij, former head of JPMorgan Chase investment bank, will play a major supporting role while Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu was assigned to see the overall picture of economy. However, the line-up, which was widely expected, raised questions about how they could end the country's political and economic woes as the business sectors had already expressed their disappointment over the new economic portfolio assignment particularly Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai from the Phum Jai Thai party, who was heavily criticised as lacking expertise in the job. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Thaksin supporter arrested

Posted by hasekamp on 19 December 2008 at 12:52 PM
Bangkok police on Thursday arrested a man who allegedly attacked vehicles carrying parliamentarians who on Monday voted for Abhisit Vejjajiva as Thailand's 27th prime minister. The man, identified as Chokechai Kamleu, was one of six protesters sought under court-issued arrest warrants on two charges of assaulting and holding people against their will. He could face a maximum of seven years in jail and/or a Bt14,000 fine for the two offenses if found guilty.
Comment: This would hardly be worth mentioning, if it was not a fact that for bringing damage to Government House for one hundred million baht and occupying the two main airports of the country, and leaving unknown and unpublished damage there, has not led to no arrests AT ALL.
The Thai judiciary system seems to measure with two scales nowadays: The PAD scale, on which everything, including filmed -and therefore proven- shooting at people, is allowed, and the pro-Thaksin scale, in which nothing at all is allowed. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

First day in Government House

Posted by hasekamp on 19 December 2008 at 12:41 PM
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday entered Government House for the first time following his appointment. Abhisit presided over a merit-making ceremony to bless the seat of government squatting by protesters for more than three months. Government House is scheduled to be officially reopened for business on Monday and the Abhisit government will hold its first Cabinet meeting on the following day. After the ceremony, Abhisit will meet businessmen to discuss measures for economic revitalization at the Thai Chamber of Commerce. In the afternoon, he is scheduled to meet with coalition partners for the drafting of policy statement. The government is expected to set December 29 for two-day policy debate. Under the Constitution, the debate is mandatory to inaugurate the government in office. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Thaksin should come home

Posted by hasekamp on 18 December 2008 at 14:37 PM
New Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva urged on Thursday convicted ex-PM Thaksin Shinawtra to return home to face corruption trials. Abhisit guaranteed that Thaksin will be treated honorably as a former premier. But every legal process will proceed according to law. "First of all, however, Khun Thaksin has to accept the country's legal procedures," Abhisit said. Speaking in an interview with a news talk program of Channel 7, he said Thai people have mercies and are ready to forgive if one accepted his guilt. Commenting on reports that red shirt protesters prepared to rally against him, Abhisit said it was their rights to express their dissatisfaction, they can come out to protest. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

New cabinet ready for approval

Posted by hasekamp on 18 December 2008 at 14:33 PM
Thailand's new coalition government Cabinet list is expected to be completed Thursday and forwarded to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej for his approval on Friday. Newly-appointed Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party, which is forming a coalition government, said the cabinet list is expected to be completed Thursday. He said requests were made of retired army chief Gen. Pravit Wongsuwan asking him to become defense minister in the coalition government which is not expected to be a problem because the general had retired from the army a long time ago. Mr. Abhisit's disclosure regarding asking Gen. Pravit to hold the defense ministerial portfolio followed charges by supporters of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra that senior military leaders had lobbied other political parties to vote for Mr. Abhisit as new prime minister in the House on Monday. Mr. Suthep said other parties in the coalition are expected to submit names nominated for ministerial posts within Thursday afternoon and he expected that the list could be forwarded for royal approval on Friday. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

New rallies

Posted by hasekamp on 16 December 2008 at 16:59 PM
The Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship announced Tuesday that it will hold demonstrations at Sanam Luang for three days to protest against the Democrat Party for "robbing" the government leadership from the Pheu Thai. The DAAD leaders held a meeting the FM92.75 community taxi radio station and reached an agreement to hold the three-day demonstrations. The rally will begin Tuesday evening. And so the unrest in Thailand goes on and on.(Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

First criticism for new PM

Posted by hasekamp on 16 December 2008 at 16:57 PM
Anti-coup activist Natthawut Saikua on Tuesday claimed that the Abhisit Vejjajiva government lacked the legitimacy to administer the country. Natthawut vowed to dislodge the government without granting a grace period to allow it to do its job and evaluate its performance. He said his opposition to the government will be based on three issues. One of three issues is the military intervention to push for the Democrat-led coalition, seen as an undemocratic move. Another issue is the lingering doubts that Abhisit might be a draft dodger. The final issue is the involvement of the People's Alliance for Democracy in assisting the Democrats to grab power. The PAD-led street protests have been linked to a number of Democrat MPs. In related development, the PAD organised a rally in Phetchaburi to thank its yellow-shirt supporters. It vowed to keep a close tap on the performance of the Abhisit government and threatened to revive the street protests upon suspecting of political foul play. The red-shirt crowds in Nakhon Ratchasima and Phitsanulok rallied to oppose the Democrat-led coalition. They also attacked the Friends of Newin faction and MPs who broke ranks with the Pheu Thai Party. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

PM number 44 is Abhisit

Posted by hasekamp on 15 December 2008 at 11:14 AM
Abhisit, 44, was born into an elite family. He is well educated, has great composure and manners, and is an eloquent speaker with strong debating skills. Political base: Urban middle-class, inner Bangkok residents. Political achievements: Abhisit became Opposition leader after the 2005 election. On his website he says his outstanding achievement was the no-confidence debate on the purchase of the CTX bomb scanners for Suvarnabhumi Airport. He was a Prime Minister's Office Minister handling education reform, bureaucratic reform, and created mechanisms for anti-corruption policies. Controversies: Abhisit and the Democrat Party have been criticised as being backed by the military. They have also been criticised as beneficiaries from the coup against its main opponent - the disbanded Thai Rak Thai Party. Challenges: Abhisit's ability to bridge the rural-urban divide is also in question as the Thai Rak Thai's popularity in the North and the Northeast is very strong. His ability to lead veteran politicians in a coalition government is also uncertain. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Red-shirt demonstration

Posted by hasekamp on 15 December 2008 at 11:10 AM
About a hundred red-shirted demonstrators blocked access to Parliament and threw bricks at vehicles belonging to departing members of parliament, following Monday morning's critical vote, injuring one journalist and three MPs in their cars and damaging 30 vehicles after Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva won the vote as Thailand's new prime minister. Disgruntled supporters of ousted, self-exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra threw plastic bottles into the Parliament grounds and dragged police barricades to block the intended departure of the lawmakers after the vote finished around 11am. Riot police negotiated with the protesters and were able to open exits for MPs to leave Parliament after a ten-minute altercation between the angry demonstrators and the authorities. However, some protesters threw bricks pulled up from the footpaths at MPs vehicles, particularly from the Democrat Party. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Thaksin wants military to stop interfering

Posted by hasekamp on 14 December 2008 at 11:47 AM
Thailand's ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has called for an end to "interference" in Thai politics. His demand - apparently a reference to senior military and royalist figures - was made in a video message to a party rally at a Bangkok sports stadium. Parliament is voting on Monday for a new prime minister to succeed his brother-in-law. Mr Somchai Wongsawat was forced to resign by a court ruling earlier this month. The court found his party, the People Power Party (PPP), guilty of fraud during the last election a year ago, and banned it and two other parties in the governing coalition. They have now regrouped under new names, but the opposition Democrat Party says it has won over enough defectors and unaligned MPs to lead the new government. An estimated 40,000 people filled the stadium on Saturday afternoon, police said, ahead of Mr Thaksin's address. In a pre-recorded video address, Mr Thaksin demanded that those forces which he said had been meddling to undermine the government led by his allies should stop. He spoke of his sadness of being stuck in exile and over recent events in Thailand and talked of Thai society being stabbed in the back. He condemned the outside forces, presumably the army and figures close to the palace that had meddled to bring down free governments led by him and his allies, our correspondent notes. (Source: BBC News)


Category: Default

Thaksin to address his followers

Posted by hasekamp on 13 December 2008 at 12:04 PM
Ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra will address a major rally from exile Saturday as political tensions rise ahead of Monday's crucial vote for a new prime minister, a rally leader said. The former premier, living in exile to escape corruption charges, will phone in to a packed Bangkok stadium Saturday evening, after his allies in government were forced out by a court ruling that has splintered their coalition. He will use his speech to accuse the army of meddling in Thai politics, said the rally leader. "Thaksin's speech will concentrate on the current political situation, especially the forming of a new government that the army has got involved in by snatching MPs," said Jatuporn Prompan, a leader of the pro-Thaksin "Truth Today" group. Thaksin's address will include a recorded message and live telephone conversation with another rally leader Veera Musikapong that will begin at 8pm and last about an hour, Jatuporn said. It will be Thaksin's second public address since leaving Thailand in August. (Source AFP, through the Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Paedophiles arrested

Posted by hasekamp on 12 December 2008 at 17:53 PM
Four foreigners and a Thai man were arrested and charged with the sexual exploitation of children in Pattaya in the early hours of yesterday. Police identified the suspects as Malcolm Henry Payne, 59, and Robert Alexander Horsman, 45, of Britain, Robert Roy Lond, 62, of the United States, Fritz Dieter Blattner, 66, of Germany, and Eknarin Chaicharoenchokdee, 30, a katoey also known as Saeng Kaetdee. The foreigners face charges of sexual exploitation of children under 15, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. Mr Eknarin was charged with procuring children for sex. The arrests followed a tip off from Britain's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Pol Col Suwitchpol said. The CEOP sought help last month in tracking down four men on its child-abuse blacklist who were hiding in Thailand. After a week-long operation, police raided eight places in Pattaya early yesterday. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

PAD is against pro-Thaksin PM

Posted by hasekamp on 12 December 2008 at 17:43 PM
Everybody knows this, but the level of intelligence within the PAd makes it necessary to publish it:
The anti-Thaksin People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) declared on Friday its opposition to any possibility that the next prime minister come from the Puea Thai Party or any others of the previous coalition government. The group also lodged a dozen demands sought from the likely new Democrat Party-led coalition government.
PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said the demands included calls for the new government to accelerate investigation concerning lese majeste charges against key members of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), Veera Musikapong and Jakrapob Penkair, former minister to the prime minister's office. (And how about criminal charges against PAD members?)
The PAD also reasserted its opposition to constitutional amendment attempts, Mr. Suriyasai said, called for revoking former premier Thaksin Shinawatra's diplomatic passport, and demanded that the new government bring the deposed premier to face corruption charges in Thailand.
In addition, the PAD called on the government to penalize the police officers accountable for the crackdown on anti-government protesters that resulted in two deaths during the October 7 street clashes near the Parliament: Deputy Police Chief Pol. Gen. Jongrak Juthanond, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol. Lt-Gen Suchart Muenkaew and Deputy Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pol. Maj-Gen. Amnuay Nimmano.
(But what about the PAD supporters, seen on YouTube while aiming guns at their countrymen?) We get more and more sick of this Pad. How can they ever be taken serious? (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

What was stolen in Government House?

Posted by hasekamp on 10 December 2008 at 14:59 PM
Government House will reopen in about two weeks but investigators now believe that PAD protesters stole sensitive national security files. Data including computer and server hard disks from National Security Council offices were stolen and damaged during the People's Alliance for Democracy's occupation of the seat of government from late August until last week. A team including police from the Scientific Crime Detection Division inspected the offices after the PAD vacated Government House where the NSC offices are located. Government House will reopen in about two weeks after a major clean-up of its buildings and premises, a senior official said. The NSC on Monday estimated the cost of the lost hardware and software at 40 million baht. The damage included lost data from closed-circuit television systems and the intranet system. NSC officials, who led forensic police to inspect the NSC office building, were shocked to see the automatic door of the 4th floor, which houses the NSC's national crisis management center and the NSC's information technology center, had been forced open. An inspection found that several computer hard disks and six central server hard disks in the national crisis management center had been removed. Central server hard disks in the information technology center were also stolen. Police Monday collected fingerprints from the automatic door and computers. During the inspection, tyres of more than 10 NSC vehicles in the parking lot were found to have been deflated and two closed-circuit cameras in front of the NSC building were removed. NSC security guards told police they had been inside the office for two days during the PAD's seizure of Government House. They said PAD guards had forced the door of the office via the parking lot and held them for interrogation before freeing them. A source said the NSC security guards' room on the first floor of the building was ransacked and the signal of the closed-circuit system had been cut off. Some belongings of the NSC guards reportedly disappeared. (Source: Bangkok Pundit)


Category: Default

Parliament will not be dissolved

Posted by hasekamp on 10 December 2008 at 14:50 PM
Thailand's Parliament President Chai Chidchob said Wednesday he would not resign from his post and that he also believed that the House of Representatives would not be dissolved by caretaker prime minister Chavarat Charnvirakul before the election of a new prime minister, expected next week. So far, the royal command necessary to open an extraordinary session of Parliament is still pending, said Mr. Chai, adding that he would call for a meeting of the legislative body within three days from the command being received. Mr. Chai, also House Speaker, said he had discussed with Mr. Chavarat whether the acting premier planned to dissolve the House and call for a snap election. According to Mr. Chai, the premier responded saying that nothing could be done apart from what the Constitution stipulated. The Constitution does not forbid a caretaker prime minister from dissolving the House, but Mr. Chai said he believed that Mr. Chavarat would not dissolve the House. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Thai economy still to grow

Posted by hasekamp on 10 December 2008 at 14:47 PM
The global economic downturn and domestic political uncertainty may continue to weigh on Thailand's growth in 2009, with the World Bank predicting the country's economy will expand by just 2 per cent next year - the lowest rate since 1998. In addition, the bank revised its forecast on Thailand's growth in 2008 to 3.9 per cent - down from the 5 per cent it projected in April, Mathew A. Verghis, the bank's top economist for Southeast Asia said Wednesday. "The revision from 5 percent to 3.9 per cent now just shows how much change the world, including Thailand, has seen since April," Mr. Verghis said. "The earlier forecast was before Lehman Brothers collapsed in September, before the street protests and the recent shutdown of Bangkok airports which had a significant impact on investor confidence and tourism," he said. For two years, Thailand has banked on double-digit export growth to drive the economy, compensating for sluggish domestic consumption and private investment. Threatened global recession means that such growth may not continue next year, and the bank expects overall world trade to decline in 2009 for the first time since 1982. The World Bank sees Thai exports growing by only 8 per cent next year, compared with 19.5 per cent growth in 2008 and 17 per cent in 2007, with consumption and investment expected to continue falling. However, Thailand's banking sector has been less impacted by what the World Bank calls "the U.S.-born global crisis". Since 1997, Thailand has taken significant steps to limit its exposure to external shocks. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

No warrant against Pojaman

Posted by hasekamp on 7 December 2008 at 10:57 AM
There is no arrest warrant placed on Pojaman Damapong, former wife of convicted ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and that was why police did not apprehend her when she returned to her homeland late Friday, a senior judge said Saturday. Nanthasak Pulsuk, deputy director-general for special litigation of the Office of the Attorney General said the arrest warrant issued earlier was for Mrs. Pojaman to be present for the case regarding her role in a Bangkok land purchase. Since the ruling was made, the arrest warrant no longer existed. The case was completed on October 21 when the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Mr. Thaksin to two years imprisonment in absentia while his then wife Mrs. Pojaman was set free in the case.
According to the ruling, both the land and funds amounting to Bt772 million spent to buy the 33 rai (13.2 acres) parcel of land in Bangkok's prime Ratchadapisek business area by Mrs. Pojaman will be unfrozen.
Mr. Thaksin was found guilty of violating Articles 100 and 122 of the National Counter Corruption Act. The law bars government officials, including prime ministers and their spouses, from involvement in or having interests in contracts with government agencies under their supervision.
The senior judge said Mrs. Pojaman is awaiting a ruling from the Appeals Court on her tax evasion case. Her lawyer filed an appeal after the Criminal Court on July 31 charged her, her step-brother and her secretary guilty of conspiring to evade tax. They have been released on bail pending appeal. Mrs. Pojaman arrived in Bangkok late Friday along with her son and one daughter, and according to the spokesman of the ousted prime minister, she had come back here to visit her mother who will soon undergo surgery. Acting Minister of Culture Woravat Auapinyakul said he believed that Mrs. Pojaman would not being involved in the formation of a new government by the Puea Thai Party.
Mr. Woravat said it is neither clear who will head the Puea Thai Party nor who will be the new prime minister. The way forward should become clearer when the current party members meet on Sunday. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

King seems well

Posted by hasekamp on 7 December 2008 at 10:52 AM
The Royal Household Bureau announced Saturday that His Majesty's condition improved and his fever subsided.
In its second statement, the bureau said his temperature was lower than the temperature Friday. The statement said His Majesty had mild coughing.
An x-ray of the chest did not find any inflammation in the lungs and the heart performed fine.
The bureau said the lab test did not find influenza A and B infection in his blood system. Doctors reduced the amount of intravenous feeding and saline solution after His Majesty could take more soft food. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Opposition wants to form government

Posted by hasekamp on 7 December 2008 at 10:48 AM
A possible new coalition government took shape last night after four parties and one key faction, once part of the now-defunct People Power party (PPP), announced their decision to join the Democrats. But the Puea Thai party, set up to accommodate PPP members, and former PPP key politicians warned that the political manoeuvring was far from over. "What happened is just the first round. Boxing has 12 rounds. There are many more rounds to go," former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat told the Puea Thai meeting yesterday. The opposition Democrats and Puea Thai fought neck and neck to lure other parties to their side by holding separate press conferences to show their power. Democrat secretary-general Suthep Thuagsuban emerged with key members of Puea Pandin, Matchimathipataya, Chart Thai, Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana and a breakaway faction of the newlydefunct PPP led by Newin Chidchob, at a press conference at Sukhothai hotel. The group announced they will join forces in forming the next administration with Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjavija as their candidate for prime minister. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Police backs PAD

Posted by hasekamp on 6 December 2008 at 12:09 PM
The Royal Thai Police deputy commissioner-general, Pol Gen Jongrak Chuthanont, on Friday admitted it would be difficult to prove that key members of the People\92s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) were guilty of destroying and stolen properties at Government House. Many properties, including cars, motorcycles, large television sets, personal computers and royal decorations and awards, disappeared from Government House since the PAD laid siege to the compound in August, according to Pol Gen Jongrak. He said the PAD leaders were not responsible for the stolen items since they were individual crimes, but they would be guilty if they conspired with the wrongdoers. (Of course they did!) Pol Gen Jongrak assigned the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief, Pol Maj-Gen Anan Srihiran, to lead a team of divers to search for war weapons as well as illegal items in Phadung Krung Kasem canal near Government House. After the search, police found many weapons together with narcotics such as weeds and cough syrups. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

No birthday speech

Posted by hasekamp on 4 December 2008 at 16:20 PM
Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej failed to deliver his traditional birthday-eve speech to the nation Thursday due to his ill health, the crown prince announced on Thursday. HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn made the announcement in a national address broadcast via national radio that a mild illness prompted his father to be unable to deliver the speech on the eve of his 81st birthday. "His Majesty asked me to thank you on his behalf for the best wishes given and to wish his subjects to stay physically and mentally strong to perform their duties," the crown prince said. The crown prince's sister, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, said the king's condition is mild. "His Majesty has a throat infection but no fever. He is now on a saline drip with poor appetite," the princess said. On the eve of his annual birthday, King Bhumibol, who has been reigning in the country for 62 years, usually delivers his speech to senior government officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches as well as well-wishers across the spectrum of society who were granted an audience at a ceremonial throne hall to wish him a happy birthday. Thais cherish the monarch's sage advice with utmost importance and they usually return the king's goodwill with love and devotion. His speeches over the past few years have focused on national unity amid a continuing political crisis between government supporters and opponents which has dragged on for years. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Hotels offer reduction

Posted by hasekamp on 4 December 2008 at 12:14 PM
Hotel operators are cutting room rates by up to 80 per cent this month due to a dearth of customers. The move is aimed at reclaiming local guests and filling vacancies, following the huge number of cancellations by foreign guests due to the temporary closure of Bangkok's commercial airports. Many hotels in Bangkok, including luxury properties, are offering special offers during the toughest of times. The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok is offering rooms for Bt7,000 per night in its superior river wing. The original rate for online bookings was US$389 (Bt13,850).
The offer is valid for stays until December 19 and is aimed at local guests. Surapong Techaruwichitr, vice president of the Thai Hotels Association, said many hotels in Bangkok and in other major tourist destinations such as Phuket were cutting their rates by up to 80 per cent.
"Many hotels are running at a very low occupancy rate because customers who booked rooms cannot get into the country. The operators must therefore encourage new local customers instead," said Surapong. Jutaporn Reungronasa, deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), estimates that the number of foreign visitors next year will be half of the previously projected 15 million. She said the authority was planning to launch special promotions to lure more domestic travellers, as well as to persuade international tourists to return to the Kingdom. The TAT is also preparing an advertising campaign called "Apologies Thailand", aimed at redressing the damage by the political turmoil and the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airport closures. The agency will use the campaign to send a positive message to tourists around the world, encouraging them to come back to Thailand. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Airports have to be inspected first

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2008 at 11:50 AM
Thai airport officials will inspect the terminals of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports after the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters ended their occupation at the two main airports on Wednesday morning, according to Suvarnabhumi Airport Director Serirat Prasutanond. Mr. Serirat, who is also acting Airport of Thailand (AoT) president, said airport officials would inspect the airport areas both restricted and public areas, runway, taxiway as well as ground equipment whether they were safe under the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). After the inspection mission was completed, all systems would be tested until the airport officials were confident that all operation could run safely under international standards. Then, he said, the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) would inspect and issue safety verification approval just like the inauguration of the new airport. Mr. Serirat and DCA director-general Chaisak Angsuwan had initial inspected the physical condition of the airport and found that the airport was mostly in good condition, only a few and minor damages could be seen. He said all the system must be tested similarly to the opening of a new airport so it was too early to say when full service would resume. However, he said, the airport planned to start resume its services at midnight on December 4 to mark the auspicious beginning of His Majesty the King's birthday on December 5. (Source: Thai News Agency)


Category: Default

Follow-up for PPP ready soon

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2008 at 11:46 AM
Puea Thai Party, seen as a spare of disbanded People Power Party, is scheduled on Sunday to elect its leader and 29-member executive board. The naming of the party leader is seen as the crucial step for the nomination of the next prime minister to be voted in the House, tentatively scheduled for Monday. On Wednesday, about 80 of 218 MPs from the disbanded ruling party have already completed the process to switch to the Puea Thai banner. Deputy House Speaker Apiwan Wiriyachai, seen as a contender for premiership, is now a full-fledged Puea Thai member. Emerged from the registration of his party membership, he said he viewed Industry Minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan as a more suitable candidate for the position of prime minister. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

THAI to sue PAD

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2008 at 11:43 AM
Thai Airways International (THAI) decided Wednesday to sue People's Alliance for Democracy for about 20 billion baht for closing Suvarnabhumi and Don Muaeng airports for a week, resulting in the cut in its revenue. Permanent secretary of Transport Ministry Surachai Tansitpong, who also serves as chairman of THAI, said the anti-government protests at the two airports cause the company to be at a disadvantage because it had to cancel all flights during the demonstration. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

PAD leaves airports

Posted by hasekamp on 3 December 2008 at 11:40 AM
Anti-government protesters have left Bangkok's main airports after an eight-day siege that has paralyzed government and stymied tourism. They packed up bedding before handing over both the international and domestic airports to the authorities. The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) called off the protests after a court banned Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from politics. As protesters left, the first flight for a week arrived at Bangkok. A Thai Airways flight carrying 305 passengers from the southern resort island of Phuket touched down at Suvarnabhumi airport at 1415 local time (0715 GMT). International flights are due to resume on Thursday. The PAD had been demanding the resignation of the prime minister, who they say is a proxy for deposed leader Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr Somchai, who has been waiting out the siege in the northern city of Chiang Mai, says his allies will be forming a caretaker government with a new leader shortly. (Source: BBC News)


Category: Default

PAD stops its actions

Posted by hasekamp on 2 December 2008 at 13:40 PM
People's Alliance for Democracy which seized the Government House and two Bangkok airports announced an end to its protests at all spot. PAD's co-leaders said the decision to terminate the protests was made because they gained victory after the Constitution Court dissolved People Power Party, Matchima Tipatayai and Chart Thai parties. The leaders took turn to declare victories on a stage at Suvarnabhumi Airport. "All people can go home now. We are the victors now. However we will be ready to come back if the country wants us too," they told the cheering crowds. (Source:The Nation)


Category: Default

Chavarat is interim PM

Posted by hasekamp on 2 December 2008 at 10:52 AM
Deputy Prime Minister Chavarat Charnveerakul was appointed as acting prime minister after the Constitution Court on Tuesday passed a verdict that the People Power party (PPP) was guilty of vote-buying in the previous general election and banned PPP executives from politics for five years, according to Government spokesman Nattawut Saikua. Mr Somchai Wongsawat was released from the prime minister's post immediately as he was a PPP executive. The Government spokesman said interim premier Chavarat will now preside over the next cabinet meeting and a parliamentary session will later select and appoint a new prime minister. He affirmed the six coalition parties will continue to work together to push forward the government works. (Source: The Bangkok Post)


Category: Default

Court dissolves government parties

Posted by hasekamp on 2 December 2008 at 10:01 AM
Thailand's constitutional court has dissolved the governing People Power Party and two of its coalition partners for fraud during the last election. The parties' leaders, including Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, have been banned from politics for five years. It is unclear if the ruling ends a months-long political crisis, since other coalition MPs have vowed to form another government under a new name. Earlier, an anti-government protester was killed at a Bangkok airport.
Protesters at Don Mueang and at Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi international airport, who have brought the country's tourist industry to a standstill, cheered when they heard the news about the court's ruling. PAD supporters accuse Mr Somchai's administration of being corrupt and hostile to the much-revered monarchy, and want the entire government to resign. They also accuse Mr Somchai of being a proxy of his brother-in-law, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Mr Somchai said he accepted the court's verdict.
Earlier on Tuesday, a protest by hundreds of red-shirted, pro-government supporters forced the constitutional court to move its final hearing to Bangkok's administrative courthouse. After fewer than three hours in session, the head of the nine-judge panel, Chat Chonlaworn, announced that the court had found the People Power Party (PPP), the Machima Thipatai party and the Chart Thai party guilty of vote-buying, and unanimously agreed to disband them. Dozens of the PPP's executive members, including Mr Somchai, were also found guilty of personal involvement and banned from politics for five years. Judge Chat said that he hoped the ruling would "set a political standard". (Source: BBC News)


Category: Default

Hat Yai flooded

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2008 at 13:16 PM
Most businesses in the South's commercial hub, Hat Yai town, shut down Monday to avoid imminent flooding damage. Heavy rain has pelted over Nakhon Hat Yai Municipality area during the past few days. "We have closed our business for one day to facilitate moving our products to higher grounds," Songkhla Chamber of Commerce chief advisor Boonchuay Jangsiriwattanathamrong said Monday. According to his estimate, the one-day closing means between Bt40million and Bt50million in lost opportunities. (Source: The Nation)


Category: Default

Stranded tourists freed

Posted by hasekamp on 1 December 2008 at 13:12 PM
Protesters occupying Bangkok's main airports have 'allowed' dozens of empty planes to fly to provincial airports to pick up stranded tourists. At least 100,000 foreign visitors have been unable to leave the country since the anti-government activists occupied the international airport last week. Tourism is a major source of revenue for the country, and the crisis will also have knock-on effects for Thailand's neighbors, because Bangkok is a major international hub, they say. Authorities have reached a deal to allow a total of 88 planes to be flown out to other Thai airports, where it is hoped they can evacuate some of the blockaded tourists. The PAD seems to be focusing its resources on the airport occupations. Hundreds of protesters are now vacating Government House in central Bangkok. PAD leaders have directed the followers vacating the complex to bolster the airport occupations, and correspondents caution that these developments do not signal the fatal weakening of the protesters' disruptive campaign.
Earlier on Monday, a spokeswoman for Airports of Thailand said: "Thirty-seven aircraft have left Suvarnabhumi [international airport] since the first aircraft of Siam GA [a regional airline] took off on Sunday evening. International airlines will have to contact us to take those stranded aircraft out of Suvarnabhumi." Twelve planes belonging to foreign airlines are stranded at Suvarnabhumi, as well as 29 from Thai Airways, 16 of Thai Airasia, 15 from Bangkok Airways, and 22 aircraft from other airlines. People are taken by buses to Phuket and Chiang Mai, in order to board planes there. France and reportedly Spain have also chartered planes to pick up nationals at the Vietnam war-era U-Tapao naval base south-east of Bangkok, though France has warned that it will only be able to evacuate the most urgent cases. Air France-KLM and Australia's Qantas have also sent extra planes to Phuket.
Thailand's tourist industry is losing an estimated $85m (£55.4m) per day, and the government warns that the number of foreign tourists arriving next year may halve, threatening one million jobs. (Source: BBC News)


Category: Default

Results of the search for    [which took seconds]

  • Total Matches: Documents
  • Total Pages:
  • Current Page #:
  • Matches on This Page: -
  •