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Yellow Shirt leader sentenced 20 years for fabricating loan documents

Thailand’s Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced Sondhi Limthongkul, a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy PAD, the Yellow Shirt movement, to 20 years in prison without suspension for violating the Securities and Exchange Act.

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The court found him guilty on 17 counts with a five-year imprisonment for each count, raising the total jail term to 85 years.

Thailand’s Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced Sondhi Limthongkul, a core leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy PAD, the Yellow Shirt movement, to 20 years in prison without suspension for violating the Securities and Exchange Act. He was accused for fabricating documents to secure a Bt1,078 million loan from the state-owned Krung Thai Bank for his media business in 1996-1997.

The defendant confessed and the jail term was halved to 42 years and six months. However, the maximum punishment for the case should not exceed 20 years imprisonment.

The court found him guilty on 17 counts with a five-year imprisonment for each count, raising the total jail term to 85 years.

The court found Sondhi guilty on 17 counts with a five-year imprisonment for each count, raising the total jail term to 85 years.

The court then handed down the verdict to give him the maximum jail term of 20 years without suspension.Mr Sondhi’s lawyer then submitted a bail request with Bt10 million assets as collateral.

The former media magnate is a core leader of the so-called Yellow Shirts, formally known as the Peoples Alliance for Democracy, the movement against ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, which staged rallies in the capital and led to the 2006 coup which ousted Mr Thaksin from power.

via Court sentences Yellow Shirt leader to 20 years prison.

On 10 April 2005, Thaksin Shinawatra presided over a merit-making ceremony at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is within the walls of the Grand Palace and contains the most revered Buddha figure in Thailand. Starting October 2005, the website of Phoochatkarn newspaper ran an article alleging that the Prime Minister had usurped a royal function of the King by presiding over the ceremony.

This led Sondhi to start using “We Love the King”, “We Will Fight for the King”, and “Return Power to the King” as his key anti-Thaksin rallying slogans. This allegation has been repeated in Sondhi’s “Thailand Weekly” live tapings.

Sondhi hosted an own outdoor talk show throughout late 2005 and early 2006 at Thammasat University and in Lumphini Park with his slogan, “We Fight for the King”. His broadcasts/protests, which later became the core of the People’s Alliance for Democracy attracted many protesters, with the largest one on February 4, 2006 at the Royal Plaza drawing between 40,000 – 50,000 (foreign media estimates) and 100,000 (local media estimates) protestors. The talk show protests were broadcast online via the ManagerOnline web site, generating nearly a twofold increase in site visitors, from an average of 80,000 to 150,000 visitors per day.

Protests led by Sondhi took on an increasingly critical tone. At a protest in late February 2006, social activist and Buddhist lay leader Sulak Sivaraksacalled Thaksin “a pitiful dog”, while Auychai Watha, chairman of a north-eastern teachers’ group, called for Thaksin’s children to “become whores infected with venereal disease.” The conduct of the protesters was condemned by the chairman of Amnesty International’s Thailand office. Protesters often harassed journalists and news crews.

Nevertheless, Sondhi’s income skyrocketed as a result of his political activism as the demonstration gained wider support from public. Revenues of his media companies increased by no less than 215 million baht (approx $6 million US) a month from the start of his protests to early 2006.

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Tourism

More COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed in Thailand from 16 October 2021

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Bangkok, 16 October, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update that more COVID-19 restrictions in the dark-red zone provinces have been relaxed while additional businesses and activities have been allowed to resume operations from today (16 October, 2021).

  • Restaurants and eateries, cinemas, theatres, shopping malls, sport stadiums, and public parks are now allowed to resume normal opening hours, but must close no later than 22.00 Hrs.
  • Convenience stores, fresh markets, and flea markets are now allowed to open for all types of goods with the opening hours extended for one hour longer or until 22.00 Hrs. All 24-hour shops must close nightly from 22.00-03.00 Hrs.
  • Day-care centres for elderly people are now allowed to resume operations.
  • Hotels, exhibition halls, convention halls, trade fair centres, or similar types of venues are now allowed to open for meetings, seminars, or other types of events and ceremonies up until 22.00 Hrs.
  • Shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments can also open for meetings, seminars, or other types of events and ceremonies up until 22.00 Hrs., but must not hold any sales promotional activities and continue to close the amusement parks, water parks, and gaming centres.
  • Public parks, sports stadiums, gyms, fitness centres, and all types of venues for exercise can resume normal opening hours, but no later than 22.00 Hrs.

Meanwhile, gaming centres in shopping malls, shopping centres, community malls, or similar establishments that are not located in the dark-red zone province can now resume operations.

Curfew, Interprovincial Travel & Gatherings of people

To be in effect until 31 October, 2021, the night-time curfew in the dark-red zone provinces has been reduced from 6 to 4 hours, or between 23.00-03.00 Hrs.

Public and private organisations as well as people are still prohibited to organise any activities prone to the spread of disease, but the number of attendees has been increased for each zone. Dark-red zone: No gatherings of more than 50 people (from previously 25 people). Red zone: No gatherings of more than 100 people (from previously 50 people). Orange zone: No gatherings of more than 200 people (from previously 100 people).

Travel between dark-red zone provinces and other areas can resume normal operations but must apply social distancing measures.

Entertainment venues

All types of entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, and karaoke shops are to remain closed. However, the government mentioned that these businesses may undertake preparation to be ready for reopening.

Self-protective measures and distancing efforts

As usual, people nationwide are asked to continue abiding by the health and safety measures in place; such as, wearing a face mask at all times while outside of their residence, regularly washing hands with soap and water/cleaning alcohol, and avoiding unnecessary close contact with others.

TAT would like to remind all travellers to continue with D-M-H-T-T-A precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – alert application.

Thailand’s colour-coding system for COVID-19 control are in place for the following provinces:

23 (down from 29) Maximum and Strict Controlled Areas or dark-red zone provinces

Central Region: Bangkok and 22 other provinces: Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ratchaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, and Saraburi; Eastern Region: Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chon Buri, Prachin Buri, and Rayong; Northern Region: Tak, and Southern Region: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.

Chanthaburi and Nakhon Si Thammarat have been moved up from red to the dark-red zone.

30 (down from 37) Strict Controlled Areas or red zone provinces

Central Region: Ang Thong, Chai Nat, Lop Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri; Eastern Region: Sa Kaeo and Trat; Northern Region: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, and Phetchabun; Northeastern Region: Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, and Udon Thani, and Southern Region: Chumphon, Phatthalung, Ranong, Satun, Surat Thani, and Trang.

Ang Thong, Lop Buri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Sing Buri, and Suphan Buri have been moved down from the dark-red to red zone, while Surat Thani has been moved up from the orange zone.

24 (up from 11) Controlled Areas or orange zone provinces

Northern Region: Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, and Phrae, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, and Uttaradit; Northeastern Region: Amnat Charoen, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Loei, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, and Yasothon, and Southern Region: Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Phuket.

Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Sukhothai, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, and Yasothon have been moved down from red to orange zone.

The post More COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed in Thailand from 16 October 2021 appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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China’s economy stumbles on power crunch

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s economy hit its slowest pace of growth in a year in the third quarter, hurt by power shortages, supply chain bottlenecks and major wobbles in the property market and raising pressure on policymakers to do more to prop up the faltering recovery.

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