Advance Blog

July 15, 2020
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 15 July 2020

News  

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
    • Today, Thailand reports five newly confirmed cases, a total of 3,232 cases. Out of the total number, 3,092 have been discharged from hospital; 82 are being hospitalised (at 95.67%). The death toll is at 58. The newly five confirmed cases are Thai nationals returned from the US, UAE and Singapore, all have been in state quarantine since. This is the 51st consecutive day that there is no local transmission in Thailand.
    • Breaking: Media has been alerted that the PM will visit Rayong this afternoon (4.30pm) at DVaree Hotel, department stores and local market.
    • The Education Ministry has ordered closure of 234 out of 274 educational institutions in the eastern province of Rayong. The Department of Disease Control said the first set of COVID-19 test results of 1,400 Rayong residents will be announced today.—Than Settakij
    • The Disease Control Department announced that out of 1,333 cases tested in Rayong, the lab test of 416 cases showed COVID-negative. More result will be announced timely.
    • Yesterday, the Deputy PM and Public Health Minister said that should there is the second wave of COVID-19 transmission, another lockdown could be implemented.—Manager Online
    • Against the report yesterday that the governor of Rayong province was moved to Nakhon Pathom province as a penalty for the disease control loose in Rayong, the Interior Minister said the governor is one amongst the 36 high-level officials in annual ministry reshuffle.—all media outlet
    • Earlier there was a concern that the Thai soldiers returning home on 22 July from a military exercise in Hawaii will be quarantined in the North-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasrima. But the provincial governor has just ordered the returning armed forces to be quarantined in a hotel arranged by Army in Bangkok instead.—Bangkok Post
    • The governor of Nakhon Ratchasrima said that there are three residents who came to report to the authority that they came back from Rayong with symptoms related to COVID-19.–Prachachart
  • PM Prayut talked with Chinese President Xi Jinping last night. The two stressed deepening economic and trade cooperation with Thailand amidst COVID-19. During the call, the PM stressed Thailand’s position in affirming “One China” policy. Thailand is eyeing to extend the comprehensive strategic partnership with China.—Manager Online, Than Settakij, ThaiPBS World
  • Employment Department chief, Suchart Pornchaiwisetkul, said foreign workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos who registered online by March 30 must complete the remaining work permit renewal steps. They must receive health examinations at government hospitals and then submit the results to an immigration office for a visa stamp. After that, they can apply for a work permit online.—Bangkok Post

Politics

  • Political amnesty is now back on:
    • Yesterday, long time Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn spoke in the parliament yesterday that it is time for the PM to introduce political amnesty for protestors in the past 18 years. He suggested that the amnesty should be granted for those whose case are under legal process.—all media outlet  
    • Deputy PM Wissanu gave an interview this morning that the security apparatus should consider whether such an amnesty bill should be introduced. He did not dismiss or express any support on the idea.—Thai Post
    • Meanwhile, the Opposition whip MP from the main opposition Pheu Thai party Sutin Klungsang said that the timing of such a bill is right.—Kom Chad Leuk
    •  Last month, there was a report on the political amnesty, leading to a possible national reconciliation government between the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party and the main Opposition Pheu Thai Party.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Media reports that Mr Takorn Tantasith, former Secretary-General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, is being approached to become the new Digital Economy Minister as incumbent Minister Mr Puttipong will not be in the position after the cabinet reshuffle.—Siam Rath
  • The doctors at the Khon Kaen psychiatric hospital said that they have not reached a decision whether Mr Tivakorn, who wore the shirt “no longer faithful in the monarchical institution” and was taken from his house without any charges or warrant to the hospital by police, is mentally-ill. The local police said Mr Tivakorn was brought to the hospital on medical grounds.—BBC Thai

Business:

CPTPP

  • Some 100 members of the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation rallied at the Government House and submitted a letter to PM Prayut to voice their opposition to Thailand’s accession to the CPTPP.  Having compiled opinions from its members nationwide, the group said acceding to the CPTPP would cause Thailand to lose its sovereignty over fundamental factors such as plant seeds, pharmaceutical products and public policy.  Thailand could essentially become an ‘economic colony’ of foreign countries.  Source:  https://www.thansettakij.com/content/politics/441887  https://www.bangkokbiznews.com/news/detail/889251

Sino-Thai High Speed Railway

  • Thailand and China are expected to sign ‘Contract 2.3’ for Phase 1 of Sino-Thai High-Speed Railway (HSR) project in October this year, which will further progress the construction of the Bangkok – Nakhon Ratchasrima route.
  • Phase 2 of the HSR project entails rail routes linking Nakhon Ratchasima – Khon Kaen – Udon Thani- Nong Khai province.  Currently the government is holding rounds of public hearings for the Phase 2 construction, with Khon Kaen saying the HSR project will enable it to realise its potential as a transport hub in Thailand’s Northeast region.  Source: Thai Government fb page, 4 July 2020 https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1951468/khon-kaen-set-to-become-transport-hub 

Others

ASEAN/World

  • An opinion piece on Repositioning the region in the Asian Century.—Bangkok Post

Australia

  • The Thai language outlet of Chinese Radio International published Australian media & politician 11 misunderstandings towards China, including Chinese intervention and cyber-attacks in Australia. The article also mentions misunderstanding on Global Health Council resolution is not an Australian led resolution.—Thai CRI
  • Thai community in Sydney is growing larger both in terms of population and contribution to the community. Amidst the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, Thai community has contributed to both international students and local Australians in need. Find it in “Inside Sydney’s ‘Little Bangkok’—Nikkei Asian Review
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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