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  • PM denies backing junta govt

    The government on Monday denied allegations that it was supporting Myanmar and its use of force against its own people, saying it is preparing for a possible surge of refugees as the political conflict across the border escalates.

    "In what ways do we support Myanmar troops? Nobody supports use of violence against the people," Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said when asked about claims the government was providing aid to Myanmar troops.

    Gen Prayut made the remark when he spoke to the media at Government House on Monday -- two days after at least 90 Myanmar citizens, including several children, were killed after Myanmar's security forces opened fire on anti-coup protesters. As the death toll since the Feb 1 coup soared to over 460 on Monday, the Myanmar junta staged a major show of might for its annual Armed Forces Day.

    The prime minister also defended the Thai military's decision to send representatives to attend the Armed Forces Day celebrations, saying Thailand needs to engage and maintain a communications channel.

    "It is a military channel. We need mechanisms which will enable us to follow political developments in Myanmar. The countries share a border and we will be affected," he said.

    Gen Prayut said authorities were preparing for a possible flood of refugees fleeing the violence in Myanmar.

    "We don't want an exodus into our territory, but we will observe human rights, too," Gen Prayut said while declining to estimate the number of people who might flee across the border.

    Gen Prayut said economic activities between Thailand and Myanmar are continuing as usual because they are vital to the livelihoods of people in both countries.

    However, he said the government will have to carefully weigh this against measures imposed by Asean and other international organisations.

    Meanwhile, when asked about political violence in Myanmar, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Monday said that Thailand will remain committed to Asean's non-inference principle.

    When asked about the crackdown on anti-coup protesters, Gen Prawit said: "I don't get involved. I don't look."

    In the border province of Mae Song Hon, authorities were preparing for a surge of refugees following reports of air strikes near the Thai-Myanmar border.

    Thai villagers in tambon Mae Sam Lap in Sop Moei district told district officials they spotted aircraft from Myanmar on Monday afternoon.

    It was reported that about 3,000 Karen villagers crossed the Salween River from Myanmar into Thailand's Mae Hong Son province on Sunday out of fear of another air strike on Sunday.

    Governor Sitthichai Chindaluang said on Monday measures have been rolled out to accommodate refugees, with the Naresuan Task Force put in charge of handling the refugees.

    He said that those who fled out of panic would be asked to return while those who fled out of fear for their safety will be sheltered on a humanitarian basis. He said the refugees will only be allowed to remain near the border.

    A source said that almost 2,200 people fled across the border to Mae Hong Son's Mae Sariang district after airstrikes on a military base controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), which is located opposite Mae Sariang district, killed one soldier and injured two others.

    Meanwhile, Singapore's foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan has called the situation in Myanmar "an unfolding tragedy", saying it is essential for Southeast Asian countries to have a stance on the matter.

    "It is going to take quite some time to resolve. I must confess to you that I am pessimistic," Mr Balakrishnan, according to a transcript released on Monday.

    Mr Balakrishnan has spoken strongly about the coup and the subsequent deadly crackdown. He has been pushing for Asean to play a more active role in finding a way out of the crisis.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • UDD leader Jatuporn to lead protest against PM Prayut on April 4

      United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) chairman Jatuporn Promphan has vowed to lead a prolonged protest, with the ultimate goal of toppling the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

      Jatuporn, who has been sitting on the sidelines, observing the political situation since his release from prison in August 2018, said in his Facebook live address on Wednesday that the political situation in Thailand is at a critical point and that he can no longer sit idly by and must respond to the call, by Adul Khieuboriboon, leader of the relatives of the victims of the “Black May” event in 1992, for mass protests.

      He said that the protest will be modelled after the “Black May” event in 1992, in which people of all political shades joined together to fight for democracy against dictatorship.

      The leader of the UDD, which is now seen as a spent political force in Thailand, admitted that he is looked down upon by several politicians, among them Senator Somchai Sawengkarn, who said that he will never be able to mobilize a big following, as he did in the past.

      Jatuporn expects people from various political camps and ideologies to join the protest on April 4th.

      He blamed Prime Minister Prayut for being the main source of the problems besetting Thailand and said he must be removed for the betterment of the country and its people:

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • BMA considers field hospitals as health officials warn COVID-19 infections may increase exponentially

        Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Ministry of Interior and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to arrange space for the setting up of a field hospital in Bangkok, in case COVID-19 infections increase beyond the capacity of the capital’s regular hospitals.

        He assured, however, that the current situation in Bangkok is still under control, but warned the public not to lower their guard and to observe basic safety guidelines strictly, such as wearing face masks, observing social distancing and avoiding high risk venues.

        While expressing concern over the pandemic situation, the prime minister said that he does not want to order all entertainment outlets nationwide to close, while noting that those which fail to follow the guidelines strictly will be shut down immediately.

        Regarding the Songkran festival next week, when many people are expected to travel extensively and visit elderly people to receive blessings, the prime minister said that he would prefer to see people exercise more caution and avoid gathering together in large numbers, which will put them at risk of infection, adding that the water sprinkling ritual at Government House has been cancelled.

        Meanwhile, Dr. Opas Karnkavinpong, director-general of the Disease Control Department, warned that new infections may increase to over 1,000 per day, if there are no effective restrictions or controls during Songkran.

        The Thonglor cluster has already infected 291 people in Bangkok and several other provinces since March 22nd, but the numbers will jump and the disease may spread quickly across the country if there are no or lax restrictions over Songkran.

        Dr. Yong Poovorawan, chief of the clinical virology centre at Chulalongkorn University, said that the virus, which is now spreading from the Thonglor cluster, is the UK strain, which can spread 1.7 times faster than previous strains.

        From simulated forecasts, he said that infections this year could be ten times higher than last year’s and, if restrictive measures this year are ten times more lenient, there is a likelihood that the infections this year may spiral up to 100 times higher than last year.:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • PM orders 14-day shutdown of any entertainment venue, restaurant with Covid-19 infection

          Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered an immediate 14-day shutdown of entertainment venues or restaurants where a Covid-19 infection is found, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri confirmed on Thursday.

          “The measure has been effective since April 5 in a bid to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further after a new outbreak linked to entertainment venues such as pubs, bars and karaoke parlours,” he said.

          “If an infection is found at any of these businesses, it will be shut down for at least two weeks. In case infections are found across many businesses in the same area, they will all be shut for at least 14 days,” he clarified.

          Anucha said restaurants were still allowed to open, but they have to employ strict Covid-19 preventive measures. “If any infection is found at any restaurant, it will be ordered shut for at least two weeks as well,” he said.

          “The prime minister also granted the communicable disease committee in each province the power to consider shutting down any business for at least two weeks if it is related to an outbreak in their province,” Anucha said.

          “In case of an emergency situation, the provincial governor could issue a temporary shutdown order on public places such as markets, meeting halls, theatres and schools, provided that such an order is approved by the provincial communicable disease committee,” added Anucha.:

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • Poor old Uncle Tu -


            • Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
              [SIZE=14px]PM orders 14-day shutdown of any entertainment venue, restaurant with Covid-19 infection
              good idea
              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • Greater BKK and CM on new lockdown alert.


                • Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
                  PM orders 14-day shutdown of any entertainment venue, restaurant with Covid-19 infection
                  shutdown all large gathering
                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • PM mulls filing suit if people say 'Thai Khu Fa Club'

                    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday he was considering taking legal action against anyone who used the expression "Thai Khu Fa Club" to mock the government amid reports a minister had contracted Covid-19 at a nightclub in Thong Lor.

                    "I have ordered the legal team to consider whether it is against the law or not. Using the term Thai Khu Fa ... is not [right]," Gen Prayut said.

                    The 101-year-old Thai Khu Fa building houses the Prime Minister's Office and is located in the grounds of Government House.

                    Gen Prayut was speaking after some people made fun of the place to link it with a new Covid-19 cluster linked to entertainment venues in Bangkok's Thong Lor area, where a minister is rumoured to have caught the virus. He added that the government could not prohibit anyone from visiting nightclubs.

                    Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and other ministers currently in quarantine were doing fine, Gen Prayut said. They were working from home via video conferencing and other apps.

                    Meanwhile, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob on Friday sent a current photo of himself to the media to show he was healthy despite having Covid-19.

                    Mr Saksayam tested positive on April 7 and is being treated at Buriram Hospital.

                    The Buriram provincial public health department on Thursday published the minister's timeline from March 23–April 7 on Facebook but he has since deleted the post, saying there were some mistakes that needed to be fixed.

                    The minister's published timeline did not contain an entertainment venue.

                    Mr Saksayam asked his lawyer to file a complaint with the police against a Twitter user who posted a video clip of a nightclub in Thong Lor. The user used hashtags that could make people believe that a man in the clip was Mr Saksayam, the lawyer said.

                    Kittichai Reangsawat, a Bhumjaithai Party MP for Chachoengsao, denied reports he had caught Covid when he accompanied the infected minister to the Thong Lor nightclub, saying it probably happened while he was out dining with a friend on April 4.:

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • Seems the PM is upset
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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