Advance Blog

June 12, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 12 June 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports four newly confirmed cases, a total of cases is at 3,129. Out of the total number, 2,987 have been discharged from the hospital; 84 are being hospitalised. The death toll is at 58. All four new cases are Thais who returned from India and have been in state quarantine. This is the 18th day that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • CCSA outlined the 4th phase of COVID-19 restriction easing. The next phase will be effective from 15th June. The CCSA decided to lift up the curfew but the state of emergency and ban of entry remains intact. Travel across provinces will be allowed, but registration for tracking purposes still require.
    • CCSA spokesperson said the Ministry of Tourism raised the principle of travel bubble in the CCSA meeting. People who travel for business and medical tourist. The PM agreed in principle and assign a working group to study into this as soon as possible.
    • CCSA spokesperson announced that Chinese telecommunication Huawei company donated 500,000 facemasks to Thailand and discussed 5G development in the country.
    • Wat Pho the (Temple of Reclining Buddha), one of Thailand’s major tourist attractions is barring entry to foreigners, professing fear that they could spread the coronavirus. There is no timeline of when the temple might admit foreign visitors again.–AP

Politics

  • This morning, more than 30 students from the Student Union of Thailand went to the Government House and tie their symbolic white ribbon at the front gate to ask for more government action in finding the abducted political activist who self-exiled in Cambodia.—The Reporters
  • Special report by Matichon reported on a rumour among the MPs in the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) that Deputy PM Prawit might take back his roles in looking after the administration of armed forces and police. The report also point out the feasible conflict between the Army and Navy after the latter was granted more power under the National Maritime Interests Protection Act. The next secretary-general of the Internal Security Operations Command will be Lieutenant General Thammanun Withi, currently the deputy chief of the King’s Guard 904 Unit.—Matichon
  • The CARE political group led by Phumtham Wechayachai, an adviser to largest opposition Pheu Thai leader, plans to introduce itself to the public on 17 June. The group is reportedly  a prelude for setting up a new political party as rifts within Pheu Thai party is at a point of no return.—all media outlet
  • Kom Chad Leuk reports on Prayuth Siripanich, a Pheu Thai Party member and a political heavyweight in the upper Northeastern region is reportedly going to bring some MPs under his clique to join the government.—Kom Chad Leuk
  • A media report on the political future of the Police Chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda after he is going to retire this September. Many parties are reaching out to engage the police chief. Should he side with the Democrat Party, he will be nominated as the party candidate for the Bangkok Governor (Democrat Party has secured the capital governor seat for terms). Alternatively, a minister recommended him to set up a new political party win a ticket for portfolio.—Daily News

Business:

CPTPP

  • The House of Representatives has agreed to form a special committee of 49 members to study the costs and benefits of Thailand joining the CPTPP and to report the result within 30 days.  The committee is chaired by Veerakorn Kumprakob, PPRP MP for Nakhon Sawan and  has named three sub-panels to study effects of the CPTPP on crop seeds, public health and medicine, and trade and investment.  Source:  https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1933408/special-panel-to-study-worth-of-cptpp-deal
  • The parliament will ask the DGs of Dept of Trade Negotiations Dept, Intellectual Property Dept and Agriculture Economics Dept as well as the Chairman of JSICCB to join its meeting to discuss the pros and cons of CPTPP.  Source:  https://www.prachachat.net/economy/news-476027

Pesticide Banning

  • Farmers filed a petition with the Central Administrative Court, seeking an injunction to allow the use of paraquat and chlorpyrifos banned by the National Hazardous Substances Committee (NHSC) since 1 June, citing the need for the substances to deal with weeds during the planting season.  Department of Agriculture confirms there is not yet a substitute for paraquat.  Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1933416/farmers-renew-chemical-ban-fight

Tourism, Travel and Investment

Others

Australia

  • Ambassador McKinnon held an interview with ThaiPBSWorld about how Australia has been handling COVID-19 and Australian-Thai relations.—Thai PBS World
  • Parliament speaker Chuan Leekpai submitted a request on Wednesday to the constitutional court to decide whether Thammanat Prompao, the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture, was fit for office. Chuan submitted the request after a motion from the opposition who said that Thammanat was unfit for office for being imprisoned in Australia and having shares in a company that deals directly with the Thai authority.—all media outlet
  • The Thai outlet of Chinese state-sponsored XinHua reported that from 11 June travellers from Australia and New Zealand will be allowed to transit via Singapore’s Changi Airport. The travellers who wish to do so have to departing from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Oakland and Christchurch.–XinHuaThai  
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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