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Thailand’s soldiers of political fortune

In the lead-up to Thailand’s July 2011 election the tough-talking army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, weighed into the political debate, insisting that voters should defend the king and elect ‘good people’.General Prayuth hoped, no doubt, that his efforts to sway popular sentiment would lead to a victory for the embattled Democrat Party

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Thailand's bloodless coup

In the lead-up to Thailand’s July 2011 election the tough-talking army chief, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, weighed into the political debate, insisting that voters should defend the king and elect ‘good people’. General Prayuth hoped, no doubt, that his efforts to sway popular sentiment would lead to a victory for the embattled Democrat Party.But when Thais went to the polls they passed a very different judgment, determining that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Democrat-led coalition government deserved electoral oblivion.

The election of Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of deposed former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to the nation’s highest political office would have come as a shock. General Prayuth may, at least for a day or two, have wondered whether a coup would be a reasonable response.

Despite persistent claims to the contrary, Thailand’s army is still in the coup-making business and, since toppling Thaksin in September 2006, has shown a dogged commitment to political intervention.This reality contradicts the army’s stated goals. Over the past two decades the army has sought to professionalise its image and develop a leaner, better-educated and more technologically proficient force — and professional soldiers will theoretically avoid political entanglements

Better training and non-partisan indoctrination will encourage them to ‘stay in their barracks’, leaving politicians to take care of political matters.

But Thailand’s increasingly professional army is yet to disentangle itself from politics: it remains a potent political force and has proved willing to make abrupt interventions to protect its role.What explains this situation?A big part of the answer lies in the relationship between the palace and the army.

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Thailand’s soldiers of political fortune

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Tourism

The Bachelor Japan Season 4 showcases Thailand

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Bangkok, 2 December, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that Thailand features as the main location in the Japanese reality TV show ‘The Bachelor Japan Season 4’, of which the first episode aired on 25 November, 2021.

In cooperation with the TAT Tokyo Office, a film crew from Amazon Prime Japan and YD Creation Japan comprising 65 actors, production staff, technicians and others travelled to Thailand to shoot for the show in the spectacular Southern provinces of Phuket, Phang-Nga, and Krabi between April and June 2021.

A total of six out of the 10 60-minute episodes of ‘The Bachelor Japan Season 4’ were filmed in Thailand.

 Aside from the valuable promotional exposure the destination will receive in Japan, a key source market for visitors from the Asian region, the foreign production also generated much-needed income and employment opportunities in the local tourism and film-related sectors of the three chosen locations.

Phuket, Phang-Nga’ and Krabi were among the first destinations in Thailand to reopen to tourism under the Sandbox programme, and the TAT Tokyo Office has capitalised on the interest of foreign filmmaking to promote the world-class tourist appeal and public health safety standards of these destinations.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “Popular TV shows like ‘The Bachelor’ are an effective way to deliver promotional messages directly to international markets, in this case Japan, which is among the 63 countries and territories from which fully vaccinated visitors can enter Thailand through the Exemption from Quarantine (TEST & GO) programme. With Thailand featuring so significantly in ‘The Bachelor Japan Season 4’, this helps us to promote travel to Thailand now that entry rules are being relaxed and tourists are once again welcomed.”

Fully vaccinated visitors from every country around the world can also visit Thailand via the Living in the “Blue Zone” Sandbox destinations programme. Meanwhile, partially or unvaccinated visitors are also much welcomed via the Happy Quarantine programme. However, to prevent and control the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, Thailand currently imposes travel restrictions on arrivals from Africa.

Photo Credit: Instagram: @BachelorJapan外部リンク, @bachelorjap外部リンク

The post The Bachelor Japan Season 4 showcases Thailand appeared first on TAT Newsroom.

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Asean

ASEAN commemorates Youth in Climate Action and Disaster Resilience Day 2021

An intergenerational dialogue titled ‘Teaming up with You(th) for a Disaster-Resilient and Climate-Friendly ASEAN’, was moderated by the ASEAN Youth Forum’s Programme Manager, Rastra Yasland.

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JAKARTA, 30 November 2021 – The ASEAN Secretariat hosted an interactive webinar to commemorate ASEAN Youth in Climate Action and Disaster Resilience Day on 25 November.

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