The following is a weekly feature from TPN/The Pattaya News that will take place every weekend, giving a look at “the week ahead” in news and things to keep an eye on. Unlike our local and national top story round-ups, this will be focused on all news, both national and local. This also won’t be a top five, as the number of things to be aware of and look forward to could change week to week.
Our goal is to provide our regular readers a short, factual and concise preview of the week ahead and things to look forward to and follow up on news wise. The articles and points below are not in any particular order.
1. Another major pro-democracy protest scheduled for next Wednesday in Bangkok on October 14
Pro-Democracy protesters, still upset regarding a recent decision (see below) by the Thai government to not change the constitution but rather to set up a committee to review the impact of any changes are planning another rally on October 14. This comes as certain elements of the protesters have been getting a lot of pressure from various circles to tone down rhetoric that does not align with their three primary demands: Stop harassment of protesters, rewrite the constitution and dissolve parliament. Some smaller groups of protesters are seeking further actions and reforms which have caused much controversy and according to some critics is costing the protesters more widespread public support.
2. Pattaya Beach work likely to begin over the next week
A 160 million baht Pattaya Beach project to “beautify” the area, as well as to likely install a third lane of traffic (which would also be used for parking for events and busy weekends) is planned to start this month. The work may start as soon as this upcoming week. The project includes many items such as a complete reworking of the beach walkway, adding restrooms, disabled access, benches and rest areas, exercise areas, a potential playground, over a thousand more trees and brush to provide more shade and natural areas and more. This will be starting very, very soon.
3. Are “tourists” truly arriving for the Special Tourist Visa over the next week or is it further delayed?
News on the special tourist visa front seem to change, unsurprisingly to many of our readers, on a nearly daily basis. The latest news seems to state that the Special Tourist Visa’s first tourists are delayed, originally stated to arrive on Thursday, October 8th. The program has received overall harsh criticism from many, stating it seems to be catered only to the extremely wealthy. Many critics also claim the program seems to cater only to business people and not “tourists” or even long-stay tourists. High criticism has also been aimed at the fact that despite nearly thirty steps to take from start to finish for the VISA and multiple tests to detect Covid-19, many countries are not allowed to apply at all. Proponents of the plan, however, state that it is important to start somewhere and that it is very important the first few batches of tourists enter with no positive Covid-19 cases and no issues.
That is all for this week, as always thanks for reading!