If you’ve ever wanted the chance to make your voice heard over Thailand – and judging by our comments section, many of you really, really do – now is your chance! The Thai government released a survey titled “Foreigners’ Awareness, Trust in Important Government Policies, and Thailand’s Perceived Image”.
The aptly titled survey was set up by the Thai government’s public relations department to gather foreigners’ opinions and ideas on a variety of topics regarding Thailand today. Do not get too excited: the questionnaire is only multiple choice and covers topics that the government has deemed important for Thailand and Thai tourism.
There are no written answers where foreigners, tourists or expatriates can rant and rant about their particular pet peeves in the Kingdom. Save that for Thaiger’s comments section.
The Thailand questionnaire claims that all responses are completely confidential, except that it is a Google form that requires you to login with your email.
The questionnaire also contains several questions to gauge what foreigners think about different aspects of Thailand.
They asked if Thailand’s public health could be raised to a world-class level, if Thai culture could be spread globally, and if respondents viewed Thailand as a developed economy with a good standard of living. .
One question asked specifically if Thailand is a country that promotes democracy. Another asked if there is a free market that promotes fair competition.
The final questions were more feel-good questions about whether those who took the survey feel that Thailand is a special country that they feel connected to.
If you want to play around with the form, we’ve linked to it:
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed claims he was about to jump ship and join another political party.
According to rumors circulating in Parliament, the Thai supremo is going to join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. But Thailand’s prime minister denied that the new political party had approached him to be its leader in the upcoming elections next year.
Prayut claims his allegiance is with the Palang Pracharat party. To say that “The party supported me to become Prime Minister, didn’t it? I remain with the PPRP in the next elections. I always keep my word.
Ruam Thai Sang Chart was founded by Seksakon Atthawong, a former aide to the Prime Minister.
The party gained national attention last year. Political observers believe it was created as an alternative to the Palang Pracharat party, in case the ruling party ran into legal problems.
A number of high-level politicians have joined the party, including General Prayut’s adviser, Peeraphan Saleerathaviphak, who was a former Democratic member and Palang Pracharat, former Democratic politician Akanat Promphan and former General Secretary of the Action Coalition for Thailand, Duangrit Benjathikul Chai Rungruang.
Pirapan reportedly applied to join the party on July 28 while Akanat and Duangrit signed up on Monday.
The Nok Air plane that skidded off the runway in Chiang Rai on Saturday night has still not been removed. Mae Fah Luang airport in northern Thailand has announced that it will remain closed for two more days and this time plans to reopen on Friday August 5 at 10 p.m.
The airport announced the suspension of all flights to and from the airport on Sunday morning after Nok Air flight DD108 from Bangkok veered off the runway while landing and got stuck in the mud Saturday night around 9 p.m.
Last night, August 2, Thailand Airports and Chiang Rai Airport issued a joint statement to announce that flights will not resume on August 3 as scheduled. The statement said the airport needs two more days to move the Boeing 737-800 away from the side of the runway. Flights will resume Friday at 10 p.m.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand – or CAAT – called the incident “serious”. Despite requiring cabin crew to evacuate “crashed” planes within 90 seconds, the 164 passengers on board remained on board for more than an hour, sparking outrage from passengers and the public. The engine was turned off and passengers were stuck inside the hot plane with no lights or air conditioning, according to a passenger complaint.
Nok Air released a statement explaining that the poorly executed evacuation was due to the cabin crew following the “highest safety procedures”.
The incident caused major travel disruptions. Mae Fah Luang Airport has a single runway, which means no flights enter or leave for a period of at least six days. The airport typically sees 36 flights depart each day, facilitating a daily average of 4,500 to 5,000 passengers.
Another round of ‘peace talks’ between the Thai government and rebel groups in Thailand’s deep south concluded yesterday, with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional – one of the most active and established insurgent groups south – given Thailand’s request for a three-month ceasefire for the duration of Buddhist Lent.
The Thai government has proposed a 108-day ceasefire between August 15 and November 30.
Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and parts of Songkhla province – covering the area of the historic “Patani” kingdom – have been plagued by intermittent violent attacks between government forces and “rebels” or “insurgent groups” since that the insurgency resumed in 2004. Since then, more than 7,000 people have been killed and 13,500 injured in violence in Thailand’s Deep South. However, the roots of the Southern Thai insurgency go much further back in the story.
The BRN did not immediately accept the Buddhist Lent ceasefire and is still negotiating certain aspects before reaching a final agreement. However, the idea of a ceasefire is certainly on the table.
During Ramadan, between April 3 and May 14 this year, the BRN and the Thai government observed a successful 40-day ceasefire during which both sides kept their promises of a religious holiday without violence.
However, the Patani United Liberation Front (PULO) – another major historic insurgent group – did not observe the Ramadan ceasefire. PULO carried out two roadside bomb attacks in southern Thailand during Ramadan, killing a villager and injuring three police officers. PULO claimed responsibility for the attack, citing the group’s exclusion from peace talks in Kuala Lumpur as the reason behind it.
Thailand’s chief negotiator, General Wanlop Raksanoh, said PULO was welcome to seek an invitation to the next round of Thai government peace talks.
Yesterday the fourth of five original charges filed against ‘Red Bull Heir’ Vorayuth Yoovidya expired. The charge of careless driving causing death is the only remaining charge.
Vorayuth – the grandson of billionaire Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yuwittaya – became a fugitive after driving through Bangkok’s Thong Lor district in his Ferrari, running over a police officer and dragging his body down the road, resulting in his death.
Boss still hasn’t faced justice for the crime committed 10 years ago. Over time, his arrest warrants expire one by one.
Yesterday, the deputy spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office revealed that the criminal charge against Vorayuth for ‘use of cocaine’ had expired earlier than expected due to revisions to Thailand’s narcotics law.
The law change halved the arrest warrant limit from 10 years to five years, causing Vorayuth’s charge of “cocaine use” to automatically expire. The charges of “driving too fast” and “reckless driving causing damage to the property of others” expired in 2013. The charge of “fleeing an accident without providing assistance” expired in 2017.
At present, “reckless driving causing death” is the only charge remaining against Vorayuth. Under Section 291 of Thailand’s Penal Code, reckless driving causing death is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The charge will expire on September 3, 2027.
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