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Minister vows to stop elephants being sent abroad

Monday July 22, 2019

Minister vows to stop elephants being sent abroad

By THE NATION

 

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Natural Resources Minister Warawuth Silpa-archa pledged on Monday to temporarily nullify a rule that allows elephants to be sent overseas.

 

Warawuth told a group of NGOs earlier in the day that he disagreed with sending elephants out of Thailand. He said he had personal knowledge of the subject and appreciated that elephants needed to live permanently with their original families for the sake of their physical and mental health.

 

A network of environmental and animal advocacy groups said a long-standing Commerce Ministry regulation allowed elephants to be sent overseas as gifts or in exchange programmes.

 

The group claimed many people had exploited this rule over the years and that many elephants had died or suffered serious illnesses along the way during the long journeys.

 

The activists also called on Warawuth to strictly enforce rules against poaching and any violation of laws related to the conservation of natural resources, citing as an example the infamous case of a business executive suspected of shooting dead and killing a panther.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30373408

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-07-23
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Airbnb welcomes Thai tourism minister’s pro-growth agenda

Monday July 22, 2019

Airbnb welcomes Thai tourism minister’s pro-growth agenda

By THE NATION

 

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Airbnb has welcomed new Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan’s commitment to grow tourism and support short-term accommodation in Thailand.

 

Speaking to media on his first day in office, Ratchakitprakan identified short-term accommodation reform and growing tourism in secondary cities as a priority area for the Tourism and Sports Ministry. 

 

“We look forward to working closely with the new government and Minister Ratchakitprakan on growing and diversifying Thailand’s tourism industry,” Airbnb’s head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia Mich Goh said. 

 

“We particularly welcome the minister’s commitment to prioritising short-term accommodation reform in Thailand. It is recognition that more travellers from Thailand and abroad are choosing to stay in short-term accommodation such as Airbnb listings, and that the rules need to keep pace. 

 

“While the Airbnb community in Thailand already makes a significant contribution to the tourism industry and economy, we believe that contribution could be even greater.

 

“Clear and innovative rules for short-term accommodation would create more opportunities for Thai hospitality entrepreneurs and help generate more income for local communities, especially those in secondary provinces. Airbnb stands ready to work with the Government in the coming months on developing clear, innovative rules for short-term accommodation in Thailand.”

 

Airbnb has already partnered with the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Local Administration to train local provincial officials on hospitality, hosting and compliance standards. Airbnb has also partnered with the state-owned Government Savings Bank to help promote and empower Thai hospitality entrepreneurs through flexible-interest rate loans and training programmes. 

 

According to data released in June, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated over Bt33.8 billion in estimated direct economic impact in Thailand in 2018. The data also found that 80 per cent of local Airbnb hosts say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests, and on average Airbnb guests in Thailand say 46 per cent of their spending occurs in the neighbourhood where they stay.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30373425

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-07-23
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Cannabis among top priorities for new Thai government

Monday July 22, 2019

Cannabis among top priorities for new Thai government

 

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FILE PHOTO: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives for a photo session with the new government cabinet in Bangkok, Thailand July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Developing a medical cannabis industry is among top policy priorities for Thailand’s new government, according to a document released before the formal announcement.

 

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former junta leader who heads a civilian government following March elections, is due to set out the policies for debate in the national assembly on Thursday. The policy document was released on Sunday.

 

Developing the medical cannabis industry was a key demand of the Bhumjaithai party, one of the biggest parties in Prayuth’s 19-party coalition.

 

“The study and technological development of marijuana, hemp, and other medicinal herbs should be sped up for the medical industry to create economic opportunity and income for the people,” the policy document said.

 

Thailand, which had a tradition of using cannabis to relieve pain and fatigue, legalized marijuana for medical use and research last year.

 

Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul, now a deputy prime minister and health minister, said his goal was to enable all Thais to grow marijuana to make money.

 

Anutin told local media it was important to remove hemp with a high level of cannabidiol (CBD) from the list of banned drugs for cultivation and then to free up hospitals to prescribe drugs containing the chemical compound.

 

Among other urgent government priorities were addressing drought, labor and economic problems.

 

Also on the list was a study to amend a new constitution that critics say preserves the hold of the military indefinitely. This study had been a demand of another coalition partner, the Democrat Party.

 

However, any constitutional changes would require the support of the Senate - which is entirely made up of appointees of the previous junta.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-07-22
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IMF urges Thailand to adopt fiscal reforms, monetary easing to support growth

Monday July 22, 2019

IMF urges Thailand to adopt fiscal reforms, monetary easing to support growth

 

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FILE PHOTO: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand should adopt an expansionary policy mix, including fiscal reforms and monetary easing to help support growth, which has slowed amid rising global trade tensions, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

 

The Thai economy grew by 4.1% in 2018, but growth in 2019–20 is expected to slow as uncertainty over trade tensions weigh on global demand, the IMF said in a statement after a staff visit to Southeast Asia's second-largest economy.

 

Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside, most notably the escalation of protectionism threatening the global trade system, the IMF said.

 

"To support domestic demand, the team recommends an expansionary policy mix consisting of judicious use of fiscal space, fiscal reforms, and monetary easing consistent with a data-dependent approach," it said.

 

The mission recommends a frontloaded increase in public investment in the fiscal year 2020, supported by stronger public investment management, which can catalyze private investment and raise productivity growth, the IMF said.

 

"Given the delay in the enactment of the FY 2020 budget with the transition to the new government and the resulting lack of fiscal stimulus in the remaining months of 2019, as well as the moderation of the financial cycle, monetary easing would help support domestic demand and external rebalancing," it said.

 

Thailand's new cabinet pledged loyalty to the king last week.

 

Thailand's central bank has left its policy interest rate <THCBIR=ECI> unchanged at 1.75% since tightening in December. It will next review policy on Aug. 7.

 

"Foreign exchange intervention should be limited to avoiding disorderly market conditions," the IMF said.

 

The agency said structural reforms would help address macroeconomic imbalances, promote inclusive growth and enhance the key drivers of long-term growth.

 

The IMF's Executive Board is tentatively scheduled to discuss the staff report in September, the IMF said.

 

For the full IMF report https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2019/07/22/pr19294-thailand-imf-staff-concludes-visit?cid=em-COM-123-39208

 

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Susan Fenton)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-07-23
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Ex- Deputy PM stunned by the words ‘intelligent country’ in government policy

Monday July 22, 2019

Ex- Deputy PM stunned by the words ‘intelligent country’ in government policy

 

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(Photo) Korbsak Sabhavasu’s Facebook page

 

Former deputy prime minister Korbsak Sabhavasu said today (Monday) that he was stunned that the government dared to use the words ‘intelligent country’ in the policy statement to be presented to parliament on July 25th and 26th by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

 

“(I) didn’t expect that they would dare to write such policy. ‘Toward intelligent country’, so far-fetched.  May I ask, is there anyone who knows the meaning of an ‘intelligent country’?” tweeted Kobsak in reference to government policy No 5.7 about the development of infrastructure through digital technology.

 

The former Democrat party deputy prime minister, however, praised policy No 7 of the Education Ministry about plans to prepare Thai people to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

 

Full story: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/ex-pm-stunned-by-the-words-intelligent-country-in-government-policy/

 

 
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Industry minister offers Thai haven for China’s trade war victims

Monday July 22, 2019

Industry minister offers Thai haven for China’s trade war victims

By The Nation

 

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Suriya

 

Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit on Monday issued what he called urgent policy on four aspects of his ministerial duties.

 

Suriya said he would encourage Chinese companies affected by the US-China trade war to invest more in Thailand, and conduct a roadshow soon in China and Japan as part of that effort.

 

The Board of Investment, meanwhile, would be asked to readjust its investment conditions on a case-by-case basis to make them more attractive to individual investors.

 

All megaprojects including the planned extension of Suvarnabhumi Airport would be encouraged to use domestic raw materials for construction where possible.

 

Under the fourth aspect of policy, those launching SME businesses would be funded by low-interest loans guaranteed by the ministry.

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30373420

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-07-23
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TM.30: Immigration chief tells foreigners: Report where you are and who is staying with you

Saturday July 20, 2019

TM.30: Immigration chief tells foreigners: Report where you are and who is staying with you

 

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The acting head of Thai Immigration Lt-Gen Sompong Chingduang appears to be stepping up his policy of making sure that all house owners and hoteliers report the whereabouts of foreigners within 24 hours or face fines.

 

He has also warned foreigners staying longer than  three months to make their 90 day reports or face fines. 

 

Thai news site Naew Na - who have become somewhat of a mouthpiece for immigration in recent days - featured the latest stories about officers acting on Sompong or Big Oud's orders. 

 

In Chonburi at Sunset Village Beach resort in Jomtien and at the "1000 Resort" in Phichit immigration found everything to be in order. 

 

But in Roi-Et a house owner was fined. 

 

And in Singburi a house in Moo 13 Mai Dat sub-district was surrounded and the house owner was fined under section 38. 

 

The message from these stories - appearing in Naew Na almost every day recently - is clear:

 

If you have a foreigner staying in your address it must be reported within 24 hours. 

 

If you are on a long stay visa make sure you report your whereabouts every 90 days. 

 

TM.30

 

Over the past year, Thai immigration have started to more strictly enforce its requirement of the reporting of the locations of foreigners staying in Thailand. 

 

The requirement isn’t new and is actually part of the 1979 Immigration Act, covered under section 38, which reads:

 

“House owners, heads of household, landlords or managers of hotels who accommodate foreign nationals on a temporary basis who stay in the kingdom legally, must notify the local immigration authorities within 24 hours from the time of arrival of the foreign national." 

 

“The notification of residence of foreign nationals is made by the manager of licensed hotels according to the hotel act, owners of guesthouses, mansions, apartments and rented houses using the form TM. 30”.

 

If you are staying in a hotel, then the hotel will complete the TM.30 on your behalf.

 

However, if for example you have friends or family staying with you at your home in Thailand you have a responsibility to submit a TM.30 within 24 hours of their arrival so that immigration know your friends are staying at your address.

 

If you live in a rented property in Thailand, your landlord needs to submit a TM.30 to tell immigration you are living at that address. 

 

Likewise, perhaps you or your wife owns a property in Thailand which is rented out to a foreigner, you also have a responsibility to submit a TM.30 form.

 

If you live in a house which is in your wife’s name and you are not named on the tabian baan, then your wife is required to submit a TM.30 form telling immigration you live there.

 

As mentioned, the requirement to submit a TM.30 is not new but it is now being more rigorously enforced. 

 

Failing to complete a TM.30 can result in a fine of up to 2,000 baht.

 

You can submit the TM.30 form at your local immigration office.

 

If there is not an immigration in your province, the form can be submitted at your local police station.

 

The TM.30 can also be submitted online but the system only works for Chrome and Internet Explorer users.

 

As with many rules and regulations from immigration, the actual requirements may differ from one office to another. 

 

To confirm exactly what is required in your province, contact your local immigration office.

 

You can download the TM.30 form here.

 

Source: Naew Na

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2019-07-20

 

 

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Thailand Live Tuesday 23 July 2019

Monday July 22, 2019

Thailand's June foreign tourist arrivals rise 0.89% y/y - ministry

 

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BANGKOK, July 22 (Reuters) -

 

* Thailand saw a rise of 0.89% in tourist arrivals in June from a year earlier, after a drop of 1.03% in May, the tourism ministry said in a statement on Monday.

 

Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1113366-thailands-june-foreign-tourist-arrivals-rise-089-yy-ministry/

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SURVEY: Marijuana – Hope for the sick or an excuse to get high?

Saturday July 20, 2019

There have been a number of threads on the the legal changes in the laws regarding marijuana.   Recently, the tourism minister suggested that marijuana and Thai massage could bring European tourists back.    In your opinion, which of the following best describes your opinion on medical marijuana?  

 

Please feel free to leave a comment.

 

Reference articles:

 

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1112551-new-minister-hopes-to-have-medical-marijuana-prescribed-from-august/

 

https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1112819-free-trade-in-marijuana-will-do-more-bad-than-good-warns-academic/

 

 

 

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Rights panel urged to mull transgender teacher assistant’s lament

Monday July 22, 2019

Rights panel urged to mull transgender teacher assistant’s lament

By The Nation

 

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An LGBT-rights group on Monday asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to determine whether a transgender teacher’s assistant in Buri Ram is the victim of discrimination affecting her welfare and career.

 

The allegation is contrary to the insistence earlier this week by executives at the school that all teachers and assistants were evaluated based on appropriate criteria including performance.

 

Led by its president, Kittinan Tharamathat, the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand presented a petition to NHRC commissioner Angkhana Neelapaijit at the agency’s head office in Bangkok.

 

“The teaching profession has never discriminated against any gender, but people’s bias does,” Kittinan said.

 

Angkhana agreed to propose an NHRC investigation and said teachers should be fired only in the event of a serious breach of discipline, not based on the belief that the teacher’s behaviour might threaten a school’s reputation.

 

Angkhana also noted that regulations on teacher attire were out of date and not in line with the Constitution or gender-equality law.

 

Apaporn Plaengthaisong, acting deputy director of the school in Buri Ram’s Nang Rong district, maintained earlier this week that the transgender teacher’s assistant hadn’t been “bullied” and that her routine six-month evaluation was aimed only at improving her behaviour and the performance of her duty. 

 

She said the school had signed a 10-point agreement with the teacher’s assistant covering “communication attitude” with students, appropriate behaviour and adherence to government rules on public schoolteachers’ attire and hairstyle. 

 

The teacher’s assistant received a poor evaluation only as part of the first half of the process and could still do well in the second part, Apaporn said.

 

“The school never thinks a person of a different gender might be bad at work or should fail in the evaluation. The school committee based its scrutiny on performance. There is no discrimination or bias,” Apaporn said, adding that six transgender teachers or other personnel were employed at the school.

 

Transgender teacher Jakkapan Pengprakhon said she had worked at the same school for eight years and never encountered discrimination. 

 

She said all teachers should be assessed in performance to ensure maximum benefits to the students. “You have to prove your ability in the job, not just demand gender rights. What will convince people to see your worth is your work results.”

 

The matter came to the public’s attention last week when activist Nada Chaivajit claimed on Facebook that teacher’s assistant Ukrit Jadsanam, hired last October, could be sacked due to “very” low marks in her evaluation, which Ukrit felt stemmed from her superior’ bias against her wearing a woman’s uniform. 

 

Nada quoted Ukrit as saying that the price she has paid for trying to “maintain her identity” has included “unfair” accusations and pressure and even being called “living garbage” in a group chat. Ukrit got the low marks on her evaluation and a mere 1-per-cent salary increment, amounting to just Bt180, according to Nada.

 

Tanwarin Sukkhapisit of the Future Forward Party, Thailand’s first transgender party-list MP, led a team to visit Nang Rong on Sunday to explore what happened. 

 

Tanwarin said Ukrit told them she was worried about damage to her career advancement because of the pressure she felt at work, while being barred from wearing women’s clothing affected her morale, confidence and work efficiency. 

 

Tanwarin said the team would hear the school executives’ side and raise the matter in Parliament. “This is why we’ve been trying to get a standing committee on gender diversity,” she said. “A case like this could represent the beginning of all sides coming to an understanding on gender diversity in the schools.”

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30373412

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-07-23
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