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 Thai News

 2010: July-Sept
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24th September   

Overstaying Your Welcome...

Overstayers liable to jail after just 3 weeks, and certain for jail after 6 weeks
Link Here

man in Thai jailAllegedly tired of overstaying foreigners arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport with a valid air ticket and the maximum fine of 20,000 baht in their hands, the Immigration Department is now arresting and jailing people before permitting them to leave Thailand.

Anybody who has overstayed a valid visa in Thailand beyond a period of six weeks (42 days) is no longer permitted to simply turn up with the cash and an air ticket and leave the country after filling in a few forms and handing over the wedge.

People on overstay of less than three weeks (21 days) are still able to arrive at the airport with the correct amount of folding stuff, pay the fine due of 500 Baht per day and leave Thailand.

The grey area is for those whose overstay falls in the period between three and six weeks; that is, between 22 and 41 days. They can potentially have a problem. It is being suggested anyone whose overstay falls into this time frame should be aware that it will be up to the Immigration officer and his superiors at an airport or land border crossing to decide whether to detain the recalcitrant foreigner or permit him, or her, to leave unhindered, after payment of the overstay fine has been levied.

Law

Under the Immigration Act 2522:

Section 81 : Any alien who stay in the Kingdom without permission or with permission expired or revoked shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 Baht or both.

  • Overstay 1 - 21 days: Pay a fine 500 Baht/day at Airport/land border
  • Overstay 22 - 41 days: Pay a fine 500 Baht/day, possible arrest/detention, deportation, possible blacklisting
  • Overstay 42 days or more: Pay a fine of 20,000 Baht, arrest/detention, deportation, possible blacklisting

Update: Not So Dogmatic

14th October 2010

It seems That the story hasn't really panned out and the Thai authorities aren't dogmatically imprisoning overstayers as suggested. However the law is accurate and overstayers could be imprisoned.

 

14th September   

Hot News...

Predicting climate change in Thailand
Link Here

hot sunIn the next 35 years, the temperature in Thailand will rise by 4 degrees Celsius, which will result in the eastern provinces getting inundated in 300 millimetres of rainfall every year, an expert said yesterday.

The Southeast Asia START Regional Research Centre's director Arnon Sanidwong na Ayudhaya was speaking at an academic conference.

His analysis was based on eight climate prediction models over the next 35-55 years.

The temperatures would rise in the rainy season and winter months, thus further narrowing the difference between summer and winter times, he said.

The models also showed that sea levels would rise by 14-15 centimetres, affecting the coastal areas from Bangkok to Rayong and Phetchaburi all the way to Narathiwat, he said.

Levels of rainfall would also be different from one place to another. For example, the Northeast and the West could have about 70-100mm of rain, while the East might end up with 300mm, leading to severe flooding.

 

23rd August   

Airport Rail Link...

Airport train starts linking to central Bangkok
Link Here

airport rail link The 28km Airport Rail Link began full commercial operations on 23rd August between central Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan.

The rail link will charge promotional fares until the end of the year on its city and express lines. It expects to serve up to 50,000 passengers a day.

State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Yutthana Thapcharoen said: It is the fastest rail system in the country. It is convenient and provides [a quality] service.

Passengers using the City Line, the all-stops line, will pay a flat rate of 15 baht for a trip during the promotion period. The line, which operates from 6am to midnight, takes 30 minutes to travel from Phaya Thai station to Suvarnabhumi airport.

Those using the Express Line will pay 100 baht for a trip. It takes 15 minutes to travel from Makkasan station to the airport non-stop. It also operates from 6am to midnight.

Fares for the City Line will range from 15 baht to 45 baht, depending on the distance travelled, after Jan 1, 2011, while the fares on the Express Line would rise to 150 baht.

Passengers would be able to check in their baggage at Makkasan station for transfer to their airline once the service was fully operational.

 

19th August   

Rubbish Justice...

Scavenger fined 133,000 Baht for selling a few recovered VCDs
Link Here

scavengerThe Culture Ministry will hold a meeting with concerned bodies to discuss amendments to the laws on films and videos next week, Culture minister Nipit Intarasombat said Thursday.

He said the meeting would discuss the penalties for the unauthorised selling of VCDs, which are currently the same as those applied to theatres showing unauthorised films and considered unjust. Nipit said police, attorneys as well as film and videos business operators would be invited.

The law has been widely criticised after a city garbage collector was fined Bt133,000 for selling VCDs he salvaged from the trash.

Another man was arrested for selling his son's old VCD movies on a Bangkok pedestrian bridge.

Nipit said, The ministry will push for this issue to be resolved after gathering opinions from all sides. It depends on how quickly the Parliament will be able to proceed once the draft law is proposed.

 

30th July   

Bangkok Troubles...

Small bombs continue in Bangkok
Link Here

king power complexA bomb exploded opposite of King Power firm in Soi Rangnam in Phaya Thai district early Friday morning, injuring a man.

Police has not yet identified the injured man who was rushed to nearby Rajvithiee Hospital.

Police and rescue workers who rushed to the scene had to wait for 20 minutes before rescuing the man out of fear that there would be hidden explosives.

Police believed that the explosive was hidden in a plastic black bag in a garbage bin. The injured man was a trash collector, his three-wheeled vehicle was left parking near the bin.

 

18th July   

Dangerous Thailand...

Brits are more likely to die, be arrested, or need consular help, in Thailand than any other foreign country
Link Here

FCO logoThe UK Foreign Office annual report, British Behaviour Abroad , is based on cases reported to its global staff between April 2009 and March 2010.

The report shows that overall most Britons (5,283) needed consular assistance in Spain. However, as a proportion of British visitors and residents, most assistance was needed by Britons in Thailand (957), Pakistan (273) and Cyprus (736).

There were 5,930 reported deaths of UK citizens abroad, including natural causes, accidental deaths and unlawful killings, compared with 5,629 deaths the previous year. Proportionally, most Britons died in Thailand (292) Germany (563) and Cyprus (323).

According to the Foreign Office figures, there were 2,012 Britons arrested in Spain last year, significantly more than in any other country. But when taking visitor and resident numbers into consideration, proportionally Thailand is the country where the highest number of Britons were arrested (249) followed by the United Arab Emirates (265) and the US (1,367).

 

13th July   

Jumbo Fines...

Farangs liable to large fines for feeding Bangkok elephants
Link Here

elephant at barBangkok authorities have announced that anyone caught handing bunches of bananas or sugar cane to street elephants proffered by their handlers to make money faces a $320 (10,000 baht) fine.

The ordinance is issued to prevent untidiness or danger toward properties and lives of Bangkok residents, said Manit Techa-apichoke, deputy director of the City Law Enforcement Department, adding there had been cases of elephants hurting people and falling into drains.

Friends of the Asian Elephant, a Thai non-government group which cares for injured or mistreated elephants, called the fines a good start.

Previously, mahouts as elephant handlers are known and their accomplices were fined for bringing an elephant into Bangkok, but those feeding the animal escaped punishment. Typically a tourist would pay 20 baht ($0.62) for the privilege of handing a bunch of fruit or vegetables into the elephant's trunk.

Manit said those caught feeding the animals would be fined, though they may be warned first.

He said authorities had caught 30 elephants in Bangkok the past four months, but none since the new ordinance took effect July 1, although handlers were finding ways to circumvent the crackdown. Mahouts have adopted a new tactic of using baby elephants and taking them from place to place on a pickup truck, he said. They now work in the suburbs, instead of camping right in the heart of the city as they used to.

 

7th July   

Not Over Yet...

Thai state of emergency extended for 3 more months
Link Here

red shirtsThe Thai government has extended a state of emergency in 19 provinces, including the capital Bangkok, because of fears of renewed violence.

The emergency decree was revoked in five other provinces, after a three-month deadline expired.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva told the BBC that there would be a gradual lifting of emergency law.

Under emergency rule, public gatherings of more than five people are banned and security forces have the right to detain suspects for 30 days without charge.

More than 400 people have been arrested.

There have been calls by human rights organisations to lift what they describe as a draconian law, saying it risks driving opposition underground.

The five provinces where emergency rule has been lifted are Si Sa Ket, Kalasin, Nan, Nakhon Sawan and Nakhon Pathom, located in north, north-east and central Thailand.

 We have been informed there are people who continue to try to spread false information to spur hatred and instigate unrest, said Ongart Klampaiboon, minister to the prime minister's office, after the ruling.

The Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations (Cres) had recommended that emergency rule be extended across all affected provinces. The Cres is made up of representatives from the armed forces, police and government ministries; key roles are held by military nominees.

 

4th July   

Recovery Plan...

Thai tourist visa fees waived until March 2011
Link Here

thai visaThe violent outburst in Bangkok in April and May this year has cast a shadow on the Kingdom's image of a gentle harmonious society.

The Thai government has decided to move forward with a tourism recovery plan and to move quickly.

Thailand's Government has extended a range of measures to promote tourism, including a waiver of tourist visa fees until 31 March, 2011 and approved a relief package for the tourism industry including loans of US$ 153 million.

Hotels are exempted until 2011 from operating fees. Airports of Thailand has introduced discount schemes for landing fees by 15%.

Tourist Authority, TAT, is also rolling up its sleeves to attract again tourists from overseas and regional markets. According to TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, TAT concentrates for now at luring travelers from South Asia, ASEAN countries as well as Northeast Asia.

A huge marketing push will take place with 500 tour operators and media invited into the country from July 12 to 15 with an overwhelming majority being from neighbouring countries.

The most effective way to attract for now travelers to Bangkok is most probably the bargains offered by hotels. Despite the fact that most hoteliers have rejected deep discounts to stimulate the market, the price war is going on for at least a month time now with some good offers.

Some good news came out recently from the air transport industry. Thai Airways International has seen its average occupancy rise from 50% in April and May to 70% in June. The airline indicates that advance booking for July and August look favorable.

According to figures provided by TAT international passengers arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport totalled 540,788 in the period of 1-27 June, 2010, a decline of 6.8% over the same period of 2009. It shows that the rate of decline has slowed significantly from May, where visitors arrivals dropped by 19%.

 

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