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Prayut returns as prime minister

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    • Thais to be evacuated from Wuhan on Saturday

    A chartered plane will depart on Saturday morning to pick up Thais stranded in virus-hit Wuhan, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Friday.

    Gen Prawit said China had given permission for the plane to land at locked-down Wuhan.

    Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was handling arrangements for the evacuation, Gen Prawit said.

    Dr Narong Aphikulvanich, deputy director-general of the Medical Services Department, said 64 Thai citizens were confirmed to be in Wuhan. A team of doctors specialising in respiratory infections and emergency medicine would be on the plane. .

    They would have the necessary equipment to examine the evacuees as they board the plane and again after they arrive back in Thailand, Dr Narong said.

    Those with symptoms of illness would be quarantined in hospital for at least 14 days. The others would be monitored at their homes for the same period for any signs of disease, he said.:
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • House passes 2020 budget bill

      The House of Representatives has voted 257-1 with three abstentions to pass the 2020 budget bill, but not without a setback.

      The vote on the second reading, which calls for a vote on each section, had to be redone after the meeting lacked a quorum on Section 6 on the contingency budget.

      The meeting consisted of coalition MPs since the opposition earlier decided not to attend the meeting.

      The members voted and approved Sections 1-31 before taking a one-hour break at 12.50pm.

      During the break, Mr Chuan reportedly called a meeting with his legal team because Veerakorn Kamprakob, a Palang Prachararth MP for Nakhon Sawan, had pointed out the meeting lacked a quorum during the vote on Section 6.

      A total of 244 MPs voted on the section of the required 249, half of the existing 498 members of the House.

      After the break, Mr Chuan allowed the MPs to use the voting devices of the Opposition. He told the members he was worried the problem could cause yet another delay.

      After a short debate, Mr Chuan called a revote starting from Section 1 at around 3pm.

      Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a member of the Budget Bill panel who sought a debate on almost all sections and had debated through Section 30, agreed to drop the request for further debate. He won applause from members for helping speed up the process.

      The vote by section ended at 4.30pm. The third reading, which involves a single vote whether to approve the bill in its entirety, followed. The House voted 257-1 with three abstentions to approve it.

      The Constitutional Court told the House to vote again on the second and third readings after some MPs were found to have voted on behalf of their absent colleagues.:
      • Budget bill clears Senate unchallenged

      The Senate took only an hour on Friday (February 14) to approve legislation on the national budget for fiscal 2020, ending a much-delayed and drawn-out process that ramped up fears of causing more damage to the economy.

      Senators assembled at 2pm for what was understood to be a debate-free formality.

      House Speaker Chuan Leekpai will now submit the bill to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who will wait a required five days in case there any further objections before presenting it to His Majesty the King to endorse.:
      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • debate-free formality.
        Ah , democracy at it's finest



        • Lil' Green Prayuth has no more returned as PM than he ever was PM in the first place. He seized power illegitimately by military coup, stole the farcical elections, and has no more legitimate claim to being the PM of Thailand than the head of the Boy Scout association. He has never been legitimately elected, and any wank action or piece of legislation his illegitimate junta makes can be overturned at the stroke of a pen, when/if Thailand finally regains a legitimate government.


          • Originally posted by sabang View Post
            Lil' Green Prayuth has no more returned as PM than he ever was PM in the first place. He seized power illegitimately by military coup, stole the farcical elections, and has no more legitimate claim to being the PM of Thailand than the head of the Boy Scout association. He has never been legitimately elected, and any wank action or piece of legislation his illegitimate junta makes can be overturned at the stroke of a pen, when/if Thailand finally regains a legitimate government.

            I wouldn't be holding my breath with the hopes of a legitimate democratic government any time in the far distant future.

            Better bet that all will remain the same, in one controlling form or another, for some time to come.
            Or.....until their are no longer any historical influencing circles.....or, a bloody revolution takes place.

            The Ammat-Military Industrial Complex will not pass soon


            • I'm not. That's why I'm not there.


              • Originally posted by sabang View Post
                I'm not. That's why I'm not there.

                Though, seem to be overtly concerned about Thai affairs in a somewhat bitter matter.


                • Sure, I dropped a lotta money there in a country I once believed in. But that's life.


                  • Prayut shoots down 9-day Songkran holiday

                    The prime minister has poured cold water on the suggestion to extend this year's Songkran Festival into a nine-day holiday.

                    Emerging from the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said the idea was not tabled as a proposal for the cabinet to consider.

                    Gen Prayut said he personally did not agree with a longer Songkran holiday.

                    The idea was to add two more days -- Thursday, April 16, and Friday, April 17 -- so that the Songkran holiday would run nine days from April 11-19.

                    "I think the normal holiday should be enough, because all public services are necessary. I don't think an extended holiday to spur tourism would generate much return," the prime minister said.:
                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • Awaiting the new and improved odd coup.


                      • ^we've been over this. you could be waiting a long time
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • Prayut to stay on at house in army base/Prawit denies staying in one, Anupong cites distance

                          Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says he will continue to live in a house in an army base for security reasons.

                          “I've served the country all my life. Regardless of regulations, I still work today. Most importantly, I’m the prime minister and security is necessary. It’s important that there be an appropriate place for the leader of the country. However, I stand ready to move to my own place,” he said.

                          His comments came after army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong vowed to “clean up” inappropriate activities after the Nakhon Ratchasima bloodbath on Feb 8. The motive of the rampage was believed to have stemmed from a housing loan under the army’s welfare programme which some higher-ranking officers’ families allegedly make a business out of at the expense of their subordinates.

                          Gen Apirat mentioned as an example of such activities the use of army-provided residences by soldiers after they retired.

                          The armed forces provide houses and apartments as standard welfare for their personnel and many of them are located inside military bases. After an occupier retires, he is no longer qualified to use it.

                          After Gen Apirat’s comments, questions have been raised about some senior cabinet ministers who are retired soldiers — Gen Prayut and his two deputies, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon and Gen Anupong Paochinda — since the trio are known to have lived in an army base. Some senators who are retired soldiers also do the same.

                          The army spokesperson explained later there was an exception to the rule: if a retired soldier continues to serve the country well, he may continue to use the provided houses as residences. She cited as an example positions such as ministers and senators.

                          Gen Prawit said on Tuesday he had not lived in an army house since retirement. But a forest conservation foundation which he chairs rented the land in an army base for its office from the Finance Ministry for 15 years.

                          Deputy PM and Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda explained he had given up an army residence after he retired and had since lived in his own house but recently reused it. He reasoned he was so exhausted from commuting because of the long distance.

                          In addition to government figures, an opposition MP admitted to keeping a house.

                          Lt Gen Pongsakorn Rodchomphu of the Future Forward Party, which champions military reform, told a TV programme he still lived in a provided house five years after he retired.

                          After heavy criticism, he apologised to the public and resigned as deputy party leader but would remain an MP and continue to push the reform.

                          Gen Pornpipat Benyasri, chief of the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, said housing was part of the welfare. “A commander is responsible for his subordinates, regardless of whether he still serves or has retired. We're ready to be flexible and help where we can.”

                          Gen Prayut retired as army chief in 2014, Gen Anupong in 2010 and Gen Prawit in 2005.:
                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • I would be curious to know what rent they pay.


                            • ^If any. I would like to know also.
                              • PM visits Korat, offers compensation to victims of shooting rampage

                              Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday (February 19) went to Nakhon Ratchasima province to meet with people and families affected by the Korat mass shooting earlier this month and offered compensation totalling Bt34.8 million.

                              The PM and accompanying ministers met local people after praying at the Thao Suranaree Monument or Yamo, a memorial to a Thai heroine, for peace.Prayut gave financial aid and amulets at the Prem Tinsulanonda Auditorium, Nakhon Ratchasima City Hall to the injured and the families of those who had died in the mass shooting. The compensation from the Victims of Disaster Fund, the Office of the Prime Minister, totalled Bt34.8 million.

                              On Wednesday, the families of 24 out of 27 who had died received Bt1 million each. Nineteen of 21 people who suffered serious injuries received Bt200,000 per person, and 32 out of 36 people who suffered light injuries got Bt100,000 per person. There is also compensation for recovery victims under the Victim Compensation Act. The provincial office is still investigating damages to determine compensation for property damaged in the incident.

                              The prime minister then travelled to Korat Terminal 21 department store to inspect the place and boost the morale of shop operators and the public.:
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                                • No virus cover-up, premier tweets

                                Evidently in a mood to condemn “fake news”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha went on Twitter on Thursday (February 20) insisting there’s no Covid-19 cover-up going on in Thailand.

                                The government was neither hiding nor distorting the number of infections found here and citizens should gain confidence in its remarkable success in managing the disease thus far, he tweeted.

                                Several other countries have expressed admiration for Thailand’s ability to stem the virus’ spread, but even foreign experts on disease control have signalled doubt over the relatively small numbers of confirmed and suspected cases officially reported.

                                Prayut had earlier in the day urged the public to stay calm and not share “fake news or hate speech” about the virus threat, “because everyone, especially medical personnel, will be working on it until the crisis has passed”.

                                “The situation in Thailand today is still in a range we can cope with,” he said. “And the government will take care of all affected sectors of society.”

                                Prayut emerged from an afternoon meeting at Government House on the virus issue, saying the Cabinet would soon announce measures to support entrepreneurs who have been affected by the outbreak centred in China.

                                “The measures already taken have been able to control the situation effectively, but we plan to introduce more to help society cope and more again if the outbreak evolves to the next level,” he said.

                                “Meanwhile it’s important to shore up the production and distribution of protective facemasks, which is still falling short.”

                                Businesspeople in tourism and industry stung by the virus can count on state assistance, Prayut said. “The virus has had an impact on all businesses, so we must resolve the problem in a comprehensive way. I thank all government agencies for their cooperation in helping solve these problems.”:
                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer