Advance Blog

April 22, 2020
Coporate Sponsor social media profile pic 2020-04

Headline summary as of 22nd April 2020

News

  • A France-based, Reporters without Border (RSF)’s survey indicated that Thailand slipped in press freedom index to 140 out of the 180 countries, falling into ‘difficult situation’. Many speculated that it might be because the post-election changes are not visible; or due to the very active crack-down of the Digital Economy Ministry’s anti-fake news centre. In this year index, within ASEAN, Myanmar ranked 139 and Cambodia ranked 144th.
  • A former US Marine working as a language instructor was detained by police yesterday after allegedly sparking a bomb scare near the US Embassy in Bangkok. Security personnel cordoned off the area and examined the object, which turned out to be a parcel containing a Thai boxing doll, three batteries wrapped in paper and an empty water bottle. No dangerous items were found.–Bangkok Post, Daily News, Naew Na, Thai Post
  • A document of the armoured vehicle procurement by The Army Ornament Department was published by media. The 4.5 billion THB budget signed on 20 April sparked criticism, mostly about how could the army procure equipment in such a time of COVID-19 crisis.–all media outlet
  • Breaking: This morning, Army Chief Apirat said the procurement document is just planning, and that it is not going to use the 2020 budget. The planning could not be deferred because it related to the US congressional process, implying that the armoured vehicle procurement scheme will continue.–Naew Na

Updates related to COVID-19:

  • Thailand’s cabinet approved a second automatic visa extension for foreigners for three more months yesterday, in a bid to prevent long queues at immigration centres and stem the spread of the coronavirus. Foreigners whose visas had expired since March 26 will be permitted to stay until July 31 without having to apply for an extension. –Reuters, Bangkok Post
  • The PM said after the weekly cabinet meeting that he will not rush to lift COVID-19 bans and restrictions, which is scheduled to end on April 30, citing that the people’s health and safety are the dominant factors for government’s concerns.–all media outlet
  • The Department of Livestock Development and the Thailand Equestrian Federation has acquired African Horse Sickness (AHS) vaccines in an attempt to stop the fatal equine disease from spreading further.–Bangkok Post

Politics

  • Opposition key members will hold a briefing about its call for a special House session tomorrow to inquire the government’s handle of COVID-19 crisis.–all media outlet.

Business

Cash Hand-Out

Trade/Export

Others

ASEAN/World

  • Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai will attend a special videoconference meeting about Asean with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on 23 April 2020. Both sides will also discuss cooperation to alleviate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as guidelines for economic recovery after the crisis. –Bangkok Post
  • Thai Enquirer ran an opinion article on “While foreign press criticized Chinese dams for our drought problems, Thai language media praised Beijing’s help”, questioning the influence China has over Thai media outlets. 

Australia

  • Australian Ambassador interview with Matichon Weekly, the third episode is uploaded online here.
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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