The following is our weekly feature in which we take a look at upcoming stories and things to follow in Thailand news over the next week.
This is written for our readers to be aware of developing stories and events as well have a preview of the week ahead in Thailand.
1. Prime Minister and Thai Cabinet visiting Phuket, Koh Samui on Monday and Tuesday
The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan O’Cha and his cabinet will be visiting Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Phuket early this week to hold a mobile cabinet meeting and to meet with local officials and business owners about the drastic tourism situation in the province. They are expected to see first hand what the lack of foreign tourists have done to the islands which depend on tourism for the vast majority of their GDP. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic borders remain officially closed to foreign tourists although special selected groups are being brought back in, mostly from China, and with fourteen day quarantines.
2. Pro-establishment supporters held their biggest rally yet this weekend as pro-democracy supporters pledge more events and protests
A two day parliament meeting last week to discuss the growing protests of both pro-democracy and pro-establishment supporters in Thailand ended without a concrete path forward, although it appears that the leading current plan is to have meetings with all sides and attempt to reach mutual agreements. Meanwhile, the largest rally yet with several Thai celebrities in support of the Monarchy was held this weekend in Bangkok, with pro-democracy protesters pledging more protests this week. Anger has been high after several major protest leaders were re-arrested and ended up in a hospital after tense situations with police last week. Some groups of protesters have stated that they are reportedly willing to not focus on more controversial reforms that have risen tension and focus purely on dissolving parliament and writing a new constitution. However, other groups of protesters say they will continue to focus on reform of the highest institution. This will be a situation to watch over the next week.
3. US election this week will be closely watched by Thailand, US suspends some trade benefits
Although we are not a world news site (TPN National does some of that), the election this week in the US will have significant global impact, including in Thailand. One of Donald Trump’s last actions before the election was to suspend trade benefits to Thailand, allegedly because Thailand refuses to sell pork products from the US. This comes as Thailand has signed a major high speed railway contract with China and China’s foreign minister recently visited Thailand, showing the two sides appearing to be getting closer. The Thai government has not yet released an official statement regarding the suspension of benefits.
That’s it for this week, as always, thanks for reading!