Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, November 2nd to the 8th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in order of date of publication.
1. Thai Government appears to block popular adult website Pornhub
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society last week had blocked access to more than 200 websites, including worldwide popular adult website “PornHub”. The Minister said that the Digital Ministry had received a lot of complaints from concerned parents and teachers that such websites allegedly contained offensive and misleading contents and needed to be taken care of. The discreet censorship had prompted so much anger among Thai social media that they called for a rally at the Government complex on the following day. The censorship, however, did not relate to certain allegedly compromising clips of dignitaries as many Thai people assumed, the Minister stated.
2. Thai Prime Minister urges long-term measures to rehabilitate tourism industry in Phuket, first two international airlines announces official flights to island
The Thai Prime Minister paid a visit to the South for a mobile cabinet meeting to discuss potential tourism rehabilitation with provincial governors during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. During the Prime Minister’s visit to the southern island, the first Emirates semi-commercial Flight containing allegedly (there were mixed reports on this) a group of Special Tourist Visa (STV) tourists from Dubai had landed at Phuket International Airport after it was closed during the global pandemic. The government also collaborated with Qatar airlines to plan semi-commercial flights from Doha to arrive in Phuket. Both flights from both airlines will operate two times a week to facilitate foreign tourists entering the country on the STV visa.
3. Royal Thai Police authorities observe first demonstration of practical drunk-driving checkpoint in Bangkok district before being implemented nationwide
A new drunk-driving checkpoint was in its first trial last week at the Thong Lor police station of Bangkok before being implemented across the country. It will be 20-meters long and attached with CCTV cameras along the way to monitor the procedure’s transparency and any suspicious behaviors of police officers and civilians. The new checkpoint must now be authorized by a police commander from a certain police station before setting up and must be installed orderly and visibly for all drivers. More details and overall procedures are covered in the article below.
4. Thai Tourism Authority to discuss travel bubble with no quarantines with China before Chinese New Year
Representatives of the Thai government will join a meeting with Chinese Embassy officials to discuss a potential tourism bubble in which Chinese tourists are welcomed to the country without having to perform state quarantine since the country has been officially recognized as low cases of Covid-19 coronavirus. The discussion is not yet taking place but will be in the near future, according to the tourism and sports minister. It is believed that the idea of the tourism bubble is due to the positive feedback after the first and second groups of limited Chinese tourists have visited the country since last month and all have tested Covid free.
5. Pro-democracy protest gathered at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument and marched to the Royal Palace Bureau
A group of pro-democracy activists had occupied the Democracy Monument to voice themselves against the military-based government under Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O’Cha. The rally last Sunday also marched to the Royal Palace Bureau to submit people’s letters which each protester had written especially for His Royal Majesty the King and the royal families. The match was once again challenging Thailand’s highest institution which has claimed to never be involved in any political movement in theory. Pro-democracy protesters also encountered lines of riot police and barricades as they were reaching the Grand Palace who stated they were protecting the Palace from rules under the Mass Assembly law. A water cannon was seen firing at the crowd of protesters for the second time after a prior major protest dispersal on October 16th. The Bangkok police later stated that the water cannon had been fired only as a warning.
That is all for this week, thank you as always for reading the Pattaya/TPN National News!