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Thailand News Today | No vaccine, no flight, protest latest, smoking ban | November 25

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Protesters flip the location of today’s protest. Counter protests planned.

Protesters moved the location of today’s protests to the the headquarters of Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok.

When protesters heard about a counter rally to meet and challenge them at the Crown Property building they decided to switch locations to the SCB headquarters around 10.30 last night.

SCB is a Thai bank that was set up under the auspices of the Crown Property Bureau. Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn is still the largest single shareholder, owning 23.35% of SCB shares.

Deputy PM and police warn protesters to stay away from the Crown Property Bureau

Stay away. That was the orders from police when the protesters were set to rally outside the Crown Property Bureau. Demonstrators would have been required to stay at least 150 metres away from the building in Phitsanulok Road.

A record 6,000 police were mobilised to handle the expected large crowd. Additional police have been shipped in from the provinces to bolster security for today’s rally.

Army re-inforcements have also been called in today, according to an Army spokesperson. The anti-government groups have also brought in their unarmed security force of some 50 people calling themselves “special services”.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon also warned royalists groups to avoid mounting a counter-demonstration against the planned anti-government rally yesterday.

12 anti-government protesters summonsed to hear lèse majesté charges

Meanwhile, with almost impeccable timing, 12 pro-democracy protesters have been issued with police summons to hear charges under the lèse majesté laws.

Section 112 covers insulting, defaming or threatening the Monarchy. Anyone convicted on lèse majesté charges faces imprisonment of between 3 and 15 years.

In June this year the Thai PM announced that HM the King had asked the government not to impose the country’s lèse majesté laws.

BBC names Thai protest leader Panusaya in global list of 100 most inspiring women

One of the protesters facing charges has also been named by the BBC as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring and influential women of 2020.

Thai pro-democracy activist, Panusaya aka. “Rung”, has been singled out in the list of women around the world who are driving change in challenging times. Panusaya is one of 3 Thai women to be listed.

As the leader of protest group, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, she came to international attention at a Bangkok rally in August, when she read out the group’s controversial 10 point manifesto calling for reform of the Monarchy – a taboo topic never before publicly discussed.

Monk dies after jumping in front of speeding train in north-east Thailand

A monk has died after jumping on to rail tracks and into the path of an approaching train in the north-eastern province of Si Sa Ket, near the Cambodian border.

The incident occurred at a provincial train station in front of horrified witnesses yesterday morning.

Witnesses report that he jumped onto the tracks and stood with his arms open, in the path of an oncoming train.

Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand

Thai health officials are calling for a ban on smoking in residential buildings, such as condominiums, hotels, and dormitories.

Those campaigning for a change in the law say it’s needed to protect the health of residents, and children in particular. The Health Laws and Ethics Centre at Thamassat University, says residential buildings should be smoke-free in order to protect residents from second-hand smoke. He was speaking at a seminar on the protection of non-smoking condo residents.

According to recent surveys only 15% say they are still smokers. 89% of respondents were in support of a total ban on smoking in condo buildings.

No vaccine, no flight – Qantas will require international travellers to be vaccinated

Qantas, Australia’s national airline, has been the first of what will likely be a common airline stipulation, with a requirement that all international travellers will need to have a vaccination against Covid-19 when it finally becomes available.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the Australian flag carrier would implement the measure once a coronavirus vaccine was made available to the public.

“For international visitors coming to Australia and people leaving the country, we think that is a necessity.”

Joyce says the new rule is likely to become a standard practice by all airlines worldwide as many governments are now working to introduce electronic vaccination passports.

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