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Thaksin allies flex muscles ahead of possible confrontation

Red Shirts gathered at the Democracy Monument on Sunday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the constitutional monarchy in Thailand. The event was also called a “show of power” to supposed forces that would be attempting to overthrow the current Pheu Thai government.

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Red Shirts gathered at the Democracy Monument on Sunday to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the constitutional monarchy in Thailand. The event was also called a “show of power” to supposed forces that would be attempting to overthrow the current Pheu Thai government.

 “Since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand’s trajectory toward democratization has often been disputed by non-elected forces that exercise veto power over the popularly elected representatives, and sometimes maneuver to drive those elected representatives from office”, said Human Rights Watch’s in a document published in May.

Since 1932, Thailand has experience 18 coups, 23 military governments, and 9 military-dominated governments since 1932, said the report.

reds shirts in Bangkok

Red Shirts gathered in Bangkok near Democracy Monument to support Charter amendment and the return of their de facto leader, ex Primer minister Thaksin. Photo: Yukari Sekine

About 30,000 people gathered in central Bangkok, at Ratchadamnoen Klang Road, according to police figures stated by the media. Red shirt leaders spoke at the podium while people listened, played music nearby and had a friendly gathering at the food stalls. The atmosphere was generally festive and gathered supporters from all over Thailand.

“We like Thaksin, we want him back”

The demonstration was also intended to gather signatures for the petition asking for the impeachment of judges in the Constitutional Court who are blocking the discussion about a charter amendment bill.

Former prime-minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the personality behind the Red Shirts, was ousted in a military coup in 2006, and the amendment is meant to facilitate Thaksin’s return to power. He is currently in exile while his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, maneuvers through negotiations in Parliament.

According to UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth, almost 100,000 people had signed the petition by the end of the event on Sunday, said the Bangkok Post. This is twice the number that would be necessary to launch an impeachment against seven of the nine judges.

“We want to get rid of Article 68 of the Constitution”, said Navin Boonseat, former member of Parliament for the Pheu Thai party who was present at the event. The article allows judicial intervention in cases of an attempted overthrow of the existing political system.

“We like Thaksin, we want him back”, said a Red Shirt lady who works as a tour guide in Vietnam and was selling red T-shirts at the demonstration. “He was good for business, tourism and exports”, she said briefly. The ample support for Thaksin and his sister were visible on the shirts and souvenirs with his name and face. DVDs showing his speeches were also being sold among the crowds.

“He made all this possible”, said another supporter, pointing to the whole event.

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National

Thailand to further ease COVID-19 restrictions

The Cabinet approved to ease the level of control over the country under the COVID-19 situation including relaxing businesses and activities in 4 areas.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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The Cabinet approved to ease the level of control over the country under the COVID-19 situation including relaxing businesses and activities in 4 areas.

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Economics

BoI plans more efforts to promote BCG economy

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Board of Investment (BoI) is working with related agencies to rev up promotion of the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economy to help drive growth over the next 5 years.

BoI Secretary-General Duangjai Asawachintachit said the BoI is looking into more business categories for high technology as part of efforts to promote the BCG economy.

She said the government is focused on developing the bio-economy as Thailand has more than 30 million people working in the farm sector, yet most of them remain in poverty.

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Asean

ASEAN, Canada, UN Women launch 5-year programme to advance Women, Peace and Security Agenda

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Joint Press Release ASEAN, Canada, UN Women jointly launch 5-year programme to advance Women, Peace and Security Agenda
Jakarta/Ottawa/New York, 24 February 2021 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Canada and UN Women jointly launched today a five-year programme to expand and strengthen women’s leadership and participation in conflict prevention, resolution and recovery in South-East Asia.

The CAD 8.5 million (US $6.36 million) programme, “Empowering women for sustainable peace: preventing violence and promoting social cohesion in ASEAN”, is funded by Global Affairs Canada to support ASEAN and the implementation of the ASEAN-Canada Plan of Action 2021-2025, with the support of UN Women as a lead UN partner.

“Canada is proud to launch this flagship initiative that uses the women, peace and security approach to promote inclusive and sustainable peace and security in the region, while addressing the systemic gender inequality,” said Diedrah Kelly, Canada’s Ambassador to ASEAN.

ASEAN has made important strides to advance women, peace and security agenda, including the adoption of the first ‘Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN’ in 2017, the launch of the ASEAN Women’s Peace Registry in 2018, and convening the first ASEAN Symposium on Women, Peace and Security in 2019 and the ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Strengthening Women’s role for Sustainable Peace and Security in 2020.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi said, “ASEAN is working concertedly to advance women, peace and security agenda across the three ASEAN Community Pillars as part of our commitment to promote gender equality and the roles of women in the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.”

The COVID-19 impact has increased the risks for women and girls in fragile and conflict-affected contexts and this challenges us to re-examine threats to human security. “The pandemic highlights the important linkage between peace, humanitarian and development and the critical need for women’s leadership and participation to ensure effective and comprehensive response, from policy decision-making to peace building and pandemic response,” said Jamshed Kazi, UN Women Representative and Liaison to ASEAN.

The new programme reflects the commitment of ASEAN and Canada to promote gender equality and to respond to an increasingly widespread calls across the globe for women to be empowered to lead and participate in peace and development.

ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

For more information, please contact:
Montira Narkvichien
Regional Communications Specialist
UN Women Asia and the Pacific
Tel: +66 2 288 1579 | Mobile: +66 81 6688900 | Email: [email protected]

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